We all love a little bit of sugar now and then, and I daresay a large percentage of people would admit to having something of a sweet tooth….especially when your trip to the grocery store includes skirting right by the candy aisle or the ice cream freezers or the bakery filled with endless amounts of cookies and pies.
Perhaps you, like countless other people, are guilty of sneaking that extra slice of cake or that extra scoop of ice cream. Well, a new study done by Georgia State University neuroscientist Dr. Marise Parent, Ph.D has concluded that having a sweet tooth may be inflicting harm on your general memory.
“I started when my son was a baby and I was trying to figure out what to feed him and what not to feed him, and I started doing some reading. I remember reading one day that I should avoid high fructose corn syrup.” Given the fact that Dr. Parent specializes in behavioral neuroscience, she decided to study sugar’s interaction with the brain.
Testing on rats, she and her research team fed them high levels of fructose followed by a testing of their recall memory. What she discovered was that the rats struggled with memory soon after consuming the sugary substance.
“What we find is that animals can learn information, but what they can’t seem to do is hold it for long periods of time. So, you can teach them a fact, and they can hold onto it a while, but if you wait and come back, they don’t remember very well, as animals eating a controlled diet.”
Further studies conducted on humans have indicated that those who chronically consume high levels of sugar also suffer from short-term memory loss. “And that includes poor memory of what they recently ate, which is a problem because the memory of what you’ve eaten often influences how much you’re eating at the next meal.”
Though our brains do require a certain amount of sugar for proper function, large quantities of sugar can greatly affect our ability to regulate how much food we eat. What Dr. Parent recommends is shying away from the interior of the grocery store where more processed foods are and sticking closer to the outer edges where fresh foods with natural sources of sugar can be found.