Most of us know that refined sugar has no place in a healthy diet, so why do we find it so hard to kick? The scary truth is that so many of us are addicted to this nasty toxin that lurks in so many processed foods we once considered healthy (click here to uncover 7 sneaky sugar sources in your diet).
In the way it stimulates the brain’s pleasure center and causes cravings, sugar acts much like tobacco or other addictive drugs.
A new study out of the University of Toronto found that baby rats whose mothers were fed diets rich in vitamins A, D, E and K while pregnant had a much lower preference for sugar than baby rats in the control group whose mothers were fed the RDA of the same vitamins.
Food preference was assessed after two weeks by presenting two bottles to the baby rats, one that contained a 4% sucrose solution and another that contained only water. The rats who were fed the high-vitamin diet consumed significantly more fluid from the pure water bottle than the sucrose solution.
The researchers suggested that the nutrient-rich diet allowed the baby rats to develop higher hedonic regulatory pathways associated with food preference.
The takeaway? Science is adding more evidence to the idea that we can reset our brains to prefer healthier foods through proper nutrition, starting even before birth. Nourishing the gut with healthy bacteria (probiotics) also plays a colossal role in regulating food cravings.