In our previous post, we talked about the importance of glucose in fuelling the brain. Here, I want to explain some of the science behind the brain’s need for constant blood sugar levels.
Studies have demonstrated that our desire for high-calorie food shoots up when the brain isn’t getting enough sugar. Brain imaging scans show that when glucose levels drop, an area of the brain responsible for regulating emotions and impulses loses its ability to curb your desire for high-calorie food.
When glucose levels drop, the hypothalamus in the brain senses the change. Alarm bells start ringing and other regions of the brain that are associated with reward-seeking behaviour are activated, inducing a desire to chomp down some sugar. While this happens, the prefrontal cortex (the part of the brain that guides and inhibits our primal thoughts, actions and feelings) loses its ability to put the brakes on the increasingly urgent calls to eat from those other regions of the brain – so you are more likely to make unhealthy meal choices.
The key to prevent junk food bingeing, and eating unnecessary calories you regret later, is to eat healthy foods that help maintain blood glucose levels in the brain. Try low GI foods (GI of 0 to 55) that break down slowly during digestion and gradually release glucose into the bloodstream to keep blood sugar levels (and your appetite!) steady. Goodness Superfoods’ cereals and porridges are all low GI, so they are a great breakfast option to keep sugar cravings at bay till lunchtime.
Eager to get more low GI food in your diet? Read our other article about making the switch to low GI.