Can Loneliness Make You Reach For Something Sweet? Research Says Yes

In this new study, the researchers wanted to observe the brain pathways associated with poor mental health and the want for more sugar. Read on for details.

Can Loneliness Make You Reach For Something Sweet? Research Says Yes

Sugar cravings often lead to several chronic health problems

Sweetened foods and beverages can be really tempting! Be it a simple chocolate or a decadent piece of pastry, when it comes to sugar, we often find ourselves in a tough position to say no. Right? Have you ever wondered why sweet cravings are so hard to control? While scientists have pointed out several health factors behind the phenomenon, a recent study states that it has a link with your mental state. You read that right. The research, published in the JAMA Network Open, finds that loneliness can be one of the major factors for your intense desire for sugary foods. Let's talk more about this.

Also Read: The Sweet Debate: Stevia Vs Sugar - Which Is Healthier?

Association Between Sugar Cravings And Loneliness | How Sweet Cravings Are Linked To Your Mental Health:

By now, we all know that poor mental health, weight gain, and chronic diseases lead to anxiety and depression, and people use binge eating as a coping mechanism. But in this new study, the researchers wanted to observe the brain pathways associated with these feelings and behaviours, informs the study's senior author, Arpana Gupta.

For the study, the researchers had 93 healthy, premenopausal female participants, whose brain chemistry and ability to process food cues were observed through MRI scanning. It was found that the ones who were experiencing isolation and loneliness had the most activity in certain regions of the brain, playing a key role in increased sugar cravings and less self-control.

The study reads, "These findings indicate that increased loneliness may be linked to brain patterns that highlight difficulties in motivation, control, and processing of internal states in response to foods and increased alterations in eating behaviours, obesity, and psychological symptoms."

The Conclusion:

According to the researchers, these findings indicate that a "holistic mind-body-directed intervention" is needed, which may help resolve the adverse food habits and health consequences of social isolation.

Meanwhile, we have got you some simple tricks to control immediate sugar cravings, especially at odd hours of the day. Dietitian Manpreet Kalra shares these tips on Instagram. Let's take you through.

Also Read: Avoid Refined Sugar To Reduce Belly Fat. Have These Healthy Sugar Alternatives Instead

9 Nutritionist-Approved Ways To Control Sugar Cravings:

1. Drink enough water as dehydration is known to be a major factor leading to increased sweet cravings.

2. Include complex carbs in your diet to increase the release of serotonin, further increasing self-control.

3. Increase your protein intake, which can have an impact on your insulin sensitivity, further preventing sweet cravings.

4. Drink methi water to prevent spikes in blood sugar levels. You may also consider drinking cinnamon water post meals.

5. Magnesium-rich foods like nuts, green vegetables, etc., can also help control blood sugar levels.

6. Eat small, frequent meals to balance the body's blood sugar levels.

7. Add probiotics to your diet to maintain healthy digestion and metabolism for overall nourishment.

8. Add some ghee to your daily diet as the fatty acids in it are known to prevent sugar cravings.

9. Exposure to sunlight is a must as vitamin D plays a major role in promoting a healthy mind and body.

Eat healthy, and stay happy!

(Note: The diet tips are not a part of the study)