Refined sugar has been called poison, toxic, and the “anti-nutrient”. It’s said to be more addictive than cocaine. Is it really that bad? How much does sugar really affect your brain? Let’s take a look at the somewhat complex relationship between sugar and your brain.
Your Brain Needs Glucose, Not Fructose
Brain cells need twice as much energy as other cells. After all, there’s a lot going on up there! Your brain cells can’t store energy, so they need a steady stream of glucose from your bloodstream. Your brain cells can live only a few minutes without energy supply – it’s that critical! The healthiest sources of glucose are from the complex carbohydrates found in whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables. Glucose is also a building block of the lactose found in dairy products. Unhealthy sources of glucose are sugar and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) which are all are roughly half glucose and half fructose.
Virtually every cell in the body can metabolize glucose for energy, but only your liver cells metabolize fructose. While honey and maple syrup do contain some nutrients, they are still the same basic composition as refined sugar – half glucose, half fructose. All Fructose Is Not Created Equal A healthy diet contains lots of fruits and vegetables which are sources of dietary fructose. But a diet high in these sources of naturally occurring fructose is not the same as a diet high in fructose from refined sweeteners. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you should skip eating carrots or apples because they contain fructose. It’s the added fructose from refined sweeteners you should be concerned about. So there’s no need to pick carrots out of your salad.
Dangers of a High Fructose Diet
Fructose has wrongly been promoted as a healthy sweetener because it doesn’t raise blood sugar levels or spike insulin. Instead it raises blood fructose levels, which is arguably even worse. Here are some of the problems with high fructose diets:
Increases triglycerides, blood pressure, and LDL (bad cholesterol), all markers for cardiovascular disease.
Increases levels of uric acid which can lead to gout and kidney disease.
Increases risk for diabetes. Fructose intake and diabetes rates are directly proportional worldwide.
Causes systemic inflammation.
Contributes to obesity by leading to leptin resistance. Leptin is a “satiety hormone” that lets you register feelings of fullness.
Read the rest here: http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/stop-giving-your-brain-the-sugar-blues/