Erin Chafe, Holistic Nutritionist, Healthy Blossom
So, comparing sugar to narcotics seems rather extreme. I get it. But misunderstanding sugar and its relationship with your body should be of bigger concern to North Americans than the war on drugs. Sugar is everywhere, and all refined (and processed) food has the ability to turn us into slaves to our cravings.
For example, our blood sugars are slightly lower in the morning as we’ve been essentially fasting while sleeping. Perhaps we skip a proper breakfast and have something quick like a double-double, a muffin or maybe just some orange juice. What happens next? Blood sugar spike! Now our body has to release insulin to bring our blood sugar back to normal. Insulin is a fat hormone: if you release too much over and over again, guess what? You’ve got some unnecessary fat storage going on. Ongoing abuse of insulin is linked to increased risks of Type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease and cancer.
While the insulin is trying to get our blood sugar back down to normal levels our body becomes stressed. What happens then? You got it! You’re adrenaline kicks in. Suddenly we feel hyper, anxious or irritable. Lunchtime comes and perhaps we grab a slice of pizza or a microwavable lunch filled with white rice. By mid-afternoon we are feeling more tired than we ever have ever in life…so we get another coffee.
Do we have trouble sleeping by any chance? That’s because you’ve been unknowingly riding an adrenaline roller coaster all day. Adrenaline kicks in to keep the blood pumping and the lungs breathing during periods of short-term stress. Unfortunately, many people take advantage of this natural stopgap throughout the day. Long-term abuse can lead to hormone imbalance, chronic inflammation and weight gain.
So what can we do? Give up everything we’ve ever known and just eat kale? No, that’s not the answer, although kale is very good for you. Here is a little challenge, just try it. You’ll notice a difference and you will feel better.
Start your day by drinking a glass of water (keep the ice out) with a lemon slice. Drink the water first and then get your breakfast. Try to have three healthy meals a day. This will involve grocery shopping with a list, picking up some glass food saver containers and cooking at home. You can turn last night’s stir-fry into a wrap with mozzarella cheese for lunch the next day. Choose fruit for a midmorning snack and have veggies in the afternoon. Replace at least one coffee a day with a green tea and be sure to keep your water intake up.
By following these simple steps you are heading in the right direction to battle an addiction that you might not have known that you have.