Do you have a sweet tooth? If so, your sugar-loving ways may be increasing your risk of Alzheimer’s disease, according to recent research conducted at University of Alabama.

Researchers used a genetic mouse model that develops Alzheimer’s-like symptoms in adulthood. The mice were separated into two groups—one group had a regular, balanced diet and the other group was supplemented with 10% sugar water. After the 25 week period researchers compared the metabolism, brain composition and memory skills of the two groups.

Sugar Alzheimer’s Link: MORE Weight Gain, LESS Memory Power

The sugar-fed mice gained approximately 17% more weight than controls, developed insulin resistance and had higher cholesterol levels. These mice also had more difficulties with learning and memory retention and their brains contained over twice as many amyloid plaque deposits—a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.

Researchers note that the human equivalent of the mouse diet would be about 5 cans of soda per day. But since mice have a higher metabolism, it may actually take less sugar in humans to develop the same health-harming results. (Learn about type 3 diabetes and Alzheimer’s here)

Reduce Sugar to Boost Brain Health

Reduce the sugar in your diet – from all sources. That includes so-called “healthy” fruit, fruit juices, grains and high glycemic sweeteners like honey and maple syrup.

Cater to your sweet cravings with the latest, all-natural, no-calorie, sugar-free sweeteners. You can use erythritol cup for cup to create delicious baked goodies and stevia to sweeten up your coffee and tea. And be sure to check out our healthy dessert recipes for sweet treats that are low in sugar.