INTERVIEW. “According to certain studies, sugar is more addictive than cocaine” points out Doctor Allouche

INTERVIEW. “According to certain studies, sugar is more addictive than cocaine” points out Doctor Allouche
INTERVIEW. “According to certain studies, sugar is more addictive than cocaine” points out Doctor Allouche

the essential
Three questions for Doctor Réginald Allouche, author of the work “Sucre: Enemy No. 1” (ed. Albin Michel, 2024).

Public enemy number 1 : this is how Réginald Allouche describes sugar in his latest work published by Albin Michel. So is the latter so harmful? And is it true that it is more addictive than cocaine? All the answers to the questions you have about sugar – and some solutions to eat better.

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“Sugar: enemy number 1”. This is how you title your latest work. So is sugar so harmful?

Sugar consumption is harmful to the arteries and is one of the causes of the development of type 2 diabetes, which affects 800 million people worldwide. In people suffering from manic-depressive disorders, it tends to amplify symptoms because it stimulates dopamine, the neurotransmitter responsible for the feeling of pleasure. Finally, in women with insulin resistance, sugar increases the risk of developing polycystic ovary syndrome. Indeed, when we consume sugar, the pancreas secretes insulin, a hormone responsible for regulating our blood sugar levels. Overconsumption of sugar causes excessive secretion of insulin, which in turn generates overproduction of testosterone by the ovaries.

Doctor Réginald Allouche is the author of the work “Sugar: Public Enemy No. 1”.
DR – Astrid di Crollalanza

Is it possible to be addicted to sugar?

Consumption of sugar stimulates dopamine, a neurotransmitter responsible for the feeling of pleasure. Thus, the latter generates dependence by modifying the reward circuit. Some studies show that sugar has a more addictive effect than cocaine. Doctor Ahmed, a researcher at the CNRS in Bordeaux specializing in addiction, observed that laboratory rats, faced with the choice between these two substances, chose sugar. This even after being addicted to cocaine, then weaned it! Sugar was more addictive than the drugs they had been deprived of.

How to reduce sugar when it is everywhere?

Today, sugar is in fact omnipresent in industrial preparations. For a simple reason: it is an excellent preservative and flavor enhancer, which covers acidities. In 2012, manufacturers certainly reduced its rate in processed foods at the request of public authorities. Furthermore, all drinks containing a quantity – even minimal – of added sugars have been taxed since 2013 at a rate of 7.53 euros per hectoliter. However, these measures are not sufficient.

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The duty therefore falls on the consumer to inform themselves. You have to learn to decipher the labels. Sugar is hidden under around twenty names: molasses or corn syrup, glucose, fructose… Finally, you need to develop good eating habits. For example, starchy foods (rice, pasta, potatoes, bread) should be consumed every other day only alternating with legumes, because their glycemic index is relatively high. Finally, fruit juices should be avoided because they are too high in fructose. This sugar is certainly natural, because it is contained in fruits, but in excessive quantities, it can damage the liver. This must in fact transform it at the cost of great effort since it cannot be used by the body. Conclusion: in matters of food as in all things, moderation!

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