How Sugar Affects The Brain: Nicole Avena

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.

This video provides a clear explanation of how sugar affects the brain, and even hints at the fact that it acts more like a drug than most other foods. The differing impacts of processed and natural sugars are not mentioned, so the extent to which refined sugar is, or should be, considered toxic, is not raised as a point for discussion. Nevertheless, this video is a good starting point for considering the important issues, surrounding the increasing dependence of the modern western diet upon refined sugar, and carbohydrate in its many forms.


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