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The Mental Health Effects Of Eating Too Much Sugar

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/sugar-brain-mental-health_n_6904778

huffpost.com

The Mental Health Effects Of Eating Too Much Sugar
We know that too much sugar is bad for our waistlines and our heart health, but now there's mounting evidence that high levels of sugar consumption can also have a negative effect on brain health -- from cognitive function to psychological wellbeing.

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Sugar creates intense cravings

Sugar creates intense cravings

Sugar activates the brain's reward system that releases feel-good hormones. Too much sugar too frequently will hijack this reward system and will cause a loss of control, cravings and increased tolerance to sugar.

Research revealed that obese children have an elevated food reward response, predisposing them to a lifetime of sugar cravings.

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Sugar slows the brain down

Sugar slows the brain down

A diet high in sugar makes learning difficult by slowing the brain down. Overconsumption of sugar damages synaptic activity in the brain.

When you consume too much sugar, you could develop resistance to insulin, the hormone responsible for regulating the function of brain cells. 

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The sugar crash

When you eat too much sugar, your blood sugar levels peak and drop. This causes you to experience irritability, mood swings, brain fog, and fatigue. You may find yourself feeling anxious or depressed. Carb-laden foods create the same response.

Chronically high blood sugar levels are linked to inflammation in the brain, which may be a cause of depression.

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Age-related cognitive decline

Research reveals that the brain is a target organ for damage by high blood sugar.

A diet that is sugar-heavy could increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease. Studies found that insulin resistance and blood glucose levels are linked with a higher risk of developing neurodegenerative disorders.

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The Impact Of Regular Exercise On Our Health

Exercise is the one thing that can improve nearly every aspect of your health.

Extensive studies have found that exercise enhances the cardiorespiratory system, increases HDL cholesterol, lowers triglycerides, reduces blood pressure and heart rate, lowers inflammation, and improves blood sugar control.

Exercise: What To Aim For

Research has shown that even a few minutes of exercise leads to benefits.**It’s all about increasing the intensity.**

The ideal exercise for adults are :

  • 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise a week, such as running, swimming, brisk walking, cycling, tennis, and doing yark work.
  • 2 sessions of about 30 minutes of resistance training a week. Examples include resistance bands, bodyweight exercises like yoga, push-ups and sit-ups, and heavy gardening.

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  • 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise a week.
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Reward Response

For many people eating a little sugar stimulates a craving for more. Sugar can lead to intense feelings of hunger.

Sugar has addiction-like effects in the reward center of the brain, cau...

Sugar Addiction

Sweet foods can be more addictive than cocaine, one study found.

Over time, greater amounts of the substance are required to reach the same level of reward.

Memory

Even a single occasion of increased glucose levels in the blood can harm your brain. It can impair your memory and attention.

High sugar consumption causes inflammation in the brain. But, it can be reversed by following a low-sugar, low-GI diet.

Artificial sweeteners

It is commonly believed that the consume of artificial sweeteners helps reduce the intake of calories., resulting in less chances to develop a heart disease. However, there are ups and downs also ...

The traps of the artificial sweeteners

While artificial sweeteners can help you reduce weight and even the risk of developing a heart disease, you should consider consuming only the ones officially approved, such as saccharin or stevia. Furthermore, it is not recommended to consume extra sweets just because you are reducing the intake of sugar by consuming artificial sweeteners. One next point to be taken into account refers to the danger to consume of these products while lying to yourself that they are not the real staff, therefore you cannot possible gain weight. Well, that is not so accurate and you risk ending up with many extra pounds. Finally, the biggest threaten posed by these products is the addiction: you might realize, a bit too late, that you are too much into artificial sweeteners

Consuming artificial sweeteners

The moderate consumption of artificial sweeteners can lead to weight loss as well as to less chances of getting a cancer. However, there are a few risks that one should take into account when consuming these products, such as metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. The safest option would be to consume foods that contain sugar in their natural form, as whole fruit and as few as possible artificial sweeteners and sugar itself.