How are you all holding up? This is a crazy crazy time. I don’t think there’s much I could have done to prepare myself for this “new normal” as people are calling it. Self-care has been playing a HUGE role in my day-to-day to help keep me sane. There’s been a lot of journaling, a lot of matcha making, and a lot of calling my family as of lately (even more than usual if some of you who know me can believe!). As always, if any of you need my help at this time, please reach out! I am happy to spend an hour with you just to chat through what you need right now. Considering that sugar is one of our favorite comfort foods, I thought it would be helpful to share some information about it including the downsides, processed v. natural sugars, some of my favorite natural sweeteners, etc. I hope you enjoy!
SO, how is your relationship with sugar? Do you feel like you crave it after every meal, if not constantly? Is sugar something that makes you feel “out of control”?
We know by now that the average American consumes much more sugar than is recommended. Americans do have quite the sweet tooth, but a lot of our sugar consumption is due to “sneaky” sugars. Consider processed and packaged foods like bread, yogurt, crackers, soups, pasta sauces, etc. Have you ever checked the label? These foods often contain unexpected added sugars, that you may have never even thought to look for!
It’s not unknown to the world that sugar is bad for you, and damaging to your body. Excessive sugar intake can increase insulin resistance leading to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, increase blood pressure, can disrupt the gut microbiome, promote inflammation, and even negatively affect your immunity. Additionally, I think it’s important to note that sugar is extremely addictive, and even responds the same way in your brain that opiates do.
I talk about stress A LOT on this blog and on my social media. After all, it’s something that affects ~literally~ everyone. I think it’s important to discuss the connections between sugar and stress. First, sugar is often a “go-to” for people when they are stressed, as it is a source of comfort for most people. Second, some people may feel exhausted from a long day of being in the “fight-or-flight” mode. Guess what your body wants? A quick fix, that is going to give you a quick boost of energy… yep, sugar. Our bodies have become wired to crave it, and have become addicted to it because of the amounts we consume it in. Don’t worry though, we can work on that.
Now, I think it’s unrealistic to tell people to never eat sugar again. Personally, it would be worse for me to not eat sugar than to be very mindful about when I eat sugar, why I’m eating sugar and the form in which I consume it. Now, it really depends on your opinion on what I’m about to say, but I would love to share my opinion. Some people believe that sugar is sugar, and your body processes it as sugar no matter what. Which… true. In my opinion, I don’t believe that all sugars are made equal. I wouldn’t put high fructose corn syrup in the same category as the sugar from a blueberry, for example. I came to this conclusion for a few different reasons. Sugars like high fructose corn syrup are highly processed. Your body uses the sugar very quickly for fuel and then crashes. The sugar that is found in fruit is not only naturally occurring, but also provides you with fiber, vitamins, and minerals that keep you full for longer and nourish your body. These are just a few examples, and I do urge you to do your own research to develop your own opinions on this!
As I said, I definitely do consume sugar. I am WEAK for a good brownie and especially some vanilla ice cream with some Ovaltine. Again, I’m not saying to NEVER EAT processed sugar, I just think it’s important to be mindful about how you consume it and how often you consume it. Now that I’ve shared all this information about processed sugars versus natural sugars, I would like to share some examples of my favorite natural sweeteners.
- Honey – preferably local and raw
- Maple syrup – yes the real kind, not the corn syrup kind! It’s more expensive but so worth it!
- Coconut sugar
Again, it’s all about BALANCE. That’s always what it comes down to, right?
Now, circling back. How is your relationship with sugar? Do you feel like you need some support in this area? If so, I would love to help you. I’m excited to share that I’ve created a PDF that shares some easy tips on how to reduce your sugar intake if you feel as though you may be having too much. To receive this PDF, sign up for my email list on the below page. You will receive a Welcome email from me, and the PDF will be included in a link in the body of the email.
If you feel as though you need even more one on one support in this area or any area of your life relating to health and wellness, please reach out! I love helping people become their healthiest and happiest selves. You can use my Calendly link below to put time on my calendar for a FREE health history consultation, to discuss the areas where you need me most.
Additionally, if you are new to my website, check out the programs I offer here!