Sugar’s Scary Secrets
“Sugar can act like poison in high doses – and the amount in our diets has gone beyond toxic.” –Robert Lustig, M.D, neuroendicrinologist at University of California. That may sounds strange but if you take a step back and think about it, sugar is in almost everything we eat. Our bodies are hardwired to crave the sugar that we feel we are lacking. These cravings and the ways and frequency in which we satisfy them are having a serious effect on our health and our bodies. Before we get into the dirty details, lets start by explaining what exactly refined sugar is.
What is refined sugar? Refined sugar is the sugar that was extracted from sugar cane and is typically found in the form of sucrose. This sucrose is often used in your typical “sweets” such as cakes and cookies as well as coffee, sodas, white breads, and pasta. It is also found in places that you wouldn’t expect including but not limited to, any “fat free” and “low fat” snacks, juices, yogurt, coffee drinks, sauces (ketchup, mayo, mustard, etc.), and many other packaged foods.
So why exactly do we eat it then? Sugar triggers a release of the neurotransmitter called dopamine, which is also known as the feel good transmitter. This release creates a quick fix and we have an excess amount of energy or alertness for a short period of time.
While it may sound difficult, there are numerous benefits of giving up refined sugar. We are forced to eat food that is fresher, healthier and more natural. This serves as better fuel for our bodies and helps us in many ways.
When you give up refined sugar, there are a couple of things that will happen internally.
- Improved mental state in which you are more focused and your mind is clearer
- The better food that you are putting into your body allows your body to function better.
- Mood improvement and increased energy
- A clearer head helps you to feel better and happier when taking on day-to-day challenges.
- Your body will be healthier internally
- Eliminating refined sugars helps to lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels as well as lower risk of heart disease, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and a slew of other health problems.
- You may go through a difficult transition period
- Giving up something that your body has been addicted to for so long will cause some changes such as migraines and even a sort of withdrawal from sugar. But don’t let that deter you because eventually you will have less sugar cravings and hunger pains.
There will also be a couple of more obvious effects on your external body.
- Improved sleep
- Since we are regulating our insulin levels by monitoring the sugar we consume, that leads to better sleep for us. And as we know, better sleep leads to more energy.
- Clearer skin
- Sugar breaks down collagen in our skin and can make our face appear more tired and flat. Sugar can also weaken our immune system and a weakened immune system cannot fight off acne-causing bacteria.
- Weight loss is common but not guaranteed
- Sugar contributes to high blood sugar and insulin levels, which affects the neurotransmitters in your brain that trigger fat storage. The proteins, fiber, fruits, and veggies that you are consuming more of help to increase your body’s metabolism, which in turn helps burn fat.
There are numerous benefits of cutting out refined sugar, but in the beginning, it may not be the easiest thing to do. Here are a couple of tips for success….
- Don’t eat/buy packaged foods that you are not sure about
- You never know where the sugar is hiding in these products. If you do decide to buy pre-packaged goods, make sure you do your research first.
- You don’t have to ditch all sugars
- We are programmed to crave sweet things and that does not have to be a luxury that you give up. Just look to replace the sucrose with natural sugars like fructose in fruit and lactose in milk. If you have sugar pangs, reach for a handful of strawberries instead of a handful of chocolate. If you find natural foods to fill your void soon you will feel the void shrinking until it is no longer there.
- Make smart decisions when you are eating out
- While a salad may seem like the healthiest choice, the dressing may be packed with hidden sugar. Either make sure that it is not, or try ordering grilled meats or vegetables.
- Find a partner/buddy
- Having someone to hold you accountable and work with you is always a useful tool, especially when it is something that is a little more challenging in the beginning.
If you want to maximize results, it important to wholly devote yourself to this mission and make sure that you are feeding your body on the best fuel. There are many natural alternatives to refined sugar such as honey, maple syrup, agave syrup, rice syrup, and coconut blossom syrup as well as using dates and bananas for natural sweeteners. Refraining from refined sugar will not only increase the quality of the food that you are eating but it will also better your overall health. At Lenelife offer workshops and coaching in living a healthier and happier life without refined sugar.
Further, we offer multiple products that are refined sugar free, as well as gluten free/dairy free/vegan. We can deliver these healthy snacks and meals to your doorstep or you can pick up a couple of our healthy snack products in Cactus Belle Etoile.
Do you want to know more about how we can help you become refined sugar free for a healthier, happier life?
Get in touch by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone +352 621 439 107