60 Minutes recently aired an episode called, “Is Sugar Toxic?” I was immediately intrigued. I saw some previews of it from Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CNN during my workout a couple of weekends back and immediately made note of it to watch.
I’ve always been curious about sugar and its effects on the body. Specifically, I have wondered about the effect sugar has on the mind. Specifically, how does sugar contribute to depression.
“Is Sugar Toxic?” focused more on the physical response to sugar, specifically the increase in bad cholesterol and the risk of heart disease. However, they also touched on the potential addictive factors associated with sugar.
I recently got into an argument with some people on the Foodmatters Facebook page when it was brought up that someone compared sugar to heroin, saying that you might as well shoot heroin into your child’s arm if you’re going to give them sugar. I argued that the statement was ridiculous shock and awe scare tactics that are infuriating to individuals who require proof and intelligent information.
After watching this and thinking on it a little bit, I could kind of see their point. Like heroin, sugar is addictive. Like heroin, people who consume sugar require more of it to obtain that feel-good result from having it. As you will see in the video, the moment a sugar beverage touches the tongue, dopamine is released in the brain, making you feel happy.
So how would this contribute to depression? My theory is that, if consuming sugar makes you happy, then not consuming it when you’re used to it will make you crash. Each crash increases the low feeling, making you need more and more. The crash makes you tired and makes you gain weight, which also affects the mood.
There are more scientific explanations in the Psychology Today article I linked to above, but this is my layman’s explanation.
Stevia – The All-Natural, Healthy Sugar Substitute
It is for the above reasons that I want to switch to stevia. Stevia is an all-natural sweetener that doesn’t affect your insulin levels but gives you that sweet taste you crave. It’s good in beverages, cooking and baking and even comes in a variety of flavors.
If you’ve thought about trying stevia, but you weren’t sure about it, be aware that I’m hosting a stevia review and giveaway for NuNaturals next week for their new flavored liquid stevia. Additionally, I have a couple of new beverage recipes I want to share.
In the meantime, watch the video and let me know what you think.
[Apologies, the original video was incorrect. You can watch the video on YouTube here]
What are your reactions to the points made in the video?
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