I’m sure many of you reading this will be familiar with the ever evolving studies about how sugar relates to heart disease, cancer, premature ageing, diabetes, mood swings, cravings and also the irritating ‘love handles’.
…there are also many who are under the impression that they need sugar for energy… This isn’t strictly incorrect. However, when you eat sweet foods you spike your blood sugar levels which will give you an initial burst of energy. But this is then commonly followed by a rapid drop in blood sugar, which can leave you feeling very wiped out and possibly headach’ey.
Often when we are searching for energy we are in fact dehydrated and what we actually need is a large glass of cool water; we often feel physically fatigued when our muscle cells don’t have adequate fluids.
I am not saying:
…that every person needs to totally come off sugar, but it is about tapping into what works for you and what your limit is… I’m sure you have enough going on in your day to day life to have to deal with the highs & lows of the sugar effects!
There are also problems which people may suffer from and not realise that they’re exacerbated by sugar – anxiety for example. Sugar doesn’t cause anxiety but it creates changes in your body that may make anxiety symptoms worse which then make it harder for your body to cope with stress.
One of the major worries with sugar:
…is that we’re consuming it even when we don’t think we are, in foods such as: Ketchup, flavoured yoghurts, any fruit juice, pasta sauces, salad dressings, anything ‘fat free’, cereals, dried fruit, breads, baked beans etc.
Another worry is how addictive it is, with studies showing that it is more addictive than cocaine. There was in fact a study done whereby when rats, that were hooked on IV cocaine, were introduced to sugar, nearly all of them switched to sugar! So the worry here is that when we have a bit, we just want more and it is when we overload that the diseases and illnesses start to occur.
I massively relate to this, there are times (especially when I’m out of my routine) where I turn to sugar and it is scary how quickly I find my body craving it and then coming off it is such a struggle.
A few tips include:
– Keeping yourself hydrated, even if this means carrying a big 2 litre bottle on you – do it!
– Clear out your cupboards and fridge of all non-wholefoods and re-fill with wholesome, fresh foods and try to ensure that you eat home cooked meals for at least five days. (The main benefit of eating at home is that you know exactly what is going into the food on your plate and therefore will help you get back on track!).
– Carry a little pack of nuts on you, nuts are a great source of protein, healthy fat and fibre and will satisfy cravings.
– Avoid the obvious refined sugars, but also the processed carbohydrates such as pasta, bread and crackers as these will elevate the blood sugar levels.