This is Our Brains on… Candy?

many gumdrops of varied colors

Via Flickr’s Public Domain Pictures

It’s delicious. It’s not nutritious. It’s necessary, in small portions. It rots your teeth. Sugar, it has almost a split personality. And people love it in that crazy stalker, obsessive way. We know we shouldn’t but we almost always do. Why? Why can’t we say no to its sweet talk? Because glucose, which is a sugar your body produces from carbohydrates, is the only energy that your brain uses. So, our brains are hardwired to desire sugar’s sweet siren song. Not a bad thing, in a world where sugar is rarely found in nature, mostly in fruits which have a limited season. However, as we are all aware, sugar has become readily available, sometimes in the obvious, like candy and pop, and sometimes not so obvious, like high fructose corn syrup in breads. And our brains are addicts that have trouble say no. Unfortunately, our sugar cravings have created a whole host of health issues that are ravaging our bodies and our health care system. From diabetes to obesity, sugar is really the godfather of the unhealthy eating gang. And even worse, studies are now showing that having high-normal blood sugar levels could be rotting our brains, along with our teeth.

We’ve all heard the advice. Eat fruit instead of sweets. Cut down or cut out pop. Avoid excess amounts of high fructose corn syrup hidden in everyday foods. Sounds easy, but we know it’s not. Luckily, the library has tons of books on reducing sugar in our diets.

And since we all know that we aren’t going to avoid all sugary temptation, thankfully exercise has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels. The library has books and videos for expert couch potatoes on up to athletes.

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