A study into the way that the human brain is affected by sugar has found evidence that sugar could be a better stress relief than aspartame, which could be why we tend to prefer the real thing over the artificial sweetener.
Levels of the stress hormone cortisol was found to have been reduced in women taking part in the study over a two week period, when they were given sugar to drink, when compared to women who were given an aspartame drink to drink instead. In order to test stress levels, the two groups were given maths tests to trigger a stress reaction, and in those who drank sugar (or sucrose) it was otherwise found that
The participants were then given an MRI scan, and their brains were studied. It was found that sugar had a disrupting effect on the stress reactions in the brain.
Unfortunately, this can cause the body to crave more sugar, especially as it comes with a ‘crash’ after the effects wear off, and the body is naturally inclined to crave replacement sugar.
With more and more people falling victim to high stress lives, there are also more and more people suffering from a high sugar lifestyle, which, coupled with a sedentary life, can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes.
Stress management techniques are alternative methods to deal with stress. This research implies that eating more sugar can reduce stress levels, but relying on this kind of stress reduction can have addictive results, and damage health.
Coping with stress in a calm, mindful manner can circumvent these risky methods of dealing with things. Mindfulness is one of these methods, and can naturally help to keep stress levels down and help us to lead a healthier health.