That white, powdery substance just makes you feel good. You can't get it off your mind, and you keep coming back for more. The more you have it, the more you want it!
But even when you try to stay away from it, it finds ways to sneak into your life almost daily. When you eat sugar, it stimulates the release of dopamine in your brain, which makes you feel pleasure. The brain recognizes and likes this feeling and begins to crave more. Sounds similar to the effects of narcotics, right? It may startle you to learn that heroin, morphine and sugar all stimulate the same receptors in your brain. Even if you don't have a sweet tooth, it doesn't mean you don't have a sugar addiction. Savory foods like pizza, pasta, or white bread are all high in sugar. White flour and white rice are just as habit forming. When whole grains like wheat and brown rice are stripped of their fiber, what remains is a simple carbohydrate that is rapidly absorbed by your body just like pure white sugar.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends that we limit our daily sugar consumption to 7% or less of our daily calorie intake—that's about 6 teaspoons (100 calories) for women and 9 teaspoons (150 calories) for men. But that adds up fast. Just one 12-ounce can of regular soda contains 8-10 teaspoons of sugar and 130-150 calories. One glazed donut contains 6 teaspoons, and a half cup ice cream (the standard serving size, although most portions are much, much larger) contains 4 grams of added sugar!