Sugar might just be good for you. Researchers from Brown University have linked healthy glucose levels with mindfulness, the trait of being aware of one’s thoughts and feelings. The research team asserts, however that this does not necessarily confirms that sugar levels cause mindfulness, this only shows the association.
The study, published in the American Journal of Health Behaviour, indicates that people with high level of mindfulness are more capable of motivating themselves to exercise, follow their doctor’s prescribed diet and resist sweets and fatty foods. Additionally, the same people were 20 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
The researchers studied 399 participants who have been included in the New England Family Study and took their age, sex, race into account. They also included the participants’ sense of control, perceived stress, body mass index (BMI), smoking practices, education level and depression level.
They were given psychological and physiological tests which included a glucose tests and the 15-item questionnaire that asked to scale their mindfulness from 1-7. The questionnaire is called Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS). The team discovered that individuals who scored 6 or 7 in the MAAS were 35 percent more likely to have below 100 milligrammes of sugar levels, healthier levels than the ones that scored below 4 in the test.
The researchers say that obesity caused a three-percentage point difference while sense of control caused an eight-percentage point difference of the total 35 percent risk difference.
Lead author Eric Loucks, assistant professor of epidemiology in the Brown University School of Public Health, admits that the study population may have been too small to have produced conclusive results. However, this study is the first one to analyse the link between mindfulness and diabetes as well as other cardiovascular diseases.
“This study demonstrated a significant association of dispositional mindfulness with glucose regulation, and provided novel evidence that obesity and sense of control may serve as potential mediators of this association. As mindfulness is likely a modifiable trait, this study provides preliminary evidence for a fairly novel and modifiable potential determinant of diabetes risk,” the study states.