We all know that sugar is extremely destructive to our bodies and our minds. But, sometimes you find yourself in the midst of a sugar coma, even despite this knowledge. If this sounds anything like you, you may be in luck. A new study by UCLA life scientists has found that eating a diet that is plentiful in the Omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA—found readily in wild salmon, flaxseeds, chia seeds and walnuts—can actually off-set the negative effects that sugar causes (and sadly there are many including diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, heart conditions and even attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).
"DHA changes not just one or two genes; it seems to push the entire gene pattern back to normal, which is remarkable," said Xia Yang, a senior author of the study and a UCLA assistant professor of integrative biology and physiology. "And we can see why it has such a powerful effect."
And, although the study has found that DHA seems to reverse the harmful effects of sugary foods and fructose, unfortunately our bodies do not make enough, so we need to get it from the foods we eat. "The brain and the body are deficient in the machinery to make DHA; it has to come through our diet," said Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, a UCLA professor of neurosurgery and of integrative biology and physiology, and co-senior author of the paper.
So, the next time you decide to go on a sugar binge, make sure you hit up the sushi bar for some spicy salmon rolls after. Your body and your mind will thank you.