Sugar

Sugar is in fact essential to life, however sugar is the contributing factor to much of today's ill-health. Average dietary intake of sugar today is four times as much as it was 100 years ago, becoming a staple part of the Western diet.

Sugar is known to be a common cause of and contributing factor in a wide variety of health problems, from dental cavities to diabetes and even fatal conditions, such as cancer.

Sugar is used to improve the taste, look and texture of many of our food products and is in many more of our foods than most understand.

Why We Need Sugar

Sugar is broken down in the body to produce glucose. Glucose is used by every cell for energy, with the brain needing a large proportion and without which it could not function. This does not mean that lots of sugar equals a healthy brain - but the brain does need a steady supply. When the supply of sugar is not steady then there are clear side affects, such as hypo- or hyperglycemia (diabetes).

Your body controls sugar by secreting insulin, a hormone to keep sugar levels within a certain safe range.

Because sugar comes in many different forms and not just the crystalline granules we put in our tea or coffee, most average people get far too much and this glucose gets stored as fat.

The Problem

As mentioned earlier, sugar comes in many forms. Sugar is in syrups, candy, cakes, soda, alcohol, canned fruit and vegetables, peanut butter and jam, pickles and relishes, mayonnaise, powdered milk, processed meat, bread and even cigarettes.

A double handful of dried pasta equals about three tablespoons of sugar. Potato, bread and rice also are very high in a form sugar, all of which your body has to process and which will end up being a form of glucose.

Giving your body high amounts of carbohydrates like rice, pasta, potatoes and bread, as well as other simpler forms of sugars, will contribute to weight gain and many more conditions, such as inflammatory conditions, skin problems, joint and muscle pain, insomnia, elevated cholesterol, increased mucus production, impaired immunity, mental fog, depression, lack of libido, and dizziness.

When blood sugar levels go up insulin is produced in the body which triggers fat to be stored on the body. It also creates free radical which act on the body by destroying cells and shortening their life span.

Case Example

Here is an example of the above with a client of mine who visited me

When I saw Sarah she was a 32 year-old sales rep working long hours. Her main complaints were that she was over weight, constantly tired yet could not sleep well at night and was also experiencing mood swings that included anxiety and depression. She also said that she felt she looked terrible and her skin and complexion was lacking tone, with an unhealthy complexion.

Sarah was working some 50-60 hours a week and was relying on several strong coffees every day and a couple of alcoholic drinks at night to get her through the day.

On top of all this, her performance at work was now under threat since her production was being affected by her condition and this was causing her to go into a diminishing spiral of low morale and further emotional strain.

Sarah's diet was our first issue. Typically she was having a muffin (packed with sugar), orange juice and a coffee with one sugar for breakfast. Sometimes she would skip lunch - but if she did have lunch it would be a sandwich with salad and meat. Dinner was typically pasta and vegetarian sauce or grilled meat with potato and vegetables with a glass of wine.

Well this is a pretty typical diet for most you might think - and you would be right!

Sarah's orange juice, muffin and coffee were causing a massive spike of insulin - she said it helped her "wake up" but this was causing an acceleration of the ageing process and causing adrenal exhaustion in her body. The bread she was having at lunch was competing for digestion with the meat in her sandwich and causing more weight gain and the pasta at night was dramatically causing further blood sugar spikes increasing weight gain.

There is another key thing wrong with Sarah's diet ? virtually no protein.

I got Sarah to drop out the pasta, muffin, orange juice and bread as these were the main culprits in her fatigue, weight gain and other symptoms.

In its place she introduced an omelet for breakfast made with 1 whole egg and two egg whites. Lunch was chicken or turkey with salad dressed with olive oil and lemon juice. This was followed by a salad in the evening with grilled salmon or tuna. I told her that having a glass of wine was fine with her evening meal. This was a high protein, low carbohydrate diet.
In addition to this, minerals in specific forms and amounts were introduced. She also started on a homeopathic formula to help with stress and anxiety, a multivitamin mineral supplement to give her B vitamins and antioxidant and trace minerals for energy.

Two weeks later Sarah returned looking quite different; happy and bright. She was sleeping well and energy was way up. Sagging in her face and eyes was visibly reduced and her face looked toned and healthy. She said she was feeling bright mentally and her anxiety had gone.

Reducing Sugar in the Diet

Try making more of your own food rather than buying pre-made and processed foods.

For example you can put together your own cereals by visiting a health food store and purchasing a combination of oat flakes, barley, puffed rice, corn and anything you might like to include.

Also, make your own cakes, biscuits and sauces as the sugar content will be less and there will be no artificial colourings or flavourings.

Avoid adding sugar granules to sweeten food, instead use grated apple or fruits.

Sweeten natural yogurt with honey or fruit juice.

Avoid commercial fruit juices and soft drinks ? make your own instead using fresh fruits and vegetables in a juicer. I recommend carrot, apple and ginger or mint as a refreshing, energy booster. Or have mineral water with ice and a slice of lemon.

If you experience sugar cravings have some fruit, nuts or a protein snack.

Often a desire for something sweet can mean your body actually needs water, not more sweet food, so if you get a sugar craving have a glass of water.

Best wishes,

Nick Dale
Naturopath
Tel: 9397 9124
Mobile: 0412 596789

I am available at the Galleria from Tuesday to Saturday 9.30am - 5pm and late night shopping on Thursday's. Come by and see me and give me an update on how you are going when you can.


 


 

 


 

Nick Dale, Naturopath Perth, Morley, Roleystone

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