4 Worrying Mental Health Effects Of Eating Too Much Sugar
It is a well known fact that too much sugar is bad for our heart health and waistline, but now there’s growing evidence that it can also have a negative effect on our brains. While eating sugar in small quantities is nothing to worry about, most of us are simply consuming too much of it.
The World Health Organization recommends that only 5 percent of our daily calorie intake should come from sugar, but studies have revealed the average American diet is currently at a whopping 13 percent.
Over at Huffington Post, it breaks down the four key aspects of what too much sugar can do to our mental health. Be warned – this article may just put you off the sweet stuff forever:
1. It Creates A Vicious Cycle Of Intense Cravings
When a person consumes sugar, just like any food, it activates the tongue’s taste receptors. Then, signals are sent to the brain, lighting up reward pathways and causing a surge of feel-good hormones, like dopamine, to be released.
2. It Impairs Memory And Learning Skills
A 2012 study on rats, conducted by researchers at UCLA, found that a diet high in fructose (that’s just another word for sugar) hinders learning and memory by literally slowing down the brain.
The researchers found that rats who over-consumed fructose had damaged synaptic activity in the brain, meaning that communication among brain cells was impaired.
3. It May Cause Or Contribute To Depression And Anxiety
If you’ve ever experienced a sugar crash, then you know that sudden peaks and drops in blood sugar levels can cause you to experience symptoms like irritability, mood swings, brain fog and fatigue.
That’s because eating a sugar-laden donut or drinking a soda causes blood sugar levels to spike upon consumption and then plummet.
Scary stuff right? It’s easy to get hooked on sugar and its fine to enjoy some now and then. However, we need to be aware of the possible health risks too much sugar can pose.
With diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia linked to high levels of sugar, you may want to think twice about the processed food you’re buying from the supermarket each week. Like most things in life, moderation is key.
About Matt Lawson Matt Lawson is a UK based sports journalist who covers all the latest football (soccer) news and matches for the Press Association. A keen Newcastle United fan, Matt is usually found either watching or playing the beautiful game.