Health Tip #1
Reduce and/or eliminate sugar & sweeteners
Probably the biggest problem of the last 30 years is our increased sugar and refined carbohydrate consumption. Mostly from refined white sugar and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), sugar and sweeteners majorly disturb our metabolism and overconsumption can easily lead to a host of problems, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and several brain/neural related diseases.
The basics come down to this- sugar is rocket fuel for our bodies. It can be used in small amounts for when we have the need for immediate, typically intense, action. Aside from those action situations, which are rare, sugar is a toxic substance when it is in our body. Under normal circumstances we carry only about 5 grams of blood sugar in our body at a given time. If you drink a soda or eat a candy bar, your body gets flooded with anywhere from 25-50 grams of sugar, which is 5-10 times more blood sugar than you need, unless you’re about ready to run a mile. So your body creates a panic response and tries to quickly dispose of the excess blood sugar, filling up temporary storage in muscles and the liver. If those storage areas are full the rest goes to fat. If this happens every once in a while your body can handle it pretty well. If it happens all the time, it’s bad news. Sparing the details of body chemistry, it creates a situation where you can’t put sugar to good use and more and more gets stored as fat. Your body ends up desensitized to sugar, but thinks it needs more of it because it can’t recognize it. Therefore, you crave more of it. And so the cycle continues.
So, the more sugar and sweeteners you eat, the more you mess with your body’s ability to metabolize energy well, the more fat you store, the more you crave sugar, the more your body breaks down internally, the more you are at risk for most diseases we are considering common now.
How to fix it? Eat less of the sweet stuff.
The more you avoid it, the better you get at recognizing it and the better you can metabolize it when you do get it. More importantly, the more you get back to a normal metabolic state, the less you will crave sugar.
So, here are the offending parties…
If you look for them they are EVERYWHERE and in several forms
High fructose corn syrup (aka corn sugar)
Corn starch and other corn derivitives
Anything ending in “ose” (eg. dextrose, maltose, lactose)
Maltodextrin and others
Any syrup (eg. corn syrup, malt syrup)
Cane sugar sources (juice, syrup, crystals)
Can be more natural but still a sweetener…
Sugar in the raw
Fructose (fruit sugar) – this one is more complicated, more on this in the weeks to come. See below.
There are several more and the list is growing. As people become aware of how bad sweeteners can be, the more food companies will find alternate sweeteners or ways to change the name of what they are using.
For those asking about artificial sweeteners, that’s another post down the road. Quickly: avoid them or use them sparingly as well. The less you expose your body to sweetness or the taste of sweetness the better.
For those asking about fruit, just don’t overdo it and be very mindful of juice, even 100% juice. Fruit is seasonal and is meant to be eaten whole, our body doesn’t do as well with the juice. More in this down the road too.
Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll do my best to answer them. Thanks for reading!