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Is Sugar Sapping Your Memory?

  • April 17, 2011
  • 6:07 pm

Report provides new sugar recommendations for adults.

WHAT IT MEANS: Like so many things, it’s about balance. A key to healthy cognitive function as you age is maintaining good blood sugar regulation, preserving your body’s ability to keep your blood sugar neither too high nor too low. The primary ways to do this are through exercise and diet. A healthy diet keeps you from overdosing on sugar, and regular aerobic exercise increases insulin sensitivity, enabling the cells of your body to efficiently utilize glucose for energy. This is a big part of why you feel more energetic when you exercise regularly, plus, it means your body doesn’t have to produce as much insulin to get the job done.

Here are some ways to keep your sugar levels balanced, overcome sugar addiction and cravings, and keep your cognition in good working order:

• Minimize your intake of sugar, and of the refined carbohydrates that your body quickly converts into sugar. When it comes to carbs, stick with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. The fiber in these foods helps your body maintain consistent blood sugar levels and reduces cravings for more carbs. Avoid highly processed carbs, found in many cakes, cookies, breads, cereals, and pasta products.

Four eating strategies that prevent cancer.

• Eat healthy carbs with protein, which further enables your body to maintain consistent blood sugar levels. Eating protein stimulates your liver to produce glucagon, which slows down the absorption of glucose and makes it available longer.

• Eat healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids. These also help to balance your blood sugar.

How to Increase Omega 3s in Your Diet

• Get regular aerobic exercise. This is the main way to increase insulin sensitivity and healthy glucose metabolism. Exercise also stimulates production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a substance that promotes the growth and connectivity of new brain cells.

• Be aware of your blood glucose level. If it’s creeping up as you age, talk with your doctor about strategies for keeping it lower. With healthy lifestyle modifications, you can prevent type 2 diabetes, and stave off its precursor, insulin resistance, while also keeping your brain sharp.

• Manage stress well. Prolonged, excessive stress can damage and impair functioning of the hippocampus. Slow, rhythmic breathing exercises and meditation can help to quiet the mind, relax the body, and reduce the effects of stress.

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Jeffrey Rossman, PhD, is director of life management at Canyon Ranch in Lenox, MA, and the author of The Mind-Body Mood Solution: The Breakthrough Drug-Free Program for Lasting Relief from Depression (Rodale Press, 2010).

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Read more: Alzheimer's, Conditions, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Fitness, General Health, Health, Mental Wellness, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Rodale is a new original source for daily news, information, and advice on personal and environmental health. focuses on “Where Health Meets Green” topics, providing daily news stories and breaking news along with easy-to-follow, high-impact tips and advice.


+ add your own
7:18AM PDT on Apr 26, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

10:37AM PDT on Jul 15, 2011

Wow, who knew?

9:35PM PDT on Jun 23, 2011


4:37AM PDT on Jun 5, 2011

thanks, good article

1:09AM PDT on Jun 5, 2011

Excellent article.

7:19AM PDT on May 26, 2011

I think that sugar in moderation is OK, but I personally tend to overdo it, especially with sodas. Thanks for the article. It reconfirmed what I already knew.

4:45PM PDT on May 23, 2011

No, Hashimoto is!

7:41AM PDT on May 7, 2011

I stopped putting sugar in my coffee.

1:30PM PDT on May 2, 2011

I forgot where I left my cake........sorry,good article

8:42AM PDT on Apr 28, 2011

thanks for the tip

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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