Saturday, November 23, 2013

Sugar That Reprograms Your Brain

When it comes to losing weight, your own brain may be working against you. And big food manufacturers may be to blame.

Your brain's complex chemistry affects what you eat, when you eat, and how much you eat. Throw off the delicate balance, and you'll trigger overeating, food cravings, and a loss of willpower. They all team up to sabotage any effort you make to lose weight.

Unfortunately, a huge number of foods on your grocery store shelves are laden with a sweetener that attacks your brain chemistry. So nearly everyone in America is fighting a losing battle against weight gain.

The culprit is high fructose corn syrup – a manufactured sugar that food producers swear is as harmless as any other sugar. In fact, they have multi-million dollar "public service" campaigns in place to make you believe it.

But don't be fooled.

Brain Mapping Shows What Food Manufacturers Deny

Purveyors of high fructose corn syrup claim it's almost identical to common table sugar and doesn't affect the body any differently. When it comes to chemistry, "almost" is a loaded word. Water and hydrogen peroxide are almost identical, too. But you can't drink hydrogen peroxide by the glassful unless you have a death wish. And water isn't nearly as good for cleaning wounds.

When scientists decided to map brain responses in healthy, normal-weight people after drinking a glucose-sweetened drink versus a fructose-sweetened drink, they got visual evidence of the different effects the two sugars have on your system.

Glucose switches off the areas of the brain associated with appetite. In other words, glucose makes you feel full. Fructose doesn't trigger the same activity. When you take in a bunch of calories packed with high fructose corn syrup, your brain doesn't get the message that you're full.

So you keep eating.

Take Control Of Your Brain Chemistry and Stop the Weight Gain

Bringing your brain back into balance will help you put a stop to weight gain and can help make it easier to lose weight.

1. Cut high fructose corn syrup.

Obviously, the first step to reversing the bad effects of high fructose corn syrup on your brain chemistry is to begin cutting it out of your diet.

The first place to look is sweetened drinks. Most sodas in the U.S. are sweetened with high fructose corn syrup. Energy drinks. Juice drinks. Canned iced coffees. They're the worst offenders when it comes to high-fructose. They also pack in a lot of calories and zero nutrition.

My suggestion is that if you're a regular soda drinker – and statistics suggest nearly half of Americans have at least a soda a day – switch to natural fruit juice, home-brewed tea, or good, old-fashioned water. If you're worried about missing out on soda, make it a weekend treat or look for sodas sweetened with real sugar. Coke and Pepsi imported from Mexico use real sugar cane and so do Hansen's brand sodas.

2. Eat At Peak "Brain Hunger" Times

Another way to stop your brain from sabotaging your health has to do with hormones. Hormones play a big role in energy levels, appetite, and mood.

The hormone ghrelin specifically triggers your body's hunger signals. You can't shut off ghrelin production, but you can work with it instead of against it. People's ghrelin production peaks at 8am, 12pm, 3pm (a smaller peak) and 6pm. Try scheduling your meals and snacks for those times.

3. Eat Foods That Counter the Urge to Eat

When you eat, include foods that counter ghrelin. Foods that are either rich in protein or fiber and digest slowly work best. Try things like lean beef, plain yogurt, fish, oatmeal, or sweet potatoes.

Cutting out most of the high fructose corn syrup in your diet, eating at times that make sense, and focusing on foods that will keep you full for longer can help bring your brain chemistry back into balance. And that will make your weight loss goals much easier to achieve.

Source: Health Edge

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