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addictive

At this stage, most of us are aware of the adverse effects excess sugar consumption can have on our health, and while we may have great intentions to cut back, we always end up coming back for more.

So, what is it that makes the habit so damn hard to kick?

Well, according to researchers, sugar can be as addictive as cocaine, and they even suggest the sweet stuff should be considered a 'gateway drug'.

A recent study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, has shown that the consumption of added sugars can produce drug-like effects such as “bingeing, craving, tolerance, and withdrawal.”

The study's authors wrote: “Consuming sugar produces effects similar to that of cocaine, altering mood, possibly through its ability to induce reward and pleasure, leading to the seeking out of sugar.”

However, while these results might seem alarming to the sweet-lovers among us, other scientists have dismissed the research as simply “absurd.”

According to Indy100.com, Tom Sanders, emeritus professor of nutrition and dietetics at King’s College London, told The Guardian:

“While it is true that a liking for sweet things can be habit-forming it is not addictive like opiates or cocaine. Individuals do not get withdrawal symptoms when they cut sugar intake.”

So basically, while we could all benefit from having less of the sweet stuff in our lives, it doesn't look like we'll be checking ourselves into sugar rehabilitation programs any time soon.

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If you've ever found yourself frantically demolishing a cheese board (with a glass of wine, of course) on a Friday night, it may not be discipline that's the issue, it's addiction.

While we all know that hard drugs like cocaine and heroin are highly addictive, you may be more surprised to discover that your mozzarella habit might be as difficult to beat as drugs. 

A study carried out by the University of Michigan set out to discover ‘the drugs of the food world.'

The reason cheese is so hooking is down to a protein called casein, which releases opiates called casomorphins during digestion.

Those casomorphins run riot with your dopamine receptors, triggering addictive elements in the brain.

Co-author of the study, Nicole Avena said: "This is a first step towards identifying specific foods, and properties of foods, which can trigger this addictive response."

"This could help change the way we approach obesity treatment. It may not be a simple matter of 'cutting back' on certain foods, but rather, adopting methods used to curtail smoking, drinking and drug use."

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Have you ever wondered why once you eat one biscuit you want to finish the whole packet? Watch this video to find out why sugar is so addictive – maybe knowing the reason why will help you curb the habit!

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