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Sugar more addictive than cocaine? I think it's possible

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

This article is a couple years old and I have not had the time to look up the original research but it looked interesting:

The study was done on mice so the results can not necessarily be transferred to people. The interesting thing is that a sugar substitute was used for at least part of the experiment.

After having cravings for fruit 3 times already this week (and sincerely believing at the time that it will make me feel better) every time after consuming tiny amounts of sugar (in the form of 85% dark chocolate) I suspect that sugar may be even more addictive for me than I thought.
None of what I ate was excessive by most people's standards, I had 3 servings of fruit today, 2 from berries and one apple, but the intensity of the desire for it was surprising.
Starting tomorrow I will avoid all added sugar again, even tiny quantities like in very dark chocolate and ketchup.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • ANNA4318
    It's definitely been my experience that sugar is addictive. And I've never tried cocaine, but I can't imagine anything being harder to quit than sugar in all its forms.
    1557 days ago
    Thanks for the link.

    I wonder if the cravings after a small intake of sugar is more intense if you do not normally include it in your diet? Do we get ultra sensitive to sugar? Are there any studies on this? I feel that since I started avoiding sugar, when I do have a slip up, the cravings are much stronger than I remember, it can really feel it like a hook in my gut or more accurately a hook in my brain. Maybe I just notice it more now, I’m not sure…. It cleans out pretty fast though, a few days without any type of sugar and I am back to almost no cravings. That love of all things sweet in the back of my head is always there. There is a threshold for setting off the cravings, a bite of cake is OK but a whole slice means the cookie monster gets me the next day.
    1560 days ago
  • -LINDA_S
    I find it disconcerting that putting a little stevia in my tea or on my Greek yogurt might set me up for hunger and/or cravings. Just doesn't seem fair! I need to pay more attention to what seems to set me off.
    1560 days ago
    I never thought I was a sugar addict until recently when I had my uncontrollable mashed potato binge. Most people would not consider that sugar but it is in the body. I also crave fruit a lot which is sugar as well. I guess I am a sugar addict after all! The cure for me...Atkins Induction for 3+ days! Works like a charm!
    1560 days ago
  • SKATER787
    OTOH, complex sugars or polysaccharides aka beta glucans can be good for the immune system. I'm just reading up on them. Different types of beta glucans are good for different things. I'm just learning about this myself.


    "As indicated in the Table above, we notice yeast beta glucans provide the most benefits compared to the other beta glucans. Oat and barley beta glucans provide benefits as dietary fiber and heart health. Mushroom beta glucans, however, are only beneficial to the immune system support. Beta glucans derived from yeast render benefits acroos the board, including immune system benefits."
    1561 days ago
    very true
    1561 days ago
    Sugar has been creeping back into my diet since I began dealing with some stressful situations a few weeks ago, and I am feeling re-addicted. Unlike you I do allow myself fruit every day, and that in itself doesn't seem to activate any intense cravings for products containing refined sugar. But give me a cookie or a piece of chocolate, and watch out...
    Thanks for posting this link. I do believe that for some of us sugar can be highly addictive, while for other body types salt may be a bigger danger.
    1561 days ago
    Of all the studies I have read, YES, sugar is as addictive ..
    Have also read where artificial sugar is addictive too. It might not have the calories but it's still a sweetener.
    Best if you can cut all out of your daily diet.
    I try to limit myself to natural fruit.
    When i use sweeteners it's also natural ones, like honey.
    I am trying to break a Diet Coke habit, I quit once for 8 mo's. only to start again.
    I am finding that breaking that habit is harder than any drug ,alcohol or cigarette.
    But I will keep trying.
    When I stay free from sugar products I feel better.
    have a great day and keep the faith.
    Tisha emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1561 days ago
    As a diabetic, I watch my sugar intake diligently.
    I compare eating sugar with alcoholism.
    Yes, it is VERY addictive.
    1561 days ago
    Yes! It is found in so many foods, so many people don't even think twice about it! And if you look @ the MRI of a person exposed to sugar (AND SALT!) the same areas @ the front of the brain light up like a Christmas tree that light up when an addict is given their substance of choice. Amazing, but all the more reason to be wary of sugar AND salt in our food.

    1561 days ago
  • REJ7777
    I find that I don't get the same addictive response if I eat a fruit, as I do when I eat bread, cookies, chocolate, or something else that is unnaturally sweetened. I have to be careful, but not to the same degree.
    1561 days ago
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