Why is sugar so attractive?


Sugar is highly attractive due to both its taste and its effects on the body's neurological and metabolic systems. While it tastes good, the attractiveness of sugar extends beyond mere flavor. The body’s response to ingesting foods high in sugar—whether from sucrose, fructose, or glucose—is crucial in making these foods rewarding. This not only relates to the pleasure of taste but also involves complex interactions within the nervous system that regulate our appetite for sugar. For instance, intense exercise can increase the body's efficiency in using sugar, which is why some people, like , might choose to consume high-sugar foods like mangoes post-exercise.

Moreover, sugar cravings are deeply rooted in our biological makeup and involve both conscious and subconscious pathways. Experiencing the sweet taste can immediately alter our perception of food, making sweet (and even other types of) foods seem more appealing. This complex interaction involves neuroimaging studies showing how our brain's response to sugar is influenced by both the direct taste and the metabolic consequences of eating sweet foods 1.

Sugar Cravings

Andrew explains how sugar cravings work and why they are so difficult to resist. He discusses the role of taste perception and how it affects our brain and perception of food. Andrew also offers tips on how to reduce sugar cravings.

Huberman Lab

Controlling Sugar Cravings & Metabolism with Science-Based Tools | Huberman Lab Podcast #64