6 Surprising Reasons You're Craving Sugar

Find out why you can't get enough of the sweet stuff.

6 Surprising Reasons You're Craving Sugar

By Diana Kelly Levey

You might be tempted to blame the holiday season for suddenly thinking about and craving sweets more often, but there may be some other causes for your sweet tooth in play. Here are six unexpected reasons you’re craving candy, cookies, and cake at all hours of the day. Read on to find out more and learn how to regain control over your diet as well.


More: 10 Secret Sugar Bombs You're Probably Eating

You're eating too much salt.

Processed food, junk food, and fast food are packed with sodium and highly addictive. These foods trigger the release of dopamine, a brain chemical that motivates us to engage in rewarding behaviors, like to keep eating more salt and sugar, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Having fewer receptors of dopamine can trigger overeating. Basically, you need to eat more in order to experience that feeling of pleasure that comes with dopamine.

More: Secret Salt Bombs

Q: I end up overeating because it makes me feel better and I never really get full. I'd like to lose weight but this makes it hard. Any suggestions?

A: Being persistently hungry can cause big trouble. So can overeating for comfort/pleasure. These two behaviors, say researchers from Baylor University's Children's Nutrition Research Center, are controlled deep within your brain by serotonin-producing neurons, but operate separately from each other — one in the hypothalamus, the other in the midbrain. They both can, however, end up fueling poor nutritional choices and obesity.

Eating for Hunger

When hunger is your motive for eating, the question is: "Does your body know when you've had enough?" Well, if you are overweight, obese or have diabetes you may develop leptin resistance and your "I am full" hormone, leptin, can't do its job. The hormone's signal to your hypothalamus is dampened, and you keep eating.

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