How can sugar be such a bad thing when it tastes so wonderful? Well, you might want to consider the consequences of indulging in sweet treats on a regular basis. Consume a diet high in processed sugar and you can almost count on experiencing a pronounced cognitive decline with advancing years. Numerous studies have revealed a decline in cognitive function after consuming processed carbohydrates. A 2011 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition examined habitual sugar intake in over 700 nondiabetic middle-aged subjects of Puerto Rican descent. The results showed that consumption of sugary beverages resulted in lower MMSE scores, while a higher total sugar consumption resulted in lower word list learning scores. Numerous other studies have shown a strong correlation between insulin resistance and lowered cognitive function.
As it is, cognitive function begins to decrease by our late 20’s with memory problems surfacing about ten years after that. Some individuals are already doomed to develop insulin resistance with increasing age, and this is magnified dramatically when processed carbohydrates are consumed on a regular basis. Processed carbohydrates such as refined sugar are absorbed more rapidly, causing a surge in insulin release. When this occurs frequently, the result is an increase in insulin resistance. Another consequence of increased blood sugar is decreased blood flow, which also inhibits cognitive function.
By no means am I saying that you have to COMPLETELY eliminate all sugar from your diet all the time (though it isn’t a bad idea). If you allow yourself the RARE indulgence, such as birthday cake, that is fine. The more insidious culprits are the sugary sodas, flavored yogurts and packaged crackers which tend to creep into regular diets. They may be tasty to many people, but they carry a heavy consequence. Knowing all of this, why would you risk “dumbing down” and increasing your dementia risk by eating sugary foods all the time? Now, that is just stupid.
Eliminating sugar from your diet is a great step towards improved health and mental clarity, but you should also make sure to get vital nutrients in on a daily basis. I recommend taking a multivitamin several times a day to optimize absorption, but most of the large brand multivitamin formulations out there are dosed once daily. In addition, the bigger brands do not have high bioavailability. What I love about SWAT Fuel’s .40 Caliber Multivitamin is that the nutrients in the formulation are highly bioavailable, and the supplement is taken three times daily. This is my personal choice of multivitamin, and yes, I do take it three times daily. This formulation is very clean and doesn’t cause the intestinal upset that some multivitamins can cause.
You can order .40 Caliber directly from the website: http://swatfuel.com/products.aspx
Br J Nutr 2011 Nov; 106(9):1423-32.