As a garnish, a bit of sugar ads intense sweetness to food & drinks, but more than a tiny bit is unhealthy. We all know too much sugar triggers our bodies to transform it into unhealthy, stored fat and is also harmful to heart health, but that only scratches the surface of the consequences from too much dietary sugar!
Science shows that sugar also has several distinct impacts on the human brain. If the physical problems aren't serious enough. The negative mental aspects definitely should convince you to avoid too much sugar intake.
1.Impaired congnition and memory
Scientists think a high-sugar diet impairs memory and learning skills and a 2012 study at UCLA supports this idea. In their test on rats, researchers found impaired communication between brain cells in rats who consumed too much fructose. The over-sugared rats had lower insulin levels in their brains, impairing cognition and the same is true in humans who consume too much sugar.
Chronically high blood-sugar from consuming lots of high-carb, sugary foods triggers a roller-coaster effect, as our bodies release neurotransmitters and then suddenly stop after running out. This can lead to symptoms of depression. Studies of people eating a ‘standard American diet' high in saturated fat and processed sugar show they are at much greater risk of developing depression versus those following a low-carb diet.
3.Higher risk of dementia
Elevated insulin resistance and blood-glucose levels, signs of diabetes, are also linked with higher risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. “Type 3 Diabetes” is a term researchers sometimes use for Alzheimers' disease.
4.Sugar triggers intense cravings that drive an endless cycle
Underpinning the other terrible effects of sugar is that when we taste sugar, our brain's ‘reward pathways' are activated, releasing dopamine and related ‘feel-good' hormones. Repetitive over-activation of these pathways, characteristic of those eating a high-sugar diet, diminishes our self-control. Nichole Avena explains this scary cycle in a TED-Ed presentation, below:
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