If you’ve given up sugar for January and are finding it a huge struggle, don’t be too hard on yourself. Our brains are hardwired to like the stuff. As part of a deep dive into the science of sugar in the latest episode of The Conversation Weekly podcast, Stephen Wooding explains that humans have a deep-seated attraction to sugar that’s been an important advantage throughout evolutionary history. The problem is, now sugar is so readily available, he says these cravings are ancient relics that “belong in a museum”. Eating too much sugar can be bad for both your long-term health – and your brain.

But, hold it right there. Not all sugar is bad for you. Physician Jennifer Rooke points out that our bodies need sugars to operate. What’s more important is where those sugars come from, with fruits and vegetables being a good source and refined sugars ones to always avoid, not only during those first virtuous days of January.

Gemma Ware

Editor and Co-Host, The Conversation Weekly Podcast

The science of sugar: why we’re hardwired to love it and what eating too much does to your brain – podcast

Daniel Merino, The Conversation; Gemma Ware, The Conversation

Plus, a lawyer explains the legal battle over Canada’s discriminatory First Nations child welfare system. Listen to The Conversation Weekly.

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