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What is sugar addiction and can you beat it? – CNET

Sugar addiction is a real thing. Getty Images When you think of a substance addiction, sugar probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. While some people online say that using the term “sugar addiction” is fearmongering, many researchers agree that it’s a real and harmful phenomenon.You may not even think twice about eating sugar,…

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What is sugar addiction and can you beat it?     – CNET

Sugar addiction is a real thing.
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When you think of a substance addiction, sugar probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. While some people online say that using the term “sugar addiction” is fearmongering, many researchers agree that it’s a real and harmful phenomenon.You may not even think twice about eating sugar, but sugar addiction has more interesting roots than it appears. Keep reading to learn why sugar is so addictive and how it ended up in nearly all packaged and fast foods in the first place.What exactly ‘sugar addiction’ meansThe American Psychiatric Association lists several key markers for addiction, including intense cravings for the drug, intoxication (an intense pleasure, calm or high), failed attempts to cut down on substance use, tolerance and withdrawal symptoms upon termination of substance use. These all fit the bill for dependence on sugar.Sugar has addictive potential because it releases opioids and dopamine in the brain. Eating sugar also increases the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that gives us a “happy” feeling. Simply put, eating sugar causes chemical changes in the brain that make us feel good, and once that feeling has worn off, we’re left wanting more.Typically, foods you would call “junk food” — cookies, candy, potato chips, cheese puffs, and the like — are very palatable, which gives them their addictive qualities.
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One of the main reasons that sugar is so addictive is because we feel like we can never eat enough (unless you’re one of those people with incredible self control). This is because sugar is absorbed into the blood as glucose (increasing our glucose level) but that sugar intake also causes the release of insulin, which normalizes the glucose level. Thus, eating sugar can turn into a vicious cycle, in which we’re to eat more once our glucose reaches a low level. This can turn into sugar bingeing — a behavior common to sugar addiction.Finally, when people stop eating a diet rich in sugar, they’ve been shown to experience typical symptoms of drug withdrawal. Sugar withdrawal symptoms include fatigue, a headache, irritability, nervousness and feeling down or depressed. Sugar withdrawal may also come with intense cravings, leading you to hop right back on the sweet train.Why are we addicted to sugar?So maybe now you’ve accepted that sugar addiction isn’t a hoax, or even admitted that you have at least a small addiction to sugar (I know I do) — but if it’s so dangerously addictive, why are sugary foods so commonplace?One reason that we eat so many sugary items is because of the global rise in sugar-rich fast food consumption. The fast food market was worth more than $539 billion in 2016, and is expected to top $690 billion in 2022. Not only is the fast food economy growing, but the portions are too — an analysis of serving sizes at 10 popular US fast food restaurants showed that entrees, sides and desserts increased significantly in size and calories from 1986 to 2016. Almost all fast food meals, including everything from a cheeseburger to a Chipotle burrito bowl, contain a surprisingly high amount of sugar.Any fast food meal is loaded with added sugar.
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But even if you cook for yourself most of the time, it’s still harder than you think to completely avoid sugar. For starters, food with added sugar is easy on the wallet — one comprehensive study found that grains and sugar food groups were cheaper than vegetables and fruits per calorie.No matter where you shop — at a 7/11 or Whole Foods — almost all of the processed foods on the shelves contain added sugar. Sugar is added to food for several different reasons, including the fact that it simply tastes good, and sweetened foods have an almost universal appeal. Sugar also preserves food, like jam and jelly, helps bread rise, acts as a bulking agent in baked goods and balances the acidity of food that contains tomato or vinegar — like ketchup or BBQ sauce.So, even if you try to avoid obvious culprits such as donuts and ice cream, sugar is lurking in more of your staple groceries than you may think. Foods often labeled “healthy” such as fruit-flavored yogurt, granola, dried fruit and canned soup all contain a significant amount of added sugar.Our uncontrollable sweet tooth wasn’t always like thisTwo hundred years ago, the average American ate two pounds of sugar per year — today, we’re up to 152 pounds per year. How did that much added sugar get into our diet in the first place?Unfortunately, American sugar addiction has less than sweet roots. Back in olden times, sugarcane was a labor-intensive crop that had to be cut by hand and immediately harvested for juices. In 1795, a New Orleans farmer figured out how to granulate the first sugar crystals, and it became a product that could last longer than just a few days before spoiling. Sugar plantations appeared on both sides of the Mississippi River, and thus the proliferation of the sweet stuff became just another marker of the United States’ legacy of slave labor.The factors that led to our state of sugar consumption are further entwined with American history. During the Prohibition of the 1920s and ’30s, people turned to soda to replace (or supplement) their nightcaps, and sugary drinks became a staple in the American diet. By the time Prohibition ended, we were too hooked on soda to let go.When we added alcohol back into our drinks post Prohibition, we kept the soda and sugary juice too.
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The final straw was when in 1977 the Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs published its first edition of dietary guidelines for the United States. This report was focused on curbing excessive intake of fat, which was believed to directly cause heart attacks. Americans were instead encouraged to eat a diet high in carbohydrates instead, and thus the low-fat craze was born.The only problem is that when you take the fat out of foods, it doesn’t taste as good. So food manufacturers started putting in extra sugar to restore the palatability of their products. Americans started buying more fat-free yogurt, fat-free milk and fat-free muffins — all loaded with tons of added sugar. Fast forward a few decades, and we have scientific consensus on the existence of sugar addiction.Long story short, sugar addiction has its roots in the foundation of the United States. Even though it’s hard to beat, that doesn’t mean we should stop trying. CNET will be publishing stories throughout the week of May 25 to help you cut down your sugar intake, so keep checking back for more.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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Phones

DIY home security camera: All you need is one of the old phones you have in a drawer – CNET

Use Manything, Salient Eye or a similar free app to turn an old phone into a security camera.  Chris Monroe/CNET Most people have at least one old smartphone collecting dust in a drawer somewhere. You can sell your old phone or do a trade-in for a fraction of what you bought it, but if it still…

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DIY home security camera: All you need is one of the old phones you have in a drawer     – CNET

Use Manything, Salient Eye or a similar free app to turn an old phone into a security camera. 
Chris Monroe/CNET
Most people have at least one old smartphone collecting dust in a drawer somewhere. You can sell your old phone or do a trade-in for a fraction of what you bought it, but if it still turns on, there are a number of good uses for old phones around the house. You can turn that old Android phone into a baby monitor or a makeshift Google Home speaker, for example. One of the most useful ways to upcycle an old phone is to convert it into a home security camera.You’ll save a ton of cash by upcycling an old phone instead of buying a new home security camera. And setting it up isn’t hard. In fact, you can start using that old, dusty iPhone or Android phone as a home security camera in just three steps. Read more: 8 reasons not to sell or trade in your old iPhone and 9 ingenious ways to give your old Android phone new life
Step 1: Install a security camera app on your old phoneTo begin, you will need to choose a security camera app for your phone. Most apps offer many of the same features, such as local streaming, cloud streaming, recording and storing footage locally or remotely, and motion detection and alerts. Once you’re set up, you will be able to monitor your living space and control your security camera from anywhere, straight from your new phone.One of the best app options for setting up your phone as a security camera is Alfred. It’s cross-platform, so it doesn’t matter if your old phone was an Android phone or iPhone. And the same goes for your new phone. Alfred is free to use and gives you a remote view of your live feed, motion detection with alerts, free cloud storage, a two-way audio feed and use of both the front and rear cameras. To unlock additional features, like higher-resolution viewing and recording, zoom capabilities, ad removal and 30-day cloud storage, you can upgrade to Alfred Premium. Download Alfred (Android, iOS) on both your old and new phones, or any tablets you want to use.On the new phone, swipe through the introduction and tap Start. Select Viewer and tap Next.Once you get to the sign-in page, click Sign in with Google (a Google account is required) and sign in with your Google account credentials.On the old phone, repeat the same steps, but instead of selecting Viewer, select Camera. And make sure to sign in to the same Google account.Once both phones are signed in to Alfred, you’re pretty much done with the setup. Alfred has simplified the camera options to only include a few settings. On iOS, you can only enable motion detection, choose between the front and rear cameras and enable or disable audio. If you’re using an Android device, you have those options and you can also enable continuous focus, have Alfred automatically reopen if the phone reboots, set a resolution and enable a passcode lock. From your new phone, you can change a few more settings, such as turning notifications on or off, setting a camera or viewer name, adding other people to your Trust Circle (granting other people access to your video feeds), removing a camera, checking how many times a camera has disconnected, settng motion detection sensitivity and enabling a low-light filter on cameras. While Alfred is a solid choice, keep in mind it’s not the only choice. Far from it, in fact. Manything, Salient Eye and Presence are all solid free choices with an affordable subscription model if you need more features. And IP Webcam is one of the more popular Android-only options. Step 2: Choose a spot for your phone security cameraAfter you have the stream up and running, you will need to set up and position the camera. You may want it focused on the main entry point to your home, your backyard, the place where you store valuables or a point you think might be particularly vulnerable. You can also set up an IP camera as a baby monitor. If you have multiple old phones lying around, you can set up multiple cameras for fairly robust video coverage. Step 3: Mount and power your new security cameraTo mount or position the camera, a small smartphone tripod or suction-cup car mount can work wonders and help you position the camera in an inconspicuous place. To broaden the field of view, consider buying a wide-angle lens for your phone, something that can be purchased for between $5 and $20 online.Streaming video is very power-intensive, and the phone will be on 24/7. To keep the phone from dying in the first few hours, you will need to position it close to a power source. A 10-foot Micro-USB or Lightning cable will give you more flexibility in where you put it.And that’s it! Now you can use the security cam app on your new phone to view the feed from your old phone’s camera, and you’ve made your home more secure without spending a dime. While you’re here, we’ve got six quick tips for getting the most out of your home security camera, how to use your Alexa device as a home security camera and the best DIY home security systems.

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Phones

Best Prime Day phone deals: Save on Samsung Galaxy Note 20, Google Pixel and more – CNET

This story is part of Amazon Prime Day 2021, CNET’s guide on everything you need to know and how to make sure you get the best deal. Amazon Prime Day is officially here: The big sale kicked off on Monday and lasts until the end of Tuesday. On top of that, we’re getting competing sales from Walmart…

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Best Prime Day phone deals: Save on Samsung Galaxy Note 20, Google Pixel and more     – CNET

This story is part of Amazon Prime Day 2021, CNET’s guide on everything you need to know and how to make sure you get the best deal.

Amazon Prime Day is officially here: The big sale kicked off on Monday and lasts until the end of Tuesday. On top of that, we’re getting competing sales from Walmart and Target at the same time. Prime Day has only just started, and more specials will be rolling out as it progresses, but we’ve already found lots of discounts on phones with prices so low they’re matching earlier Prime Day or Black Friday prices on Amazon and other sites.Note that prices and availability were accurate at the time of publication, but are subject to change. Make sure to check back often for the latest deal prices, as we’re updating this article on a rolling basis to account for newer, better Prime Day phone deals and expired offers.

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Best Buy Sunday sale: Apple Watch price slashed, 82-inch 7 Series Samsung for $1400 and more – CNET

This story is part of Amazon Prime Day 2021, CNET’s guide on everything you need to know and how to make sure you get the best deal. Best Buy is jumping the queue on Prime Day with a number of “Flash Sales” you can take advantage, including solid discounts on the latest Apple Watch Series 6 (if you…

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Best Buy Sunday sale: Apple Watch price slashed, 82-inch 7 Series Samsung for $1400 and more     – CNET

This story is part of Amazon Prime Day 2021, CNET’s guide on everything you need to know and how to make sure you get the best deal.

Best Buy is jumping the queue on Prime Day with a number of “Flash Sales” you can take advantage, including solid discounts on the latest Apple Watch Series 6 (if you like red, at least). You can expect that Best Buy will drop many more deals in the next few days as the Prime Day sales heat up. Below, we’ve highlighted some of our favorite deals as of Father’s Day (June 20).

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