It is universally acknowledged that sugar is one of worst foods a person can consume. Numerous studies show that sugar and refined carbohydrate consumption is directly linked to Heart Disease, Type II Diabetes, obesity & cancer. Sugar causes an imbalance throughout the entire body. It spikes blood sugar levels, which leads to insulin resistance and it feeds harmful pathogens and microbes such as Candida. However, its negative effects don't end there. Sugar has a direct effect on brain health. Sugar depletes the body of the B vitamins- which are essential to sustain a good mood.
Sugar has a dramatic effect on the mental state for a few reasons. As mentioned earlier, it spikes blood sugar levels too fast, which later causes a sudden crash. According to Dr. Mark Hymann, sugar causes brain swelling and inflammation. it stimulates the release of cytokines (which are inflammatory messages).
Depression might actually be another form of diabetes. In fact Researchers suggested that depression should be referred to as "Metabolic Syndrome Type II". Many psychiatrists now prescribe ant-diabetic medications such as Actos to their patients for depression and other psychiatric disorders.
In a study published in British Journal of Psychiatry, 3,500 middle-aged participants were given a diet of whole foods (plenty of vegetables, fruit, and fish) or a diet of processed foods (loaded with desserts, fried food, and refined grains). Five years later, the processed-foods group had a 58 percent increased risk for depression, while the whole-foods group had a 26 percent reduced risk of depression. This study shows how food greatly impacts our physical and mental health.
Sugar and food that is processed in the body like sugar (such as refined grains like white flour, white bread) are the first things that should be removed from the diet. Artificial sweeteners are even more toxic than sugar and have been linked to cancer and Alzheimers. Instead of sugar, opt for healthier sweeteners such as Raw Honey, Maple Syrup, Palm Sugar, Raw agave, and green leaf Stevia (not the white powder).
Leah Masel is the author of "The Kosher Gut Plan: Reboot Your Digestive System Naturally" and a health advocate.