I advise eliminating all or sugar and sugar substitutes. In particular, avoid these because they raise your blood sugar: white table sugar, honey, agave, brown sugar, sucralose (Splenda), maple syrup, and molasses. Limit carbohydrates to only the slow carbohydrates that won't spike your insulin, such as sweet potatoes, yams, pumpkin, and quinoa. Stay away from hidden sugars in ketchup, salad dressings, sauces, and packaged cereals. If sugar is one of the first six ingredients, avoid it. Stay off the liquid sugar, including soda, diet soda, juice, lemonade, and alcohol. Foods high in sugar trigger the reward centers of your brain. While it triggers the release of dopamine, the brain chemical of pleasure, satisfaction, and reward, sugar also harms the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory consolidation and emotional regulation. While it's not perfect, the glycemic index rates carbohydrates based on how they affect blood sugar, and all sweeteners, except stevia, take blood sugar levels for a ride—they spike and then plummet. Coconut sugar and maple syrup, for example, both have a glycemic index of 54, while brown rice syrup is ranked at 25 and stevia at 0.