Causes of Sugar Addiction
Normally, our bodies do not require sweets for food. Humans eat starches, fats and even protein foods, all of which will be decomposed or broken down if needed into glucose in the digestive system and the liver through glucogenesis.
Sugar craving arises when the body is unable to properly digest and utilize other, more complex carbohydrate foods, or fats in amounts sufficient to fuel the body resulting in a need to eat sugar in its raw form, even if, it contains no nutrients, no protein, no healthy fats, no enzymes.
Although, artificial sweeteners such as aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal), saccharin (Sweet'N Low), and Sucralose (Splenda) can reduce the number of calories in your diet, thereby helping you lose weight, there's also evidence that eating these sweeteners that can result to be hundreds of times sweeter than sugar, can make a person crave sweets even more.
French scientists in Bordeaux reported that in animal trials, cocaine addicted rats chose sugar over cocaine. They worried, that the intense stimulation of the brain receptors triggered by the 21st century sugar rich diets has the potential to override self-control mechanisms and thus lead to addiction.
Sugar will stimulate the reward centers of the brain through the production of dopamine and serotonin. The release of these neurotransmitters in the brain affect our organism in ways similar to the use of drugs, such as cocaine, nicotine and alcohol.
Over time, the dopamine receptors start to down regulate developing a resistance to the effects of sugar.
Sucrose, or table sugar is not metabolized in the same way as carbohydrates and is believed, along with fructose, to trick the brain in thinking that hunger has not been satiated resulting in excessive eating.
It is also important to take into account that excess fructose is converted into liver fat, since it cannot be converted into energy by the mitochondria inside our cells, resulting in insulin resistance which leads to chronic metabolic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
You may be addicted to sugar if you resort to sweets when you feel depressed, lonely, bored or nervous. Also, experiencing irritability, headaches, fatigue, lethargy when going more than 24 hours without the ingestion of sugar maybe another sign of an addiction to sugar.