10.29.2007

Pour some splenda on meeee...SUGAR 101

Many of you who know me tend to cling to the belief that my worst fear is consuming sugar.
While it is not my worst fear, it is pretty high up on the lists of things to avoid.

Here's why:
- It's addicting (literally): When your body consumes sugar, or glucose, It responds by producing insulin. Foods with more sugar have a higher glycemic index, and will require more insulin to bring the levels of glucose back down.
A high glycemic index indicates a fast digestion and absorption of that particular food in your system. Conversely, a low glycemic index is one in which your body will digest slowly. A lower number in the glycemic index is preferred because your body will maintain steady levels of its hormones, decreasing cravings.

Insulin, a pancreatic hormone, is produced at a level needed to contrast glucose. (Sugar).
When it does this, your glycemic level SPIKES (sugar rush) then dips dramatically low after your insulin strikes back with a vengeance. When your blood sugar is too low, it is known as hypoglycemia. (Think: Shakes, dizzy, sweating... ew)
Unfortunately, when your glycemic index dips low, your body thinks: Hey, I should have sugar since my glycemic index is soooo low. (This is when you start to think- more ice cream!!)
And the cycle never ends.

Insulin also promotes the storage of fat (triglycerides). SNEAKY!

Isn't it interesting that the production of insulin also plays a role in suppressing your immune system?? Many scientests today think that disease and insulin production go hand in hand. To what extent, they are not sure. (But they are definitely on the same team!)

All this fuss about simple carbs (regular potatoes, white bread, white rice, etc.) has to do with the same index.
Simple carbohydrates digest faster.... because they are SIMPLE.
This means that your body is going to produce insulin fast- as if you were eating a candy bar. Your body can not tell the difference.

Complex carbs like Whole grain wheat bread/rice take longer for your body to digest, and actually burn more calories because your body has to work harder for them to break down. They also digest at a rate that will keep your insulin/glucose levels at a steady level.
That is why we should consume more of these.
Not to mention- they keep you full longer, and have more nutrients and vitamins!


- It's bad for your teeth. (Hello cavities!)
- It's commonly paired with higher fat and calorie content.
- It hides.
One of the things that makes me squirm is the copious amount of items tagged as healthy that are really nothing more than sugar with a dash of extra flavor or color.
Where does it hide the most?
Yogurt, Cereals, Smoothies, Granola, Soft drinks, and of course sweets.

- It is linked to higher incidences of CVD. (Cardiovascular disease)


So why don't you do an experiment?
Check all of your groceries tonight and see how your food compares.
Try cutting it down for ONE week and record your energy levels.

Sugah, You may just be surprised!

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