Did You Know Sugar Makes You Stupid?

I mean this literally.  Sugar makes you stupid.  It makes your children stupid.  In fact, it makes grandma stupid.  Apparently, no one is immune to sugar’s sneaky brain disrupting ways.

When most people think of sugar their mind wanders over to the topics of obesity, diabetes and heart disease; however, new research is implicating sugar as a major player in the role of brain disruptor.  Research out of UCLA suggests high sugar consumption not only impairs mood but it weakens cognitive function in the areas of memory and learning.  To put it bluntly, research demonstrates sugar hinders intelligence and cognition.  The study specifically states, “the rats fed fructose syrup showed significant impairment in their cognitive abilities—they struggled to remember their way out of the maze. They were slower, and their brains showed a decline in synaptic activity. Their brain cells had trouble signaling each other, disrupting the rats’ ability to think clearly and recall the route they’d learned six weeks earlier.”

“Additionally, the fructose-fed rats showed signs of resistance to insulin, a hormone that controls your blood sugar and synaptic function in your brain. Because insulin is able to pass through your blood-brain barrier, it can trigger neurological processes that are important for learning and memory.”

I have read a great deal about sugar and mental health but I didn’t know it had the potential to actually make you dumb.  Yikes! Make our children dumb?  Not so cool. So what to do? What to do?  Avoid sugar at all costs? No. I don’t think we have to be drastic.  When making little changes for your little children make lifelong adaptations.

  • Greatly reduce your processed food purchases.  It will help cut out sugar and save money.
  • Read labels.  Be sure to pay attention to foods you wouldn’t normally consider high in sugar such as breads, spaghetti sauces, yogurts, granola, BBQ sauce, ketchup, and cereals.
  • Make your food yourself and you can control the amount of sugar you add.
  • Swap cakes, candy and cookies for fresh fruit or dark chocolate (70% or higher).
  • Drop juice, sports drinks, soda and flavored milk for water or decaffeinated unsweetened tea. PS: Diet soda is not a healthy swap.

Go ahead and make dessert for your children.  Just don’t make it everyday.



2 thoughts on “Did You Know Sugar Makes You Stupid?”

  1. Danielle,
    I have been trying to eliminate excess sugars and drop some unwanted lbs. that seem
    to be easier to gain, than lose past the age of 60. The thing that I’ve found is that it’s not easy
    to find anything that doesn’t have a sweetener that has it’s own set of issues. I’ve found that nearly everything that I eat or drink that I think would be a healthy substitute for sugar has aspartame, or sucralose. Aspartame being the sweeter. Recently I’ve been fighting headaches and am making a point to try and limit my coffee intake, and take a break from diet soda.

    Who are good sources of information on the side affects of sweeteners and pesticide and herbicide residue on our food supply? I thought our government used to do that, but it seems like they rely on studies produced by the same people that manufacture the poisons.

    It’s getting harder to find food that doesn’t have some poison on it, or in it ! Your input would be appreciated. Keep up the good work. What you’re doing is great !

    1. Dan,
      Thank you so much for your thoughts and questions. I truly appreciate the support as I get this blog up and going. As far as sweeteners in my house, we primarily use maple syrup in all of our baking and cooking. (Maple syrup has trace minerals and is typically less processed). I occasionally use organic white sugar and honey as alternatives. I have never found an alternative sweetener (non-sugar sugar) I feel comfortable with and so instead of substituting, we simply use less of the real thing. If we want something sweet we eat lots of fruit, dark chocolate or desserts I have made with less sugar. I think cutting out diet soda is a great step. I would also increase water a great deal as the slightest bit of dehydration can cause headaches. In addition, I found my headaches all but vanish when I significantly reduce gluten and dairy and sugar. To keep pain at bay, I eat raw slices of ginger almost everyday and I use turmeric in many recipes (both are powerful against pain). I notice a reduction in pain within 15 minutes of drinking turmeric tea or consuming ginger.
      As for sources of information on the side effects of pesticides and herbicides and sweeteners in our food supply – I will continue to write 🙂
      Food Babe is a food activist who writes extensively on the topic and she highlights many studies as well. The EPA and FDA have countless articles; however, we are finding as you wrote that corruption influences the findings in many cases. So, who to trust? It is extremely frustrating to find food and beverages that don’t contaminate our health in some manner. The best we can do is buy organic or from local, small farmers and stay away from boxed and packaged foods for the most part. Good luck with your journey, Dan. Let me know how it goes. Thanks again for contributing! Take Care!

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