What Happens When You Eat Too Much Sugar

Have you heard that sugar is bad for you?  There is a lot of science now to back up what happens when you have too much sugar.  Let’s start off by talking about how the body deals with sugar.

When I am referring to sugar, I am not just talking about the white powder so let’s define exactly what I am referring to.  Everything that you eat breaks down into glucose (sugar) with the exception of meat or fat.  This includes foods like baked goods, crackers, fruit and fruit juice, cereals, vegetables, bread and so on.  It’s quite surprising how much sugar is in some foods that you wouldn’t think is high sugar like BBQ sauce and ketchup.   Soda pop is a killer for sugar.  It is 95% sugar!  In fact, one can of pop has about 16 teaspoons of sugar in it!  Candy is pure sugar as is some dried fruit.  And don’t be fooled by fruit.  Yes it is healthy for you and has lots of great immune boosting properties but it is still sugar so this is a case where it is appropriate to say the phrase that ‘too much of a good thing is bad’.  Juice is worse.  How much juice do you get when you squeeze one orange?  Not much.  So a full glass of orange juice is not only pure sugar but because you aren’t eating the whole fruit, you are losing the fiber which makes it much higher on the glycemic index.  It gets absorbed immediately in the blood stream and spikes your insulin very quickly.

Glucose is the number one source of energy for our bodies however overconsumption of glucose can wreak havoc.  Your insulin spikes to regulate your blood sugar.  Once you eat glucose, your body releases insulin, a hormone from your pancreas.  The insulin’s job is to absorb the excess glucose in the blood and stabilize sugar levels.  Today on average people are eating around 32 teaspoons of sugar every day.  A little sugar in your coffee, cereal for breakfast with a glass of juice, a sandwich for lunch and potatoes for dinner and you have over consumed sugar for the day.  This doesn’t include the dessert you ate or the mid-day or evening snacks.  It’s really not that hard to do.  For one day, count how many grams of sugar you eat.  You will be surprised how much you eat because most of us don’t think of the bread or potatoes as sugar.

What’s even more disturbing is that people are consuming excessive sugar in the form of fructose or high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS). This highly processed form of sugar is cheaper yet 20 percent sweeter than regular table sugar, which is why many food and beverage manufacturers decided to use it for their products, as it would allow them to save money in the long run.  The bad news is that the human body is not made to consume excessive amounts of sugar, especially in the form of fructose. In fact, your body metabolizes fructose differently than sugar. It is actually a “hepatotoxin” and is metabolized directly into fat!

Some other devastating effects of too much sugar, particularly fructose in your diet include: liver damage (more so than alcohol), fools your metabolism by turning off your body’s appetite-control system, causes metabolic dysfunction, increases uric acid levels, causes diabetes and heart issues.

Sugar is addicting too.  The more sugar you eat the more you crave.  It takes only 48-72 hours to eliminate your cravings for sugar once you cut it out and you will gain a huge amount of energy.  I strongly recommend that you follow my low carb regime and not only will you lose weight, you will protect yourself from all of the damage that excess sugar will cause and you will feel so much better.

What Exactly is Ketosis and is it Good or Bad For Me?

When you eat carbohydrates, they break down into glucose which is the main source of fuel for your bodies.  If however you eat very few carbs and only moderate amounts of protein (excess protein can be converted to blood sugar), your body will look for alternate ways to get energy from and it starts to produce ketones.  Ketones are produced in the liver, from fat. They are then used as fuel in the body, including the brain. This is important because the brain is a hungry organ that consumes lots of energy every day.  It’s a common misconception that the brain needs carbs. The truth is that the brain happily burns carbs when you eat them. But if you don’t eat too many carbs, the brain is happy to burn ketones instead.  Your body cannot run on fat alone, it can only run on glucose…or ketones.

On a ketogenic diet your entire body switches its fuel supply to run almost entirely on fat.  Insulin levels become very low and fat burning increases dramatically. It becomes easy to access your fat stores to burn them off.  This is obviously great if you’re trying to lose weight, and studies show that ketogenic diets lead to more weight loss.  Being in ketosis also reduces hunger and cravings so you lose weight effortlessly and even reverse type 2 diabetes.  Also, by giving your body and brain an almost unlimited supply of energy, you can increase your physical and mental endurance.

Some people think that ketosis is extremely dangerous.  However, they might be confusing ketosis with ketoacidosis, which is completely different.  While ketoacidosis is a serious condition caused by uncontrolled diabetes, ketosis is a natural metabolic state.  In fact, ketosis and ketogenic diets have been studied extensively and shown to be very safe for long periods of time.

So how do you get your body into ketosis?  Cut the carbs!  Remember that everything, with the exception of meat and fat, is a carb which breaks down into glucose.  So how many carbs per day can you eat and still get into ketosis?  Approximately 20-50 NET carbs.  NET carbs are not the same as TOTAL carbs.  For example, fiber is a carb but the human body doesn’t absorb and it requires no insulin to metabolize and thus it has no glycemic response, so we subtract it from the total carb.  So if your bread has 30g total carbs but 5g of fiber, the net carb is only 25g.  You would be amazed at how many carbs you are eating if you are not counting or cutting them.  Other carbs that have no glycemic effect are sugar alcohols (xylitol, sorbitol, maltitol etc) which are used as a calorie free sugar substitute.

It is important to check your ketone levels by using Ketone sticks or “ketostix”.  You can get them in the drug stores.  You pee on the stick and it turns a color.  Basically the more ketones that are in the burning, the darker red-purple the stick will turn.  There is a chart on the bottle so you see if you are burning negative, small, medium or large.  If you are negative, you are not in ketosis and are not burning fat this way.  This is the best way to know if you are eating too many carbs or not eating enough good fats.  I find when I add MCT oil, I burn larger, faster.  You can put the MCT oil (which comes from coconut oil) in your shakes, drizzle it on steamed veggies or use it for your salad dressing with vinegar and spices.

So, get into ketosis…it’s good for you!

What to Look For in a Low Carb/Low Sugar Protein Bar

When hunger hits and it’s not meal time, I go for a protein bar.  Since I follow a low carb diet, I only buy bars but there are many very healthy bars that are not so low carb but are all natural, made from raw ingredients which include nuts and seeds, dates etc.  For the purpose of this article, I am going to stick with the low carb protein bars.  So here is a list of things to look for in a low carb, low sugar bar:

  • Protein content: This is the first thing I look at.  I look for a minimum of 20 grams of protein.  The higher the protein the more filling it will be and will keep you fuller for a longer time which ultimately reduces your  cravings as well.  Protein has a high thermic effect which means it requires a lot of energy to break it down. This means that up to 30% of the calories you consume from protein are used in the digestive process.  Most proteins come from milk and whey so they are not good for anyone who has a lactose intolerance.  For those of you with this issue, you would have to choose a vegan or vegetarian protein bar
  • Low sugar/Low carb: This is the 2nd thing I look for.  You would be surprised how much sugar are in some bars.  Most of the vegan bars are high carb but they are good carbs.  So to get a low carb bar you will most likely have to get one made from dairy/whey.  It is important to understand the difference  between total carbs and NET carbs.  Most low carb bars use sugar alcohol (xylitol, sorbitol, erythritol) etc.  Sugar alcohols always end with “itol” where sugars end with “ose” such as sucrose, fructose etc.  Sugar alcohols cannot be absorbed so they pass through the system and do not have a glycemic response, meaning that they do not require insulin to be metabolized.  Also, many low carb bars contain a high amount of fiber which like sugar alcohols, are not absorbed by the human body.  They pass right through, so…we can subtract them since neither of them have a glycemic response.  As an example:  Let’s say the bar has 28g protein, 17g fiber and 10g sugar alcohol.  28-17-10=1 NET carb.  This one carb left over has a glycemic response and is the only carb you count for your daily carb amounts.
  • High fiber: As mentioned above, the higher the fiber content the lower the total carbs. Also, fiber is great for blood sugar balance
  • When you’re choosing a protein bar that is quite low in total carb count, then they often will contain sugar alcohols. While many people will have no problem tolerating these, some people experience bloating, diarrhea, cramps, and bad gas as sugar alcohols draw water into the bowel. You will have to try them out for yourself to see if you react this way, but if you don’t these can be a very helpful fat loss aid. If you suffer from chronic constipation, they may be helpful for you

There are many high protein bars that are low carb and low sugar.  You have to learn how to read the labels to know.  Some of the low carb/sugar bars would include the Quest bars, B-Up bars and Oh Yeah ONE bars but there are many, many more to choose from.  Enjoy a guilt free snack that provides great protein and fiber without the guilt of carbs!

 

 

How To Still Eat All Of Your Favorite Foods But Low Carb Version

Some people think that following a low carb or ketogenic diet is too difficult to follow especially for the long run but you would be completely wrong if you know how to substitute your favorite foods.  Let’s look at some alternative foods that are easy to make and taste virtually the same or better than the high carb choice.

Potatoes:  One small to medium potato has a whopping 30g carbs!  But what about our beloved mashed potatoes that goes so well with meatloaf?  Make mashed potatoes with cauliflower!  Simply boil cauliflower for 12-15 minutes until well cooked and drain it well.  You can put the cauliflower in a clean dish towel and squeeze until dry.  The dryer the cauliflower the better your mashed potatoes will turn out.  Mash them with some butter or coconut oil, ¼ cup sour cream (lower carb than milk), salt and pepper.  I like to add a little parmesan cheese and garlic for added flavor and my husband actually adds pickle juice and it’s actually really good.

Rice: 100g of white rice has 28g carbs, minimally.  White rice is also void of nutrients and is simply starch.  Substitute rice for cauliflower.  (I love this vegetable!)  Simply place cauliflower chunks in a food processor and pulse until broken down into rice-size pieces.  Or you can grate the cauliflower instead.   Heat some olive oil or coconut oil in a skillet and cook over medium heat until it turns slightly brown (3-5 minutes).   Mix in your favorite ingredients that you would normally put in your rice (low carb ingredients of course).

Bread: 2 slices of bread have between 20-25g carbs.  I have posted many recipes for low carb, gluten free bread, naan bread and buns.  Scroll down on my blog and you will see many recipes or you can simply google low carb almond flour bread or low carb coconut flour bread.  Most recipes I have seen have about 1-3 net carbs per serving.

Pizza:  1 large slice of pizza has at least 25g carbs.  You can make low carb pizza using yet again, cauliflower!  Prepare your cauliflower exactly the same as you do for the rice.  Boil the rice for about 5-7 minutes and drain.  Wrap the cooked cauliflower in a clean dish towel and squeeze until the cauliflower is dry.  Again, the dryer the better.  Put in a bowl and add 2 eggs (beaten), ½ cup mozzarella cheese, ¼ cup parmesan cheese, 1 tsp oregano, a little salt and garlic.  Mix well.  Don’t be afraid to get your hands in there to mix it well.  Put on baking tray lined with parchment paper so it doesn’t stick.  Press so it looks like a pizza crust.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Add all of your favorite (low carb) toppings and bake again for another 10 minutes or until browned at the top.

Pasta: 100g of pasta has no less than 25g carbs.  Well, this time I cannot give you a cauliflower recipe for pasta but I can recommend some low carb pastas that you can buy in a grocery store or local health food store.  While there are many low carb pastas to choose from, I recommend ones that are not made with wheat flour.  Some of them could include:

  • Miracle Noodles: There are 8 different types of Miracle Noodles (including a rice version) available which all have ZERO carbs and are made out of a water-soluble fiber made from the Konjac plant
  • Zucchini pasta: You can buy (or make) zucchini pasta which contains in 1 cup less than 4 total carbs and 1-2g fiber which leaves only 2 net carbs
  • Black bean pasta: Made from 92 percent black beans (and 8 percent water), they’re loaded with 25 grams of protein per serving, 17 total carbs and 12g fiber which leaves the net carbs at only 5g!

Add all of your favorite toppings but be careful with spaghetti sauce as it often has added sugar.  Used mashed tomatoes or olive oil instead.  Add some ground beef, cheese and spices like garlic and oregano and you will be in heaven!

So enjoy your favorite meals without the guilt!

Coconut Flour Bread

This coconut flour bread is gluten free and has only 1 Net Carb Per Slice!  This recipe makes 1 loaf or 12 slices

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 eggs
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Sift together the dry ingredients.
  3. Slowly add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until very smooth.
  4. Grease a small bread pan with coconut oil or use parchment paper and fill about ⅔ of the way full with batter. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Recipe taken from Diet Doctor

Low Carb Naan Bread!

Two pieces is only 3 net carbs!

Ingredients

Garlic butter

  • 3½ oz. butter
  • 1 – 2 garlic cloves, minced

Instructions

  1. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. Add oil and then boiling water and stir thoroughly.
  2. Allow to rise for five minutes. The dough will turn firm fairly quickly, but stay flexible. It should resemble the consistency of Play-Doh. If you find it’s too runny then add more psyllium husk until it feels right. The amount needed may vary depending on what brand of husk or coconut flour you use.
  3. Divide into 6 or 8 pieces and form into balls that you flatten with your hands directly on parchment paper or on the kitchen counter.
  4. Fry rounds in coconut oil over medium heat until the Naan turn a nice golden color.
  5. Heat the oven to 140°F (70°C) and keep the bread warm while you make more.
  6. Melt the butter and stir in the freshly squeezed garlic. Apply the melted butter on the bread pieces using a brush and sprinkle flaked salt on top.
  7. Pour the rest of the garlic butter in a bowl and dip pieces of bread in it.

Recipe taken from The Diet doctor: https://www.dietdoctor.com/recipes/low-carb

Cheese and Herb Biscuits

Cheese & herb biscuits (naturally from Angela on divaliciousrecipes.com)
Only 1.2 Net carbs per biscuit and gluten free!

Yields 24
Ingredients
  • ½ cup (113g) butter, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cup (170g) Cheddar Cheese, grated
  • ½ cup (50g) Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 1 ½ (150g) cup ground almonds/almond flour
  • ¼ cup (28g) coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
Instructions
* Mix the butter and cheeses together.
* Add the coconut and almond flour and work into a dough.
* Add the herbs and seasoning and mix well into the dough.
* Cover and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up
* Preheat the oven to 180C/350F degrees.
* Roll out the dough between two layers of parchment paper.
* Cut out shapes using a cookie cutter.
* Place the cookies on a parchment lined baking tray.
* Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden and firm.
* Eat and enjoy!
Notes
  • Makes 24 biscuits (using a star cookie cutter)
  • Nutritional Info per biscuit – 114 Calories, 10g Fat, 4g Protein, 2.5g Total Carbs, 1.3g Fibre, 1.2g Net Carbs
divalicious recipes http://divaliciousrecipes.com/