How Does Sugar Affect the Brain?

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Sugar. Contrary to what some people may think, sugar doesn’t actually increase mental performance. Glucose, a fundamental substance in the correct functioning of the brain, helps us with the most intense intellectual tasks. A drop in glucose levels can lead to poorer performance on tasks involving memory, learning or attention.  So why doesn’t brain performance improve with sugar?

The maintenance of an optimal glucose level has nothing to do with the consumption of refined sugar or sugar laden products.  On the contrary, sugar produces energy peaks that rapidly descend, worsening cognitive function.

To maintain an optimal glucose level, it’s necessary to consume foods that release glucose slowly and continuously over time. Some of these foods are those containing complex carbohydrates such as cereals, bread, pasta, potatoes or those foods containing simple carbohydrates such as fruits.

Sugar produces in our brain a similar effect to some drugs.  Researcher Monica Dus from the University of Michigan investigated the effect of sugar on our brain using fruit flies.[1] According to Dus, when we eat, we do it for the “reward” that food generates in our brain, not for the need to eat. He also found that the main attraction of what we ingest is its taste.

This has led to food industry brands being very interested in creating artificial flavors that attract consumers rather than preserving their nutritional values from food. Sugar is directly involved in flavor modification.

When ingested, sugar causes the brain to secrete dopamine, a substance present in many drug addictions. The mechanism involved in the “addiction” to sugar thus becomes comparable to that involved in cocaine addiction.

In fact, according to a study carried out by Lenoir, Serre, Cantin and Ahmed at the University of Bordeaux, it is shown that sugar exceeds the reward levels we obtain with some drugs, which can be more addictive than cocaine itself.[2]

“A diet rich in refined sugar modifies the brain so that it is no longer able to distinguish how many calories the body is taking in. Therefore, a diet rich in sugars will make you eat much more than you need. Which in the long run is closely related to developing obesity.”- Monica Dus.

 

How to stop the sugar addiction cycle?

  1. Through mindfulness we can teach our brain not to fall into the trap. This concept refers to the concentration on the here and now of the experience we live. If we try to savor an artificial food for a minute with our eyes closed, we can see how the sensation is more unpleasant than we remembered. Our taste is greatly influenced by the marketing strategies designed to make products connect directly with our emotional brain. The way to break this vicious circle is to introduce varied foods with a high nutritional value into our diet, eliminating refined sugars and other sugar laden processed foods.
  2. Don’t shop on an empty stomach. Avoid supermarkets or other food stores while hungry, as well as eating alone.
  3. Cook at home as often as possible and include nuts, fruits, good quality cereals, etc. in your daily foods.
  4. Moderate your intake of processed foods. Indulge occasionally but focus on healthier foods.
  5. Educate/Teach healthy lifestyles to the young . Because little ones absorb information like sponges, teach them healthy eating habits, and practice alongside them. Eat healthy meals together, and let them help you prep your meals. It may get them more excited about eating healthy since the delicious meal is something they helped you create. Even advocating the implementation of health education in schools can be beneficial.
  6. Enhance your hormones and neurotransmitters. Certain foods help increase or decrease certain hormones that might affect sugar intake such as cortisol. Cortisol can increase your sugar cravings so by lowering it there is more chance of not indulging in unnecessary sweets. It is said that cortisol, chronic stress and high sugar intake can lead to metabolic syndromes and obesity. Neurotransmitters play an important part as well. Serotonin can also be enhanced by exercise, proper sleep schedule and dietary changes. Some nutritionists even say that with a small piece of  dark chocolate you can boost serotonin.
  7. Eat fruits for sugar intake. Processed sugar has a high glycemic index therefore instead of adding processed sugar to your cakes or cupcakes, try sweetening them with fruits such as dates and raisins. Other fruits such as ripe bananas can add a touch of sweetness to your different pastries.

Not only does sugar affect your brain health, but a diet that consists of high sugar intake can be responsible for multiple life threatening diseases if the practice of healthy eating isn’t something incorporated in your daily life.

Consuming too much sugar can increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease, obesity and is a potential risk factor for neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. According to a study at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in 2016, links have been made showing that having a high glycemic diet can potentially lead to lung cancer.[3]

High consumption of sugar can be especially detrimental to our brain but low glucose levels can result in hypoglycemia. Some common symptoms that accompany hypoglycemia are anxiety, confusion, shakiness, sweating, and heart palpitations. Since hypoglycemia occurs because the brain doesn’t have enough fuel, loss of energy to the brain can be expected.

With this, links can be made to very poor cognitive function, and lack of attention. Hypoglycemia is associated with diabetes, but it’s important to keep in mind a person who doesn’t have diabetes can also experience symptoms of hypoglycemia if they don’t supply the brain with its proper power fuel.

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Privacy Policy

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MyDetoxFormula.com, is committed to safeguarding your privacy. Contact us if you have any questions or problems regarding the use of your Personal Data and we will gladly assist you.

By using this site or/and our services, you consent to the Processing of your Personal Data as described in this Privacy Policy.

Table of Contents

  1. Definitions used in this Policy
  2. Data protection principles we follow
  3. What rights do you have regarding your Personal Data
  4. What Personal Data we gather about you
  5. How we use your Personal Data
  6. Who else has access to your Personal Data
  7. How we secure your data
  8. Information about cookies
  9. Contact information

Definitions

Personal Data – any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person.
Processing – any operation or set of operations which is performed on Personal Data or on sets of Personal Data.
Data subject – a natural person whose Personal Data is being Processed.
Child – a natural person under 16 years of age.
We/us (either capitalized or not)

Data Protection Principles

We promise to follow the following data protection principles:

  • Processing is lawful, fair, transparent. Our Processing activities have lawful grounds. We always consider your rights before Processing Personal Data. We will provide you information regarding Processing upon request.
  • Processing is limited to the purpose. Our Processing activities fit the purpose for which Personal Data was gathered.
  • Processing is done with minimal data. We only gather and Process the minimal amount of Personal Data required for any purpose.
  • Processing is limited with a time period. We will not store your personal data for longer than needed.
  • We will do our best to ensure the accuracy of data.
  • We will do our best to ensure the integrity and confidentiality of data.

Data Subject’s rights

The Data Subject has the following rights:

  1. Right to information – meaning you have to right to know whether your Personal Data is being processed; what data is gathered, from where it is obtained and why and by whom it is processed.
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  3. Right to rectification – meaning you have the right to request rectification or erasure of your Personal Data that is inaccurate or incomplete.
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  8. Right to data portability – you have the right to obtain your Personal Data in a machine-readable format or if it is feasible, as a direct transfer from one Processor to another.
  9. Right to lodge a complaint – in the event that we refuse your request under the Rights of Access, we will provide you with a reason as to why. If you are not satisfied with the way your request has been handled please contact us.
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Data we gather

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This might be your e-mail address, name, billing address, home address etc – mainly information that is necessary for delivering you a product/service or to enhance your customer experience with us. We save the information you provide us with in order for you to comment or perform other activities on the website. This information includes, for example, your name and e-mail address.

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This includes information that is automatically stored by cookies and other session tools. For example, your shopping cart information, your IP address, your shopping history (if there is any) etc. This information is used to improve your customer experience. When you use our services or look at the contents of our website, your activities may be logged.

Information from our partners
We gather information from our trusted partners with confirmation that they have legal grounds to share that information with us. This is either information you have provided them directly with or that they have gathered about you on other legal grounds. See the list of our partners here.

Publicly available information
We might gather information about you that is publicly available.

How we use your Personal Data

We use your Personal Data in order to:

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We use your Personal Data on legitimate grounds and/or with your Consent.

On the grounds of entering into a contract or fulfilling contractual obligations, we Process your Personal Data for the following purposes:

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On the ground of legitimate interest, we Process your Personal Data for the following purposes:

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As long as you have not informed us otherwise, we consider offering you products/services that are similar or same to your purchasing history/browsing behaviour to be our legitimate interest.

With your consent we Process your Personal Data for the following purposes:

  • to send you newsletters and campaign offers (from us and/or our carefully selected partners);
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We Process your Personal Data in order to fulfil obligation rising from law and/or use your Personal Data for options provided by law. We reserve the right to anonymise Personal Data gathered and to use any such data. We will use data outside the scope of this Policy only when it is anonymised. We save your billing information and other information gathered about you for as long as needed for accounting purposes or other obligations deriving from law, but not longer than 1 year.

We might process your Personal Data for additional purposes that are not mentioned here, but are compatible with the original purpose for which the data was gathered. To do this, we will ensure that:

  • the link between purposes, context and nature of Personal Data is suitable for further Processing;
  • the further Processing would not harm your interests and
  • there would be appropriate safeguard for Processing.

We will inform you of any further Processing and purposes.

Who else can access your Personal Data

We do not share your Personal Data with strangers. Personal Data about you is in some cases provided to our trusted partners in order to either make providing the service to you possible or to enhance your customer experience. We share your data with:

Our processing partners:

  • facebook.com
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Our business partners:

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Connected third parties:

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  • pinterest.com

We only work with Processing partners who are able to ensure adequate level of protection to your Personal Data. We disclose your Personal Data to third parties or public officials when we are legally obliged to do so. We might disclose your Personal Data to third parties if you have consented to it or if there are other legal grounds for it.

How we secure your data

We do our best to keep your Personal Data safe. We use safe protocols for communication and transferring data (such as HTTPS). We use anonymising and pseudonymising where suitable. We monitor our systems for possible vulnerabilities and attacks.

Even though we try our best we can not guarantee the security of information. However, we promise to notify suitable authorities of data breaches. We will also notify you if there is a threat to your rights or interests. We will do everything we reasonably can to prevent security breaches and to assist authorities should any breaches occur.

If you have an account with us, note that you have to keep your username and password secret.

Children

We do not intend to collect or knowingly collect information from children. We do not target children with our services.

Cookies and other technologies we use

We use cookies and/or similar technologies to analyse customer behaviour, administer the website, track users’ movements, and to collect information about users. This is done in order to personalise and enhance your experience with us.

A cookie is a tiny text file stored on your computer. Cookies store information that is used to help make sites work. Only we can access the cookies created by our website. You can control your cookies at the browser level. Choosing to disable cookies may hinder your use of certain functions.

We use cookies for the following purposes:

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You can remove cookies stored in your computer via your browser settings. Alternatively, you can control some 3rd party cookies by using a privacy enhancement platform such as optout.aboutads.info or youronlinechoices.com. For more information about cookies, visit allaboutcookies.org.

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Read more about cookies on our Cookie Policy

Contact Information

email: [email protected]

Changes to this Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to make change to this Privacy Policy.

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Last Update: May 25, 2018

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