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How Sugar Affects the Brain

Stashed in: #health, Brain, Awesome, That's not food., Neuroscience, Food, health!, Sugar, Sugar Shack

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Great links.

First three were my favorite:

Sugar Cravings: How sugar cravings sabotage your health, hormone balance & weight loss, by Dr. Nicole Avena and Dr. Sara Gottfried.

Why We Get Fat: Gary Taubes lays out a coherent argument against calories in calories out.

The Science of Addictive Food: how food manufacturers tweak products to increase their addictive nature.

It feels as If we have become embattled with our food, the very stuff that is supposed to nourish us!

Yes. Perhaps it helps to remember that sugar isn't food. It's entertainment that we can eat. 

oooh... that's a good one, adam!

I need to remind myself of this more often, too.

me too.  you should have seen me the other night!  i made my own caramel... 

Making your own sugar treat is double entertainment. First making it then consuming it. 

hahahaha!  so true!  twice the pleasure, half the guilt!  (because i knew exactly which organic ingredients went in it!)

Oh, that's a good call. Sugar in the raw for the win!

One sometimes wonders if the war on sugar was artificially created (pardon the pun) by the sweetener companies and the war on bread via the meat industry. Incidentally sugar was initially used medicinally!

Sugars, hidden sugars and artificial sweeteners all have come under scrutiny, so if there was a secret attack strategy against sugar by the artificial sweetener cartel, it has certainly backfired!

Research keeps demonstrating that artificial sweeteners don't help health-wise.

They keep the brain addicted to sweetness -- an addiction that drives cravings to eat more.

This is made worse by the companies who stealthily put sweeteners (real or not) in their foods to make them taste better. 

(tick tick BREAD!)

There's sugar in our bread?!

I guess that makes sense. Refined carbs are refined carbs, right?

They may LOOK different but they are the same.

Fair enough. Perhaps the anti-sugar movement is in reaction to the abundant over-use? Good old cane sugar has all but disappeared in favor of "high fructose corn syrup" in most packaged products and beverages, hasn't it? Perhaps if we got back to moderate amounts of sugar, real sugar, all this craziness would begin to disappear?

Yes but that's not possible because real sugar is too expensive to produce in mass quantities to keep the price of food containing it low enough that people are willing to pay.

maybe the mass quantities is the problem.  there are too many of us!

Maybe the MASS quantities is the problem: We are consuming too much!

nom nom nom nom...

If we could just reduce that to "nom nom nom" then everything would be a lot better.

Good point about the cost of sugar. Very sad that my state of Hawaii has completely abandoned sugar. Hmmm....wonder if I could grow sugar cane. I wonder how hard it is to turn it into sugar?

Does not sound that difficult, actually:

Man's relationship with sugar cane has been intact through all of recorded history. It began in Polynesia and traveled to India around 510 B.C.

Things you'll need: Large pot, Sugar cane, Rollers, Water, Large pan

1. [Grow your own sugar cane or] buy sugar cane from a retailer, such as Fresh Sugar Cane in California. Most vendors perform a preliminary wash before putting the cane out to sell, but you want it to be free from clinging dirt before you cook it.

2. Wash the sugar cane for several minutes with running water. Press the sugar cane repeatedly with large rollers.

3. Boil and cook the resulting liquid and allow the water to evaporate. Get rid of the dirty foam that accumulates on the top of the syrup.

4. Discard the fibrous product left over and pour the resulting syrup into a large pan to cook further. Continue boiling until crystals occur. The result is raw sugar that is brown in color.

5. Dry the sugar in a dryer that uses hot air. After it is dry, blow cool air over it for several days.

Ha! That's awesome. I'll send you some of my first batch. :)

Sounds good to me, Beth!

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