Effects of sugar on the brain

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Drinks and sweets that contain high amounts of sugar slow down the work of the brain, hinder memory and learning.

While previous studies have shown how sugar damages the body by causing diabetes or obesity, this study is the first to show how sugar affects the brain.

This is not about the natural fructose contained in fruits, which contains important antioxidants. The study is about sweeteners (sugar) that contain high amounts of fructose that are added to food products or sweets as a sweetener.

Elevated blood glucose harms blood vessels. Blood vessel damage is the major cause of the vascular complications of diabetes, leading to other problems, such as damage to blood vessels in the brain and eyes causing retinopathy.

Sugar also affects mood. In healthy young people, the ability to process emotion is compromised with elevated blood glucose, according to a brain imaging study.

From the other side, the good news is that eating fish like salmon or walnuts can fight this destruction. Prof Gomez-Pinilla, the leader of this study, suggests that instead of sweetened sweets and fizzy drinks, you should consume fruit yogurt and add as much omega-3 to your daily diet as possible. This may help protect the brain from the effects of fructose.

Focusing on a healthy diet and giving up sugar entirely can go a long way towards increasing your energy levels, improving your memory and allowing you to concentrate more clearly.

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