If ever there was a time for comfort food, this would be it. But if anxiety is causing you to reach for that pint of ice cream, you might want to reconsider.
You’re probably all too familiar with sugar’s harmful effects on physical health and how reducing sugar can help lose weight and lower the risk of disease.
While reducing sugar intake can result in a physically healthier you, sugar’s impact on our mental health is also important.
Consuming large amounts of processed sugar can trigger feelings of worry, irritability, and sadness. After eating too much sugar, your body releases insulin to help absorb the excess glucose in the bloodstream and stabilize blood sugar levels. That’s a good thing, right? Not necessarily.
Here’s why: A sugar rush makes your body work hard to get back to normal levels. This roller coaster of ups and downs can leave you feeling nervous, foggy, irritable, jittery, and drained.
As if that weren’t enough, sugar can also weaken your body’s ability to respond to stress, which can trigger anxiety and prevent you from dealing with the cause of the stress.
It’s hard to avoid reaching for the sweets, especially in a difficult time. But this vicious cycle of consuming sugar to numb your emotions will only make your symptoms of sadness, fatigue, and hopelessness worse.
Overconsumption of sugar triggers imbalances in certain brain chemicals. A 2017 study found that men who consumed a high amount of sugar (67 grams or more) each day were 23 percent more likely to receive a diagnosis of clinical depression within five years.
But this doesn’t mean you need to cut sugar entirely from your diet. Just make sure you’re not overdoing it. Keep track of your daily calorie count and sugar intake. Cutting back on sugary soft drinks is a good first step. Finding alternatives – like snacking on fruits and vegetables instead of candy or ice cream – is another.
Comfort food has its place, but nothing is more comforting than good health. Another great source of comfort is taking advantage of the insurance coverage available to you through your association and AMBA. Schedule a free Benefits Review with a knowledgeable representative at AMBA at http://www.amba-review.com/newsletter.