I watched a video on YouTube called “The Skinny on Obesity (Ep.4): Sugar – A Sweet Addiction. Here is the bulk of what the article talks about….. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that controls the feeling of pleasure. As we overstimulate (for 3 weeks) these receptors with dopamine over time, it damages the receptors (in the reward center of the brain). So eventually it takes more and more to satisfy that desire. You actually get less and less pleasure from the food/drug. So we eat more to get the same affect. This is referred to as tolerance. Then when we stop using the chemical/food/etc, we have withdrawals. Tolerance and withdraw are associated with addictions (cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, sugar, etc).
So what can we do about this addiction? Well first we can recognize it for what it is and see the importance of quitting just as we would suggest a drug addict quit. In the near future I will be doing more blogs that will help explain some of the cravings that we experience for high-glycemic foods or those that contain high fructose corn syrup. There is also research that shows that MSG (monosodium glutomate) also produces cravings for more of it. It seems that the more of these foods that we digest, the more we crave. This happens with most high glycemic foods like white flour, processed foods, sugars, cereals, etc. So, food can be just like a drug to those of us who have a predisposition to addiction.
We need to educate ourselves on what types of foods affect our brains in this way, and work to remove them from our diets.