Dr. Nicole Avena

Dr. Nicole Avena is a research neuroscientist/psychologist and expert in the fields of nutrition, diet and addiction. She has published over 50 scholarly journal articles, as well as several book chapters on topics related to food, addiction, obesity and eating disorders. She recently edited the book, Animal Models of Eating Disorders (Springer/Humana Press, 2013), and she has a book Why Diets Fail (Ten Speed/Crown) forthcoming in 2014. Her research achievements have been honored by awards from several groups including the New York Academy of Sciences, the American Psychological Association, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Eating Disorders Association. Website: http://www.drnicoleavena.com, Twitter: https://twitter.com/DrNicoleAvena, Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DrNicoleAvena

Hidden Sugar: 10 Unlikely Places Where Added Sugar is Lurking

Sugars in foods

Today, it is assumed that sugars are added to many of our foods to sweeten them and make them taste a little better. The sweetening of our diet has become something that we hear a lot about as it undoubtedly contributes to excess calories, promotes further intake, and adds on pounds. Despite more and more Americans opting for a “sugar free” lifestyle whereby we actively attempt to choose foods lower in sugar, Americans are still consuming more sugar than we should, 3-4 times more than recommended by the American Heart Association.

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Semantics of Food Addiction: How Do We Define It When Food is a Necessity of Life?

CarbSmart Magazine December 2013

Under normal conditions it is clear that drugs and food are very different, however, because the brain reward systems responsible for making drugs of abuse so addictive are the same pleasure systems that are activated by the foods we eat, our brains can have a very hard time differentiating between the pleasure derived from mild doses of some drugs of abuse and some types of food. Dr. Nicole Avena shows us the primary differences between food and drugs of abuse and how these differences contribute to food addiction.

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The New Science of Sugar Addiction by Nicole M. Avena

The New Science of Sugar Addiction

While the topic of “food addiction” remains controversial, scientists have found significant overlaps between the effects of overeating certain palatable foods and drugs of abuse. There are innate biological processes that occur in our brain daily which reinforce the feeding behavior as well as other behaviors that are essential for survival. Dr. Nicole Avena, noted research neuroscientist/psychologist and author of Why Diets Fail explains the science behind the truth of sugar addiction.

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