We all know the impact that sugar has on our waistline. In addition to causing obesity and diabetes, a high-sugar diet can result in a number of neurological disorders, including cognitive impairment and poor memory. Here's what you need to know to avoid excess sugar.
6 facts to avoid over-consumption of sugar:
1. 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 contained in processed or industrial foods such as soft drinks, condiments, sauces, and junk food, fructose can be harmful to health.
According to Kathleen Page, a medical doctor and adjunct professor of clinical medicine at the University of Southern California, fructose fails to stimulate hormones, such as insulin, essential for one to feel full.
2. Sugar is addictive
A single piece of sugar 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 seek the "amazing" effect. In a study conducted by the University of Southern California, participants who had consumed foods containing fructose experienced an increased sense of hunger and cravings compared to those who had consumed glucose. In addition, by asking volunteers to make a choice between a delicious dish served immediately and receiving money, one month after the study, fructose users tended to give up money for hypercaloric foods ( Instant reward).
3. Sugar makes the skin age
The sun is not solely responsible for the aging of the skin. Excess sugar reduces the production of collagen and elastin, which prevents the cells from renewing and promotes the appearance of early wrinkles and sagging skin. The only way to preserve the youthfulness of your skin is to minimize the sugar intake or eliminate it completely.
4. Sugar disturb our "satiety indicator"
It is well known, a diet high in sugar makes us fat. Indeed, the consumption of fructose does not trigger a response to the neuronal level responsible for the regulation of appetite, and leads to resistance to leptin. This causes a blockage of the sensation of satiety and pushes us to continue eating.
In addition, according to a study done to determine the degree of satiety experienced after consumption of fructose and glucose, participants who consumed the first reported feeling less satiated, unlike those who took the second.
5. Sugar reduces neurotrophic factor from the brain
Brain Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) is a brain growth hormone that plays an important role in preservation and development of neurons, learning and memory. Excessive intake 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 low levels of BDNF and the development of Alzheimer's disease, depression and dementia.
6. The sugar shortage effects are real
As explained above, sugar creates an addiction like that to drugs and alcohol. So, suddenly 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, increase your intake of vegetables and fruits, split your meals and take healthy snacks (fruits, nuts ...) during the day.
You can also seek the advice of a nutritionist for more advice.