Many people understand that eating foods with high amounts of sugar, unhealthy fats and carbs can lead to weight gain and possibly an upset stomach.
However, food not only impacts the waistline – the mind can suffer the consequences of an unhealthy diet as well.
For instance, sugar can lead to the secretion of insulin in the body, which can then lead to hormonal imbalances if the insulin level is too high, according to Discovery.
Sugar intake can also lead to a surge of energy. But the body then crashes, sometimes leading to more hormonal imbalances, which can then cause mood swings.
JJ Virgin, a celebrity nutrition and fitness expert and author of the newly released Sugar Impact Diet, spoke about sugar’s impact on the body and mind during the Anxiety Summit.
The Anxiety Summit is an online event running through November 17, 2014. It includes more than 20 speakers who talk about food’s impact on anxiety.
Virgin said that many people start her weight loss program to lose weight without realizing how much depression, moodiness, stress and anxiety are also associated with sugar addiction.
“When you’re under stress ... your blood sugar goes crazy,” Virgin said in the summit interview.
She went on to explain that while your blood sugar level rises, serotonin levels also lower and the gut becomes more permeable, which leads to digestive issues (especially with dairy and gluten products).
Sleep can be negatively impacted as well, and if you’re not getting enough sleep that leads to hunger pangs, she went on to explain.
“When you look at what stress does, stress makes you crave more sugar, hungrier overall, and then tired, so you ... want things that are quick, energetic pick-me-ups and unstable blood sugar,” Virgin said.
Virgin believes sugar is the number one drug of choice at all ages. And sugar is more addictive than morphine, and as addictive as cocaine.
Sugar plays a role in every major disease, including diabetes, dementia, cancer, heart disease and obesity. This is most likely because sugar drives inflammation. Sugar also negatively impacts the gut microbiome.