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  • Dr. Angela Hargrow

Salt, Sugar, & Your Brain

Salt and sugar seem pretty harmless on the outside. After all, they are pretty much staples of the American Diet, right?


Do you find yourself adding a few spoonfuls of sugar in your morning coffee? How about a dash or two of salt to season your dinner? Add to that the existing sugar and salt in processed foods and you have a recipe for both physical and emotional health problems.


The physical complications of excess salt an sugar intake are rather well known. Too much salt, or sodium chloride, may put yourself at risk for health complications like heart disease and diabetes where as excess sugar intake could lead to obesity. As if that weren’t bad enough, sugar and salt can also affect your mood in a negative way.


Sugar & Your Brain


Did you know your brain uses more energy than any other organ in the human body and glucose is its primary source of fuel?

However, in the case of sugar, there is such as thing as too much. In fact, excess sugar impairs both your cognitive skills and sometimes self-control. For many people, having a little sugar triggers cravings for more. This is because sugar has drug-like effects on your brain.


Science tells us that sweet, salty, and fatty foods can stimulate the reward center in our brains which creates a downward spiral of overeating, weight gain, and loss of self-control…just like any other addiction. Our bodies can adapt to crave these elements .


The Effects of Inflammation On Your Mood


Both excess sugar and salt can lead to inflammation. You can start to feel bad physically and mentally. Inflammation from high sugar consumption can affect your memory and cognitive skills. Furthermore, inflammation can have a tremendous impact on your mood. Sugar consumption has been linked to an increased risk of anxiety and depression in many studies.


The good news is you have the ability to control your diet and fuel it with healthy foods for your mind, body, and soul. Start by cutting out refined sugars and eliminate processed foods. Not only is a healthy diet great for weightless and your health, but it can also improve your mood and overall happiness in life.


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