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You’ve just devoured a block of chocolate and you’re buzzing from a sugar-induced high. Here’s what’s going on inside.
A surge of dopamine in your brain’s reward centres triggers pleasure. Mmmm… You want more.
To break down the sugar stuck to your teeth, mouth bacteria produces acid which, unchecked, increases cavity risk.
The sugar burst triggers release of the stress hormones, cortisol and adrenalin. This causes a rapid increase in energy, heartbeat and perspiration. Suddenly you may
find yourself feeling jittery.
Sweet junk foods are broken down quickly, leaving you hungry again within a few hours. The sugar also feeds bacteria in the gut linked to weight gain and diabetes Type 2.
Your body breaks the sugar down into glycogen, which is stored in your muscles. The excess is turned by your liver into fat and gets stored in your fat cells within four to eight hours of your binge.
Your pancreas pumps out insulin to rapidly drop your blood sugar levels. Your energy and mood suddenly crash, leaving you tired and hungry.
Break the binge cycle: Sometimes it can be hard to put the brakes on cravings. The trick? “Opt for a sweet piece of whole fruit with the skin on, a cup of crunchy popcorn, or a handful of unsalted mixed nuts,” says dietitian Brooke Longfield. “These high-fibre foods act like a brake on digestion.”