5 Ways Sugar May Be Wreaking Havoc on Your Mind and Body
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Getting hooked on sugar means more than your tastebuds craving it. Over time, your body becomes dependent on it. "Studies show that when you overeat sugar, it triggers production of natural opioids in the brain, something that the brain becomes accustomed to over time," says Avena. (This is why sugar is thought to be somewhat addictive.) When you suddenly stop eating an overload of the sweet stuff, you stop the opioid supply to the brain, and you can feel withdrawal symptoms for a few days, involving headaches, crankiness and feeling sluggish, she says. Because of that, if you're looking to cut back, Avena suggests reducing your intake in small steps rather than going cold turkey. "This ensures you don't feel deprived, and creates good habits that you can realistically live with," she says.