We all know the impact that sugar has on our waistline. In addition to causing obesity and diabetes, a diet high in sugar can lead to a number of neurological disorders, including cognitive impairment and poor memory. Here is what you need to know to avoid an excess of sugar.
6 facts to know to avoid overconsumption of sugar:
- All sugars are not bad
Our body transforms most of the food we consume into sugar. Good sugar, or glucose, comes from starchy foods like bread and pasta. It feeds all the cells of the body, including those of our brain.
Fructose is another type of sugar. Present in fruits and vegetables, it is harmless. But when it’s contained in processed or industrial foods such as soft drinks, condiments, sauces, and junk food, fructose can harm your health.
According to Kathleen Page, a medical doctor and assistant professor of clinical medicine at the University of Southern California, fructose fails to stimulate hormones, such as insulin, which are essential for one to feel full.
- Sugar is addictive
A sugar cube is enough to stimulate the release of dopamine, a naturally occurring chemical in the brain that increases desire and motivation. It is the same substance that encourages alcoholics and drug addicts to constantly search for the “staggering” effect. In a study conducted by the University of Southern California, participants who consumed foods containing fructose experienced an increase in hunger pangs and cravings for cravings, compared to those who consumed glucose. In addition, by asking volunteers to choose between a delicious dish served immediately and receiving money, one month after the study, fructose consumers tended to forgo money for high-calorie foods ( instant reward).
- Sugar makes the skin age
The sun is not the only cause of aging of the skin. An excess of sugar reduces the production of collagen and elastin, which prevents the cells from renewing themselves and promotes the appearance of early wrinkles and sagging skin. The only way to preserve the youthfulness of your skin is to minimize sugar intake or eliminate it completely.
- Sugar cloud our “Satiety Indicator”
It is well known, a diet rich in sugar makes us fat. Indeed, consumption of fructose does not trigger a response at the neural level responsible for the regulation of appetite, and leads to resistance to leptin. This causes a blockage of the feeling of satiety and pushes us to continue to eat.
In addition, according to a study conducted to determine the degree of satiety felt after consumption of fructose and glucose, participants who consumed the first reported feeling less satisfied, unlike those who took the second.
- Sugar reduces neurotrophic factor from the brain
Brain neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a brain growth hormone that plays an important role in the preservation and development of neurons, learning and memory. Excessive consumption of sugar suppresses the activity of this hormone, which reduces our ability to learn new things and reduces the quality of our memory. In addition, scientific research has also found a correlation between a low level of BDNF and the development of Alzheimer’s disease, depression and dementia.
- The effects of lack of sugar are real
As explained above, sugar is addictive like drugs and alcohol. Thus, abruptly removing it from your diet will cause the same withdrawal symptoms, and will make you more prone to mood swings, anxiety, or even aggression. To avoid this, it is important to proceed gradually, adopting healthier eating habits.
It is therefore recommended to reduce your consumption of industrialized and processed foods, to increase your intake of vegetables and fruits, to split your meals and to take healthy snacks (fruits, nuts …) during the day.
You can also seek the advice of a nutritionist for more advice.