Addiction Sameness

Alcohol, Opiates, Fat and Sugar are all Addictive Substances: this blog is about that "addiction sameness".

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Science of Addictive Food




Published on Mar 6, 2013
 
Our health reporter Kelly Crowe looks at the science behind making the food that's so bad for us taste so good.

Your Brain On Sugar: activation of your reward system is not unlike how bodies process addictive substances such as alcohol or nicotine -- an overload of sugar spikes dopamine levels and leaves you craving more.





Now that Xmas is over, I'm finding I'm addicted to sugary treats.  It starts with having "just one"...

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View this content on HuffPost Living's website

WATCH: This Is Your Brain On Sugar

Being able to make complex dietary choices is an incredibly important skill in this age of crowded supermarkets and high fructose corn syrup. Wading through all of the available information is often...
 
This is your brain on sugar (VIDEO)
 

This Is Your Brain On Sugar (VIDEO)

 
Published on Jan 7, 2014


When you eat something loaded with sugar, your taste buds, your gut and your brain all take notice. This activation of your reward system is not unlike how bodies process addictive substances such as alcohol or nicotine -- an overload of sugar spikes dopamine levels and leaves you craving more. Nicole Avena explains why sweets and treats should be enjoyed in moderation.

Lesson by Nicole Avena, animation by STK Films.
  • Category - Education

  • License - Standard YouTube License

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    This Is Your Brain On Sugar 

    The Huffington Post  |  By


    Being able to make complex dietary choices is an incredibly important skill in this age of crowded supermarkets and high fructose corn syrup. Wading through all of the available information is often half the battle.

    Lucky for us, neuroscientist Nicole Avena broke down the effect of sugar on our brains and bodies in TED-Ed's latest animated installment.

    According to Avena, when we eat sugar a signal is sent from the tongue to the cerebral cortex that activates a "rewards system." This in turn encourages us to eat more. A huge part of the rewards system is the release of dopamine in our brain, which, when put into overdrive, can be pretty addictive. 

    Suddenly those chocolate chip muffins you were thinking of buying are looking a little more suspicious. 

    But Avena doesn't want us to always walk away from the baked goods aisle. The reward system evolved in the first place because complex sugars are a necessary part of our diet-- they just can't be the focus.


    Examples of Sugar in your "healthy" food choices:

    • Yogurt

      Yogurt is often part of a healthy diet, but it's easy to focus on fat and calcium and forget about checking the sugar content. Yogurt will naturally have about 12 grams of sugar per 6-ounce serving, Keri Glassman, R.D. told "The Early Show", but many people choose artificially-sweetened brands. An 8-ounce container of vanilla can run around 31 grams of sugar and a 6-ounce container of fruit-flavored yogurt can set you back 32 grams. Also, keep in mind that different brands make their containers varying sizes, so be sure to read nutrition labels closely. But there's one stat to steer clear of at all costs: Any yogurt with 30 grams or more -- more than a Snickers bar -- is "pure garbage" Jayne Hurley, a senior nutritionist at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, told Runner's World. If you're looking for a lighter option, Greek yogurt naturally has less sugar, thanks to the straining process that gives it that thick consistency. Flickr photo by Michael Bentley
    • Tomato Sauce

      A serving of canned or bottled tomato sauce is usually about half of a cup, but most of us eat closer to a cup of sauce with our noodles, according to EatingWell magazine. A number of brands pack 11 or 12 grams into a half-cup serving, making a cup of sauce on par with a Twinkie in terms of sugar. Flickr photo by Nina Matthews Photography
    • Granola Bars

      Granola bars seem like a healthy pick, especially compared to a candy bar, but when you take a closer look at some brands, there may not actually be much of a difference between the two. Steer clear of any with sugar listed in the top three or four ingredients, Elisa Zied, R.D., told Fitness magazine. Depending on the brand and the size of the bar, a serving may have anywhere from 11 to 22 grams of sugar. Flickr photo by Alejandra Owens
    • Fat-Free Salad Dressing

      When manufacturers cut out the fat in your favorite salad dressings, they have to add something to keep some taste in there, and that something is often sugar. A serving of salad dressing is generally a couple of tablespoons -- but restaurants especially can be very heavy-handed: You could be eating up to a cup of dressing. Fat-free French packs 42 grams of sugar, Italian, 20 grams and fat-free Thousand Island, 43, just to name a few. Flickr photo by EvelynGiggles
    • Muffins

      Of course, baked goods contain sugar. But muffins -- especially bran muffins -- are often considered healthier picks when compared to obvious offenders like doughnuts. In reality, though, today's muffins have become so super-sized, they're packed with sky-high amounts of sugar. A range of muffins surveyed by WebMD clocked in everywhere from 16 to a whopping 32 grams of sugar. Flickr photo by Steve A Johnson
    • Canned Fruit

      There's plenty of natural sugar in fruit, but the particular problem with canned or other packaged varieties is that many are packed in sugar-laden syrup. Even in light syrup, a one-cup serving of canned peaches can have 32 grams of sugar and pears can have around 30.
    • Smoothies

      They seem like a great way to get some extra fruit and low-fat dairy in your diet, but smoothies can be overly sweet. Of course, some of the sugars are naturally found in yogurt, milk and fruit, but commercially prepared smoothies often list added sugar high up on the ingredients list. Popular brands can contain anywhere from 38 grams of sugar to 70 grams, to over 100, depending on the ingredients and the size. Your best bet is to make your own at home with fresh fruit and nonfat yogurt. Flickr photo by SweetOnVeg
    • Cereal

      Late last year, the Environmental Working Group, a public health nonprofit, took a close look at how much sugar we spoon into our bowls for breakfast. The findings on popular cereals is alarming: The worst offender -- Kellogg's Honey Smacks -- contains 20 grams of sugar per serving. Over 40 other picks contained more than 11 grams of sugar per serving, more than three Chips Ahoy! cookies. Flickr photo by Vox Efx

    When you eat something loaded with sugar, your taste buds, your gut and your brain all take notice. This activation of your reward system is not unlike how bodies process addictive substances such as alcohol or nicotine -- an overload of sugar spikes dopamine levels and leaves you craving more. Nicole Avena explains why sweets and treats should be enjoyed in moderation.






    Additional Resources for you to Explore 


    Dr. Avena’s website has links to new research and articles about the effects of sugar on the brain and behavior, and how this can influence body weight.

    Want to learn more about the adverse effects of sugar? Read Food Junkie, Dr. Avena’s blog on Psychology Today. 

    Here is one post that is particularly relevant: 

    Sugar Cravings: How sugar cravings sabotage your health, hormone balance & weight loss, by Dr. Nicole Avena and Dr. Sara Gottfried.

    Watch this video from The National on how food manufactures have tweaked products to increase the addictive nature of processed foods.


LINK:  http://www.drnicoleavena.com/

 LINK: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/food-junkie



View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/how-sugar-a...


 LINK: http://youtu.be/lEXBxijQREo