Can Sugar make you less intelligent?

education wednesday 10-1-14

Back when I was a kid, our parents used to warn us about eating too much candy because it could cause cavities and might give you a stomach ache.

All I can say is that the you-know-what has hit the fan with respect to the health dangers associated with sugar since the late 60’s and early 70’s when I was a youngster.

For example, studies have shown that eating too many refined carbohydrates (which turn to sugar once they’re digested) can stress your pancreas with massive requirements for insulin and eventually lead to insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes.

Sugar has also been shown in studies to not only encourage an internal environment that favors cancer, but it actually feeds cancer cells, just like manure in a hay field.

It’s also nourishment for the dangerous bacteria in your gut.  Not only can this make your gut wall too porous (leaky gut) but it can give harmful bacteria the “upper hand” and hamper your immune system functioning, as well as roll out the red carpet for a diverticulitis attack.

In addition, sugar has even been implicated as a leading cause of heart disease because it can encourage unhealthy cholesterol levels, as well as drive up your blood pressure.

Well, I’m not done yet, my friend.

Because sugar can also make you stupid.

Here’s the scoop on how it does that:

Why sugar is not-so-sweet to your brain

There are actually four things going on behind the scenes that cause sugar to eat away at your intelligence:

1- Low blood sugar problems

First of all, the more sugar you eat, the more your body becomes unable to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

What happens is when you eat sugar your body gets a quick flood of glucose which sounds the alarm for your pancreas to secrete insulin.  Once the insulin does its job, your blood sugar level is restored and everything is fine.

But the problem arises when you eat lots of sugar day in and day out.  Then your pancreas can get taunted to the point where it secretes too much insulin.  This has the effect of causing your blood sugar to drop through the floor (aka hypoglycemia).

In addition to the familiar fatigue and irritability, hypoglycemia can also cause:

  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Excessive sweating
  • Excessive thirst
  • Depression and crying spells
  • Digestive problems
  • Blurred vision and…

Poor concentration and forgetfulness!

When you consider the staggering numbers of people (especially children) that eat sugary refined foods and drink soda on a daily basis, is it any wonder that ADHD, learning problems and concentration difficulties are all on the rise?

But alas, it doesn’t stop there because a daily onslaught of sugar can eventually lead to…

2- Glucose damage to the brain

Glucose is an interesting thing because your brain NEEDS it to function, but the key is that it needs it in the proper amounts.

Too little results in the hypoglycemia symptoms I mentioned above, but too much isn’t any better.

You see, having to deal with regular sugar blitzes can eventually exhaust your poor pancreas, making it unable to secrete adequate insulin.  Plus your cells can also become resistant to the call of insulin.

When this happens, you are looking at Type 2 diabetes…and that excess glucose coursing around in your veins is especially dangerous to your brain.

Glucose can damage nerve cells in the brain and stop them from working properly.  The glucose reacts with proteins in your brain (a process called glycation) and as a result, your cell membranes get thicker and gunked up, slowing down your brain’s communication.

3- Vitamin and mineral hog

The third way sugar can harm your mental functioning is that it uses up your body’s stores of vitamins and minerals, while at the same time providing next to none for you.

Every single teaspoon of sugar decreases your body’s supply of B vitamins, and B vitamins are crucial for mental performance.

4- It has an inverse relationship with your IQ

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) found that the higher the intake of refined carbohydrates, the lower the IQ.

The difference between the high sugar consumers they studied and the low sugar consumers was a startling 25 IQ points!

Minimize sugar’s wrath on your body and mind

Hopefully by now you’ve gotten the idea that the dangers of sugar are very frightening and real.

And it is not only a good idea but vital to limit your consumption of sugar to minimize its dangerous wrath on your body, as well as help your body (and brain!) recover from any effects that it’s already had on you.

Here are three steps you can take to help achieve this ever-important, possibly life-saving goal:

1)     Find alternatives and curb your consumption

Use organic raw honey, organic cane sugar, organic real maple syrup or stevia for sweeteners in moderation, and avoid products with high fructose corn syrup like the plague.

Drink water instead of soda or sports drinks.  Soda is THE single largest source of sugar (in the form of high fructose corn syrup) consumption in the world.  If you find you’re having “soda withdrawal” mix up some fresh lemonade made with stevia, water and fresh-squeezed lemon juice and add a splash of club soda to give it a little fizz.

Concentrate on real foods—fruits, vegetables, meats, poultry, eggs, dairy, real butter, legumes, nuts and seeds.  When you nourish your body with real foods, you are more likely to stay full longer and therefore won’t be as tempted to reach for a sweet snack.

Stay away from processed foods that contain hidden sugars.  Experts estimate that only about one-fifth of our sugar consumption actually comes from your kitchen sugar bowl.  The rest comes from processed foods that are laced with sugar and of course soda.  Beware of any ingredient ending in “-ose” because that suffix means sugar in some form.

And if you want to indulge in something sweet, just limit your “treats” to special occasions like a birthday or a holiday.  Trust me, our problems with sugar are not the result of someone eating cookies on Christmas or a piece of cake at a birthday party—it’s the result of a daily regular sugar assault to the tune of an average 150 pounds per person per year.

2)     Encourage better digestion to support a healthier gut wall

The manuals in the Great Taste No Pain eating system will teach you about the health risks of sugar, plus give you scrumptious ways to incorporate better, healthy carbohydrate sources into your meals.

http://www.greattastenopain.com/great.asp

Many of the GTNP recipes are made with things like whole grains, legumes, beans and vegetables–good, healthy sources of complex carbs that help give you lasting energy and help nourish your friendly flora.

And are they ever tasty!  You’ll be shocked at how delicious eating for great health can be.  And once you get away from all the sugar, chances are great that you’ll appreciate the taste and natural sweetness of REAL foods and will lose some of your taste for the refined stuff.

Plus you’ll learn about good combinations of foods, which will help improve digestion and nutrient absorption.  This can help make gas, bloating, constipation, acid reflux and excess weight a thing of the past for you, and help encourage a healthier gut wall.

Note: If you have Celiac disease or are gluten sensitive, Great Taste No Gluten is for you instead:

http://www.greattastenogluten.com/great.asp

3)  Ensure your intestinal flora population is strong

The friendly bacteria in your system help to keep the gut wall strong and non-porous, as well as assisting with digestion and keeping harmful bacteria under control.

This is very important to your overall health, but especially to your brain.  You see, toxins that seep out into your bloodstream from a leaky gut wall can make their way “up north,” cross the blood-brain barrier and actually harm your brain functioning!

The ideal flora balance is having at least 85% beneficial bacteria and no more than 15% harmful.

The problem is most people are walking around with the complete OPPOSITE of what they should have—largely due to (you guessed it) our overconsumption of sugar.

So it’s important to give your gut a helping hand with a quality probiotic supplement like Super Shield multi-strain probiotic formula.

http://www.bluerockholistics.com/product/pross.asp

Super Shield contains strong, effective strains of 13 friendly bacteria that are robust and ready to take their place in your intestinal tract.  They’ll help fend off the bad guys, keep your digestion smooth, beef up your immune system and help keep that gut wall nice and strong!

You passed the course!

Congratulations!

You’ve passed my little “Dangers of Sugar 101” course and not only know all the ways it can harm you, but more importantly how you can fight back and help encourage a healthier body and mind.

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