Not So Sweet: The Health Consequences of Sugar
By Stepy Kamei
This probably isn't the first time you're hearing about the negative consequences sugar can have on your health. Years of scientific research all continue to point to the same conclusion: too much sugar can have a negative impact on your health -- not only physically, but mentally as well. Yes, your mental health can suffer as a result of consuming too many sweets in your diet. Read on for more information on how, exactly, sugar can affect your mental health -- and what you can start doing today to satisfy your sweet tooth through healthier choices.
Sugar Brings You Down
Sure, immediately after eating goodies full of sugar, it feels like you've got enough energy to send you to the moon. However, what goes up must come down, and this is true for both your physical energy as well as your mood. You'll experience a crash in your physical energy levels, and you may also be more susceptible to problems with your mood, including anxiety, irritability, and sadness. Even more alarming, studies have shows that consumption of fructose, which is often found in soda and candy, can actually slow down the brain's functions. It's a whirlwind of ups and downs which can only serve to exhaust both your body and your mind -- and that's just bad news for your whole well-being.
Satisfy Your Cravings With Healthy Alternatives
It may be difficult to consider cutting out sweets, but when you realize there are naturally sweet and even nutritious foods you can replace them with, you may not even miss all those pieces of candy before bedtime.
One of the first foods nutritionists suggest for a healthy dose of something sweet is fruit. Specifically, berries, which are full of antioxidants, and bananas, which are full of important minerals and nutrients, including potassium.
As for a more substantial meal that can help alleviate cravings while also providing nutritional value, consider a baked sweet potato. Sweet potatoes contain healthy amounts of fiber, as well as many vitamins and minerals necessary to keep the body functioning at a healthy level. Try pairing them with healthy, flavorful garnishes such as heart-healthy olive oil or even miso paste.
Of course, all this isn't to say you need to completely cut out all sweets from your diet. For instance, dark chocolate is known to contain antioxidants and polyphenols that are great for boosting your mood and reducing inflammation in the body. In moderation, dark chocolate can still be enjoyed, especially if it's paired with fresh berries.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Holly Springs, NC.