It turns out that much-visited candy jar at the office might be loved because it helps keep tempers in check. That’s right; we’re told to take deep breaths to calm down, but what if sucking on a lollipop could help you keep your cool?
In a new study out of the University of Kentucky researchers compiled data from four studies that suggest controlling your blood sugar could help you remain more calm, especially if you’re prone to being hot tempered. Yet, they suggest that people whose brains are less efficient at taking up sugar from the bloodstream–namely those with diabetes or impaired glucose (sugar) metabolism–are more prone to aggressive behavior.
This makes sense when you consider that carbohydrates help your brain produce serotonin–the “happy hormone.” If your brain cannot take up glucose to produce serotonin, it may not be able to cope as well with stress.
Before you go eating an entire package of candy, the answer to your temper is certainly not going to be eating candy all day. Sure, a piece of candy may help when your blood sugar gets low, however, it’s not a long-term solution. Rather then reaching for candy throughout the day, the key is to keep your blood-sugar levels steady throughout the day with a balanced diet.
For better blood-sugar management:
- Eat small, frequent meals to replenish your energy supply before it gets completely depleted.
- Fill up on fiber. Eating lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes helps slows digestion, allowing glucose to be taken up slowly into your blood stream, instead of in one fell swoop.
- Limit sweets and choose to eat them with a meal to avoid a sugar spike.
Controlling your blood sugar may help keep you out of sticky situations, so to speak. But keeping a few heart-healthy dark chocolates on reserve may not be a bad idea for those afternoon lulls. Perhaps bank tellers and doctors were on to something when they began leaving lollipops on the counter.