You probably already know that sugar is bad for you. It causes diabetes, feeds cancer, and depletes your energy. But sugar could be much worse for you. It could rob you of your memory.
In a recent study, researchers put mice on a balanced diet and gave them the equivalent of five sodas a day in sugar water. They had poorer memory than those on a good diet alone.
However, the researchers saw the most dramatic evidence in their brains. The mice that ate sugar had more than twice as many amyloid plaque deposits - a sign of Alzheimer?s disease - as the mice that were on a healthy diet without sugar.
But the problem with sugar is much worse for you than it was for these mice. Here?s why:
Mice have a higher metabolism than people. So it may take much less sugar to rob you of your memory.
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In fact, it may take only three sugary drinks a day to increase plaque in the brain. Or two. Why risk it? Keep all of the sugars in your diet low, especially cane sugar, cane sugar juice, and high fructose corn syrup.
Unfortunately, too many people drink two, three, or more soft drinks every day. If you?re one of them, and you?ve noticed your memory slipping, this could be why.
Even if you don?t drink soft drinks, other beverages can have the same effect. I?m talking about energy drinks like Ensure, Boost, and Carnation Instant Breakfast. Seniors with little appetite use them to make sure they get enough calories and protein.
But these drinks are packed with sugar. In fact, there?s pretty much the same amount of sugar in energy drinks as in sodas - from 39 to 45 grams of carbohydrates.
Instead of reaching for sugar-laced drinks, a better choice is to make a smoothie with a little fruit juice, coconut milk, and protein powder. And keep all of the sugars in your diet to a minimum as well.
Or try a cup of tea. If you want to sweeten your tea, choose a sweetener that doesn?t affect your blood sugar, like agave syrup. You?ll see more foods and drinks containing agave in the future. It?s natural, safe, and has no aftertaste. Presently, you can find it in some energy bars, frozen desserts (like Coconut Bliss), and Wholemato ketchup. You can find it in your local health food store.
Your voice of reason in Women's Health,
Dr. Janet Zand