Certain types of sugars cause cravings
New research suggests certain sugars can make a person crave food.
The study, published in the journal PNAS, looked at how sugars can impact people’s cravings. Twenty-four participants shared their desire for food based on a rating scale from 1 to 10 and were then asked to drink a 10-ounce glass of cherry-flavored liquid, which contained 2.5 ounces of fructose or glucose.
After drinking the sugary beverage, participants were monitored and again asked to rate their level of hunger. Researchers also tested hunger by giving participants the option to either eat high-calorie foods that were presented to them, or receive a monetary award at the end of the month. Fructose drinkers were more likely to choose the food.
The results revealed that compared to glucose, having fructose produced greater responses to food cues in the part of the brain that plays a crucial role in reward processing. This represents an increased craving because fructose drinkers had greater activity in the visual cortex when viewing images of food.
“High fructose sugary foods can be a significant contributing factor in obesity, along with lack of exercise and diet with too many calories and less nutrient-dense food choices,” says Rosemary Mueller, registered dietitian with Advocate Medial Group Weight Management in Libertyville, Ill.
Mueller also says that if a person is looking to either lose or maintain weight, he or she should limit consumption of fructose just as a person would any simple carbohydrate.
“Keep your total carbohydrate intake to no more than 50 percent of your daily diet,” she says. “Make sure most of those carbs come from fiber-rich sources such as whole grains, vegetables and whole fruits rather than added sugars and processed foods.”
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