The Sugar Servitude

How students are becoming addicted to sugar

Daniela Thorne, Staff Writer

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Delicious, yet dangerous, cookies, cakes, brownies, and candies are commonly found in students’ lunch boxes at Woodside High School, leaving us Wildcats unaware of the cost they may face by enjoying their tasty treats.

CNN recently published an article, “What Happens to your Brain When you Give Up Sugar,” proving that sugar is an addictive substance after testing sugar withdrawals in rats. Apparently, humans are more like rats than we thought.

“I would say sugar is very addictive,” Holly Collet, a freshman at Woodside said. “Whenever you eat a cookie, or ice cream, you never want to stop eating.”

The rats in the experiment experienced sugar withdrawals with  similar behaviors to withdrawals from any type of drug. Sugar is proven to release dopamine, similar to drugs such as cocaine. With an excessive amount of sugar, a person could potentially change the overall expression of the midbrain and frontal cortex over time, according to CNN’s article.

Although sugar is proven to have terrible results on the body, that does not mean that you have to start a new sugar free diet. Like most things, sugar is to be taken in moderation. The American Heart Association suggests that men have no more than 37.5 grams of added sugar a day, while women have no more than 25 grams.

Most people however, like Collet, imagined the limit to be a lot higher. “My guess is that you probably should have no more than 95 grams of sugar a day,” Collet expressed.

On campus, the Sequoia Union High School District provides two meals a day with a drink option of 1% milk, chocolate milk, or fruit juice. The 1% milk alone contains 15 grams of sugar which is more than half of what women are supposed to have in a day. The cafeteria however, does provide fruits which contain good sugars called fructose which does prove to have its benefits.

Keeping track of sugar intake can be very difficult since according to sugar.org, there are over ten different types of sugars and not all of them are bad for you. Fructose, which is found in most fruits, is very good for you, yet sucrose is what we want to stray away from.

Thatsugarfilm.com, a health blog specializing on sugar, explains a good strategy for discerning the difference between fructose and sucrose on their website, “Sugars naturally occurring in fruits, vegetables and dairy are okay but sugars removed from their original source and added to foods, we need to be wary of.”

In a perfect, and healthy world, Woodside campus can strive to lay down the Lays and chow down the cauliflower. As finals week approaches students should be extra vigilant to nourish their bodies with healthy foods, low in sugar, to avoid any type of damage to the brain due to sugar addiction.

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