Certain amount of sugar is present in almost every food we eat and drinks we consume. Sugar is useful in our body functioning, but too much of it may also result to serious health conditions. From a simple tooth decay and gum disease, too much sugar intake may cause chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart ailments.
In addition, high sugar consumption may lead to immune system malfunction, chromium deficiency, aging, obesity, and impaired ability to recognize and learn. Despite this long list of health problems caused by too much sugar in the body, a lot of people still eat so much sugar. Why is that so?
Sugar is known for its ability to give us the energy needed for us to be able to run errands and everyday tasks. Our brains require sugar to normally function every day. Cells in the brain need twice the energy necessitated by the cells in the other parts of the body. Almost ten percent of the overall daily sugar requirement of the body goes to the brain.
The energy that comes from sugar is a by-product of the blood sugar referred to as glucose. This blood sugar serves as a fuel for our brains to perform what is needed. At times, our brains may become tired because of stresses, overthinking, and specific tasks. In effect, our brains make us crave for sugar, too much sugar that is.
For many people, eating sweet food helps them be relieved from feeling low or sad. Scientifically, this assumption has been proven. Levels of neurotransmitters which are associated with mood or emotions, is raised through sugar consumption. For instance, dopamine levels are heightened because of sugar intake. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that produces chemicals that are responsible for the feeling of pleasure. Moreover, eating sweets, carbohydrates, and starches increases levels of serotonin which makes a person feel well.
For some reasons, people just like the sweet taste of sugar. Among the six basic tastes, the sweet taste is said to be most wanted and even addicting.
In some situations, a person may eat too much sugar because his body signals him to do so. Craving for sugar may be a sign that the body lacks a certain nutrient. For example, wanting to eat chocolate which contains cacao means that the body is in need of magnesium. Cacao is known to have plenty magnesium nutrients.
Similarly, the desire to consume foods that have high dose of carbohydrates may signal that the body lacks carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are very significant for they provide the body power and energy.
Generally, there is nothing wrong with eating sweet food or sugar. It only becomes unhealthy when too much of it ingested. It is important to be reminded to take in enough amount of sugar from natural sources. Fresh fruits are the best sources of sugar. Aside from sugar, essential vitamins and nutrients are provided by fresh fruits. Artificial sweeteners, as well as white and brown sugar, must be avoided because they tend to induce weight gain, sugar addiction, and depletion of neurotransmitter levels.