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How Your Blood Sugar Affects Your Brain with Max Lugavere

Max Lugavere is a filmmaker, health and science journalist who has dedicated his latest book to helping us identify ways we can improve our brain health and functionality through what we eat.

Max is the author of the New York Times bestseller Genius Foods and the recently released Genius Life: Heal Your Mind, Strengthen Your Body, and Become Extraordinary.

Max has become a sought-after speaker, having presented at South by Southwest, TEDx, the New York Academy of Sciences, the Biohacker Summit in Stockholm, Sweden, and many others. He lives between New York City and Los Angeles.

*Please note, this episode is educational only and is not intended to diagnose or treat medical conditions. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns*

"With a handful of tweaks and insight, living an optimal life becomes that much more achievable."


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  • You can’t necessarily feel when your blood sugar or blood pressure is high. Having healthy levels of both is crucial to your brain health.
  • At any given moment, you have about a teaspoon of sugar circulating through your system. When you ingest sugar, you are mainlining sugar into your system, and your body has to work to mitigate the damage and return your body to healthy sugar levels (this is called homeostasis).
  • Many people today are struggling with blood sugar issues, including Type 2 Diabetes (when your blood sugar level is constantly elevated) or pre-diabetes.
  • Try to eat a diet that doesn’t stimulate your blood sugar all that much.
  • The average American eats about 300g of carbohydrates every day, but even complex carbohydrates contain glucose molecules that get broken down almost instantaneously.
  • Your blood sugar will begin to increase if you consume too many calories today. Once you run out of places to store the excess energy you are consuming, your blood sugar begins to inch up and you become insulin resistant.
  • The hormone insulin (which helps to shuttle sugar out of your blood) can only store sugar in your muscle tissue and liver. At a certain point it becomes less effective, and can cause your blood sugar to remain elevated, which then causes inflammation.
  • The real issue with modern foods is that they are hyper-palatable, and scientifically proven to be addictive. The best way to overcome Type 2 diabetes is to avoid ultra-processed foods found in supermarket aisles.
  • If you already have issues with your blood sugar, clinical trials are beginning to show that low carb diets can reduce your dependence on insulin.
  • When your blood sugar is elevated for any extended time period, it can cause inflammation in the blood vessels of your brain and cause brain shrinkage.


  • Most of the salt we are consuming comes from ultra-processed foods, and these foods are causing our bodies to hold on to more salt.
  • A study found that the negative effects of sodium on blood pressure were negated when people ate more potassium. The foods highest in potassium are generally those that are best for you: fruits, vegetables, salmon.
  • One high sugar beverage can keep your blood pressure elevated for two hours afterward.
  • Most people are not engaging in any leisure-time physical activity—most people are sedentary and struggling with blood sugar issues.
  • There are inexpensive blood pressure measuring tools available for your home.
  • Studies suggest that for people with high blood pressure, exercise can be just as effective as blood pressure medication.
  • Exercise is one of the best things we can do for our brains.
  • Elevated blood pressure damages the vessels that feed your brain blood, oxygen, nutrients and all the building blocks that your brain requires.
  • Hypertension affects a huge number of people and is slowly becoming more prevalent in younger people.
  • Some studies suggest that light may play a role in maintaining healthy blood pressure—the light rays from the sun boost nitric oxide in your body, which boosts your blood flow.
  • Once you have a road map and you act on that road map, with a handful of tweaks and insight, living an optimal life becomes that much more achievable.
  • Max’s book | geniuslifebook.com


  • Take a screenshot of this episode, tag us on social media (@jimkwik & @maxlugavere) and share your greatest “aha!” moment from this episode with us!

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