Dr. Gloria Mendizabal-Piedra MD

(305) 823-2433

3986 W. 16 Avenue | Hialeah, FL 33012

Is Sugar a Drug?

Is Sugar a Drug

Sugar is one of the most common additives in our food. It is also a staple ingredient in our pantries, thanks to its various uses. There are different types of sugar, the most popular of which are white refined, unrefined, brown sugar, cane sugar and syrups. The average person uses up about 53 pounds of sugar every year. It can even be as much as 72.7 pounds on average in developed countries, such as the United States. This results to more than 260 daily calories we consume from sugar alone.

With this various and constant use, many people feel the need to consume food with sugar every single day. It is common for people to crave sweets until it becomes a cycle of want and need. With its role in our daily lives, you may wonder if sugar is a drug. Many often wonder, “is sugar a drug?” Let’s look at how sugar affects the body and why sugar can be considered a drug.

Sugar as a Drug

A drug is defined as any form of substance taken by the body which can cause a physiological change. What does sugar do to your body? Sugar is made of soluble carbohydrates which affect the brain the way other drugs do, both in the neurochemical and behavioral aspects.

How Does Sugar Affect the Brain?

Neurochemically speaking, sugar triggers the brain’s reward system, where the substance called dopamine is produced. Dopamine is a chemical in the body which causes the feeling of pleasure and happiness. The brain reacts to sugar in this way to encourage the individual to consume more sugar, because, in the first place, sugar is one of our main sources of energy for cells.

However, if the brain gets used to the abundance of sugar, the individual will become dependent on sugar and will not produce enough dopamine when sugar becomes absent. As a result, the brain will rely on a constant, addictive craving for sugar.

How Does Sugar Affect the Body?

The same reward system of “feel good, want more” that is caused by the consumption of sugar also affects the body, physiologically speaking. From an evolutionary standpoint, our ancestors who forage took advantage of this reward system to consume more sugar for energy and store them especially when food is scarce.

However, with our constant supply of food combined with our sedentary lifestyle, we may not benefit much from this reward system. Given the excessive amounts of sugar in the body, most of them are stored in the form of fat. Eventually, this may lead to eating disorders such as bulimia nervosa, obesity and cardiovascular diseases.

Manage Your Health and Sugar Intake with GMP Medical

Medical advice is important to ensure that your body receives the right amount of food and nutrients it needs. It is recommended for men to consume 150 calories of sugar a day, and 100 calories for women. This can be quite difficult to incorporate in your diet, especially if you consider the amount of sugar the foods you eat on a daily basis have.

As such, it’s best to consult a health professional as soon as possible to ensure that sugar drug does not become addictive and unhealthy for you. Contact GMP Medical today to schedule an appointment!

October 30, 2018 4:44 pm
Categories: Diet