Going into 2019, sugar will still be a hot button topic. When I first was transitioning to a more wholesome lifestyle, I never thought of the impacts of sugar. I was always focused on fats. For example, I wouldn’t eat chicken thighs, avocados, and so on because of the fat. It still blows my mind as those foods are nutrient dense and delicious af.
Through this experience, I realized I shouldn’t worry about fat, but be focused on my sugar consumption. Raise your hand right now if you have a sweet tooth *legit everyone raises their hands*. Don’t feel you are the only one who can’t control themselves when they see a pan of brownies. Research has found that sugar is just as addictive as Cocaine. Wild right?
However, something I don’t want you to do is be scared or demonize sugar. Especially with the holidays, don’t be stressing about it in that chocolate chip cookie. It has a place in your lifestyle it is a matter of finding what works for you.
The Good About Sugar
I know I just said that it isn’t the best for our body, but sugar does have a place in our lifestyle. When it comes to sugar, natural sources such as fruits are not harmful. The only way they’re harmful is if you’re allergic, have a autoimmune disorder, gut issues, and so on.
With fruits, they also contain fiber and micronutrients. The fiber helps to slow the digestion of the sugar into glucose. This will prevent your blood sugar from taking a major spike especially if your pair it with fat. Take an apple for example, the fiber is in the skin. The apple also contains good sources of Vitamin C and Potassium. Plus if you pair it with peanut butter you have a delicious snack.
Therefore, natural sources of sugar can be beneficial for your body. However, again mix and match the fruits that work for you. Some great examples are bananas, berries (low glycemic), medjool dates, kiwis, peaches, and more.
As for baked goods or snacks, I highly recommend you check out my Thicc Coconut Flour Brownies (sweetened with maple syrup), which you can find here or any of the energy bites (sweetened with Medjool dates). My personal favorites are the Cacao Pecan Energy Bites found here or the Almond Joys found here.
The Bad About Sugar
With anything good, there is always something bad. In America, 32% of the population is obese. This dramatically increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, type two diabetes, and cancer. It can be a major culprit in this epidemic.
When you go to the grocery store, more often times than not you will find sugar in the ingredients. What is tricky is the companies use all sorts of terms, but they all mean sugar. For examples, the most common is high fructose corn syrup, but other uncommon ones are barley malt, rice syrup, and dextrose.
This can be found in granola bars, chips, cereal, dried fruit, yogurt, and so on. Next time you go to the grocery store, pick up a random product and check out the ingredients. I also have a post about reading ingredient labels, which you can find here! People more often than not don’t realize how much they are eating. I was once there myself!
The Ugly About Sugar
Not only is it addictive, but it also causes significant damage to our body. Many causes of health issues such as acne, aches and pains, and mental fog can be caused by consuming too much.
It has been linked in increasing inflammation in the body. This is caused by the immune response, in which the body release cytokines to fight off. However, continues consumption of processed sugar over time can lead to low grade inflammation.
This inflammation is linked to autoimmune, blood sugar disruption, hormone deregulation, and more. Mind you, we are talking about processed sugar not the sugar from an apple. However, our body doesn’t know the
Another major concern is the hormone deregulation. Too much-processed sugar can disrupt our hunger signals. Specifically, Leptin, as this is the hormone that tells us to stop eating. This leads to those afternoon crashes and leaves you reaching for another sugar bomb. It can be a nasty cycle!
What Do You Do?
The purpose of this blog isn’t to make you confused or question your lifestyle choices. It is meant to empower you to make your own decisions. Knowledge is a power that leads to change. A simple change can be looking at labels before buying, removing a sugary product, or switching to a natural sugar. Remember your body utilize sugar the same no matter the source. I truly hope this helps you to create a healthy lifestyle for yourself!
**This information is not meant as medical or nutritional advice and should not be taken as such. Always check with your qualified healthcare professional before incorporating new supplements or nutritional changes into your routine. A Primal Health Coach (PHC) is trained to evaluate nutritional needs and make recommendations of dietary changes and nutritional supplements. A PHC is unable to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease or medical condition. I cannot guarantee any specific result from recommendations as we are all bio-individually different. If you are under the care of a healthcare provider, it is important that you contact them and alert them to any changes in your lifestyle in regards to nutrition and supplements. A health coach may be a beneficial addition to more traditional care, and it may also alter your need for medication, so it is important you always keep your physician informed of changes in your nutritional program.