The Grapevine

How A High-Sugar Diet Triggers Overeating

As per a new study, following a diet high in sugar actually triggers overeating, leading to more sugar intake and an unhealthier diet.

New Study Reveals High-Sugar Diet Triggers Overeating

Ever wondered why it feels like an entire box of girl scout cookies only feel like a single serving? Turns out, it’s the general consensus among others and it has to do with your brain and the amount of sugar intake it has.

This is because, according to a new study made in fruit flies, a high-sugar diet muddies up the neural circuit that your brain uses to regulate feelings of satiety and stops you from overeating. In other words, consuming a diet high in sugar leads to overeating. Of course, that’s not good news.

Per the research, foods that have intense flavor actually help provide sensations of feeling full, which is a phenomenon that researchers call “sensory-enhanced satiety.”

"Think of a very complex and strong-tasting food—for example, gorgonzola cheese. The pungent and penetrating flavor of this cheese is what makes it much harder to eat in bigger amounts compared to, say, mozzarella," Monica Dus, lead investigator of the U-M study, said.

According to Dus, the neural pathways that travel from our mouth to the brain are actually unique when compared to other organisms. However, the neural circuits that our brain uses to process the taste of sweetness is similar in humans, rodents and flies, which made the research possible.

As such, a study was made on fruit flies in regard to their reaction on being fed a high-sugar diet and whether that would affect their eating pattern.

"On a high-sugar diet, we find that the fruit flies' dopaminergic neurons are less active, because the high sugar intake decreases the intensity of the sweetness signal that comes from the mouth. Animals use this feedback from dopamine to make predictions about how rewarding or filling a food will be. In the high-sugar diet flies, this process is broken—they get less dopamine neuron activation and so end up eating more than they need, which over time makes them gain weight," the researchers explained.

So better ease up on the sugar, buddy.

Sugar Both white and brown sugar came from either the sugarcane or sugar beet plant but they have different properties. Pixabay