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How Sugar Impacts Brain Health

Dr. Julie Fratantoni discusses the effects of sugar on the brain with WFAA's Jane McGarry.

WFAA-TV

Jane McGarry

Overview

Especially during the winter season, how can we avoid a sugar crash? In this WFAA segment, Julie Fratantoni, PhD, shares insight into the impact of sugar on cognitive health, revealing how chronic elevation of blood sugar is associated with an increased, long-term risk of dementia as well as other significant short-term effects.Dr. Fratantoni highlights the potential for a negative impact on both mood and focus in daily life, factors that naturally shape well-being, productivity and social interactions. Recent research suggests that consumption of fructose or high fructose corn syrup, the most common sweeteners in candy, can even impair our inhibition, creating a viscous cycle of struggling to say "no" to another piece of candy.She offers these three tips to help you and your family avoid a sugar crash:

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#1 – "Avoid eating sugar on an empty stomach. So before you're going to have sugar, try to get some protein or veggies or healthy fats in your system, like nuts, eggs or avocado to avoid a big glucose spike."#2 – "Hydrate. Sugar is really dehydrating. Remember to bring a water bottle with you to help you remember to drink enough water."#3 – "Move your body for at least after 10 minutes after eating sugar. So, any kind of movement, it could be walking, just even being active playing with your kids counts and helps your body to use up that sugar." – Dr. Julie Fratantoni, PhD
However, as Dr. Fratantoni points out, moderation is key. If you eat a whole bag of candy on Halloween, she adds, "I don't know how much it can do. It can probably help a little bit." Watch the full segment at WFAA

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Julie Fratantoni, PhD, CCC-SLP

Head of Research Integration and Partnerships Center for BrainHealth


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