Sugar and anxiety: How the sweet stuff is responsible for those panic attacks

Let go off that muffin for the sake of your sanity.

Dipannita Saha Dipannita Saha Apr 11, 2017
Sugar doesn't just help you gain weight, but it also affects your mental health. Photo Courtesy: Twitter/MyMentalHealth

If you thought food and feelings are correlated, you are right. You can eat your feelings--fill that void inside you by just biting into your favourite snack. And who can forget how chocolates mend everything, sometimes even a broken heart? But the effects go way beyond how food can make you feel happy even when you are having the most terrible day.

As comforting as food can seem sometime, certain food items can actually be detrimental to you. Sugar is one of those dangerous items. No, we aren't talking about how sugar-laden guilty pleasures can make you gain weight; but about how it can actually affect your mental health.

Yes, you heard it right. Those cheesecakes, muffins, and gulab jamuns that you absolutely love can worsen your condition if you have anxiety. No, this is not a joke!

Here are three reasons why having a sweet tooth can actually be the worst thing for you if you are an anxious person. 

Sugar Makes It Hard For Your Brain To Deal With Stress
Your brain has its own way of dealing with stress. Studies have proved time and again that short periods of moderate stress can actually be a good thing for the brain. Your brain goes into a "flight or fight" mode to tackle the situation.

However, when you bite into something sweet, it alters the pathways in the brain that affect how it responds to stress. Sugar permanently switches on the "flight or fight" mode of your brain, thus making you feel on edge. Feeling edgy is the last thing you want to feel if you are anxious.

Also read: I am a terribly anxious person, but saying 'All is Well' to myself makes me feel better about life

It Can Make Your Vision Blurry
The most common signs of an anxiety attack include blurry vision, difficulty in thinking, and fatigue. Being high on sugar aggravates these symptoms, leading to more stress and worry that increases the anxiety. Think of it like a domino effect but only for your brain.

Sugar High Can Also Induce Shaking--Making Matters Worse For Your Anxiety
When you are on a sugar-induced high, chances are that you'll be jittery and shaky. A sugar high and subsequent crash can cause shaking and tension, which can make anxiety worse.

When you are anxious, all your mind can do is get more stressed and tensed, sugar is the last thing you need. Earlier studies have shown the direct link between sugar intake and anxiety. In fact a study conducted in 2009 on rats showed that the rodents that were fed sucrose compared to high-antioxidant honey showed more chances of suffering from anxiety.

So, if you have been planning to visit a bakery on your cheat day, you should probably rethink that plan!

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