Everyone knows that too much sugar in your diet can lead to weight gain, but what about the negative neurological effects sugar has?
Sugar is everywhere, people are generally eating way too much of it, and few people realize that trends in recent research indicate that a diet high in sugar can be harmful to much more than your waistline.
From depression, to learning disorders, and memory function, recent studies show that overconsumption of sugar is destroying our brain.
The United States Department of Agriculture recently completed a Dietary Assessment of Major Trends in U.S. Food Consumption that demonstrated the extent of our sugar overconsumption problem.
According to the study, average Americans consume 156 pounds of sugar each year(1). They call it “added” sugar, which means that it doesn’t come from natural sources or foods. Instead of sugars from fruits, those 156 pounds are coming from the bags of sugar on store shelves.
Sugar Influences Your Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factors
So what does that have to do with the brain? Blood glucose powers brain function. Diets high in sugar influences brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF) that play a critical role in special memory tasks in the human brain.
A 2002 study in the journal Neuroscience, investigated the connection between high sugar diets and BDNFs and concluded that the current “popularly consumed diet can influence crucial aspects” of BDNF function(2). Further study demonstrated that low BDNF levels are tied directly to diabetes, dementia and depression(3).