Like I mentioned earlier this week, nutrition has a direct effect on your mood. One of the biggest nutritional culprits of a negative mood is processed sugar. In many recent research studies there has been a correlation between processed sugar intake and depression. Another common emotional issue with sugar is addiction. Over time, your daily sweet treats might be costing you a great deal of happiness.
Sugar Contributes to Depression
The link between sugar and depression has an uncertain cause. Some researchers speculate that the exhilaration of high blood sugar followed by the sudden crash might exacerbate existing mood disorders. Others theorize that since sugar is a source of chronic inflammation, the brain and other body systems are negatively impacted.
Sugar Addiction is a Big Issue
Additional recent research studies have revealed that sugar is an addictive substance. When you eat something high in processed sugar, your body is flooded with dopamine (the happiness chemical). One study by Yale University measured brain reaction in people with addictive eating habits. The participants had the same brain reaction upon seeing a milkshake as addicts had at the sight of cocaine. Those who take in high levels of sugar also demonstrate classic withdrawal symptoms when they try to cut back.
Sugar is Stressing You Out
While sugar does not cause anxiety, it has been shown to worsen anxiety symptoms and damage the body’s ability to handle stress. People who suffer from anxiety and panic attacks can have severe panic attacks and fatigue if they take in too much sugar. The temporary high and crash will also manifest in a more severe manner. If you struggle with anxiety, try limiting your sugar impact to see if it affects your stress management.
Ready to Cut Sugar Out of Your Diet?
Reducing your sugar intake is simple and important if you want to live the happiest and healthiest life possible. Look for added sugars in your food and avoid products that contain them. Cut back on the amount of sweetener you add to things like tea and coffee. Instead of using fruit that is canned in syrup, purchase fresh or frozen fruit. Pay attention to the nutrition labels on everything that you buy at the grocery store. Limiting your sugar intake can be easy if you start small!