What’s so BAD about Sugar, anyway?
Sugar is the general name for sweet tasting carbohydrates and is found in all types of foods.
Different types: fructose in fruit, lactose in milk, maltose in grains… all carbs & sugars break down to GLUCOSE which our cells use to make ENERGY.
This blog isn’t about No-Carb or worrying about the sugars in wholefoods like carrots
We are focusing on the QUALITY of the sugar we are eating - limiting REFINED SUGAR & HIDDEN SUGARS as reducing these is the first step to Kick Sugar!
Sugar is Hidden Everywhere!
Today, sugar dominates our food supply. It’s in biscuits, bread, cakes, soft drinks… AND ALSO tomato sauce, salad dressing, marinades, rice bubbles and even toothpaste.
Manufacturers are getting very creative with food labelling, below is a list of words used to disguise sugar in packaged goods.
High Fructose Corn Syrup is in a large percentage of packaged food.
Found in soft drinks and processed foods, corn syrup is a By-product of corn manufacturing. It is sweeter (and cheaper) than glucose and is more often than not genetically modified.
Corn syrup is processed by the liver and over time can lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease AND an increase in triglycerides & cholesterol.
Increases intestinal permeability – leading to inflammation, allergies, IBS, autoimmune…
The above listed sweeteners are one of the main drivers of obesity heart disease and syndrome X.
We Aren’t Designed to be this Sweet!
Our genes evolved in a low-sugar world, we ate complex carbs, fats, protein in a balance diet with little processed foods.
20 teaspoons of sugar a year, compared to 17 teaspoons a day in modern times!
Insulin was designed to store away any extra glucose (as fat) in times of plenty for when food was scarce's.
Now, we have 24/7 supermarkets with sugar-laden shelves
There is no winter, no famine, no long hikes to find food or calorie-burning mammoth hunts. More office jobs and less time to burn off the extra kg’s.
We are still the same as our ancestors – we are very well designed to store excess sugar as fat!
We have a more sedentary lifestyles
We are more chronically stressed
We don’t sleep enough and we eat too much sugar!
Sugar DEPLETES YOUR BODY of precious nutrients and clogs up the liver with FAT!
Because all the vitamins, minerals and fibre have been stripped from refined sugar, your body has to pull on its own reserves of vitamins and minerals to break down the sugar.
In clinic, I recommend quality supplements, often wholefood powders & specific vitamins & minerals to help restore these nutrients while you get off the sugar and we improve your diet.
Sugars Effect on your body!
The liver is an important organ for storage of vitamins and minerals, detoxification, digestion and hormonal regulation.
Did you know that sugar was one of the main causes of high cholesterol?
When the body is in a state of inflammation excess cholesterol is produced in order to protect itself. This then can lodge in your liver and blood vessels.
Symptoms your liver is congested with excess fat (NAFD).
Heart burn and reflux.
Pain up under the rib cage on the right side and or upper back.
Jaw pain (TMJ)
Bloating and gas especially after fatty foods.
Constipation or Diarrhoea (IBS)
Other effects of to much sugar on the body!
Weakened Immune System: sugar suppresses our white blood cells for up to five hours! It also leads to more chronic infections.
Cardiovascular Disease – sugar contributes to inflammation & damages blood vessel walls.
Hypoglycemia: Who gets “H-Angry” if they haven’t eaten?
Fatigue, lack of concentration, mood swings, shaking, sweating can be signs of blood sugar imbalance
Type II Diabetes: receptors no longer respond to the insulin produced in the pancreas and cells are less able to get energy from the food we eat.
Depression: sugar messes with serotonin levels
Addicted to sugar? You bet you are!
Sugar is more addictive than cocaine!
When we eat foods that contain a lot of sugar, a massive amount of dopamine is released in the brain’s reward centre
Dopamine is our pleasure neurotransmitter. It causes powerful feelings of pleasure and relaxation.
If we keep eating sugar, our brain down-regulates dopamine receptors, we need even more sugar to feel good like before.
Cravings can come from this deficiency of
Dopamine and we feel fatigue, lack of concentration, focus, motivation, anxiety and mood swings.
Kicking Sugar Means!
A STRONG IMMUNE SYSTEM
NO MORE DIETING
REDUCING CHRONIC DISEASE
7 Tips to Kicking Sugar!
Tip 1: DRINK WATER
Often, sweet cravings are a sign of dehydration. So drink a large glass of water, wait 5 minutes and then see if you still have the craving.
Also, too much caffeine mimics a blood sugar crash - you’re high for a bit but then you coming crashing down and crave….SUGAR, of course. Same with alcohol.
Tip 2: SATISFY WITH HEALTHY SUGARS Your tongue has sweet taste buds that demand to be satisfied, so try naturally sweet foods & spices like fruit, pumpkin, sweet potato, carrots, beetroot, berries, apples, cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, cloves, and cardamom (Avoid to much dried fruit).
Tip 3: SLEEP
If you’re constantly tired, your body is going to look for energy, usually in the form or sugar or caffeine. Go to bed an hour earlier than usual for a week, and see if your cravings disappear. Your will power will also be stronger for it.
Tip 4: PROTEIN & HEALTHY FATS
Eat Protein with every meal – think eggs & avo with veggies instead of cereal for breakfast!
Protein and fat slows the absorption of glucose so we don’t get that big spike up the rollercoaster. It makes us feel satisfied for longer.
Note: Eating too little protein can lead to massive sweet cravings. Eating too much protein (especially too much animal protein) can also lead to sweet cravings.
Portions are important? Palm size for meals, 3 fingers for snacks keeping veggies as the biggest part of your meal.
Tip 5: EAT FULL FAT When food manufacturers take the fat out of foods, what do they put in? Yep, sugar. I like to remember this saying,
“Read: Low Fat. Think: Chemical Ladden”
Tip 6: EXERCISE
Movement is ESSENTIAL. It releases stress, burns up glucose and lowers insulin. Plus it produces endorphins, boost serotonin – making us happier.
When you don’t get enough, the body starts to look for other ways to blow off steam, like binging on Sugar.
Tip 7: NEW RITUALS
If you’re a ‘dessert after your meal’ person, one of the things you might love about that is the ritual of it. What are other possibilities
for post-meal rituals?
Blended frozen fruit like banana or mango make lovely ice creams.
Other Things That May Cause Cravings
We also need to check for Underlying Reasons you Crave Sugar…
Insulin resistance & Diabetes
Hormonal imbalances – sex hormones & thyroid
Anxiety & Mental Health
Gut infections (SIBO, Parasites etc)
Time poor (meal planning help)
Help with alternative yummy snacks
Vitamin deficiencies (yes these can cause food cravings and mood imbalances)
This is some of what I look for in clinic to make sure we cover all the underlying drivers of a sugar addiction – and to prescribe the right remedies to help you.
Natural Support to Kick Sugar
Mineral Supplements like: Magnesium, Chromium and Zinc restore depleted nutrients and help balance blood sugar.
Wholefood Nutrition: can boost nutrient levels, correct deficiencies and reduce cravings for sugary foods (and research shows increase cravings for more vegetables!!)
Herbal Medicines like: Gymnema, Cinnamon, Cacao
All help improve sugar metabolism, lower insulin and
Gut Healing: When the gut is inflamed and dysbiosis (bad bugs) sets in we crave more sugar and lack will power, energy and drive. Lowering iron and causing more fatigue.
Food Planning: is an important part of the battle in kicking sugar.
A Naturopathic or Nutritional consultation includes a customized Meal Plan.
I offer FREE in clinic Health Checks if you are unsure of how i could help you.
If you are interested in a naturopathic or nutritional consultation please call me or go online and book in via the booking page of my website.
Phone: 0409 352 492