What’s more addictive than cocaine?

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Sugar and artificial sweeteners of course.

Or so researchers from the Université Victor-Segalen Bordeaux found out back in 2007 (1).

That’s right, they found that 94% of the rats in their study preferred sugar and artificial sweeteners over cocaine – one of the most addictive and harmful substances currently known.

Isn’t it any wonder then that food manufactures are loading up processed foods, ready meals and even so called ‘healthy’ option bars and snacks with sugar and artificial sweeteners?

It’s not just food manufactures either, the supplement and health food market are up to it too. Take the weight loss shakes, pills, bars and meals – they’re full of the stuff too.

So take a closer look at your food labels, not just those on meals and snacks, but also on any shakes, pills or diet bars etc. that you might be taking, thinking they ‘healthy’

Look out for…

  • Fructose (this is a really bad one!),
  • Glucose syrup,
  • Corn syrup (another bad one),
  • Aspartame (a horrendous one!),
  • Saccharin and
  • Agave nectar to name a few!

The researchers also found that the abnormally high stimulation of our ‘sweet receptors’ (two G-protein-coupled subunit receptors, T1R2 and T1R3, which are located on the tongue) by diets rich in sweetness (so soft drinks, colas, fruit drinks and sugar laden foods etc), generate a sensation that most humans find intensely rewarding.

These excessive reward signals in the brain have the potential to override normal self-control mechanisms, and can lead to a sugar addiction!

The solution?

Pretty simple; eat foods in their natural, unprocessed state as much as possible.

Martin

 

 

References:

(1) Lenoir M, Serre F, et al. PLoS ONE 2007, 2(8): e698. Intense Sweetness Surpasses Cocaine Reward.

 

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Marti Whitaker, EzineArticles Basic Author