Do you panic if there is nothing sweet in the house? Start with just a bite, and then end up polishing off a pint?
If your cravings have been controlling your life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…it might just be time to declare your independence from sugar!
Sweets raise our blood sugar, which offers a quick energy boost. They also deliver serotonin to the brain, which makes us happy. So it is not surprising that the average American tends to overdo it, consuming over 150 pounds of added sugars each year. But the energy boost and happy feeling from sugar is short-lived, followed by a crash. So that is when we need another boost…and so the cycle of dependence begins.
We all know that sugar is certainly is not good for our waistline. But is it just “empty calories?”
Sugar is lurking in not just soda, candy or cakes; it is also in alcoholic beverages, sweetened teas and coffees. Because refined flours quickly convert to sugar, they create a similar reaction too. When we eat these things, our blood sugar rises. This signals the pancreas to release insulin – which is needed to deliver glucose from the blood into the cells, and therefore lowers blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels drop, this signals the body that it is hungry, so we tend to reach for that quick fix again, read more about How Carbs Can Trigger Food Cravings in the New York Times.
When the blood sugar gets low, so does our energy and mood, some people might even get shaky and lightheaded. Naturally, we will want to reach for something that will boost our energy and make us “happy” and energized again, this puts us on a “sugar rollercoaster.”
When insulin is released, it signals to the body to store those calories as fat – so sugar promotes the storage of fat in the body. Eating a lot of sugar and carbs over time makes the body resistant to insulin, so more of it has to be released to get the job done. And when there is more insulin, there will be more signals to store the glucose as fat. Increased fat stores (especially around the midsection) is a major contributing factor to developing heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases.
Sugar creates something called Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs), which damages the collagen and elastin in our skin, literally sagging our skin and making it look more wrinkled. Ditch the sweets and the skin can recover some of it’s youthful glow again.
When we eat something sweet, the pancreas releases insulin to reduce the elevated blood sugar and deliver it to the cells. Insulin inhibits the release of human growth hormone, which depresses the immune system, making us less equipped to fight off infections and viruses. Sugar also raises our risk of many diseases:
This AHA statement (http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/106/4/523.full ) summarizes many studies that have examined sugar’s link to various diseases.
Convinced that sugar is not just empty calories? Are you ready to declare your independence?
Realize that you can effectively “reset” your sweet tooth. Skip the sweets for a week, and your taste buds become more sensitive to sweets – so those candies are too sweet, and the apple is just right. So give yourself a vacation from sweets and declare your independence from sugar!!!
Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.
©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.
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