Sugar has a pretty bad rap in the health field and not for nothing, as you'll read below! However, glucose is needed for our cells to thrive. The problem is, most people are eating the wrong kinds of sugar. Complex carbs like; sweet potatoes, quinoa, legumes, and vegetables as well as fruits are an important part of a healthy diet. These complex carbs don't spike blood sugar as quickly as simple carbs do which is what makes the biggest difference. This is why a donut and a piece of fruit don't compare - not to mention the difference in fiber and vitamins and minerals! I am a big advocate for decreasing sugar not eliminating. This also helps you to not feel deprived which often leads to binging - no, thank you! If you're looking for a way to manage your anxiety through food, make sure you download the (free!) Ultimate Guide for Easing Anxiety Through Food!
1. Sugar lowers your bodies ability to handle stress
Over eating added sugar causes a lot of highs and lows. When you consume a heavy amount of added sugar your blood sugar spikes and it causes your body to release more cortisol (the hormone that helps us manage our stress & blood sugar) therefore lowering your bodies ability to handle any real stress you may be feeling. This can cause you to feel extra irritable and anxious. As well as cause headaches, sleep issues and food cravings. Not to mention the affects of your blood sugar constantly rising and falling which leads to increased risk of disease *cough* diabetes. No thanks.
2. Sugar is a downer
Since the blood sugar rises, it has to fall and she fall hard. When you eat sugar immediately you're feeling good, energized even and then comes the all knowing crash... the downer. You all of a sudden feel like sh*t and become lethargic. On top of that! If you haven't heard it already, you'll hear it here. Overeating sugar causes an imbalance in your brain chemicals... What?! I know. Scary. It specifically causes an imbalance with the brain chemical known as brain-derived neurotrophic factor or BDNF according to, Psychology Today. This chemical is responsible for creating new memories. These brain imbalances have been shown to lead to depression according to, Nature Scientific Reports.
3. Sugar rush can feel like a panic attack
Overeating added sugar and giving yourself a "sugar rush" can cause fatigue, difficulty thinking, blurry vision, shaking and tension which can all feel very much like a panic attack according to, Psychology Today. This can be really scary and unnecessary.
If you already have anxiety or depression you definitely aren't going to want to keep grabbing that box of cookies or that bowl of ice cream when you're feeling like a snack! Instead of binging on sweets with added sugar when you're feeling down grab a fruit, eat a sweet vegetable like butternut squash or drink some ginger tea instead. Your body and your mind will thank you later for not causing it any additional stress! If you want to know more about how your food affects your mood and mental health check out this post HERE.
If you are anything like I was you'll need some support during this process cause cutting added sugar ain't easy but I'm here to help! Want to get more in depth? Download the 5 Simple Steps to Decrease Your Sugar without feeling overwhelmed or deprived!
Want to know more about how food can affect your mental health? Check out this post! HERE.
Already living a low sugar lifestyle? Leave your experience in the comments!
Hope this article gave you some new information. All sources are cited below.
Hey! My names Ashleen.