Few household ingredients cause robust debate like sugar does. Research shows that sweet foods and drinks are tempting because sugar triggers the brain's mesolimbic dopamine system. This is the same system that enables cravings and addiction, a system that drives you to go back for more. That's because dopamine is released, which makes you feel good. So, the more often you eat sugar, the more you flip the dopamine switch.
When we try to cut out large amounts of sugar from our diets, it can lead to withdrawal - another reason sugar has been labeled 'addictive'. In fact, testing on rodents has some researchers claiming that sugar is as addictive as abusive drugs, but others argue the rodent trials aren't comparable to the human experience and sugar doesn't result in the damaging abuse that other substances do. But they do agree too much sugar isn't good for us, whether it's addictive or not.
That's not to say you should give up all of the sweet stuff in life; moderation is key. Instead, try replacing processed sugar with alternatives like honey or fruits such as berries when the craving strikes.