Sugar Cravings

As you find yourself working from home and combatting cabin fever related sugar cravings, consider forgoing those sugary snacks even longer. We have heard the warnings far too often “too much sugar or processed foods can result in negative side effects to the body”. Sugar could be the main culprit behind stubborn fat, weight gain, and obesity. However, what we don’t hear about nearly as often, is the immense role sugar plays in producing negative side effects on our brains and mental health.

In fact, numerous studies have found supporting evidence that sugar can negatively impact mood, learning, and, quality of life. Sugar, honey, and high fructose corn syrup have long been linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes, all factors effecting weight and the body. But scientist have also discovered evidence suggesting that over consumption of sugar, can effect our mind just as much, with  common mental disorders like depression and anxiety being linked to an over consumption of sugar.

Increased Depression

Research and data collected over various years displays that, high sugar consumption can lead to an increased risk for depression. The reason for this is that, sugar halts or slows down activity of BDNF,  a hormone that helps combat depression. Individuals who consumed high marks of sugar displayed lower levels of BDNF, as well as additional indicators for depression. Sugar is also known to cause chronic inflammation to the body which can in turn, negatively effect the brain as well as weaken the immune system.  Processed foods and sugar can flood the brain with a chemical dopamine, that over time will alter the functions of the brain, similar to the effects on the brain produced by certain illegal drugs. In fact individuals with addictive eating habits have a section of the brain that mimics the reaction to food and sugar as the brain would with highly addictive substances like cocaine.

Unfortunately, the standard American diet is jammed packed with fats and sugars. Even when these processed foods don’t directly result in certain illness they can certainly contribute to some and exacerbate others. For example, those suffering from panic attacks are already predisposed to increased anxiety and fear however, add in a sugar packed diet to the mix and the risks for blurry vision, tiredness, and foggy brain can further exacerbate these stressors. Overall, all signs point to sugary foods, candies, and drinks doing way more harm than good.

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