I’M NOT TALKING ABOUT COCAINE; BUT CANDY.
Both carry serious risks to your physical and mental health but sugar isn’t illegal and is commonly found in so many processed and refined foods, which are available and marketed to everyone. When combating candida I completely cut sugar from my diet and then slowly introduced certain sources. Now I am aware of where sugar is found and how the body reacts to it and I can control my intake, limiting it to certain fruits (mainly berries) and some starchy veg (sweet potatoes). Sugar is found in obvious sources such as soft drinks and candy bars but it’s also found in high quantities in products marketed as ‘healthy’ such as cereal bars, smoothies and fruit.
Essentially, the body recognises any carbohydrate as sugar
Wherever you are on your road to optimal performance it’s always advantageous to know the effects of certain foods on your body and mind. Sugar is well known to promote an array of adverse health effects and some doctors are now referring to Alzheimer’s disease as Type-III diabetes!
Here are a few interesting points:
1. SUGAR HAS NO NUTRITIONAL VALUE, JUST ‘EMPTY’ CALORIES
Sugar provides us with energy (calories) but doesn’t give any nutrition (vitamins, minerals etc) – consuming it doesn’t give us any benefits. We aren’t satiated after consuming sugar which can leave us feeling hungry and looking to consume more calories.
2. EXCESS ENERGY FROM SUGAR IS STORED AS FAT
Sugar that hasn’t been used by the body to perform work will be stored in the liver as fat. This is then processed into harmful VLDL cholesterol that can cause clogging of the arteries and increases the risk of heart attack and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Also, high amounts of fructose can cause increases in LDL cholesterol, insulin and blood sugar levels – all chief risk factors of heart disease. (1)
3. SUGAR MESSES WITH OUR INSULIN RESPONSE
Insulin is an important hormone that allows blood sugar to enter our cells and informs our cells whether to burn fat or glucose to maintain optimum blood sugar levels. When consuming a diet high in added sugar, insulin does not perform as it should and the cells can become resistant to it. This can lead to the pancreas making more insulin but with no effect on blood sugar and can result in increased likelihood of type II diabetes. (2)
4. SUGAR IS ADDICTIVE
Sugar and other junk foods cause a much greater release of dopamine in the brain than natural foods. Dopamine is the hormone related to ‘desire’ in the brain and this response can be very addictive. Sugar is comparable to drugs such as cocaine in its addictive power! (3)
5. SUGAR FEEDS BAD BACTERIA
Bacteria love simple sugars that are easily available and digestible to them. Cravings are often signals sent by these bacteria telling you to eat harmful foods as to ensure their own survival. If left unchecked, yeasts and bad bacteria can run rampant and lead to range of digestive issues such as leaky gut.
Limiting sugar and being more aware of the sources it is found in is key on the path to a more resilient body and mind. Replacing carbs with healthy fats as the body’s primary source of energy has aided me massively. The most dramatic performance benefit I have noticed is my mind’s capacity to remain calm but work fast in whatever challenge I’m facing.