Avoid Refined Sugar for a Healthier Brain

in Overall Health by

Fast food restaurants, the storehouses of fat and refined sugar, are favorite places of many food maniacs. The ultimate effect of this junk food obsession is weight gain and related chronic disorders.

Daily calorie requirement of a person leading a sedentary lifestyle is about 2000 Kcal. Foods rich in refined sugar cause a major deterioration in calorie intake which in turn affect normal brain functioning and mental well-being.

Daily sugar requirement

Sugar is a pure carbohydrate, and it should not exceed a certain percentage of our daily calorie intake. According to American Heart Association, safe limit of daily sugar intake is 37.5 grams for male and 25 grams for female. Surprisingly, an average American consumes 126 grams of sugar per day, and refined sugars constitute most of it.

Health hazards of excess refined sugar

Scientists have confirmed that refined sugar is bad for both physical and mental well-being. Several studies suggest that intelligence level of people is comparatively low who take too much refined sugar regularly with foods like fruit juices, soft drinks, sodas, sweetmeats, sauces, pasta, etc. These people also suffer from difficulties in decision making.

Refined sugars can make a person habitual consumer

The frequent abrupt rise in brain glucose level due to consumption of foods rich in refined sugar can lead to dependency on those foods. It may be hard for a person to think that he satisfies the satiety center at the expense of intelligence.

Excluding refined sugar from the diet

In the article, the author shared his personal experience after giving up refined sugar. Although it is not easy to stop eating mouth-watering foods abruptly like sodas, pasta and drinks, he encouraged starting with home-made foods. Delicious dishes can also be made out of sugar-free items like fish, meat, fresh citrus fruits, vegetables and whole grain.

Better mood and increased concentration

Sudden cessation of refined sugars in your diet can lead to a headache, dizziness, and poor concentration. There is also intense craving for sugared foods. According to the opinion of Rebecca Boulton, a nutritionist, our brain starts reacting to meet its sugar cravings if the regular supply of this addictive sugar is suddenly cut off.

Adaptation of brain to steady and low sugar level is quite difficult and during this period the cravings for sweet become severe. However, once the body adapts to low sugar containing foods, the person feels a lot better.

Adequate sleep

Sleep is like recharging our minds. Apart from providing us with a revitalized mind, it also washes out metabolic wastes and toxins from our brains. Sound sleep certainly improves alertness and helps us act smartly.

Boulton stated that a balanced blood sugar level helps in proper regulation of insulin which controls various metabolic processes.

This is beneficial for healthy sleep pattern and feeling energetic all the time. As such, the person barely becomes fatigue and loses concentration.

Weight loss

Avoiding refined sugar in the diet significantly affects body weight. Boulton comments that,

It is possible to lose about 12 pounds of body weight in only two weeks keeping total calorie consumption unchanged. Only the person is required to eliminate the calories that come from refined sugar (while increasing the calories from other sources).

To summarize, cessation of refined sugar consumption is healthful for physical and mental health. It keeps us energized, and in a better mood. It is also useful for developing a healthy sleep pattern.

References:

  1. How giving up refined sugar changed my brain
  2. Top 10 reasons to avoid refined sugar
  3. How avoiding refined sugar changed a woman’s life

(Source)

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