By: @curawellness.co, www.curawellness.co
I’m sure you can relate to the feeling of consuming too much sugar and feeling lethargic, unmotivated, irritable, fatigued, having headaches, and difficulty with concentrating. This is the effects of consuming added sugars. Added sugars is artificial sugar that’s typically added into foods and beverages to enhance flavour, colour, texture and shelf life. You’ll find it in sweet treats, lollies, sugary drinks, pre-made sauces, energy drinks, and other processed foods. Essentially, this type of sugar adds unnecessary calories and subsequent inflammation with no nutritional value.
However, sugar also occurs naturally in foods that contain carbohydrates such as fruit, vegetables, grains and dairy products. This is referred to as natural sugars. As humans, we require glucose (a type of simple sugar) as one of our primary sources of fuel for energy production. The problem occurs when we consume sugar in excessive amounts, and the wrong type of sugar.
Natural sugars take longer to break down and digest, providing your body with a more sustained release of energy, whereas added sugars enter the bloodstream instantly all at once, and break down quickly resulting in an energy/insulin spike, followed by a dramatic energy crash.
Let’s talk about what you would notice if you eliminated added sugars from your diet.
Over time, you will notice your physic/midsection becomes slimmer as your liver is forced to utilize your fat reserves rather than burning through sugar intake
Increased Energy Levels
Sugar implicates blood sugar levels and causes dramatic fluctuations in energy levels. By removing sugar as transient fuel, your body is able to stabilize blood glucose levels and maintain a steady rhythm to avoid experiencing dramatic energy surges and crashes
Sugar is one of the most inflammatory components in the diet, which can exacerbate inflammatory-mediated conditions such as arthritis, muscular pain, acne and other skin conditions, cardiac issues and many more. By consuming excessive amounts of added sugars, this increases the onset of chronic inflammation which can predispose one to heart disease and other life-threatening illnesses. By removing added sugars from the diet, you’ll notice you’ll feel less stiff, rigid, pain, swelling while inflammation reduces significantly.
Tips to Beat those Sugar Cravings
1. Consume high quality protein sources at each meal. This helps to balance blood glucose levels to prevent them from plummeting down and prevents your body from craving sugar to increase your energy levels.
2. Eat wholefoods. Wholefoods, which are foods in their most whole/natural form, provide your body with the most stable and natural source of energy along with their other nutritional value including antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins.
3. Maintain sufficient water intake. If you’re feeling tired, sluggish and craving something sweet, it’s likely that you’re also dehydrated. Ensuring you consume 2 to 3L of water per day will help to replenish hydration levels on a cellular level, assists in detoxification and support your overall health.
4. Find a healthier alternative. If you have a sweet tooth, find a healthier alternative that doesn’t contain added sugars and preservatives. Look at the ingredients on the package - you should be able to recognize and understand what each ingredient is, in its whole form. Consider making your own healthy treats, whether it's a sweet potato brownie, banana cinnamon muffins, or cacao protein balls.
Food is medicine! Remember to consume food in its most whole and natural state to feel like the most vital, healthiest and best version of yourself.
If you’re looking for further support, please contact Tayla via email firstname.lastname@example.org, Instagram @curawellness.co or book in for a naturopathic consultation (available to anyone in Australia).
Ma, X., Nan, F., Liang, H., Shu, P., Fan, X., Song, X., Hou, Y., & Zhang, D. (2022). Excessive intake of sugar: An accomplice of inflammation. Frontiers in immunology, 13, 988481. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2022.988481