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This Is Your Brain on Sugar

In All Health Watch, Cognitive Health, Diabetes

It’s long been known that having type 2 diabetes can affect your memory and thinking skills. 

But what about non-diabetics? Can rising blood sugar damage your mental sharpness if your level is not high enough to make you a diabetic? 

That’s the question a major study set out to answer. Researchers analyzed blood sugar levels and cognitive function in 5,189 people over a decade. 

The average age of the subjects at the start of the study was 66. The researchers first determined each participant’s initial cognitive skills.  

They gave the subjects tests for memory and word recall. The researchers also checked the subjects’ blood sugar levels using a test called the hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c). It is a standard screening for diabetes.i ii 

Ten years later, at the end of the study, the researchers again tested the subjects’ cognitive abilities and blood sugar levels. 

Researchers: Sugar Causes ‘Long-Term Cognitive Decline’ 

The scientists found that people with increasing HbA1c scores saw their brain function deteriorate over the years faster than those whose blood sugar levels remained stable. The higher the subjects’ blood sugar, the faster their cognitive decline. This was true whether or not subjects had diabetes.iii 

The researchers concluded that there were “significant associations between HbA1c levels and long-term cognitive decline.”iv 

Dr. Wuxiang Xie is an associate professor of epidemiology at the Peking University Health Science Center. He led the study. 

He suggests that high blood sugar causes deterioration of brain areas involved in memory and cognitive functioning. The study was published in the journal Diabetologia.v 

 5 Foods that Control Blood Sugar 

Sugar is far more dangerous than most people realize. Not only is it linked to memory loss and diabetes, but it’s also tied to a wide range of other serious conditions. They include heart disease, cancer, stroke, arthritis, and liver 

But there are foods that naturally control blood sugar levels. Eating them regularly will help keep your brain sharp and your body healthy. 

  1. High-fiber foods. They fill you up without raising blood sugar. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that diabetics who ate 50 grams of fiber a day were able to better control their blood sugar.viiGreat fiber sources include raspberries, blackberries, avocados, peas, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, pears, and flaxseed.viii
  2. Chia seeds. These tiny seeds pack powerful health benefits. They stabilize blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity. Add them to salads and smoothies.
  3. Ceylon cinnamon. A study in the journal Diabetes Care shows the spice increases your body’s ability to use insulin. This means your blood sugar levels don’t spike.One half teaspoon of organic Ceylon cinnamon, sometimes referred to as true cinnamon, has been shown to lower blood sugar by up to 20%. It also reduces triglycerides and LDL (bad) cholesterol. You can buy Ceylon cinnamon at health food stores and online.ix
  4. Apple cider vinegar. One study found that several drops mixed with water before a meal controls blood sugar and insulin spikes.
  5. Protein. Replacing pasta, rice, corn, potatoes, and other high-carb foods with protein fights hunger and keeps glucose levels low. 

One more thing… 

We’ve long recommended a type of low-carb eating called the Paleo Diet. It can help keep your blood sugar in check. Not only that, but it helps reduce inflammation, maintain muscle, lowers cancer risk, and improves sleep. 

Editor’s Note: If you have diabetes, you should know that some mainstream treatments can actually make it worse. To find out more, read our monthly journal Independent Healing. It’s your best source for evidence-based health advice. Go HERE to find out more. 


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