Do you know what sugar is doing to your body?

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Last month, I shared some of my “Bust Your Sugar” naturopathic and health coaching principles.  This free information evening saw attendees participate in activities, enjoy Pana Chocolate samples whilst learning why and how to change their relationship with sugar for better health.  When you are eating well, thinking well and feeling well your health can be completely different..

My interest in sugar and it’s health related conditions was highlighted a few years ago when a 10 year old patient with major health complaints came to me for help.  It was sad to see she was 35kg overweight, constantly tired, had trouble sleeping, always hungry to the point where her lunch box would be empty by lunch time and she would be looking for her younger brother to eat his food, little physical activity with lots of aches and pains if she tried, frequently moody and angry and recently diagnosed from her GP as having a “fatty liver”.  This particular case was largely due to unhealthy food choices, poor habits and lifestyle choices.

Having reviewed many of my clients nutritional profiles when they first see me, I have discovered over the years that they share many common elements:

  • Eating too much sugar
  • Drinking sugar filled drinks, sometimes huge amounts and this for some was breakfast
  • Drinking little or no water
  • Not sure where to find unsuspecting ‘hidden’ sugars
  • Buying so called ‘Healthy’ foods which can be high in added sugar
  • Eating more packaged and highly processed foods – convenient food
  • Being busy, stressed and fatigued comes at a cost – quick and sometimes poor food choices
  • Having larger portion serves
  • Drive through or service station food is a quick option when working on the road
  • Health & healthy eating not a high priority for some
  • Not enough exercise or rest
  • Regular medium to high stress levels
  • Getting less sleep

Diseases of the metabolic syndrome – obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease, are on the rise and build slowly over time.  The seeds for these diseases are being planted at a young age – hence the importance that a main focus should also be on children’s health.  A typical lunch box contains 40 teaspoons of sugar.  The recommended sugar intake for children is between 3 and 8 teaspoons daily.

Did you know your body has a “fullness” hormone?  The hormone is Leptin and it’s role is to tell your brain that you are full.  But, if you have too much insulin because your blood sugar levels are high, insulin blocks this signal from getting to your brain.  A little like getting on the phone and calling your brain and it just hangs up on you, but instead of calling and calling trying to get through again, you keep eating and eating. These food cravings are made even more intense because leptin stops suppressing the brain chemical dopamine so you keep getting pleasure and enjoyment from food, even though you’re full.  This is one of many contributing factors that I look at when it comes to a patient trying to lose weight.

Let’s face it everyday life can be a pressure, stressful, juggling and worrying a little or a lot.  You may find that with stress comes increased cravings for sweet foods.  You may also be feeling exhausted and “need coffee and chocolate to get through the day.”    This can lead to increased cortisol production which can also slow down your metabolism and fat can accumulation in your abdomen, also known as belly fat.

Do you try to do all of the right things when it comes to weight loss, follow a pretty good eating plan, exercising frequently, but you still don’t see any change or results on the scales considering how much you are doing.  This can be due to blood sugar imbalances, stress, lack of sleep, nutritional deficiencies, toxicity, hormonal etc.

So, will you quit sugar? Or will you reduce sugar and be more aware of where sugar is found and how much food contains?  I know I like sweet things every now and then.  In fact, I enjoy my husbands lemon delicious pudding way too much to completely quit sugar.

Metabolic syndrome is like an advanced warning system to put health on high alert and to prioritise making healthy changes to your food and lifestyle – your life depends on it.  Fortunately, with support from Feeling Healthy’s highly skilled Naturopaths to help you, healthy changes are possible and can improve your health and reduce your risk factors.

Rebecca Screen
Naturopath and Health Coach

For the months of June and July book in for a complimentary 30 minute sugar and metabolic assessment.  Learn how you can bust your sugar cravings, eat the best way for you, feel energized and sleep better. Click here or give us a ring on 03 9687 5333 to book

Naturopaths

In the July newsletter:

Simple ideas to reduce or eliminate sugar.