How sugar affects the brain

When you eat something loaded with sugar, your taste buds, your gut and your brain all take notice. This activation of your reward system is not unlike how bodies process addictive substances such as alcohol or nicotine – an overload of sugar spikes dopamine levels and leaves you craving more. Nicole Avena explains why sweets and treats should be enjoyed in moderation.


I’m not one for alot of sugar. I dont like how too much of it makes me feel on the run. I’m really sensitive to sweet now that i avoid it so much and just a little makes me sort of nauseous thinking of how I’ll feel on my run.

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On the contrast, I’m a sugar addict. I always have something sweet everyday. Trying to change that…

Eating healthy just sort of happend when I started running more often. I just couldn’t handle alot of junk food. I used to eat tons of junk food. Now i have to constantly clear it up with people that I am NOT vegan.

Yeah, I try to eat healthy, the sugar and coffee and cigarettes is what’s wrong.

Nothing wrong with being a vegan also, it’s healthy.

I eat a lot of sugar. I fix bread and jam with the jam so thick it’s almost like eating jam straight. I sometimes do it to give myself an emotional lift when I am feeling down. I have a long, bad history with alcohol. I’ve heard that alcohol is a form of sugar. There’s a good chance I will eat a very sugary jam filled donut this afternoon. I have always craved sugar - a lot. Even when I was very young I couldn’t get enough sugar. It’s the same with alcohol. From the moment I first tried alcohol I couldn’t get enough. I’m sure all this sugar is bad for my heart. I’m at the age where I need to start thinking about things like that. I don’t want to live forever, but there are a few things I would like to get done before I die.

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I go through phases of wanting sugar. I have noticed I want it more when I want to be really happy.

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