I am sure you’ve heard the many health concerns regarding sugar consumption, and how eating too much refined sugar damages bones. But no matter how many times we hear that sugar is “bad for us,” it seems to sneak back into our daily diet before we know it – especially during the holidays.
So today, we’re going to “blow the whistle” on the sneaky sugar habit, and reveal five excellent benefits of reducing sugar consumption.
When you see how much good you’ll be doing for your bones and overall health, you will be motivated to stick with your determination to reduce sugar. It’s the perfect New Year’s Resolution!
I’d like to start at the top – with your head, to be exact.
1. Improved Memory
If you struggle with remembering things, then you know how frustrating it is when you’re forgetful. Here’s the good news: cutting back on sugar can dramatically improve your ability to remember, and a UCLA study elucidates how this process works.
After training a group of rats to learn a certain maze, they were then split into two groups. Both groups were given a sugary solution as their drinking water, but only one group was given flaxseed oil (a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids). After six weeks, the “sugared” rats could not remember the maze, and were unable to find the single exit they had mastered before. This same group of rats also developed insulin resistance, undermining that hormone’s influence on brain cells.1
But the rats that were fed the flaxseed did not show the same cognitive decline at all. This is good news for Savers, who are already consuming plenty of Omega-3s on the Program.
In light of this research, a good plan is to forego the sugary snacks and sprinkle flax meal on your oatmeal or munch on flax-seed crackers (flax seeds happen to contain calcium as well). Then you won’t “forget” your resolution to cut back on sugar!
2. Reduce Brain Fog And Think More Clearly
Continuing on the effects of sugar on the brain, you’ll find you think with much more clarity when you reduce sugar. The above study sheds some light on why sugar consumption causes “brain fog,” this effect also has to do with the production of Advanced Glycation End products, or AGEs.
These proteins are produced in the presence of sugar in the blood. AGEs consist of a protein that has a sugar molecule attached, making it “glycated.” AGEs are bad for your bones and your brain, even to the point that their accumulation has been implicated in Alzheimer’s Disease.2
Sharper thinking and better mental clarity are excellent “side effects” of reducing sugar consumption. And as you continue making low-sugar choices, you’ll find that you taste the natural sweetness in whole foods.
3. Increased Sensitivity To Sweet Tastes
Excessive sugar consumption dulls your sense of taste over time, desensitizing it to the more subtle flavors and sweetness in whole foods. If you find foods like oatmeal, brown rice, and steamed vegetables to be lacking in flavor, it may be due to the desensitization of your taste buds.
When you give your tongue a break from the constant sweetness overload of sugary foods, you’ll rediscover a heightened sense of taste. You’ll find new flavor in natural foods, and you won’t feel the need to sweeten foods to make them palatable. In addition, sugar-laden foods will begin to taste unpleasantly sweet, making it easier to forego those cookies, cakes, and candies.
4. Freedom From Addiction
Is it just a rumor that sugar is addictive? The answer is no. Sugar really does have a drug-like effect on the brain, as a 2013 review clearly affirms:
“Available evidence in humans shows that sugar and sweetness can induce reward and craving that are comparable in magnitude to those induced by addictive drugs,”3
The study researchers conclude that:
“…this research has revealed that sugar and sweet reward can not only substitute addictive drugs, like cocaine, but can even be more rewarding and attractive.”3 [emphasis added]
Remarkable – sugar’s neurological effects can have more powerful “rewarding” effects than drugs like cocaine. Yet sugar cravings can be subtle and relentless at the same time, sneakily disguised as a seemingly normal desire for a sweet treat that just doesn’t go away until you indulge. And even then, your next craving is just around the corner.
This is why sharply reducing sugar intake makes for a more even temper, steadier emotions, and better focus. You’ll be free from always being on the lookout for the next “hit.”
5. More Energy
You may think that sugar gives you more energy, but the temporary “rush” it provides is deceptive. The term “sugar crash” applies to a rapid rise in blood sugar followed by an insulin spike, which leads to a rapid drop in blood sugar, that can cause fatigue, anxiety, irritation, headaches, lightheadedness and confusion.
As if this were not enough, sugar is very acidifying and inflammatory, which taxes your whole system and does extensive damage to your body. So the rush you experience is drug-like in nature – it feels good for a moment, but it is ultimately destructive.
When you cut back on sugar and enjoy more bone-healthy Foundation Foods instead, you’ll be rewarded with real energy from the healthful nutrients found in these foods. In addition, your body won’t be so exhausted from dealing with excessive sugar, so you’ll feel younger and more energized.
Another word on energy – it’s been scientifically proven that exercise not only increases your energy levels, but it also reduces sugar cravings. Let’s take a look at the research.
Walk It Off: Science Clearly Demonstrates The Link Between Exercise And Reduced Sugar Cravings
Researchers divided volunteers into two groups. Both were given a piece of wrapped candy after three days of complete sugar deprivation, but one group exercised as part of the study. The conclusion was clear: the group that exercised experienced significantly reduced cravings for sugar, and was able to resist the candy much more easily.
With sugar-laden holiday festivities all around us, now is the perfect time to get those cravings under control with these five motivational tips and regular exercise.
Take Exercising For Your Bones to the Next Level!
Learn the 52 exercise moves that jumpstart bone-building – all backed by the latest in epigenetics research.
If you’re wondering how you’re going to undertake an exercise regimen right in the middle of holiday stress, don’t worry – the Densercise™ Epidensity Training System can be done in your home, even in a small space. And it takes just 15 minutes a day, three days a week to reap all the amazing rewards associated with regular exercise.
Why not get started on you New Year’s resolution a few weeks early? Your body, brain, and bones will thank you!
Till next time,
1 Agrawal, Rahul and Gomez-Pinilla, Fernando. “ ‘Metabolic syndrome’ in the brain: deficiency in omega-3 fatty acid exacerbates dysfunctions in insulin receptor signaling and cognition.” J Physiol. 2012. 590.10. Pages 2485-2499. Web. http://drperlmutter.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/metabolic-syndrome-brain.pdf
2 Nobuyuki, Sasaki, et al. “Advanced Glycation End Products in Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Neurodegenerative Diseases.” The American Journal of Pathology. 1998 October; 153(4): 1149–1155. Web. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1853056/
3 Ahmed, S.H., Guillem, K., and Vandaele, Y. “Sugar addiction: pushing the drug-sugar analogy to the limit.” Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. July 2013. 16(4):434-9. Doi: 10.197/MCO0b013e328361c8b8. Web. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23719144
4 Brown, Kirsty, et al. “Diet-Induced Dysbiosis of the intestinal Microbiota and the Effects on Immunity and Disease.” Nutrients. Augst 2012. 4(8): 1095-1119. Web. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3448089/
5 Ledochowski, Larissa, et al. “Acute Effects of Brisk Walking on Sugary Snack Cravings in Overweight People, Affect and Responses to a Manipulated Stress Situation and to a Sugary Snack Cue: A Crossover Study.” PLOS One. March 11, 2015. Doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0119278. Web. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0119278