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It’s Been a Rough Year for Sugar

It’s been a rough year for sugar. In my previous blog HERE, I wrote about  the article published in health journal Obesity that  found sugary beverage consumption down 20% in children and 10% in adults from 2003. Fruit juice and sodas took major hits, replaced at the popular table by coconut water and seltzers. Coconut water consumption increased 228% worldwide from 2011 to 2016. Seltzer sales grew from $2.6 billion in 2011 to a projected $8.5 billion last year, led by La Croix, the staple of the suburban Midwest turned cult beverage

Here are some other “BAD” news stories about sugar

  1. PepsiCo announced they would buy home seltzer maker SodaStream  (“a good hedge” said Mad Money’s Jim Cramer!),
  2. Coca-Cola announced they would acquire the 4,000-store Costa Coffee chain
  3. Starbucks announced they’re beginning to test a lower sugar Frappuccino  because even  tweens have started to question the logic behind consuming 67 grams of sugar in one sitting.

When three of the biggest drink manufacturers in the world each make a move  away from the sugary thing that originally made them giant drink manufacturers, we’re reaching a tipping point.

 

Is Sugar Addiction Really A Problem?

In this episode I am talking about “Is Sugar Addiction Really A Problem?”

Like addictive drugs, highly palatable foods rich in sugar, fat and salt trigger feel-good chemicals such as dopamine. Once people experience pleasure associated with increased dopamine transmission in the brain’s reward pathway from eating certain foods, they quickly feel the need to eat again. Listen to podcast and learn about sugar addiction.

Is Sugar Addiction Real?

Sugar addiction concept as a human head made of white granulated refined sweet cubes as a health care symbol for being addicted to sweeteners and the medical issues pertaining to processed food.

For many of us, sugar is addictive. That’s because foods high in sugar trigger the reward centers of your brain.

The Lay’s potato chip  advertising company were really onto something when they developed their “betcha can’t eat just one” slogan in the 1950s. Talk about ahead of their time!

Eric Stice, Ph.D., a neuroscientist at the Oregon Research Institute has used MRI scans to conclude that sugar activates the same brain areas that are activated when a person consumes drugs like cocaine. In addition, he found that heavy users of sugar develop tolerance (needing more and more to feel the same effect), which is a symptom of substance dependence.

Women are twice as likely to be addicted to food as men (2)

Women tend to diet, restrict, and binge more than men, which seems to trigger the brain to overeat addictively. Interestingly, women with the greatest hormonal upheaval at perimenopause report the highest rates of food addiction(2).

When food is off-limits, it tends to take on power and value, so it is good to ease into getting off the sugar roller coaster.  Eating protein is an easy way to curb sugar cravings. High-protein foods digest more slowly, keeping you feeling full for longer. Protein doesn’t make your blood sugar spike the way refined carbs and sugars do. Pick proteins like lean chicken, low-fat yogurt, eggs, nuts, or beans. Fiber also helps fight a sugar itch in many ways. First, it keeps you full. High-fiber foods also give you more energy. Because they don’t raise your blood sugar, there’s no hungry crash after. Choose fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Or smear some peanut butter on an apple for a protein/fiber combo.

REFERENCES

1, P. Pedram et al., “Food Addiction: Its Prevalence and Significant Association with Obesity in the General Population,” PLoS ONE 8, no. 9 (2013): e74832, doi:10.1371/ journal.pone.0074832.

2. A. J. Flint et al., “Food- Addiction Scale Measurement in 2 Cohorts of Middle- Aged and Older Women,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 99, no. 3 (2014): 578–86, doi:10.3945/ajcn.113.068965.

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