Sugar can affect the brain 'like a drug,' doctors say - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Sugar can affect the brain 'like a drug,' doctors say

Posted: Updated:
Quitting sugar is difficult because it affects the brain much like a drug, making you feel good and wanting more. Quitting sugar is difficult because it affects the brain much like a drug, making you feel good and wanting more.
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -

For some people, sugar is like a drug and kicking the sweet habit is hard. Desserts like cakes, cookies and ice cream can be irresistible because of the effect sugar has on the brain.

"Sugar is a particularly potent releaser of dopamine, and certain combinations with sugar are even more potent," says Dr. Michael Lowe, a psychologist. He says that because sugar affects the "pleasure pathways" much like drugs do, quitting can be almost impossible.

Michael Healy actually enjoyed his sugar addiction until his doctor told him that he was pre-diabetic, among other problems. Now, Healy is in a study that is looking at how to rewire your brain to help you avoid sugar addiction and lose weight.

"It takes months, and maybe a few years, but the majority of people who lose that weight will regain it," says Dr. Lowe.

The best way to avoid sugar is simple: be be aware of what you're eating, and when you're eating it. If you can, avoid sugary foods altogether.

"When you're eating a high-sugar food on an empty stomach, you're not going to stop," says Emily Rubin, a registered dietitian.

For Healy, out of sight, out of mind goes a long way. "Anything I don't want to eat, I hide it or I put it out of my immediate view," he says.

So far, Healy has lost more than 35 pounds.

"I'll be 60 in a month I'm healthier now than I've ever been in my life," he says.

  • Deena CentofantiMore>>

  • Frustrated by Health Insurance Exchanges? Experts say 'relax'

    Frustrated by Health Insurance Exchanges? Experts say 'relax'

    Thursday, October 3 2013 6:30 PM EDT2013-10-03 22:30:09 GMT
    The Affordable Care Act kicked in on Tuesday and not only has it been the subject of fierce political battles, but the online marketplace has been bogged down with technical problems.
    The Affordable Care Act kicked in on Tuesday and not only has it been the subject of fierce political battles, but the online marketplace has been bogged down with technical problems.
  • The dangers of diabetes, how you can rate your risk

    The dangers of diabetes, how you can rate your risk

    Tuesday, March 26 2013 5:24 PM EDT2013-03-26 21:24:38 GMT
    Hundreds of thousands of Michiganders have no idea their bodies are having a tough time controlling their blood sugar.
    Hundreds of thousands of Michiganders have no idea their bodies are having a tough time controlling their blood sugar.
  • Study: For heart health, food is medicine too

    Study: For heart health, food is medicine too

    Tuesday, December 4 2012 4:11 PM EST2012-12-04 21:11:01 GMT
    You have one heart attack and then take medication to prevent another one, but there's new research that says what you eat is a very powerful tool in preventing another heart attack.
    You have one heart attack and then take medication to prevent another one, but there's new research that says what you eat is a very powerful tool in preventing another heart attack.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Michigan girl mauled by racoon receives wave of support

    Michigan girl mauled by racoon receives wave of support

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 4:52 PM EDT2014-07-29 20:52:22 GMT
    She told us all she wanted was to wear earrings -- and now she's got a lot of options. We'll show you how Charlotte is healing after surgery to replace her ear... and how you've made a difference. Her story includes a tragic accident, but also a tremendous outpouring of support. The 12-year-old girl from western Michigan who was attacked by a raccoon, shows us how the generosity of others is helping her heal. "This is all the jewelry people sent me," she said. Dozens of pairs of earrings and ...
    She told us all she wanted was to wear earrings -- and now she's got a lot of options. We'll show you how Charlotte is healing after surgery to replace her ear... and how you've made a difference. Her story includes a tragic accident, but also a tremendous outpouring of support. The 12-year-old girl from western Michigan who was attacked by a raccoon, shows us how the generosity of others is helping her heal. "This is all the jewelry people sent me," she said. Dozens of pairs of earrings and ...
  • Funeral arrangements set for murdered Armada teen

    Funeral arrangements set for murdered Armada teen

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 4:36 PM EDT2014-07-29 20:36:17 GMT
    Funeral arrangements have been set for the 14-year-old murdered in Armada last week. Meanwhile, investigators are still looking for a suspect.
    Funeral arrangements have been set for the 14-year-old murdered in Armada last week. Meanwhile, investigators are still looking for a suspect.
  • Fire from lightning strike devastates Roseville church

    Fire from lightning strike devastates Roseville church

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 12:10 PM EDT2014-07-29 16:10:35 GMT
    A raging fire happens in Roseville and of all places to be struck by lightning - the steeple of the New Life Church of God in Christ.Pastor Darrell Moore and his family are devastated."I got here and I found out I really didn't have a church anymore, " he said. Moore was attending a Sunday evening service at another church, when a member of new life called him repeatedly. When he finally answered, it was bad news."The fire department was here, there was water everywhere," said Mary Moore, mot...
    A raging fire happens in Roseville and of all places to be struck by lightning - the steeple of the New Life Church of God in Christ.Pastor Darrell Moore and his family are devastated."I got here and I found out I really didn't have a church anymore, " he said. Moore was attending a Sunday evening service at another church, when a member of new life called him repeatedly. When he finally answered, it was bad news."The fire department was here, there was water everywhere," said Mary Moore, mot...
Powered by WorldNow

25 FOX Drive
Dedham, MA 02026

Phone (781) 467-2525

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices