If you always reach for a bag of cookies when the stress hits hard then you may be falling prey to the lethal powers of too much sugar. Endless research tells us that we’re busier than ever before, with chronic stress reportedly on the rise. And while there is a stress-beater out there, we have to ask ourselves, is it worth it?
Dressed up as a delicious do-gooder, sugar can activate a glucocorticoid-metabolic-brain-negative feedback pathway, which has the potential to turn off the body’s stress response, while simultaneously reinforcing regular sugar intake.
Numerous studies supporting this theory have been previously performed on rodents, but California-based researchers recently graduated to human participants, and published their findings in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism earlier this year.
A group of 19 women were divided into eight experimental groups where their BMIs were evaluated. Through salivary tests and the evaluation of brain responses, scientists determined that sucrose significantly reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol, unlike its counterpart, aspartame.
So should you indulge? Too much sugar is, obviously, bad for your body, and your waistline. If you find that you can’t limit your intake, and wind up using sugar as a crutch for the more stressful areas of your life it’s probably best to cut it out altogether so that you aren’t faced with constant temptation. Not sure how to cut the sweet stuff? Try some of these easy switches from fitness and nutrition expert JJ Virgin.