Sugar is, some would say, a controversial food.
It’s a controversial topic for several reasons. One reason is that it is considered a major contributor to the obesity epidemic. Consuming too much added sugar can lead to weight gain, insulin resistance and an increased risk of obesity-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers. Insulin resistance can affect cognitive function and increase the risk of developing conditions such as Alzheimer's disease.
Additionally, sugar is often added to processed foods and drinks, which can make it difficult for people to control their intake. Unless you are aware of the many different names of sugar (61 and counting), and regularly check the labels on the food you buy, it’s difficult to keep track of just how much sugar you consume each day.
Another reason sugar is controversial is because of the way it is marketed and sold. The sugar industry has been accused of using tactics similar to those used by the tobacco industry to downplay the negative health effects of sugar and promote its consumption.
There are some who believe that sugar is addictive, similar to drugs, as it triggers the pleasure and reward areas of your brain. Constant stimulation from sugar can lead to a higher tolerance, triggering an increasing amount of sugar to feel the same, to get that “fix”. Studies have shown that excessive sugar consumption can lead to changes in the brain similar to those seen in drug addiction, leading to detox and withdrawal symptoms when sugar is removed.
Additionally, consuming too much sugar can lead to a decrease in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) which is a protein that promotes the growth of new neurons and is important for learning and memory. High sugar intake can also lead to inflammation in the brain, which is associated with neurological disorders such as depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia.
Finally, consuming too much sugar can lead to a spike in blood sugar levels, followed by a crash, which can cause fatigue, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. In general, it is recommended to limit sugar intake to promote overall health and well-being of the brain.
Overall, sugar is a topic of ongoing scientific research, and there are many differing opinions on the health effects of sugar consumption.
It is important to consider just how much sugar you are putting into your body, and educate yourself on the different forms of sugar that food companies put into their products.
Removing sugar from your diet is absolutely achievable, and will lead to more energy, better sleep, clearer skin, less brain fog, happier hormones and a much happier brain.
Figuring out how to reduce your intake of sugar is key, for your overall health, as well as the health of your brain! Working with a health professional such as a health coach or other practitioner can help you determine what is right for you and your lifestyle.
Integrative Nutrition Health Coach
Holistic Health & Hormone Wellness
Ph: +61 417 689 383