Fast-digesting carbohydrates can stimulate regions of the brain involved in cravings and addiction, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. …

Both milkshakes had the same number of calories and similar ingredients, but one contained more fast-digesting carbs and the other was made of slower-digesting carbohydrates. The here is that so-called high-glycemic index foods such as sugar and highly processed breads move through the body faster than low-glycemic index foods such as fruit and whole grains.

After the participants drank the rapidly digesting carb shake, their blood sugar spiked and then crashed four hours later. And it’s at this point that researchers documented activation of a part of the brain called the nucleus accumbens, a small area that is involved in emotions and addiction. Ludwig told The Salt: “The scans showed intense activation in brain regions involved in addictive behavior.”