Anxiety Loves Sugar – Sugar is Seriously Harmful to Your Mental Health

Sonali Kapoor

, Health A2Z



Excess of sugar consumption makes you ill, it harms your mental health as well as physical health and it creates issues like – Overweight and Diabetes. Sugar makes you weak and triggers anxiety, always try to eat less sugar to secure your health or reduce the risk of diabetes. To know more about the fact that anxiety loves sugar and how sugar is harmful to mental health, read the following blog.


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Why Anxiety Loves Sugar?



Sugar can weaken the body’s ability to respond to stress, which can trigger the anxiety and prevent you from dealing with the cause of the stress. While the findings did show a definite link between sugar intake and anxiety, researchers would like to see more studies done on humans.



Types of Mental Health Issues?



Most people know that eating an excess of dessert and processed food can contribute to physical health problems like – obesity and type 2 diabetes. However, has been given to the impact of a high-sugar diet on mental health, even though numerous studies have shown the deleterious effects a sweet tooth can have on mood, learning, and quality of life.



Additionally to inflating waistlines, sugar and other sweeteners, including high fructose corn syrup, honey, molasses, and maple syrup, may contribute to a number of mental health problems:



1. Depression


It’s hard to avoid sweets, especially after a long hectic day. And when you’re dealing with depression, sometimes food can serve as a form of self-medication. But this vicious cycle of consuming sugar to numb your emotions will only make your symptoms of sadness, fatigue, and hopelessness worse.



Excess of sugar triggers imbalances in certain brain chemicals. These imbalances can lead to depression and may even increase the long-term risk of developing a mental health disorder in some people. According to the study, found that men who consumed a high amount of sugar (67 grams or more) each day were 23% more likely to receive a diagnosis of clinical depression within five years.



2. Addiction


A developing body of evidence points to the addictive potential of sugar. Both drugs and to a lesser extent sugar and processed junk foods flood the brain with the feel-good chemical dopamine, which, over time, changes the function of the brain. The simple sight of a milkshake activated the same reward centers of the brain as cocaine among people with addictive eating habits.



3. Sugar zaps the Brain Power


The stomach may be telling you to dive in and drink your way out of that jumbo cherry Icee, but your brain has a different idea. According to the study found that a diet steadily high in fructose from sugary items such as soda slows down your brain, which can hamper memory and learning. The researchers discovered that genes in the brain could be damaged by fructose.



4. Learning and Memory


Sugar also compromise cognitive abilities like- learning and memory. According to the researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, six weeks of taking a fructose solution (similar to soda) caused the rats to forget their way out of a maze, whereas rats that ate a nutritious diet and those that consumed a high-fructose diet that also included omega-3 fatty acids found their way out faster.



The excessive sugar diet caused insulin resistance, which in turn damaged communications between brain cells that fuel learning and memory formation.



5. Withdrawing from sweets can feel like a Panic Attack


When it comes to quitting processed sugar, many people recommend going cold turkey. But if you have a history of panic attacks, that might not be a good idea. Withdrawing from sugar isn’t pleasant.



It can cause serious side effects, such as anxiety, irritability, confusion, and fatigue. This has led experts to look at how the withdrawal symptoms from sugar can resemble those of certain drugs.

4. Worst Foods for Anxiety


1. Alcohol


Anxiety Loves Sugar - Sugar is Seriously Harmful to Your Mental Health



Drinking beverages quell social anxiety and making it worse. Although it may seem like it calms the nerves, alcohol can have a negative impact on hydration and sleep, both of which can trigger anxiety symptoms when suppressed.



Alcohol changes levels of serotonin and the neurotransmitters in the brain, which makes anxiety worse. And when the alcohol wears off, you may feel even more anxious.



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2. Sneaky Added Sugar


Anxiety Loves Sugar - Sugar is Seriously Harmful to Your Mental Health



There’s no way to avoid sugar 100 percent of the time, as it naturally occurs in many of the foods we love to eat, like fruit. But added sugar is a contributor to overall anxiety. Added sugars cause your blood sugar to go on a roller coaster ride of spikes and crashes and with it, your energy also goes up and down,” says Palinski-Wade. “When blood sugar crashes, your mood sours and anxiety levels can spike.



The body releases insulin to help absorb the excess glucose and stabilize blood sugar levels, but a sugar rush makes the body work too hard to get back to normal, causing the highs and lows.



Consuming a large amount of processed sugar can trigger feelings of worry, irritability, and sadness. Foods which fall into the added sugar category that you should consider avoiding or minimizing don’t all look like desserts. Condiments like ketchup, certain salad dressings, pasta, and white bread can all contain high levels of added sugar.



3. Aged, Fermented, and Cultured Foods


Anxiety Loves Sugar - Sugar is Seriously Harmful to Your Mental Health



A meat-and-cheese plate with a glass of red wine sounds relaxing, right? Yes, but according to science, it’s not. Whole foods like – milk, beef and grapes go, gourmet, when they’re cured, fermented, and cultured (see: steak, cheese, and wine).



But during the process, bacteria break down the food proteins into biogenic amines, one of which is histamine. Histamine is a neurotransmitter that aggravates digestion, hormones, and the cardiovascular and nervous systems. It can trigger anxiety and insomnia.



4. Caffeine

Anxiety Loves Sugar - Sugar is Seriously Harmful to Your Mental Health



First, they want to take away your booze and now coffee? Sadly, yes. According to the National Coffee Association, 62% of Americans drink coffee on a daily basis, and the average amount per day is slightly over 3 cups per coffee drinker. But our favorite morning ritual might actually be doing more harm than good.



High levels of caffeine can not only increase anxiety and nervousness but also decrease the production of the feel-good chemical serotonin in the body, causing a depressed mood. Typically, caffeine is safe in low doses. But high doses can cause unpleasant effects, namely anxiety, and nervousness.





As we have discussed in the above blog, Anxiety loves sugar and how sugar is seriously harmful to your mental health. The best way to control your anxiety is to less intake of sugar or sugary items. Excess consumption of sugar makes you mentally ill. If you ever start feeling any of the above health issues then consult a doctor immediately.


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