FIRST: WHAT IS SUGAR??
The chemical name for what we all know and love as sugar is sucrose. Sucrose is the naturally occurring form of sugar produced in plants through photosynthesis. When Sucrose is broken down we find that it sucrose is made up of the most basic carbohydrates: glucose, fructose, and galactose. Hold on to your panties ladies and gents because what all that means in less words is sugar is a CARB. Yes, sugar is a carbohydrate.
WHAT DOES THE BODY DO WITH SUGAR?
When we eat sugar-filled foods, the body does not necessarily recognize organic sugars versus artificial sugars, it processes them all the same. The body turns consumed sugars into glucose. The glucose is then transported as energy to the cells through the bloodstream. Therefore, any glucose that is not used during this process is then converted into glycogen, also a carbohydrate, and stored as body fat.
WHAT FOODS CONTAIN SUGAR?
Sugar can be found in so many foods that the average American eats on a day-to-day basis. Because we eat a lot of processed foods the food companies disguise sugar by using other names. Below I have listed a few sugar-filled foods and disguises that a large percentage of people consume regularly:
- Salad Dressings
- Canned Pasta Sauces
- Energy drinks/Sports Drinks
- Frozen meals
- Ice cream
HOW DOES SUGAR AFFECT ME?
Let’s go through exactly how sugar affects some of the most important parts of our bodies.
1. Brain: When we eat sugar, a chemical is released in our brain that causes a surge of euphoria in the brain. This chemical is known as dopamine. Once our brains have recognized the link between indulging in sugar and the release of dopamine, the brain gives off a withdrawal sensation causing us to experience cravings. These effects then cause our brains to create a “fog” because they are so focused on receiving that dopamine blast again rather than using proper nutrients to assist in proper neurological functions. Interestingly, this could be an explanation for the Adderall addiction outbreak that is happening.
2. Skin: Sugar will cause your skin to age faster. Once sugar is consumed it is converted to glucose and attaches to proteins in the bloodstream. These compounds can damage and even breakdown collagen and elastin proteins that are necessary in maintaining youthful skin. Not only does consuming sugar cause your skin to age faster but it also can be a source of inflammation and cause major acne breakouts. The best way to prevent major flare-ups and maintain glowing, youthful food is by watching your sugar intake.
3. Gut: Our guts contain some of the most hardworking microbes in our body and we are making their job SO much harder by eating processed, sugar-filled foods. The healthy bacteria in our gut are known as probiotics and are responsible for everything from regulating our immune system and absorbing nutrients to managing emotions. In order for the probiotics to do their job they have to absorb prebiotics, these feed on plant-based fibers, in order to operate properly. When we eat processed, sugar-filled foods we are feeding the bad bacteria and diminishing the good bacteria, probiotics. Once these bad bacteria start to grow they feed on anything and everything and grow out of control causing “leaky gut.” This in turn causes stomach pain, bloating, irritable bowel, constipation, you name it. If you want your gut to function properly stay away from the sugar.
4. Cancer: What many people are unaware of is that cancer cells feed on sugar. Therefore, continual consumption of sugar can awaken dormant cancer cells within our bodies. Not only can the consumption of sugar awaken dormant cancer cells but it feeds the reproduction and spread of cancerous cells throughout the body. The more sugar we consume the greater chance our bodies have to develop cancer.
DEALING WITH CRAVINGS
First off, I recommend taking L – Glutamine, 3 to start, 30 minutes before each meal until sugar craving is gone. This restores the villi and heal the intestinal wall lining which in turn cures your sugar craving.
Next up is Crave Arrest by designs for health. This supplement helps balance neurotransmitters including serotonin and dopamine, which affect many types of cravings including food and smoking. It also contains Taurine and the adaptogen herb Rhodiola, which promote a healthy stress response. So for all of you stress eaters this is the supplement for you. WARNING: please do not take if you are currently on antidepressants as this supplement contains 5-HTP which does not work synergistically with this
Thirdly, Appe-curbTM by Xymogen can be obtained through holistic doctors or homeopathic pharmacies. This supplement contains key amino acids to support the biosynthesis of neurotransmitters involved in appetite control, carbohydrate or fat cravings, and mood. Chromium is present to support healthy glucose metabolism and support food intake regulation.
Lastly, the magical power of Apple Cider Vinegar. If you find yourself craving a sweet treat after you eat, an Apple Cider Vinegar Tonic might do the trick. All it takes is hot water, 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar, half a lemon and stevia herb powder. This tonic has helped several of my clients with curbing their sugar addictions and could help you too.
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