Sometimes when we crave sugar, we’re just trying to feel better — and sweet foods do provide a temporary boost. “[Sweet] substances release opioids . . . into our bloodstream, and when those chemicals bind with the receptors in our brain, we experience an intense sensation of pleasure — maybe even get a little high,” explains Alexandra Jamieson, co-creator of the Oscar-nominated documentary Super Size Me and author of four books, including Women, Food, and Desire.
A habit of turning to sweets can become an unconscious strategy for mitigating difficult feelings, says functional-medicine dietitian Katherine Wohl, RDN, IFNCP. “You naturally want to tamp down that stress response with carbs and sugar and foods that mitigate those feelings in the moment — but it backfires [in the] long term, actually making the stress response worse.”
This was excerpted from “9 Common Questions Answered About Hunger Cravings” which was published in Experience Life.
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