Sugar, Carbs and Your Brain

Julie Freeman Articles, Julie's corner, Stress and Anxiety, Thyroid & Hormones 0 Comments

We hear so much about how bad sugar is for our overall health, but did you know that it can increase brain fog, causing one to lose focus rapidly as the blood sugar takes a nosedive? There is also accumulating evidence that crusty crystals form on healthy cells known as advanced glycated end products or AGEs. These cells become oxidized creating damage that increases cognitive and neurological decline.

What are some simple strategies for offsetting this challenge? Eat mostly organic, non-packaged foods and choose from the rainbow of colors. Each color represents different antioxidants that support cellular health. When choosing a packaged item, look for a short ingredient list with recognizable words – real food ingredients! Choose items with 3 grams fiber or more and 6 grams sugar or less in a serving, which is about 80-100 calories or 15-20 grams carbohydrate.

Watch out for beverages, especially those disguised as “health drinks”. Read the label, choosing a naturally low sugar option with no more than 6 grams or 1 teaspoon per serving. Also watch how many servings are in the bottle. Liquid sugar is processed more quickly, thus giving the pancreas a faster jolt.

Most often, choose gluten free grains and again, read that ingredient list. As the gluten-free craze continues, many companies create products with so many chemicals that are hard to digest making an unhealthy product. Gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley, is very difficult to digest, as well as much of the wheat in this country has been genetically modified.

Balance carbs with protein to stabilize the blood sugar. Overproduction of insulin from the pancreas is inflammatory to the body, raising chemicals that promote oxidation. This oxidative process can be likened to the rusting of a metal object. Oxidative stress is associated with many diseases and in the case of brain health, the lower the insulin, the less inflammation to the brain.

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