How sugar affects the brain, body and psyche

How sugar affects the brain, the body and the psyche

Weak and sick from sugar consumption

When sugar is consumed, the same changes occur in the human brain as when under the influence of morphine or cocaine. It creates an addiction that is difficult to recover from. Everyone knows that eating a lot of sugar is bad for your health. But everyone eats it anyway. First, it’s delicious, and second, the harm of sugar, which is irrelevant to our real life, goes unnoticed at first. Have you ever seen someone get sugar poisoning or die after eating another spoonful? That’s just it, no. So is sugar really the “sweet death” and how harmful is it?

Sugar makes you fat

Sugar is the main contributor to fat accumulation. Anything sweet we eat is stored in the liver in the form of glycogen: as a reserve, as a source of energy. But this “store” is finite, and when it’s full and we keep eating sweets, it’s converted to fat, especially in the abdomen and hips. Studies show that when both sugar and fat are consumed together (a combination found in most confectionery and all baked goods, for example), fat is deposited much faster than without sugar. That’s why buns and cakes are the fastest way to get fat. In addition, “fast” carbohydrates, especially sugar, cause the blood sugar level to rise sharply (to 2-3 times the norm). This leads to a massive release of insulin, which quickly turns the sugar calories into fat. After that, the sugar level drops drastically and there is an acute hunger attack. That’s why it’s so hard to stop with a small piece of cake. Sugar rushes provoke regular overeating and, as a result, obesity.

Sugar is addictive

Sugar is a fairly addictive substance. The changes in the brain are similar to those that occur under the influence of morphine or cocaine. The blood sugar jumps call for a new dose. At the same time, the brain doesn’t realize that the craving for sweets has nothing to do with hunger because it’s foggy: when sugar is consumed, the pleasure center’s beta-endorphin receptors and dopamine system are activated. We fall into a kind of high similar to that of opiates. Sugar not only affects the brain, but also suppresses our taste buds. Since our childhood, when we drank sweet breast milk, we have developed sweet associations: satiety, comfort, relaxation. This is how we become addicted to the “sugar needle”. When we constantly eat sweets that trigger a regular release of endorphins, the body stops producing them naturally. And then all hell breaks loose and the vicious circle begins. Self-esteem, performance and mood begin to depend directly on a piece of sugar or a timely ingested candy bar. Sweets – intoxication – self abuse – irritability and anger – longing – sweets.

What happens to us during sugar withdrawal

We want to become “mindful”, change our eating habits and fall into a depressed state: no sugar – no endorphins. The body has to rebuild itself before they can be produced normally again, and that takes time. It’s a real withdrawal phase to go through. Mood swings, irritability and aggressiveness occur during this period. The consequence is a real threat of personal conflicts, problems at work and deterioration in health (stress reduces immunity and provokes a number of diseases).

Sugar destroys your health

Sugar flushes out B vitamins, which are important for digesting food. Sugar, in particular, requires thiamine (B1) for its metabolism, which is naturally not found in sugar (it contains no minerals at all). Therefore, the body absorbs B1 from all organs and systems. This leads to a constant state of stress, indigestion and a feeling of constant tiredness. Vision loss, muscle and skin disorders can also occur. Sugar has also been shown to impair heart function. The reason for this is the lack of thiamine: its deficiency leads to myocardial dystrophy and extravascular fluid accumulation, which can trigger cardiac arrest. Sugar also causes an imbalance of phosphorus and calcium in the blood that lasts for 48 hours. Because of this, the body cannot fully absorb the calcium consumed with food, which leads to diseases associated with a deficiency of this element. Calcium is important for strong bones and teeth, it is responsible for the narrowing and widening of blood vessels, regulates muscle contractions, nerve impulses and the stable functioning of the cardiovascular system. There’s another reason for calcium loss: to assimilate sugar, you need calcium, which isn’t present in sugar. Again, the body has to take it from its reserves. Therefore, osteoporosis, dental, vascular, nervous system and heart problems occur. Scientists have also found that sugar reduces immunity by 17 times. The more sugar we have in our blood, the lower our body’s defenses.

Sugar drains your energy

Many people mistakenly believe that sugar gives the body energy. In reality it is the opposite, ie energy is withdrawn. The rush of energy induced by sugar is short-lived, followed by a sharp drop in energy levels. A thiamine (B1) deficiency, which occurs with constant sugar consumption, prevents food from being properly absorbed, meaning the body cannot get all the nutrients out of it. In addition, the metabolism of carbohydrates, from which we get most of our energy, is impaired. The result: we eat, but we remain hungry and have no energy. This leads to chronic fatigue, poor performance and apathy. Hypoglycemic episodes can also occur. When we eat sweets, blood sugar levels rise sharply and then fall just as sharply, falling well below normal. The result: dizziness, nausea, trembling in the limbs, you can lose consciousness. So, energy from sugar or claims that sugar “feeds” the brain are myths that have nothing to do with real life. How to get rid of sugar addiction is the subject of a separate article. What you can do now is cut out sugar altogether and limit sugary foods as much as possible (after all, it’s not just in candy). When planning your meal plan, focus on foods with a low glycemic index (you can easily find such charts online). They help balance blood sugar levels and keep them stable throughout the day. And the production of endorphins and serotonin is stimulated by physical activity, people you like, hobbies you enjoy, and anything else that makes you happy.