Why do we crave sugar when we are stressed? In this video, nutrition and fitness expert Janet Bond Brill, PhD, RDN, FAND, LDN, explains that the human body is genetically hardwired to like sugar. This is especially true when we are stressed and our bodies release the hormone cortisol. Eating sugar increases the release of the “feel good” hormone serotonin, which has a calming effect that counters the cortisol. But rather than running for the sugar when we are under pressure, Dr. Bond Brill suggests finding means of relieving stress—exercise, massage and relaxation are all positive alternatives to sweets, but ultimately you need to find what works best for you.

Visit Dr. Bond Brill’s website or purchase her latest book, Cholesterol Down.