I love the discussion revolving sugar. More so because it grinds peoples gears and I just like to sit back, grab some snacks and watch ’em dance circles around it. Because, point blank, the way we eat sugar sucks.
If you’re really interested in the topic, take a peak at the latest article on sugar
— the summary: we’ve been basing our sugar (and fat) consumption knowledge off of faulty, paid-research. Cue face palm.
As time would have it, I’ve decided to work through another sugar-cleanse. Which means, removing most sugars from my diet. I don’t typically eat a ton of sugar, but the stress of the last three weeks has really been the perpetrator to lots of dark chocolate, wine and sweet snacks. I do these cleanses for a few weeks to reset my system. My body does a pretty good job of telling me to slow my damn roll on the dark chocolate squares.
Things that go down with my chronic sugar high:
- Break outs and other skin issues
- Sleeplessness and waking up in the middle of the night
- Excessive hunger and cravings
Yeah, it’s not pleasant. Granted, stress also plays a huge part into the above. So, the plan-of-attack is to not only eliminate most sugars, but to also CHILL myself. Here’s what my plan looks like:
- Snack bars (larabars, Rxbars, etc.)
- Dark chocolate
- Grains (oats, corn, rice)
- Low sugar fruits (green apples, green bananas, grapefruits)
- Meaty bars (my favorite)
- Water and kombucha (another favorite)
- Starchy carbs (squash, potatoes)
- Fats (eggs, quality oils, meats, nut butters)
FIND WHAT WORKS FOR YOU
That’s it. I will say, that keeping a more casual plan works for me. I don’t do well with signing on to a certain number of days, nor do I do well with counting, journaling or timing meals. I eat when I’m hungry and want it to be the least stressful part of my day, as it should be.
Ok, to the nerdy stuff…
I’ve talked on sugar before, actually quite a bit. But from experience, I know that people get confused and I want to be a sounding board to educate and inform people in the simplest way possible. So here I am again, spittin’ some sugar truths.
Why is sugar addictive?
First and foremost, because we over consume … and we don’t even know it! Eighty-percent of the foods we consume have added sugar. That’s scary. The scarier issues? That sugar has been hidden. To the layman’s eye, when “sugar” or “white sugar” is not seen on a product label, it is suspected to be sugar-free. Which is far from the truth. List of hidden sugar names.
The addictive cycle:
- You eat sugar. You like it and crave it because of it’s addictive properties
- Your blood sugar spikes – a release of dopamine and an increase of insulin
- Blood sugar drops rapidly – body craves that dopamine/blood sugar high and wants more. Because of the high insulin levels, excess fat is placed into storage.
- Low blood sugar cause increased hunger cravings and irritable mood. To combat, we consume more sugar.
… thus the cycle continues.
Sugar causes inflammation.
Inflammation is needed to heal injuries and fight infections. It’s our body’s defense system. When we consume refined sugar, our insulin levels increase, followed by a drastic drop in blood glucose, encouraging low-grade inflammation. So if we eat sugar often, the inflammatory response never gets a rest. Chronic inflammation is huge and can be the precursor to many of today’s conditions including: arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, depression, cancers and autoimmune diseases.
Solution: consume whole food, slow-releasing carbohydrates like vegetables, fruits, fiber and nuts which assist in mitigating inflammation and maintaining normal blood glucose levels.
Sugar to fat.
As we know now, sugar increases insulin resistance. Because of insulin’s importance as a key regulator to our human metabolism and energy, if our body becomes resistant to its signals, our metabolism and energy expenditure weakens. When insulin levels are chronically elevated, much of the energy in our bloodstream gets selectively deposited in the fat cells and stored.
Leptin is used to signal to our brain they we have enough energy and don’t need to eat anymore. However, sugar consumption raise triglyceride levels which block the transport of leptin from our blood to our brain. This blockage stops the “We’re good, we’re full, we have enough energy” from getting to the brain, which throws it’s normal regulation off making the brain think that it needs to keep eating. Hello, weight gain.
Wipes out adrenal production. With chronic consumption, comes chronic onslaught of our insulin, blood sugar and cortisol production; tiring out our adrenals and making it difficult for us to work out effectively, sleep well and de-stress.
Keeps us wanting more. Because the chemical components of sugar mimic those of other addictive chemical properties (think addictive drugs like cocaine) and produce the release of dopamine (the “feel goods”); once we’re without sugar, our body wants it even more to produce those same feel good feelings. So yes, sugar addiction is real you guys.
Interested in learning more?
Need some help?
If you think you’re addicted to sugar or want to try a plan devoted to handling your sugar intake, reach out to me. I’m more than happy to help!