The relationship between high sugars and stay at home obesity
We now have easy accessibility to ready to eat food, mouth watery sugary foods, aerated drinks and a lot more eateries which has increased our energy intake. But being more home bound now than ever before, our energy expenditure has reduced drastically. Increased energy intake and lower energy expenditure, has now lead to so called “stay at home obesity”.
Due to desk jobs, our brain uses more energy than any other part of the body. The simplest form sugar is glucose which is the primary source of energy. High blood glucose in brain impairs both cognition skill and self-control.
Excessive intake of sugary foods causes effects in the brain, driving the loss of self- control, excess eating and subsequent weight gain. Those with low sugar intake, end up craving for more. This stimulus was much needed among the early humans, as it led them to have energy rich food which helped them to survive when food was scarce.
High Glycemic Index (GI) foods stimulate the brain towards reward response and feeling of more hunger when compared to low GI foods. Elevated blood glucose creates damage to the brain resulting in low cognition function, memory loss and in low attention.
Memory loss caused by high sugar consumption can be reduced by following a low GI, low sugar diet. Research says that having low sugar foods with omega 3 fats and curcumin (present in turmeric) improves memory function.
Control in emotion is also associated with high blood glucose. A study found that type 2 diabetes people reported with anxiety and panic disorder during hyperglycemia.
Prolonged hyperglycemia (increased blood sugar) affects brain blood vessels. Progressive Brain damage leads to deficits in learning, memory, motor speed and other cognitive function.
High carbohydrate food intake reduces the production of a brain chemical known as Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), essential for memory and learning.
High glucose intake for longer duration diminishes mental capacity as higher HbA1c levels associated with a greater degree of brain shrinkage.
Tips to follow to reduce your blood glucose
1. Have low glycemic foods like whole grains and cereals, dhal, dried beans etc.
2. Have healthy fats that make your brain happy. These include omega 3 fatty acids like fish, coconut oil, olive oil, eggs, nuts and seeds.
3. 30 minutes physical activity on daily basis can prevent and slow down the progression of brain damage.
4. Controlling stress by doing meditation and relaxation.
5. Get 8 hours sound sleep. Poor quality of sleep increases cognitive dysfunction and dementia.