Cutting sugar out of your diet can be hard.
Our body craves sugar.
However, a new study found that it might not be the sweet taste of sugar that is so hard to quit, but the calories in sugar.
Taste doesn’t play as big of a role in food cravings as originally believed. Calories are the real culprit of our cravings. The brain craves calories because it craves energy.
Check out this article published by TIME, The Two Ways Sugar Hijacks Your Brain:
Indeed, since sugar comes with the reward of both sweetness and calories, that might be part of the reason why it’s so hard to resist—even when the option of artificial sweeteners is present. “Artificial sweeteners basically produce a weaker response in this reward system compared to sugars,” de Araujo says.
That calories win over sweetness likely has implications for humans, he adds.
“Humans have a modern food environment that’s being monitored by an old brain,” he says, referring to the evolutionary role of the dorsal striatum—the part that says all calories are good calories. “Nature found a reward system that seeks for sugar and accumulates sugar as much as it can; certainly this system is still functional in humans, and although we have this excess provision of sugar in the market, it’s still driving our behaviors in some way or another.”
It’s important to understand how the brain works.
If we can satisfy the brain with calories from nutrient rich food, instead of processed junk, we may be able to resist cravings.
Knowing how to meet your body’s needs is a big step to optimize your health, and will help you thrive.