We’ve all been told to stay away from sugar for a number of reasons. The biggest reason many may choose to avoid sugar is to control their waistline. Sugar is not good for staying slim, but did you know that sugar also negatively affects the brain? Studies have shown that sugar can contribute to increasing your risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Sugar acts as a chronic liver toxin when consumed in excess. Your body is only meant to handle one teaspoon of sugar a day in the bloodstream. Consume sugar in excess and the body has processes that kick in to try to help the body. One of those processes includes producing insulin to keep your blood sugar at the correct level. Foods high in grain and sugar carbohydrates usually generate a rapid increase in blood glucose, which triggers the pancreas to secrete insulin which works to lower the blood sugar, to protect the body.
However, insulin lowers blood sugar by essentially turning it into fat. This means that the sugar you eat, makes you gain weight and get fatter! Consume too much sugar, too often, and your body develops “desensitivity” to the insulin, of which the body defends itself by producing even more. Eventually, this leads to diabetes.
Not only does diabetes lead to a host of health problems, but insulin also plays a role in brain signaling. The research shows that people with higher blood sugar levels scored lower on memory tests. In one study conducted on animals, it was found that when the proper signaling of insulin to the brain was disrupted, the subjects showed signs of brain changes typically characteristic of those with Alzheimer’s disease.
Basically, if you consume too much sugar, regularly, the brain becomes overwhelmed by high levels of insulin and brain functions can be affected. One study published in Diabetes Care found that there was a 60% increased risk of dementia in men and women whom had diabetes.
Some scientists, such as neurologist Dr. David Perlmutter, author of “Grain Brain” and “Brain Maker”, state that Alzheimer’s disease is primarily anticipated based on lifestyle choices and anything that promotes insulin resistance can increase your risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
To reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease, follow these 6 pillars:
1. Regular Exercise
2. Healthy diet*
3. Mental stimulation
4. Quality sleep
5. Stress management
6. An active social life
*Cut out your sugar intake, eat plenty of omega-3 fats, fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain foods.
What are your tips for cutting out sugar from your diet?