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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Can What You Eat Affect How You THINK?!

We are all aware that eating excess sugar can lead to tooth decay but did you know that it can also effect your ability to think? All commonly used sugars are made up of glucose & fructose. Whether it is cane sugar or high fructose corn syrup, in excess either will promote disease and dull your brain's ability for memory and learning. The American Heart Association has stated that "High intake of sugars, as opposed to naturally occurring sugars[in plant foods and juices], is implicated in the rise of obesity. It's also associated with increased risks for high blood pressure, high triglyceride levels, other risk factors for heart disease, stroke, and inflammation..." (AHA 8/2009). Fruits do contain fructose (4-10g) per serving but they also provide antioxidants, vita C, potassium and fiber. And these are all needed to combat the ill effects of fructose. The Main risk for exessive fructose consumption in our diet comes from sweetened drinks and foods rich in cane sugar or high fructose corn syrup, not real fruit or juice. Sugary drinks are the leading source of added sugars in the American diet. One 12 oz can of soda has about 130 calories which come from an entire ounce of corn syrup or cane sugar that the drink contains. Whether its your problem is your overall weight, health issues, tooth decay or memory problems...all the research seems to point in one directions: real, whole foods are vastly superior to comercially processed 'convience' foods for your body. So, if you're the food planner for your family try to focus on cutting back on packaged items you purchase for meals. This will cut back on calories, sucrose and high fructose corn syrup especially when you increase your intake of veggies, fish, whole grains, fruits and fiber. Not only will your teeth thank you, your whole body will!