People often wonder why they have such low energy, weak immune system, or dramatic weight gain; the truth is there are millions of people around the world who are dying a slow death by eating themselves into health problems.
Refined sugar-based foods or sugary drinks deliver a biochemical charge to our brains that makes us momentarily uplifted or happy. Over the years, we have gotten used to that feeling, which makes us want to slam another sugary cookie or a fizzy drink to get that momentary feeling of elation. But the truth is that that feeling quickly drops off and we are left unfulfilled. Our body craves for nutrients and we keep stuffing it with processed, sugary foods. Most things contain sugar.
How sugar affects adults and children
Sugar feeds the problematic bacteria in the gut – the ones we want less of. The outer layer of the cells of these problematic bacteria are called LPS (lipopolysaccharides). When this layer sheds, it is released into the bloodstream and can travel anywhere and everywhere in the body. It can cause issues like bad mood, irritability, brain fog, fatigue, autoimmunity, skin problems, etc. This is because the blood is like a freeway that travels everywhere and delivers these issues to all the parts of our bodies.
Sugar also prevents your immune system from working as effectively as it should. Sugar slows it down and makes it less powerful. Let’s imagine your immune system is a car. If your car requires petrol to make it work and instead you fill it with diesel – it won’t work. It will stall. It’s exactly the same with the immune system – if you feed it with sugar instead of the nutrients it needs, it will fail to work. Having sugar filled foods can stall your immune system for the next 4-6 hours, making it work sub-optimally.
Hidden sources of sugar
Most things contain sugar. We don’t realise this as we eat them on a daily basis. We think that since a certain food is not sweet, then it has to be fine. Foods such as bread, pasta, cereal, rice, waffles, etc. are filled with carbohydrates. Once your body breaks them down, they turn into sugar, immediately increasing sugar levels in your bloodstream. “It’s not fat that makes us fat, it’s sugar that makes us fat.” The more sugar we consume, the more we experience chronic diseases, as well as those incredible up-and-down mood swings.
The instant ‘lift’ we get from sugar is one of the reasons we turn to it at times of celebration, or when we crave comfort or reward. Our body craves for nutrients and we keep stuffing it with processed, sugary foods.
- ‘Low-fat’ and ‘diet’ foods often contain extra sugar to help improve their taste and palatability and to add bulk and texture in place of fat.
- Even savoury foods, like ready-made soups and sauces, may contain added sugar.
Brown sugar isn’t healthier than white sugar. Because it’s brown, it looks and seems more wholesome. Brown sugar is white sugar with molasses added to it for colour and flavour, but the amount of molasses doesn’t result in any extra nutrients per serving.
Things we can do to avoid an overload of refined sugar
1. EAT REAL
Always try and eat real foods that haven’t been processed. The fibre in these foods will keep you fuller for longer, give you the nutrients you need and also keep your sugar levels stable, preventing weight gain, mood issues and energy dips.
2. EAT FOODS THAT CONTAIN PROTEIN AND FIBRE
If you are going to be eating carbohydrates or sugars, you should always pair them with some protein, fat and fibre. These all slow down the release of sugar into the bloodstream and can act as somewhat of a buffer.
3. SNACK ON THE RIGHT THINGS
Look for snacks that contain protein, fat and fibre. For example:
- Hummus and vegetables
- Bananas with some nuts and seeds
- Foods and fruits high in superfoods and antioxidants. SO PERF cold pressed juices and prebiotic and probiotic bars are loaded with superfoods and antioxidants.
- A handful of nuts
- SO PERF bars – contain fibre, protein, omega 3, prebiotics and probiotics as well as absolutely no added sugar and some of the lowest naturally occurring sugar levels.