Cheating on your sweet tooth

Okay, Easter is over. Let’s get you back on the wagon…….

According to the stats can website, in 2004 it was estimated that on average Canadians consumed 110 grams of sugar daily - that's a whopping 26 teaspoons of sugar!

While fat has typically been blamed for poor dietary choices, sugars are much more problematic than "healthy fats".  What does too much sugar in the diet actually do to the body?

  • It overloads and damages your liver. Your liver can only metabolize a limited amount of sugar each day. The effects of too much sugar or fructose can be likened to the effects of alcohol. All the fructose you eat gets shuttled to the only organ that has the transporter for it: your liver. This severely taxes and overloads the organ, leading to potential liver damage.

  • It overworks your pancreas. Your pancreas secretes insulin to lower your blood sugar. By constantly consuming a diet high in sugars (and grains) your body becomes “desensitized” to insulin, which will require the pancreas to make more and more of it. Eventually you will become insulin resistant (known as type II diabetic).

  • It tricks your body into gaining weight and affects your insulin and leptin signaling. Fructose fools your metabolism by turning off your body's appetite-control system. It fails to stimulate insulin, which in turn fails to suppress ghrelin, or "the hunger hormone," which then fails to stimulate leptin or "the satiety hormone." This causes you to eat more and develop insulin resistance

  • It causes metabolic dysfunction. Eating too much sugar causes a barrage of symptoms known as metabolic syndrome. These include weight gain, abdominal obesity, decreased HDL and increased LDL, elevated blood sugar, elevated triglycerides, and high blood pressure.

  • It increases your uric acid levels. High uric acid levels are a risk factor for heart and kidney disease. In fact, the connection between fructose, metabolic syndrome, and your uric acid is now so clear that your uric acid level can now be used as a marker for fructose toxicity.

  • It changes your brain. Dr. Joseph Mercola talks about “Hedonic Hunger”. It describes the desire for food, even when your body does not require any substance. It’s that feeling you get when your body just “needs a little something”. The more junk food you give your body, the more your brain starts to rely on the pleasure sensations from the junk food (likely due to salt, sugar and fat), much like what happens in the brain with drug addiction.

So where do you start?

  • Considering that there is such thing as “Sugar Addiction” realize that it’s going to be difficult for a short while.

  • It all starts in the grocery store. Don’t bring the items into the house, and there will be no physical way you can eat the junk food.

  • Don’t have enough will power while you are grocery shopping? Get somebody else to shop and make sure they stick to a strict list, or shop online and don’t click on any JF.

  • Watch what you are drinking, soda/pop is a HUGE reason why we are consuming so much extra sugar, but beware, sugar is hiding in that macchiato, in that smoothie and in that juice as well.

  • Try switching to sparkling water, for some people it’s actually an addiction to the bubbles or in the case of cola, an addiction to the caffeine.

  • Switching to a “diet” version of the same item doesn’t count. We need to decondition the brain and get away from “food as a reward”.

  • If you absolutely cannot live without chocolate, try a dark chocolate version. Usually around 70% dark cocoa will offer enough sweetness to satisfy, but with a lower sugar payload. Try one square of dark chocolate while you are weaning.

  • Many people are in a routine of consuming their junk food while in front of the TV. You may need to avoid the trigger (sitting on the couch watching a show) until you’ve broken free from the addiction (avoid the situation in where you are living to consume your JF).

As always, we are here to help. Reach out to us at 902-270-7022 and Live your Life!