Thursday, August 30, 2012

Many health and wellness studies focus on food's negative impact upon your cardiovascular system and metabolism, but what about food's effect on the cognitive abilities of your brain?

A recent study conducted by researchers at UCLA reflects that eating too much sugar can impair memory function and cause permanent brain damage. Lab rats were given a high fructose solution in place of water, a diet designed to mimic excessive soda consumption in human adults. Those rats were unable to navigate a maze they had previously mastered, forgetting escape routes and taking much longer to complete the course.  Rats who were given water and a nutritious diet were able to remember their routes and escape the maze much faster.

Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is the link between brain damage and the overconsumption of sugar. It is a very real disease that has gone overlooked due to a focus on dietary effects on cardiovascular health, diabetes and obesity, all of which are associated with MetS.

The average American consumes 40 pounds of high-fructose corn syrup every year, a liquid that is added to both foods and rinks, and is six-times sweeter than sugar. This statistic makes our country a high-risk region for MetS, and stands to affect the way our country performs both academically and physically.

The good news is there's still time to change your dietary habits. The symptoms of MetS are often associated with long-term consumption and have been shown to recede when intake is reduced. The higher the intake, the more likely the subject is to be symptomatic. The lower the intake the less likely subjects are to experience problems.

If we are what we eat then it's time for a food revolution in this country. Americans needs to make a conscious effort to reduce their sugar intake, decrease the amount of processed foods they eat and pay close attention to the ingredients in their foods.



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