If you love eating carb-heavy comfort foods, cocktails and sweets, you might want to look away from the screen.
Actually DO NOT, because you are the very person who should keep reading — if you want “in” on a little secret that might keep you from losing your mind one day.
Researchers from the Mayo Clinic have found that those who eat lots of carbs are four times more likely to develop mild cognitive impairment.[i] And if you eat a lot of sugar, your risk of cognitive impairment rises, too.
Eating Too Many Carbs is No Treat to Your Brain
The difference in cognitive impairment risk between those with the highest carbohydrate and sugar intakes and the lowest was striking — a nearly two-fold increase was noted among the heavy carb eaters, and a 1.5 greater risk among the highest sugar eaters.
When fat and protein levels were also taken into account, eating lots of carbs left participants with a 3.6 greater chance of mild cognitive impairment (including problems with memory, language, thinking and judgment) than those who ate the least. Protein and fat intake appeared to be protective of brain health.
The study’s lead author noted:[ii]
“A high carbohydrate intake could be bad for you because carbohydrates impact your glucose and insulin metabolism … Sugar fuels the brain — so moderate intake is good. However, high levels of sugar may actually prevent the brain from using the sugar — similar to what we see with type 2 diabetes.”
If you’re a confirmed carb- or sugar addict, unfortunately this study is not a fluke. Other research has also found these food groups take a toll on your brain, including one that linked high blood sugar levels to brain shrinkage in areas that control memory and emotional processing,[iii] and another that found systemic insulin-resistance diseases like obesity and type 2 diabetes (which are caused, largely, by poor diet) may lead to cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease (which some are now referring to as “type 3 diabetes”).[iv]
And your brain is not the only organ at risk.
When you regularly overload your body with sugar and refined carbs, your body is forced to release extra insulin to deal with your increased blood sugar, a process that, over time, can leave your body unable, or less able, to use the insulin properly (known as insulin resistance). Insulin resistance, in turn, is linked with numerous chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), cancer, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and more.
Does the Thought of Giving Up Sugar Make You Shudder?
Let’s be honest. You’re probably well aware that sugar and those starchy carbs we all love to eat (bread, pasta, crackers, potatoes, cereal) are not exactly health foods. But you eat them anyway, at least sometimes, because they’re just too hard to resist.
And it’s true … they are … which is why you should take advantage of what we like to call “our little secret” for fighting cravings. It’s not that we at the Healthy Back Institute don’t love a sweet treat as much as the next guy … it’s that we have a bit of extra help that fits right in your pocket or purse: ThinMist.
Because of its special blend of natural ingredients like L-Tyrosine, DHEA and chromium, ThinMist helps STOP your cravings immediately.
You don’t have to have an iron will … just take a few spritzes under your tongue before your next holiday buffet (or anytime you want to reach for carbs and sweets) and you’ll banish your cravings and calm your appetite fast. Given the research, we’re pretty sure your brain will thank you for this later …
Written By: Updated: November 6,2012
6 thoughts on “Eating Too Many Carbs & Sugar Leads to Brain Decline”
I DON’T UNDERSTAND THIS ABOUT SUGAR… MY MOTHER LOVED CANDY, SODA,ETC. AND SHE LIVED UNTIL SHE WAS 97 YEARS OLD, SHARP AS A TACK… EXPLAIN THIS, PLEASE… THANK
Elizabeth M. Wright
Elizabeth, I would guess that your mother must have eaten many healthful foods besides the sugars she loved. I’ve been studying a diet that some “sugar addicts” follow. They have strong sugar cravings and over do on the amount of sugars they eat.
My grandfather used to smoke 50 to 100 unfiltered cheap cigarettes per day
Ate cookies and all sorts of rubbish all day
He was conniving hideous old man all his life
He lived, I think 92 years
I however go bonkers when I consume one spoon of sugar
And I’m NOT a diabetic
I’m plane allergic to the stuff
I grew up on a farm, and my mother was an original health nut (in the 60’s). So I was made well aware of the do’s and don’ts when it comes to foods. We weren’t allowed any white sugar in the house. I remember my dad saving grain as seed for the coming year. My mother would send me out to the grain bin to scoop some wheat that would be ground and turned into hot cereal or bread on the spot. All that began to change during the 70’s as hybrids (and eventually genetically altered seeds) took over. Grain could no longer be saved (because it wouldn’t grow right when replanted), and specific farming practices were needed to get the yields with no concern about resulting nutritional value. Now grains are mostly starch and chemicals.
People used to eat more natural foods because they prepared it themselves, even if some of it contained sugar. Sugar used to be considered a treat – now its essential. Commercially-prepared food (which is already nutitionally deficient) is loaded with sugar and prepared with lots of salt to moderate sweetness (and intensify flavor) making people to want to eat more (and increase profits). It’s a whole new game thats become very difficult to balance. You have to grow and cook the food yourself to get back to what used to be considered normal.
Thank you for your comment and query. Sounds like good Genetics and good attitude about life, be happy you most likely have both….
In response to Elizabeth Wright’s query I would say I bet her mother didn’t consume 120 pounds of sugar a year, or drink sodas at anything like today’s rate. Nor would her diet have been 2/3 made up of wheat, soy and corn based products. She might also have eaten saturated fats like dripping ,lard and butter which are brain protective, and hardly any processed seed oils.
We humans are omnivores and can handle a wide range of dietary foodstuffs, but overconsumption of any food, even water, can be a bad thing. I doesn’t stop us from enjoying cakes and sweets made from foods her mother would recognise [an important qualification] but not at every meal or between every meal. Did she eat lots of snacks?
Your answer to her sharp memory [maybe you can be as lucky too if you follow well her example] will possibly be in her total diet and food management.