Our bodies were never designed for the massive quantities of processed foods and sugar that we are exposed to almost everywhere we point our fork. Don’t have a sweet tooth and would rather eat pizza? You better prepare yourself for a sugar hit there, too. The crust, sauce and even THE MEAT all contain sugar. Wash that sugar down with some more sugar, I mean soda, and despite the caffeine, you may be thinking about when your next nap might be.
Sugar is hidden in almost every packaged food. It’s tricky to pinpoint sugar, when it shows up as so many different names.
Some common sneaky names for sugar include:
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Invert sugar
- Malt extract
- Rice extract
Turn over a box of whole grain crackers and I bet you’ll find a few of these on the list of ingredients.
Your body on sugar
There are 3 key players in controlling your blood sugar: The Pancreas, the Liver and the Adrenal Glands. When you consume sugar, whether it be the sweetener in your coffee or the bread in your sandwich, your blood sugar spikes and your body (particularly the Pancreas) begins to panic. The Pancreas rushes to produce insulin to store glucose and lower your blood sugar. The Pancreas is a bit of an overachiever and will likely produce too much insulin, causing your blood sugar to drop too low. Now the Pancreas pumps out the hormone Glucagon to tell the Liver to start producing or releasing glucose (sugar) to raise you back up. If this response isn’t enough, the Adrenal Glands respond to this emergency by releasing Cortisol to mobilize protein to be converted by the Liver to glucose, or trigger the release of fatty acids from adipose tissue (fat) to be broken down for energy.
This cycle can continue on a never-ending roller coaster, eventually tiring out your poor little organs. The Pancreas no longer produces the proper amount and quality of insulin, the Liver can’t adequately convert stored glucose (glycogen) proteins and fat to glucose, and the Adrenal Glands go into a state of exhaustion. It’s not very nice of us to do that to them now is it?
All this dysfunction can lead to some major health concerns like Hypoglycemia, Hyperglycemia, Insulin Resistance, Metabolic Syndrome, Type 2 Diabetes, and a host of other debilitating conditions.
Fat for energy
Imagine building a camp fire. We begin with some fast burning kindling to get the fire started, then we add a log to keep the fire going longer. After a long time has passed, we’ll add another log on the fire to fuel it even longer. Now if we only had kindling to keep the fire going, we would be constantly adding it to prevent the fire from going out. Not very efficient, is it? It is really no different than using sugar versus fat for energy.
Our bodies were designed to be fueled by both fat and glucose. Using fat for energy is a normal and preferred state for the body, but we’ve become a culture of sugar burners, which turns off our ability to use fat for energy. We’re relying on sugar as our fuel source, which leaves us reaching for more sugar to keep us going. Fat burners are able to burn stored and dietary fat for energy throughout the day. They don’t have dips in their energy, but stay consistent throughout the day. In addition to that benefit, fat burners are also able to burn glucose when the need arises. The opposite is not true with sugar burners. They are unable to tap into stored and dietary fat for energy.
Not sure if you have a blood sugar regulation problem? Answer these 5 questions:
- Do you get sick often?
- Do you have a hard time falling asleep or staying asleep?
- Do you get acne or rashes on your skin?
- Do you snack often?
- Do you get “hangry” if you haven’t eaten?
If you answered yes to any of these, it’s likely that your blood sugar is out of whack. Your body is telling you something and it’s time to listen up!
So now what?
If you’re ready to take control of your health, here are a few things you can do right now to make improvements to your blood sugar.
- Cut all processed foods from your diets. “If it’s popped, puffed, flaked, floured, shredded or instant it’s been refined.” – Radhia Gleis, CCN. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store, meaning, shop in the produce aisle and meat section, and avoid most everything else.
- Stop drinking fruit juice and soda. A glass of juice might as well be a can of soda. Both spike your blood sugar like nobody’s business and are completely devoid of nutrition.
- Ditch the low-fat and non-fat foods, and stick with their unadulterated full-fat versions. Low-fat and non-fat foods are typically packed with sugar to make up for the cardboard-like flavor you get when you cut out the fat.
- Eat lots of healthy fats! They’ll keep you fuller, longer. Avocados, nuts and seeds, extra virgin olive oil, butter, ghee (clarified butter) and tallow from grass-fed cows, and lard from pasture-raised pork, are all great sources of fuel. Fat from pastured animals will also pack a nutritional punch with their fat soluble vitamins!
- Eat the rainbow! Colorful vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals and fiber.
The 21-Day Sugar Detox
Does this sound a little overwhelming? I’m here to help you break ties with sugar and its hold over your life! As a Certified 21-Day Sugar Detox coach, I love helping others take back their health and feel their best! I know firsthand what it’s like to be controlled by sugar; eating every 1-2 hours just to feel human and working so hard to get rid of those extra pounds without getting anywhere. After completing my first 21-Day Sugar Detox, I felt more energized than ever before! I could go between meals without snacking, my skin cleared up, and foods that never tasted sweet before, were now like candy! If you’re interested in working together with me to improve your health, drop me a message and let’s get started! To learn more about reclaiming your health, visit The 21-Day Sugar Detox online!