A recent study indicates that sugar may be better for alleviating stress compared to other methods. Researchers believe that it is the reason many people turn to junk food and chocolate when they are struggling with tension in their lives. Sugar was compared to aspartame, the artificial sweetener, to determine the best option for people.
University of California researchers looked into how drinking or eating sugar can help with the stress levels in individuals, compared to the use of artificial sweeteners. The study was shared in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, showing how cortisol levels dropped when woman had sucrose for two weeks. The sucrose is also referred to as table sugar, and has led to many researchers wondering whether the brain really can tell the difference between sugar and sweeteners. Women saw lower stress levels when completely math challenges after opting for real sugar compared to the women who had aspartame.
The researchers wanted to see how the ingredients affected the brain, so used MRI scans to determine this. Those who had sugar saw the hippocampus has disrupted stress activity. The hippocampus is the part of the brain shaped like a seahorse, and regulates sleep, mood, hunger, thirst, hormones and sex drive, among other daily needs.
However, it is not all good news. Sugar is processed very quickly by the body. That leads to a quick crash, and means that individuals look for other ways to fill the voice. It creates an unhealthy cycle while trying to battle tension.
Understanding how sugar and aspartame alleviate stress is an important study to help reduce the number of patients struggling with chronic stress disorder. This is quickly becoming an issue in America, and is considered the reason why more people are consuming sugary drinks and food on a daily basis. The American Institute of Stress reports that 77 percent of people experience symptoms caused by the tension in their lives, and poor nutrition is one of the top causes. It really does lead to a vicious cycle.
Experts do not recommend using sugar was a way to reduce levels. It is not a long-term fix, according to Action on Sugar director Katherine Jenner. She suggest a healthy diet is much better for the mental and physical health.
This is not the first time that sugar and stress alleviation have been linked. A decade ago, the University of Cincinnati performed a study on rats to see how the hormone levels were affected in different situations. Saccharine, another artificial sweetener, showed that there was some relief but not as much as sugar.
There are many better ways to deal with stress levels on a daily basis, avoiding sugar each time. Some of the top recommended methods including taking a bath, stepping into the sauna and following a healthy diet. Meditation is also a highly recommended method to lower the hormone levels, while exercise is considered a great option for the physical and mental health. While a study says that sugar may alleviate stress, it is not a healthy method and can cause a difficult cycle.
By Alexandria Ingham