Sugar- we all crave it. How could we not? It’s sweet and makes basically everything taste better. If you’re one of the many people who have tried to cut back on sugar, you know how difficult it can be. Some people may even experience withdrawals. This is all due to the fact that when we eat sugar, an overstimulation of the reward centers causes us to become addicted to it. When we eat foods high in sugar, the reward centers of the brain are activated. At the same time, a large amount of dopamine is released. This is what makes eating sugar fell so good. When we eat high-sugar foods often, we develop a tolerance which in turn requires us to eat more sugar to get that same level of reward. Over time and with an overstimulation of those reward centers, we develop an addiction to sugar because it simply makes us feel good when we eat it. Due to the powerful effects sugar has on the brain, it can be thought of like a drug in that it functions similar to how actual drugs like heroin and cocaine do. Just like drugs, sugar is not good for us. Because it can be quite difficult for most of us to cut out sugar, it may be helpful to understand why sugar is so bad for us in order to make better choices in regards to our diets. This is especially important now because sugar consumption in the United States is on the rise. Over the past 30 years, adult consumption of added sugars in America has increased by more than 30 percent. On average, Americans consume about 100 pounds of sugar per year, or almost 30 teaspoons a day. Women should have no more than six teaspoons of sugar per day, and men should have no more than nine teaspoons of sugar per day. Many Americans consume about double that. About half of that sugar comes from soda and fruit drinks, which also happen to be the number one source of calories in our diet. Added sugar is also a poison. It has no nutritional value and lacks any essential proteins, minerals and vitamins. There are two types of sugars in the American diet: naturally-occurring sugars and added sugars. Added sugar is one of the worst and most toxic ingredients in the Western diet. It can have harmful effects on our metabolism and contribute to the development of numerous serious health conditions and diseases. Too much sugar is harmful to the body and promotes inflammation and disease. A recent study shows evidence linking sugar consumption and breast cancer. Sugar consumption is also a major risk factor for the development of other health conditions such as obesity and heart disease. Because it can be difficult to completely cut sugar out of our diets, the least we can do is eat them minimum amount and opt for natural alternatives.