Are you a Sugar Addict? Here are 5 ways to remove it!
Are you a Sugar Addict? Here are 5 ways to remove it!
For years fats have been considered the villain for healthy bodies and today we are canning and talking about the damages and dangers of sugar addiction. Are you a Sugar Addict? Here are 5 ways to remove it!
Increased levels of glucose and insulin ‘spikes’ are associated with increased inflammation in the body. We all know that type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance are on the increase. The higher your levels of sugar (glucose in the blood), the harder your pancreas needs to work to produce insulin.
Not only does excess sugar cause blood sugar problems it messes with your microbiome. It wipes out your good bacteria and sets up addictions to this inflammatory stuff. Sugar has been described as per white and deadly and as addictive as morphine. It processes are high in the brain, like that of dopamine, giving you a high that you can’t receive from ‘normal’ healthy foods and therefore a demand for more. The secret is to not start in the first place!
The problem is that it is often used as a reward however with children is setting up food to be used as a reward system which again is not conducive to healthy eating. We need to supply our bodies with healthy nutritious foods without the need for a high! That is not what they are for!
What do high levels of glucose cause?
Consistently high levels of blood glucose can damage the cells lining your blood vessels, making it possible for LDL (the bad cholesterol) in your blood stream to get under these cells and start the process of atherosclerosis formation (cardiovascular disease). To regulate the level of glucose in the blood your pancreas will release insulin into the blood stream. The insulin ‘knocks on the door of the cell, the door opens, and glucose enters the cell’. The cells then take as much glucose as needed. Overtime some people develop insulin resistance. With insulin resistance, the cell cannot hear the knocking of the insulin (the cell is “resistant”). To compensate, the pancreas makes more insulin, which increases insulin levels in the blood and causes a louder “knock.” Eventually, the pancreas produces far more insulin than normal, and the cells continue to be resistant to the knock. If you can produce enough insulin to overcome this resistance, blood glucose levels remain normal. Once the pancreas is no longer able to keep up, blood glucose starts to rise, initially after meals, eventually even in the fasting state which is considered the beginning of Type 2 diabetes.
The level of glucose in your blood can be measured, however as mentioned above this can vary throughout the day dependent on what is eaten. To obtain consistent base line glucose measurements blood is usually tested first thing in the morning after an 8 hour overnight fast. Accurate measurements can be obtained through a pathology lab. Glucose testing monitors are a useful way of keeping track of blood glucose levels daily.
How do we measure blood sugar levels?
When we absorb glucose from our gut it goes straight into our blood stream to be transported around our body to all cells that need refuelling. It is therefore possible to measure the level of blood glucose by a simple pin prick blood test. There are two measurement units that blood glucose levels are measured in. In USA the measurement is calculated in milligrams per decilitre (mg/dL), whereas almost all other countries in the world calculate in millimoles per litre (mmol/L). If you see a blood glucose reading with high numbers around the 70-125 range this is the American measurement units.
The Levels – People without diabetes
|Normal glucose reading after fasting for 8 hours (usually overnight)||Between 4.0 and 6.0 mmol/L|
|Random testing throughout the day glucose reading||Not to exceed 11.1 mmol/L|
|Two hours after a meal glucose reading will ideally be||Below 7/8 mmol/L|
As a naturopath nutritionist when I’m looking at blood glucose levels I like it to be between 0-5.
There is a lot of evidence to show that high levels of fructose in the diet can impact blood sugar levels (the liver has difficulty processing them), and in the formation of nitric oxide in the body. This is one of the most important molecules in the cardiovascular system as it allows the arterial muscles to relax. Deficiency of nitric oxide is associated with cardiovascular events.
Here are 5 ways to remove it!
- Support your microbiome with pre and probiotics. I like to use hydrolysed guar gum (I do stock this) and also a variety of probiotics that I rotate around. For your information, 10billion of each strain is needed to reach a therapeutic dose. Different strains of bacteria do different jobs however what one does is support the growth of others. I rotate mine around after each bottle. Interesting to note: some people have genetic snps that do not support continual innate production of their own bacteria from taking probiotics as supplements. Food sources are great and include kefir, kombucha (make sure it is not sweet and is slightly sour as this indicates that the sugar has been used by the bugs), kim chi, sauerkraut and plain yoghurts.
- Healthy fats help you to maintain your appetite and provide brain and anti-inflammatory support. Make your own salad and vegetable dressing. I love to use my own easy to make salad dressing. Use a jar you have at home. Place 1 part olive oil to organic apple cider vinegar, Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of organic Dijon mustard, Add Celtic salt and pepper to taste depending on how much liquid you have. Vigorously shake together and pour over your salads and vegetables. Store in the fridge for two weeks. Always shake before using. Benefits: High anti-inflammatory, microbiome supporting vinegar and helpful micro minerals from Celtic salt.
- Flavourings: Use cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, ginger and the vast array of spices available to flavour your sweet and savoury dishes. Cinnamon has the added benefit of being a blood sugar regulator. Ginger and turmeric are highly anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
- Gymnema – The herb that takes away the taste of sugar. With sugar cravings use a 3-4 drops of gymnema to take away the desire for sugar when you are having them. In the herbal world we call this herb a blood sugar regulating, anti-diabetic, anti-obesity, anti-microbial and anti-bacterial. It can be used as a tincture to support as mentioned above. Supplied by myself if you would like to try this herb.
- Support your neurotransmitters – Often sugar is used as a reward, to stimulate and to ‘prop’ up your feel-good calming neurotransmitters. Balancing these can be helpful. Dopamine is the calming, satisfaction and feeling pleasure neurotransmitter – signs of low dopamine include: impulsiveness, cravings and urges. High levels include: poor intestinal function, anxiety, vasoconstriction, possible headaches, restlessness, attention issues. Please note: It is important to look holistically at the whole body to improve neurotransmitters. You are a whole interactive, working being and these do not occur in isolation however sometimes providing supporting cofactors for specific known neurotransmitter can be helpful.
- Provide Adaptogenic Herbs – to reduce and support your flight -fright response. Reducing stress hormones, body is calmer and this also supports your neurotransmitters so you can lower your sugar intake. My favourites are Rhodiola, Withania, Siberian Ginseng, Schisandra and Gotu Kola.
- Meditation, mindfulness, breathe work, yoga – Providing positive supportive lifestyle approaches enables a calming approach to life, reducing the need for substance abuse and sugar addictions. Stimulating natural endorphins support the body through cravings and withdrawals from sugar addiction. A recent study showed when people are feeling healthy, relaxed, and safe, their gut microbiome communities generally work together harmoniously in a predictable symbiotic manner, according to a new study. However, the Oregon State University researchers found that when someone is under stress, his or her gut microbiome communities become discombobulated and behave erratically, in ways that are unpredictable and vary from person to person (https://www.nature.com/articles/nmicrobiol2017121).
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