Effects of Sugar Similar to Drug Addiction
Anyone who consumes the typical American diet will tell you how hard it is for them to cut back on refined sugar products. In the video below Dr. Greger states that diets high in refined sugar products have often been "compared to drug addiction." Recently, PET scans (image technology that measures brain activity) "showed decreased dopamine sensitivity in obese individuals, and the heavier they were the less responsive they appeared to become."
Dr. Greger adds, "We see the same thing in cocaine addicts and alcoholics. This would suggest that a reduction in dopamine receptors is associated with addictive behavior irrespective of whether it is due to food or to addictive drugs as seen in substance abusers. Dopamine is considered the neurotransmitter primarily involved in the pleasure and reward center of our brain, helping to motivate our drive for things like food, water, and sex—all necessary for the perpetuation of our species."
Reducing refined sugary products while still consuming the typical American diet is much harder and any benefits are temporary. Withdrawal symptoms are common. If we continue to eat a nutrient-deficient diet, our body will still be in a constant state of "toxic hunger" which compels us to eat more in order to satisfy the need for micronutrients. Switching to a low-fat, whole-food, plant-based diet fulfills our micronutrient needs; thus eliminating both toxic hunger and addiction to refined sugar products.
The addictive drive for sugar and toxic hunger is explained in more detail by Doug Lisle PhD and Dr. Joel Fuhrman in the links below:
(1) Losing Weight Without Losing Your Mind
(2) Which Foods are the Most Popular?
(3) Junk Food = Drug of Choice
(4) Why Dieting Doesn't Work but Eating Healthy Does
(5) True Hunger vs Toxic Hunger
(6) Dr. Carney's Food Addiction Pinterest Board
Michael Greger MD Links
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