sugar-free coaching

Sugar. How bad can it be?

Do you crave sugar?

A sugar craving is simply the body asking for energy. When sugar is digested, it becomes glucose. Glucose is fuel for all of the body’s cells. If you can’t resist that white bread, maybe you should think twice. Even though sugar is sugar and organic sugar is sugar too, there is a more dangerous type of sugar. The refined one. Refined sugar leads to weight gain because humans’ cells do not require large amounts of glucose at one time and the extra sugar is stored as fat. 


Eating sugar prevents healing. It mucks with the gut, it mucks with the hormones too. Sugar also creates inflammation. And inflammation causes diseases. Quitting sugar effectively means quitting processed foods. 80% to 90% of the processed foods contain added sugar. When you quit the processed foods you quit the junk food, which then leaves you with real food. Yes, it will take time to clean up your taste buds and start feeling the real delicious taste of a simple carrot, but it’s worth it. The approximate time for this to happen is after about 6 weeks of no sugar.


Blood sugar imbalances caused by high sugar intake inflame the digestive tract causing leaky gut – literally – a perforated gut lining. Sugar also ruins your gut flora and microbiome which the scientists now understand is the seat of all wellness


Sugar compromises the ability of our white cells to destroy toxins, which leads to inflammation. This effect begins within 30 minutes of eating the sugar and lasts for about five hours. Inflammation in the body compromises most immune function. Sugar is also the cause of hormone imbalances. I’m sure you have already heard about this – sugar causes our pancreas to secrete insulin to move excess sugar from the blood into our cells. This is a normal process. But if this process is abused, i.e. by eating sugar, the cells lose the ability to respond to insulin. The pancreas responds by pumping out even more insulin, leading to insulin resistance.


How do you recognize if there is sugar in the products you buy? Manufacturers are clever. Not every nutrition label with show you the word sugar on it.


Here are some different names of sugar you may find on a nutrition label:


Agave, Barley malt, Buttered syrup, Cane juice, Caramel, Carob syrup, Coconut sugar, Confectioners’ sugar, Corn sweetener, Corn syrup, Date sugar, Dehydrated cane juice, Dextrin, Dextrose, Evaporated cane juice, Fructose, Fruit juice, Glucose, High-fructose corn syrup, Honey, Malt syrup, Maltodextrin, Maltol, Maltose,  Mannose, Maple syrup, Molasses, Muscovado, Palm sugar, Panocha, Rice syrup, Saccharose, Sorghum syrup, Sucrose, Sugar, Sweet sorghum, Treacle, Turbinado sugar.


The main issue with sugar or fructose is that it mucks with your appetite mechanism. You basically lose the ability to know when you are full and it makes you eat far more than you need to. The main aim of quitting sugar is going back to your natural appetite so your body can tell you how much you actually need to eat. And this is the real key to weight management. 


The key is to choose foods with a low glycemic index, as they are slowly digested and absorbed, causing a slower and smaller rise in blood sugar levels. Which doesn’t mean to replace your sugary drink with a “diet” one! Read the label! You drink your diet cola/soda thinking there is no sugar in it, but it is even worse – these drinks contain sweet substances 200-300 times sweeter than sugar, which makes you feel good. But then your brain says – “Hey, I really need nutrients! Giving me sweet taste will not keep me alive and healthy. So go and eat again!” You then start looking for more food. This is how people get fat! Simply lacking nutrients. 


So yes, sugar is bad when it comes from processed unhealthy foods. Stick to fresh fruits and sweet vegetables, which will provide you with natural sugar. And not, it’s not quite the same because the sugar from fruits comes with essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber which slows down the digestion and does not spike your blood sugar.


For those who want more, please refer to this article and have a look at the glycemic index of 60+ foods.

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