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Can Sugar Change Your Brain?

Glass jars of gummy candy are surrounded my individual pieces of candy.
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Have you ever found yourself craving sugary or fatty snacks? Maybe after eating them, you realize you want more and more. In some scenarios, you may find yourself disliking other nutrient-dense foods that have lower amounts of sugar or fat.

Why is this? Is it possible that sugar is altering your food preferences? There is actually some potential for that.

A new study that examined a small group of people found that certain types of snacks high in sugar and fat have the potential to alter how a person’s brain works. For some, it causes them to crave and prefer high-sugar, high-fat foods.

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While the study is not conclusive, the findings suggest that fatty, sugary foods stimulate the human brain’s dopamine system. This means that these types of foods give the consumer a feeling of reward, leading them to desire that food even more to produce more dopamine.

Before you throw out your comfort foods or avoid the local bakery sale, however, keep in mind that this study involved a limited pool of participants. More research is needed to fully understand the link between sugar, fat, and the human brain.

That being said, our dietary habits likely have a bigger impact on our brains than we previously thought. If you find yourself constantly reaching for sugary or fatty snacks, it might be worth filling your diet with other nutrient-dense foods (including healthy fats) to properly fuel your body and brain.

Abbey Ryan Abbey Ryan
Abbey Ryan is a storyteller, preferably of stories in written form. Across the 5 years of her professional writing career, her work has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Amazon, The Medical News Today, and more. When she's not writing (which is rare), she's likely traveling, painting, or on the hunt for a good snack. Read Full Bio »
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