Your mental health and wellness can be negatively affected by sugar. Sugar decreases the production of serotonin, which is the hormone that is responsible for happiness, mood stabilization, and feelings of well-being.
Insulin, which is considered to be the main anabolic hormone of the body, becomes less effective as more sugar is consumed. Since insulin helps maintain the growth and health of brain cells, elevated blood sugar levels can cause a decline in cognitive function because the brain will become more resistant to actions of insulin.
Sugar can also negatively impact memory. Research has shown that consuming high amounts of sugar can cause inflammation in the brain. However, a study found that this damage may not be permanent as it can be reversed by following a low sugar, low glycemic diet. Memory can be improved by reducing sugar consumption and adding omega-3 fatty acids and curcumin to your diet.
Below are some tips to help you reduce your sugar intake.
1. Read the labels. You can find the amount of sugar on food labels.
2. Avoid sugary drinks. Most added sugars come from sugary drinks. Consider healthier beverage options such as water, tea, or coffee.
3. Focus on whole foods. These are free of artificial substances and additives. Some examples of whole foods include fresh fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
4. Purchase unsweetened versions of foods you normally buy. There are many alternatives that contain no added sugar or are unsweetened that can help you cut down on sugar.
5. Be mindful of sauces and condiments with added sugar. This may include commonly found household items such as ketchup, barbeque sauce, and relish that most people aren’t aware of their sugar content.