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.