Too much Sugar = heart disease, diabetes, obesity—oh my!Sadly, excess sugar intake is very unhealthy and increases your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, or obesity. And now researchers have discovered that too much sugar affects the brain by slowing your cognition, reducing your ability to learn new information, and wrecking both your short-term and long-term memory. After training mice to complete a maze, researchers fed those mice a drinking mixture containing fructose every day for six weeks. At the end of those six weeks, the mice were placed in the same maze, but they had a difficult time finding their way out of the maze. Overall, the mice appeared mentally foggy and physically sluggish.
Surprise, surprise: Sugar Affects the Brain through the GutOf course, such drastic changes in the mice’s cognitive abilities motivated researchers to find out what exactly happened—that is, how did the sugar affect the mice’s brains? Well, they found that the bacterial levels in the guts of the mice were imbalanced. This really does not come as a surprise, since science has referred to the gut as the “second brain” for decades. After all, your gut communicates directly with your brain via signals called neurotransmitters which ultimately influence your:
- Food cravings
- Mental health
Sugar Affects the Brain, but protecting your Brain and Gut Health is possibleIn one form or another, such as high-fructose corn syrup, sugar is added to practically all non-raw foods. Nevertheless, you can take certain steps to protect yourself from the harmful effects of sugar thereby keeping your brain and gut health intact. For instance:
- Consume omega-3 fats, especially DHA, in your diet or as a supplement
- Eat naturally fermented foods like sauerkraut or fermented dairy products made from raw, unpasteurised grass-fed milk
- Drink plenty of water