Sure, we often eat sugar without thinking twice but we should be considering what this is doing to our bodies, especially our brains?
According to neuroscientist Nicole Avena, sugar might be much worse for our brains than we initially thought. The negative effects might be far more intense than expected. You see, sugars activate a ‘reward’ system within your mind. This is the same system sex and other things of the sort that make us ‘feel good’ are activating as well. Overdoing this sort of thing can cause several terrible things within our bodies and essentially our minds.
“Over-activating this reward system kickstarts a series of unfortunate events – loss of control, craving, and increased tolerance to sugar.” – Nicole Avena
Sugar feels rewarding regardless of how much you eat so overindulging is quite common. I too am guilty of this. Consuming too much sugar can have a very addictive effect on our brains in general. There is evidence proving that high levels of sugar consumption can even have negative effects on our brain health.
A study carried out back in 2012, conducted by researchers at UCLA were able to find that a diet high in fructose (SUGAR) causes learning and memory problems. It was concluded that fructose was damaging synaptic activity in the brains of rats. It also caused rats to develop a resistance to insulin.
Another good point is that when we rely on sugar too much eventually we will crash. Sugar crashes are sudden peaks and drops in blood sugar levels and these can cause some pretty annoying symptoms. For instance, it might give you mood swings, brain fog, and depression. There is a lot going on in regards to sugar and our brains.
Avena actually spoke for a TED event and managed to get her point across quite well. Sure, a little sugar is fine and dandy but everything needs to be taken in moderation. Please don’t over-indulge, your brain deserves better. Take care of your body, it is the only one you have.