Sugar & the Teenage Brain
Refined sugar causes cognitive deficits
& memory loss.
+ Tips to help your teenager (and you) eat less sugar
Adolescents are the greatest consumers of high-energy, sugary junk foods and sweetened drinks. This is a concern as studies have shown that a high sugar diet can have many negative effects especially on the brains of teenagers.
“Recent research in rodents has shown the adolescent brain is at an increased risk of developing diet-induced cognitive dysfunction. Adolescent, but not adult, mice develop memory problems after consuming high-fat diets. The brains of the adolescent sugar-diet rats also showed increased levels of inflammation in the hippocampus, disrupting learning and memory function. Inflammation in the brain can contribute to cognitive decline and dementia.”
Here are 5 tips to track and limit your daily added sugar consumption:
1. Avoid products with cane sugar or high fructose corn syrup on the ingredients list.
2. Note the serving size of the product and how many grams of sugar are in each serving.
3. Eat more whole foods like fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meats, nuts, and legumes. Think less processed and no added ingredients, “Don’t mess with mother nature”.
4. Switch out sodas, juice, and sports drinks for flavored tea (unsweetened) and water infused with fresh fruit.
5. Get more sleep. Lack of sleep can cause an increase in appetite, cravings for sugar, and reduced impulse control.