To Pass Your Firefighter Promotional Exam Skip the Sugar This Holiday Season

The holidays are officially here, which means the sweet treats are hard to avoid. If you are working on your firefighter promotional exam prep over the upcoming holiday season skip the sugary treats to keep your brain in optimal health so you can pass your firefighter promotional exam.

Negative Impact of Sugar

  1. Harmful to Brain Health

Sugar, in the form of glucose, is what the body uses to create energy and keep your body going all day and night. The brain may be a small part of the human body but it uses a lot of energy because it has so many nerve cells. The brain uses, “one-half of all of the sugar energy in the body.” Although the brain needs this sugar to function properly, having too much is not a good thing. Having too much sugar in your diet will, “reduce the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF).” BDNF helps your brain form synapses in the brain, which are the connections between nerve cells. Without these synapses forming, “key protein, growth, development, and communication between these nerve cells becomes impaired.” This means the nerve cells are no longer able to communicate properly resulting in a cognitive decline.  

In some cases, too little sugar can also have negative effects on the brain. A sugar deficit impacts the communication between neurotransmitters, affecting your cognitive function in a negative way. It can also lead to other health issues such as hypoglycemia.  

  1. Addictive

Most people don’t think of sugar when they think of addiction, but they unfortunately go hand in hand. This is because when you consume sugar your brain gets a huge release of dopamine. Dopamine is a “feel-good” neurotransmitter that rewards your body with its release when you are doing something pleasurable. So when you consume sugar you are rewarded with an instant happy feeling through that dopamine release. Your body will then seek out that dopamine release in the form of more sugar, leading to it becoming an addiction. The best way to make the most of your sugar consumption is to avoid processed foods, sweet drinks, artificial sweetener, and alcohol. Instead focus on consuming fruits and vegetables for meeting your body's sugar needs. These healthier forms of sugar will also give your body the dopamine release it desires without the crash associated with processed sugars. 

  1. Detrimental to Heart Health

Too much sugar in your diet is not just bad for your brain health, it can impact your entire body. A diet high in sugar is linked to a higher risk of dying from heart disease. This is due to the high levels of insulin in the bloodstream. High insulin levels cause inflammation in the arteries throughout the body. This puts stress on the heart, causing damage that can ultimately result in heart disease. In addition, added sugar can increase blood pressure, thereby increasing the risk of heart disease. A diet high in sugar can lead to weight gain, which has many negative impacts on the body in itself as well as the heart. Added weight can cause a fatty material to build up on the walls of your arteries. This can result in a blockage resulting in a heart attack. 

The Takeaway

Sugar is delicious, and will be very tempting over the upcoming holiday season. If you want to ace your firefighter promotional exam and keep your mind and body in tip top shape, skip the sugary desserts and focus on staying healthy. Be the person who brings the veggie tray to the party, your body will thank you.