Let’s face it – sweets are delicious. No one’s denying that.
But in most cases, sweets are delicious because they’re jam-packed full of sugar. Sugar in both its natural form and refined form can be found in most foods, but nowhere is it found more by the bag-full than in sweets and commonly listed in the ingredients under different aliases such as ‘corn syrup’, ‘sucrose’, or ‘dextrose’.
If you’re a self-confessed sweet lover, don’t fret, this isn’t an intervention. We’re just here to discuss exactly what happens to you body when you eat sweets – more specifically, sugar.
Your brain instantly reacts
You’ve felt it. That subtle ‘ZING’ moment when the chocolate cake reaches your lips. Well, that ‘zing’ moment is a surge in your brain’s ‘feel good’ chemicals dopamine and serotonin. Comparable to the same reaction a brain experiences when a person does cocaine, it creates an addiction to the ‘high’ feeling and you find yourself chasing more and more as your brain’s reward centre puts sugar at the top of its list.
Bacteria breeds as it feeds on the sugar in your teeth
Humans aren’t the only ones who love sugar. Different strains of bacteria are attracted to the sugar residue in your mouth and are left to breed and ferment into lactic acid which in turn eats away at your teeth’s enamel causing decay and rot.
You experience an insulin spike
When glucose is released into the bloodstream your pancreas is alerted to release insulin to control the levels in the body, while the glucose is converted into energy which is burnt or stored in the body. The more sugar you eat, the more glucose is released, and your blood sugar levels rise demanding more and more insulin to be produced. If your body gets overwhelmed by the amount of insulin that needs producing, it could slow down or stop, resulting in diabetes.
What goes up inevitably comes down, and as your insulin and blood sugar levels spike, they soon come crashing down as you experience the typical energy slump after you’ve inhaled a whole packet of chocolate biscuits.
You do it again
The more sugar you consume, the more you run the gauntlet of becoming addicted. With sugar’s ability to trigger your reward centre in such an instant way, your body can become confused and not register that it’s full, causing you to continue eating well past the point you should. So, next time you get ‘cravings’, ask yourself if you’re REALLY hungry, or if it’s the high you’re craving.