Who doesn't like sugar, right? It's sweet and delicious, plus it's everywhere and in everything nowadays. In fact, we've been conditioned to crave it from birth (even breastmilk is sweet). But, could you be addicted to sugar? Are you a sugar-holic? Are you craving sweets daily? Do you get headaches, mood-swings, body-ache when you try to avoid eating sugar?
Sugar is the most widely available legal drug today. Yup, sugar is more addictive than cocaine. There are many different forms of sugar in products we consume on a daily basis. When you grab a bag of Doritos, did you know that you're eating sugar? Check the label, it contains dextrose which is a simple sugar. Sugar is not all white sugar; it's pasta, bread, energy drinks, granola bars, smoothies, etc. These are not nourishing foods, these are high calorie drugs dressed up as 'healthy'.
Research has shown that sugar lobby deliberately hid the science from the American public and paid scientists to shift the blame for obesity onto fat. Another research review showed that sugar industry knew about the harmful health effects of sugar decades ago, and buried it – drawing comparisons to similar cover-up tactics used by the tobacco industry. The Sugar Research Foundation (SRF) funded an animal study called Project 259 that looked into the effects of sugar on cardiovascular health. They compared a high-sugar diet to a high-starch diet and found that table sugar was linked to heart disease and bladder cancer. When the scientists presented these initial findings, the sugar board pulled the plug on the study and buried the evidence. You can't make this up, look at the research.
Or if you prefer fiction instead, how about the movie WALL-E? Humans swirling around in their chairs, not able to move, consuming daily calories through a straw? I'll just leave it there, you can make your own conclusions as to what the future may look like if we continue as we are.
So how does it work? Sugar gets us high by increasing glucose levels. Insulin gets released to balance glucose levels until it stops functioning properly, which is when we can become insulin resistant and develop diabetes or other metabolic issues. Think about it, when glucose levels plumet down we feel that dreaded sugar crash and crave more sugar, we don't just stop eating more because we feel satisfied, instead we crave more and more. Sugar is a drug, a little is never enough, too much sets our hormones into a spiral. Have you ever felt like you can't stop eating a salad or fruit? Probably not and that's because there is no processed sugar in those foods.
Our hormones make up the endocrine system which manages blood sugar. Yet sugar deregulates our hormones, spikes the release of cortisol and estrogen. This hormonal havoc can lead to:
reliance on coffee, soda and energy drinks
consuming more alcohol
Phew, that's a long list. And, if you needed one more reason to break up with sugar, consider that your life depends on it. What I mean, is that heart disease is the #1 killer of women. Women's hearts are more susceptible to damage from high blood sugar, and if you don't have a diabetes diagnosis yet, but have high blood sugar, the risk is equal to that of someone who already has the disease. Blood sugar and heart disease connection is real, so getting blood sugar levels under control is key to living a happy and healthy life.
It’s not that I never have sweets, or advocate for you to avoid sweets for the rest of your life, but we can choose the right kind of sweets and when to eat them, that will work in sync with our hormones, instead of being dependent on the sugar high. Let’s look at how to break the addiction to sugar.
Drink at least 8oz of water upon waking.
Eat breakfast within 2-3hrs of waking up.
Reduce or eliminate caffeine.
Avoid drinking caffeine on an empty stomach.
Lunch should be the biggest meal of the day. Include complex carbs like brown rice and beans, and add healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, or sunflower seeds.
Drink water throughout the day, or enjoy herbal tea warm or iced.
Eliminate fat-free or low-fat packaged snack foods, which contain high quantities of sugar to compensate for lack of flavor and fat, which will send you on a roller coaster ride of sugar highs and lows. Alternatively, make homemade snacks with ingredients that you know.
Dinner with vegetables and protein is optimal. Avoid grains and sugar of any kind which lead to glucose spike and if unused turn into fat. Aim to have dinner 3-4hrs before going to bed.
Load up on of fiber-rich foods which will help to detoxify the liver and also clear excess estrogen, which can lead to acne and mood swings.
Be an informed consumer, learn how to read labels, and pay attention to those hidden sugars. A smoothie and granola bar can have as negative of an impact as can an energy drink.
Stabilizing blood sugar will produce many other positive results, such as pain free menstrual periods, clear skin, balanced hormones for increased energy, better sleep, healthy weight, reduced cardiovascular risk, etc. These 10 steps are a sample of my full Nourished to Alive Program where you get to discover how to nourish your body, so it works in sync with your bio-individual needs.
Curious to learn more?
Ready to stop sabotaging your hormones, take control back and experience immediate impact?
Book your complimentary 15min session today to receive 1-3 personalized recommendations that will help you break-up with sugar and set you free to enjoy a healthy and happy life right now.
Sugar addiction: pushing the drug-sugar analogy to the limit. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23719144/
How sugar industry shifted blame to fat. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/13/well/eat/how-the-sugar-industry-shifted-blame-to-fat.html?_r=0
How sugar affects your hormones. https://www.floliving.com/sugar-and-your-hormones/
Sugar industry sponsorship of germ-free rodent studies linking sucrose to hyperlipidemia and cancer: https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.2003460
The Truth About Sugar, Cancer and Project 259 – What They Have Been Hiding Since 1965 https://onco.com/blog/sugar-cancer-project-259/
Abrupt decrease in serum testosterone levels after an oral glucose load in men: implications for screening for hypogonadism https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22804876/
Endogenous sex hormones, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes in men and women https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24585109/