The brain readjusts sweetness levels on low sugar diet as proven in a new study. People on a low sugar diet for 3 months reported vanilla pudding as sweeter than before the diet. Scientists at the Monell Chemical Senses Center took subjects who regularly consumed two to three sugary beverages a day. With a dietician’s guidance the subjects reduced their calories from sugar by 40% and maintained this diet for three months. At the end of the three months, the sweetness sensation was enhanced in the group maintained on the low-sugar diet. However, when allowed to consume which foods they liked, the low sugar diet group had a higher preference for sugar containing foods.
So what does that mean for the rest of us?
Our brain becomes hardwired to seek sugar due to its pleasurable effects. However, after as little as ten days receptor changes in our brain increase our sensitivity to the pleasurable effects of sugar (See previous article on sugar addiction). Once we start eating sugar again, we can quickly get carried away and relapse our sugar addiction. This means we seek the pleasure of the sugar, but eventually we will become desensitized to its sweetness again. Our brain is dynamic. We eat sugar constantly, we seek it out, but we get used to it. We stuff our face and get little pleasure. If we stop eating sugar on a regular basis, when we do it, we enjoy it more. However, if we start abusing sugar again, we seek it and get less pleasure again.
The bad news: If we eat a lot of sugary foods, we lose control and seek them out at any price even if we do not enjoy them. We also get fat and ruin our health.
The good news: We are in control of our sugar cravings. If we cut back, we can enjoy a little sugar, a lot. Even, if we fall off the bandwagon, the brain will readjust again. There is always hope.