How Avoiding Sugar While Fasting Affects Your Brain

Lent began yesterday. If you are a Catholic or just want to challenge yourself to abstain from something once a year, you may be cutting out sugar for the next 40 days. Here’s how it can affect your brain.

The scientific site The Conversation explores the concept of sugar addiction and what it feels like when we deprive our bodies of sugar. To a certain extent, sugar is a natural part of our diet and is found in fruits that people have been eating for thousands of years. However, sugar is ubiquitous in modern diets. You may be too addicted to sugar without even realizing it. Avoiding it for 40 days (for religious or scientific reasons) can produce some unexpected results:

You may wonder how long it will take before you get rid of food cravings and side effects, but there is no answer – everyone is different and there has been no human study. But after 40 days, it became clear that Andrew got over the worst, probably even completely reversing his dopamine signaling. “I remember eating my first sweet and thought it was too sweet,” he said. “I had to regain my tolerance.”

At its lightest, you may notice that once you start eating sweets again, it takes very little sugar to overload your taste buds. In more extreme cases, your body may even experience withdrawal symptoms (if studies done in mice are indications).

Here’s What Happens To Your Brain When You Give Up Sugar Before Lent | Conversation via IFL Science


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