Why sugar is more drug then food?

Why sugar is more drug then food?

By PeraPeric | NutriApex | 13 Mar 2021

Oh, that sugar. We all love it. All that sweet taste when we eat it and the rush of endorphins in our brain make our problems a bit smaller. What is happening in our brains and what in our gut?


To understand the story about sugar we must dive into our evolution when we were hunter-gatherers. Climate is good. There is plenty of food. Our diet is mostly fruits and nuts, but here and there we catch some rats or rabbits. We live in small tribes. Our digestive tract has a good design for use of fruit, not too long not too short. Our hands are good for pick ripe fruits, and our brain is working on one fuel - sugar. That is why our vision is so good at seeing colors because we need it to know what fruit is ripe and what not. When we eat fruits their juices are Gods like food and our brain is in delirium.

There is one mechanism in our body that is activated when we need some scarce mineral or vitamin. When we require some mineral, our brain forms cravings for food that contain those minerals. For example, broccoli has a bunch of vitamin K, and if we need it, broccoli will look to us like the most delicious food ever. If we have never tried broccoli and we need vitamin K, the moment we eat it for the first time, our brain will taste it and give us a rush of endorphins in our body and we will crave that broccoli until our vitamin K reserves are full. But then endorphins get lower and lower until we start seeing broccoli, well as ... broccoli. :)

In the past. We were mostly hungry. And when we find food it was good that we eat it as much as we can, store in our fat and use it later when times become harsh. Because of that our brain didn't evolve that endorphin feedback on sugar because the food wasn't so available to our ancestors as it is to us now. Time has changed but our body is the same as it was 10.000 years ago. Sugar is now all around, even in salty foods and snacks. We can not escape it. 


And calories dense food didn't exist 50 years ago. To eat 500 or 1000 calories you must eat a bunch of fruits and vegetables. Today we get that in just a few snacks. So now we are eating new food with old "hardware" which is working on software old 10.000 years. Our body is more adapted to be hungry than to be full. We had years and years to practice that and just a few decades for overeating. That is why we are in the middle of the obese pandemic these years, and why are predictions that this generation will be the first that will live shorter than its parents.

That is why we must look at sugar not as food but as a pure drug. We must not undergo our senses because in this particular situation they are wrong. Our body still thinks that we are in the middle of the jungle fighting for survival. And this time we must use our huge brain to save it from a different modern type of jungle which it is not aware of. Our brain and our capability to adapt were our competitive edge which allows us to survive and thrive. Let us give our intellect a chance to save us again from the wrong side of statistics.

Stay Safe.


Nutrition, Physiology, Psychology, Animals, Wellbeing... are just some of my interests, and there are lot of them :)


You are what you eat. Food. Food can be your biggest ally and worst enemy. We love it, and we hate it. How can we put are diet work for us? If we can just understand complicated processes which are happening in our stomachs. Let's dive together in interesting world of nutrition and human metabolism.

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