All of us know that sugar is bad for us. Bad for our waistline. Bad for our heart. Now new research indicates that sugar is also bad for the brain and mental development.
Since the last few decades, we have been eating more and more sugar. Our kids have been too. Almost 75% of the products sold at supermarkets contain one or the other form of sugar. Most of us don’t even know that products like yogurt and dry fruits contain sugar. We assume they are healthy. But the little bit of sugar in these products and the heaps of sugar in the cakes and juices that we consume add up to too much sugar in our diets. The result is slowing down of our brains. Let me tell you how:
Addictions and Cravings:
When you eat a sugary food, the sweet taste receptor on your tongue sends signals to the brain. You see sugary food as a reward system. You deserve it after that healthy salad meal. This releases the happy hormone, Dopamine. But when you eat a little too much of that chocolate cake, Dopamine takes over your brain. It feels the same as taking drugs and consuming too much alcohol. The body feels a loss of control and craves for more. As you give in and keep eating more, the tolerance to sugar increases.
This then has further negative impact on the body. One of which is obesity. And then there is slowing down of the brain.
Hinders Learning and Memory
A UCLA study conducted in 2012 revealed that fructose high diet slows down the brain and negatively affects learning and memory. Too much sugar in your diet can make your resistant to insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. The more you eat sugar, the less your body produces insulin. Now insulin is also helpful in strengthening the synaptic connection in brain cells. When insulin levels go down, the synaptic connections start to weaken. This then affects learning and memory directly.
Early onset of Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease
Alzheimer’s has been strongly linked with Type 3 Diabetes. Since too much sugar and diabetes go hand in hand, there is always the chance that a love for soft drinks will likely bring on Dementia.
Elevates Depression and Anxiety
Let’s go back to the happy hormone, Dopamine. When you consume sugar, dopamine levels spark up. You feel happy. Energized. This is because sugar activates the mood-boosting neurotransmitter Serotonin in the brain. But what happens when the effect starts to wear off? As serotonin continues to deplete, depression and mood swings set in.
I suggest weaning off sugar as early as you can. The first step towards a healthy lifestyle is cutting down the sugars and the heavy carbs. Give your brain some food for thought, literally.
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