If you’ve read my scifi book, Negus, you may have remembered a short story about aliens secretly conducting research on earthlings. In the below passage, the aliens provide feedback on sugar in a letter to other reseachers back home:
“There was one sandy textured ingredient in many of the food that we learned was called refined sugar. It is the most detrimental of all so far. We believe this is the main aggressor and contributor to the progressive aging and cell damage. The beings do not seem to be aware of this, as they feed their offspring this poison. It must also be noted that almost every single “food” here has this poison.
However, the chemicals have a very delightful taste! We have found in an unfortunate way, that some components of the additives are for addictive purposes. You see, after having sampled a few processed foods under the category of what they refer to as “sweets”, we began to experience a deep yearning for more. We have finally weaned off of the poison for good after numerous fails, with no intentions of ever consuming it again.” – Excerpt from my scifibook, Negus.
Virtually every processed food has sugar, including foods that most wouldnt classify as sweets (bread, pasta, pizza, etc). This may be one reason why processed food/comfort food is so addictive. There are other addictive additive in processed foods that also also accounts fot this. However, on this post, sugar will be our primary focus.
Why Sugar is so Satisfying
According to verywellmind.com, “The hedonic value of sugary foods is the intensity of pleasure experienced by the person eating it. The point at which sweet beverages are most pleasurable has been identified at 10 percent. This is known as the “bliss point.” Food retailers keep their foods as close to the bliss point as possible to stimulate people’s desire to re-experience the bliss point by eating that food again and again.”
Like drugs, sugar also releaeses dopamine, which is the brain’s reward system.
I also recommend everyone read or own a copy of The Brain Bible by John Arden, which explains in detail the physical affects of sugar on the brain.
An excerpt fromt The Brain Bible:
“Sugar is potentially destructive to the body, especially the brain. High levels of sugar contribute to premature aging, and aging makes you less tolerant to sugar in your blood.”
“Sugar stiffens protein molecules by creating pigments called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGEs act like a chemical glue that fuses molecules, causing a process called cross-linking. Consider what happens to a piece of meat when you leave it too long on the grill. Not only do you brown the skin, you toughen in. Overcooked meat is cross-linked, making it difficult to cut ot chew. When your cells have cross-linked, many processes become impaired.”
Just How Toxic is Sugar?
Beating Sugar Addiction