Updated: Oct 11
Is sugar the most addictive substance out there?
It's a question that has crossed my mind many times. There was a period in my life when I dismissed claims about kids becoming hyperactive and struggling with concentration after consuming large quantities of sugar.
I simply didn't buy into the idea. However, I couldn't help but notice certain behaviors at children's birthday parties, where some kids seemed unable to follow their parents' instructions. This got me thinking, and I began to believe that excessive sugar consumption, especially at such events, might be linked to a range of behavioral issues beyond just hyperactivity.
When I became a parent myself, I was determined to break this cycle and instill healthier habits, even though I had limited knowledge on the subject. I adopted the "everything in moderation" mindset, cutting back on junk food and designating one day of the weekend for indulgence. However, I wasn't fully connecting the dots at that time.
The consequences of feeding kids high-sugar diets have manifested in the form of two major epidemics: obesity and diabetes. Is sugar addiction the root cause of these problems? People with diabetes experience complications in their cardiovascular system. To understand why sugar is so detrimental to our heart and blood vessels, it's essential to grasp how blood circulation works.
Your heart pumps blood through arteries, which eventually become tiny capillaries, allowing oxygen to reach your cells. From there, oxygen-depleted blood returns to the heart through veins.
This information is crucial for comprehending why sugar poses such a threat to our cardiovascular health. Diabetes damages blood vessels, reducing the supply of oxygen to the brain and heart. This, in turn, leads to the accumulation and narrowing of plaque, a waxy substance that clogs arteries and obstructs oxygen flow to cells.
When we consume sugar, it triggers the release of dopamine, a feel-good chemical in the brain. Over time, sugar cravings intensify. Sugary foods provide a quick energy boost by rapidly elevating blood sugar levels. However, this is followed by a drop in energy levels as cells absorb the sugar. Some individuals may experience jitteriness and anxiety immediately afterward.
Glucose, the primary form of sugar for cells, is vital for the brain as its primary fuel source. While your body needs sugar, it should come from natural sources, not processed ones.
There are approximately 55 different names for sugar, and some forms are better than others.
We live in a culture where sugary, caffeinated drinks are often mistaken for energy boosters. Our younger generation is grappling with burnout, lack of focus, general discomfort, brain fog, fatigue, and low energy levels. Unfortunately, many people resort to consuming even more sugary, caffeinated drinks when they don't feel well.
Prepared by: May Rodriguez