The brain is an incredible thing! A scientist-astounding, chemically-sensitive "bio-computer" that, after thousands of years of study, still has the world guessing what it's really all about. On sugar though, the brain may not be half as inspiring. It turns out that excess sugar, particularly refined (but truly all kinds) REALLY impacts the human brain, and by default, ourselves, for the worse in many ways... and one especially worth mentioning today.
There have been remarkable studies popping up all over the globe, particularly so in recent decades, indicating just how bad this sweet, seductive little substance can be for the brain and the whole of the human body. And in the Broken Brain podcast, hosted by Dhru Purohit this January, Drs. David and Austin Perlmutter tapped into the core of it all.
So why, in a nutshell, is sugar so bad? Well, in brief, it overrides the biochemical signals in our brain (and body) and conjures up a chemical-spell, so to speak, that catapults us headstrong into short-term thinking. What does that mean exactly? It means that when we eat sugar our brain becomes chemically hijacked (and our body follows suit). We lose the capacity to act towards meeting our long-term goals. We become driven by actions that lead to immediate rewards, even if those actions are ultimately harmful for us, or undermine our long-term goals (a side-note, lack of sleep can be equally nefarious to long-term goal setting and keeping).
So how does this happen? The short explanation is that sugar "disconnects" the feedback loop in the brain which links the frontal lobe (responsible for higher, "spiritual and critical" reasoning) to the amygdala (responsible for lower, "fight-or-flight", pleasure-driven, "animalistic" thinking).
So how can we beat the odds and obtain both short-term and long-term success? It is probably most advisable to consider kicking sugar to the curb, permanently... or at least, refuse to indulge until we have solidly formed other habits that will help keep us on the road to success. It might be worth mentioning here that research indicates that even ONE sugar splurge can derail our success, setting us up for failure the next day, and the next day, and the next, etc. On the converse, making good decisions ONE time, can set us up for success the next time, and the next time, and the next! Who knew the impact that consuming, or not consuming, a single sweet treat can make!?
Another few points to bring up are these: First, sugar is sugar all the way around, though sugar from whole foods with fiber in tact can be good in moderation, in excess even natural sugars can be bad (especially if our bodies already have a sugar overload). Artificial sugars are not a worthy substitute. Having a whole host of nasty side-effects of their own, it's best advised that we also leave these alone. And lastly, the more healthy habits we form (and keep), like getting regular exercise, quality nutrition, restorative sleep, positive social interaction, and reducing negative media consumption and excess stress, the healthier, happier, and more successful we are going to be!
For more information visit https://youtu.be/wVmIUXAmtys
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Jerri W., LMT, CWC
Licensed Massage Therapist and Certified Wellness Coach with over 25+ years of experience in pain management, relaxation techniques and lifestyle education.
Heather R., LMT, CWC
Certified Wellness Coach and Licensed Massage Therapist with a passion for helping others achieve optimal wellness through healthier living.
NOTICE: The information provided herein is meant for educational purposes only. We accept no liability for your use of the information provided. As always, use your best judgment and if in doubt, please consult your healthcare provider to determine the best course of action for your particular situation.