If sugar isn’t addicting then why do so many individuals want it, like it, use it and even crave it? Is it a physiological need or a psychological drive that promotes its use? It is well known that when individuals are under stress, especially chronic stress, they have an increased desire for and the consumption of palatable comfort foods that are high in refined sugars. This response, of coping with distressing emotional upsets with increased refined sugar consumption is a major factor for the increasing rates of obesity.
There is a negative metabolic-brain feedback pathway that is activated by eating foods that contain large amounts of refined sugars that help stressed out individuals feel better with a reduction in their perception of psychic tension. When individuals are stressed they feel a sense of psychic distress, often manifested by anxiety and depression. Their brain then signals for an increased release of cortisol (the stress hormone) from the adrenal glands which promotes a drive to eat increased carbohydrates and refined sugars. Sugar, especially, increases a natural opioid-like chemical neurotransmitter in the brain that dampens anxiety and decreases cortisol levels to cause a feeling of reduced stress and relaxation. Sugar appears to turn off the brain’s anxiety switch to quickly reduce the distressful feelings of emotional turmoil, such as anxiety, despair, frustration and loss. This means that sugar can indeed make you feel less stressed and relaxed in difficult, frustrating and emotionally taxing situations. This situation can give the impression that an individual is addicted to sugar and that refined sugar is 'addicting'. But it is not, yet it has an 'addictive-like' effect because it helps to reduce and relieve an individual's uncomfortable stressful situation. This is why individuals tend to eat refined sugary snacks when upset. However there is little scientific data, to date, to show that refined sugar itself is an addicting substance. Eating too much refined sugar may help you get through your day, but it will also help you to gain weight in the days ahead and not solve any of your problems.
The weight loss supplement AttenuSlim has been developed to help control the cravings for carbohydrates and refined sugars. For more information, please go to attenuatepro.com, I think it can be of help to you. Peter Vash,M.D.,M.P.H.
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