We are all too aware that increased sugar consumption can cause severe heart issues and unhealthy weight gain. In a recent development, evidence shows that sugar, if taken in high amounts, directly affects a person’s psychological welfare and cognitive function.
Since there is relativity between the mind and the body, increased sugar ingestion may impair their connection in hindsight. You may not know it,but the sugar you put inside your body is gradually curtailing the robust link between your mental and physical uniformity.
“In research conducted only in the last few decades, scientists have discovered that the gut releases a hormone when you eat food that helps regulate the levels of sugar in your blood and slows down the emptying of your stomach.” William Anderson LMHC said. Small doses of sugar call no cause for concern. However, if consumed in large quantities over an extent of time, may present severe and sometimes, irreversible problems.
The World Health Organization advises that as per daily intake, consumption of sugar must just be at a maximum of 5%. Unfortunately, a standard diet can comprise of as much as 13% to 15% sugar. An associate professor at Georgetown University Hospital also stated that Americans consume five times the sugar level than they’re supposed to eat. With that, “Research is now uncovering more information about just how consuming excess sugar impacts our overall health-not just our physical health but also our mental health.” explains Mary C. Wiley, PsyD.
It’s hard to think about life without the sweet goodness of sugar. But one must be mindful of how too much of something can present as a threat rather than a benefit.
Still not convinced that too much sugar is bad for your mind and body interconnection? Here aresome facts on the disrupting effect of sugar on our well-being.
1. Sugar impairs knowledge and cognizance.
Fructose, a component of sugar, is said to hinder the memory and learning of the brain by literally decelerating its function. Research conductedfound out that the specimen’s brain activity has slowed down significantly from the overconsumption of sugar; this happened because of fructose impairing the synaptic brain activities, thereby causing a disturbance in mind-body interaction. “High levels of sugar in the form of simple carbohydrates leads to spikes and crashes in glucose levels, which can worsen mood, increase irritability, agitation, irregular sleeping, and increase inflammation.” Deborah Serani, PsyD explains.
More so, increased sugar intake over a stretch of time caused insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that regulates sugar levels in the blood and also influences proper functioning of the neurons by strengthening the connection between synapses. Surging of fructose can cripple the communication between synapses which then causes cognitive impairment.
2. Sugar intensifies cravings.
Like any other types of food, sugar, when consumed, triggers the taste receptors on the tongue. Once this happens, signals are forwarded to the brain causing the reward avenues to light up which leads to the deluge of dopamine in the system. Sugar canenslave the reward pathway of the mind; which is why, with thenotable rise and frequency in sugar intake, the reward system of the brain becomes dysfunctional and will only get activated with the pleasurable utilization of sugar.As the consumption increases, the cravings intensify, leading to an unconscious addiction and misuse of glucose.
3. Responsible for episodes of anxiety and depression.
Have you ever experienced moments in your life when you feel sudden exhaustion, fogginess, and irritability? If you are, most probably you have asugar crash. Sugar crash is known as the abrupt rise and decline of sugar levels in the blood. Upon eating a donut or two, you are causing the spike of sugar in your system. This instant spike can lead you to believe that you are a fully-functional being capable of doing complicated activities all at once. However, once it plummets, your brain crashes from the loss of sugar which then causes anxiety, moodiness, inability to finish a taskor even depression.
Neurotransmitters facilitate interaction between the mind and the body to attain stability and proper performance. Insatiable stimulation of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that boosts a person’s mood, can cause gradual depletion of its limited supply. Once serotonin runs out, depression takes over.
Another factor that researchers are looking into is the link between sugar and inflammation, claiming that increased amounts of sugar in the system can cause neuroinflammation which can also be the cause of depression.
Sugar is hard to eliminate from a person’s diet. But being cautious in its consumption is recommend most definitely since relevant studies are proving how much severance it causes to the mind-body connection.