This newsletter answers the commonly asked question, “What does sugar do to my body?” This is a tricky one: people love sugar. Companies use sugar to sell their products. Amazingly, people consume an average of 150 pounds of sugar each year. As you can imagine, prior to the discovery of Hawaii (by European explorers) people consumed very little sugar, if any.
Q: Where is sugar?
Everywhere. Basically it is the basic substance that the body uses to create energy. Almost everything you eat turns to sugar. Crackers, cookies, fruit, bread, brown rice, you name it.
Q: How does sugar affect the emotions?
Consuming sugar releases brain chemicals called beta endorphins, which have the same molecular structure as opium. The release of beta endorphins yields a state of calm and relaxed connection. Shortly afterwards beta endorphin levels crash and then the emotions can crash, which leads to an unknowing desire for more sugar. Interesting…a difficult cycle to break.
Q: How does sugar affect the physical body?
Consuming sugar or simple carbohydrates causes an immediate release of insulin from the pancreas/spleen system. This, in turn, affects the function of the kidney/adrenal system. Over time, these systems can become very taxed leading to a variety of complaints, including night sweats, hormonal imbalances, arthritic pain conditions, headaches, high cholesterol, digestive trouble, candida overgrowth, fatigue, insomnia, lack of ability to concentrate and others.
Q: Am I Sugar Sensitive?
Here are the questions to answer. If you answer “yes” to one or more, you’re probably sensitive to sugar.
Q: What can I do about my sugar cravings?
There are many things that you can do! The easiest is to drink lemon water (in Oriental Medicaltheory, sour controls sweet).
For longer term solutions, follow these seven steps:
- Keep a food journal, logging everything you eat for 7-10 days.
- Eat three meals per day at regular intervals.
- Take vitamins.
- Eat a minimum ratio of one part protein to two parts carbohydrates every time you eat (snacks too).
- Increase consumption of complex carbohydrates.
- Eat a baked russet potato w/o proteins or fat three hours after a protein-heavy evening meal. Do this for 10 days to increase the brain chemical serotonin, which gives you impulse control.
- Reduce and eventually eliminate sugar and alcohol (much more possible with high serotonin levels).
Read Potatoes Not Prozac, by Kathleen DesMaisons or go to http://www.radiantrecovery.com for more information. To get started, look at these resources. For a more in-depth look at this with some guidance, don’t hesitate to call and set up a time to meet with me in a Nutritional Consultation. To do this, call the front desk and get a food journal, fill out the journal for 7-10 days, and we’ll meet for 30 minutes. Do what’s recommended and your life will dramatically change!