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.

How Many Carbs are in Alcoholic Drinks?

I have been asked many times about drinking alcohol while following a low carb diet so here is the scoop.  First, know that calories from alcohol are empty calories meaning they have no nutritional value.  Also, alcohol will be metabolized before any other food or drink.  Drinking alcohol can reduce the amount of fat your body burns for energy.  But if you have to have a drink or two, let’s pay attention to the amount of carbs that are in different drinks.

Spirits such as vodka, rum, whiskey, brandy, gin, bourbon and tequila have no carbs but be careful what you are mixing it with.  One can of pop has between 35-45 grams of carbs depending on the brand of pop.  1 cup of orange juice has between 25-30 grams of carbs.  Cocktails such as Mojito’s have up to 25 grams of carbohydrates if it is just a regular size however many restaurants and bars have jumbo drinks.  Martini’s have less than one carb per drink.

If you like a cold beer, you are looking at 12-15 carbs per beer and lite beer has about 5-7 carbs.  Red wine has about 2-3 carbs and white wine has 2-5 carbs per 6oz glass.

So if you want to have a drink, your best choice would be spirits mixed with club soda or water and lemon for flavor.  There are also sweeteners or water flavors that you can add to your drink but be sure to get them sweetened with Stevia and not aspartame.  Skinny Girl uses vegetable juice for color and Stevia Extract and cane sugar for sweetness.  When you look at Crystal Lite’s ingredient list you see 12 ingredients, including the artificial sweetener Sucralose and sucrose acetate isobutyrate, a thickening or “weighting” agent also found in printing inks.  In the Mio brand, the second ingredient is propylene glycol, a preservative, thickening agent, and stabilizer, also used as antifreeze to de-ice airplanes, as a plasticizer to make polyester resins, and found in electronic cigarettes.  There are so many brands of flavorings that you simply need to look at the ingredient list so you are not loading your body up with harmful chemicals, especially if you use it a lot.

Remedies for Blood Sugar Issues

Top Remedies for Blood Sugar Issues

Do you have blood sugar issues?  Hypoglycemia, Pre-diabetes or diabetes?  As you know by now I am a big advocate of the low carb lifestyle.  Why?  If we eat too much sugar or high-glycemic carbohydrates (white rice, cakes, crackers, bread, potatoes and cookies), we experience a rapid influx of blood sugar. Our body must rush in to compensate with a spike of insulin to take care of the sudden overabundance of glucose, leaving us tired and irritable from the yo-yo effect.   Keeping your blood sugars balanced is one of the most important steps you can take for overall health and vitality as well as weight control. Besides eating a wholesome diet rich in low-glycemic whole fruits, vegetables, protein, and complex carbohydrates, you can optimize your blood sugar levels by including supplements that promote glucose balance.

Check out the top remedies to help you control your blood sugar levels.

  1. Chromium: The best form of this trace mineral is chromium picolinate. Chromium can normalize blood sugar levels, improve blood sugar utilization and decrease insulin requirements in people with glucose intolerance and insulin resistance.
  2. Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA): Not only is ALA a very potent anti-oxidant, it enhances insulin sensitivity
  3. Banaba Leaf Extract: Banaba leaf contains corosolic acid that helps transport glucose from the blood into cells for use as energy
  4. Cinnamon: Cinnamon is a powerful antioxidant and works to improve blood glucose by slowing stomach emptying after meals and enhancing insulin sensitivity
  5. Fenugreek: Fenugreek supports balanced blood sugar levels by slowing digestion and carbohydrate absorption. Fenugreek may also stimulate insulin production due to an abundance of amino acids
  6. Gymnema Sylvestre: Gymnema Sylvestre normalizes blood sugar by increasing insulin levels, reducing glucose absorption, and improving sugar uptake
  7. Magnesium: Magnesium increases insulin sensitivity and supports healthy glucose levels

Low carb, low carb, low carb.  Sugar is clearly the culprit to blood sugar issues.  By following a low carb diet you will not have the blood sugar spikes that carbohydrates cause.  It’s really not hard.  It’s simply a matter of being a little creative with your diet and opting not to eat potatoes, pasta, rice and bread.  These are the biggest culprits to name a few.  As much as fruit is healthy for you, it is not good for blood sugars to limit fruit to no more than 1-2 per day and stick with the low glycemic choices like berries.

What to look for in a weight loss supplement

In order to lose weight, there are a few factors to consider that a good weight loss supplement will address:

  1. Stress: You need to address stress. When you are stressed (mentally or physically) your body goes into the ‘fight or flight’ response.  When this happens your body immediately stores fat.  It is our coping mechanism.  Your body doesn’t know how long you’re going to fight or run so it needs to store energy for the long term.
  2. Appetite Control: Many of us ‘live to eat’ when we should ‘eat to live’.  We are addicted to food and are surrounded with fast food and junk food.  We need to get our appetites under control.
  3. Blood Sugar: It is imperative to keep our blood sugars balanced. When our blood sugar is out of whack and insulin levels are high, your body compensates by storing fat.
  4. Boost Metabolism: You will lose more weight and much faster if you increase your metabolism.  Putting more wood on your fire will help you burn more fat, even at rest.
  5. Maintain or Gain Muscle: Muscle is metabolically active so the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn at rest.  Many low calorie diets do not allow you to eat enough protein which causes muscle loss.  Try having a protein shake in the morning or as a mid afternoon snack.

When looking for a weight loss supplement, if you can get something that has all of these factors in it…go for it!  Let me know if you need some help!

What Can I Eat on a Low Carb Diet and What Should I Avoid?

The one thing I quickly realized when following a low carb diet is to BE PREPARED!  A lot of us (including me) are lazy cooks.  If my husband isn’t cooking for me I would tend to open a can of tuna and have a tuna sandwich.  It’s simple, easy and fast and quite filling for me.  So, now my husband and I will cook a turkey on the weekend and then I will clean it up and boil the bones to make turkey soup.  So now I have cold turkey for my salads and soup which I just have to re-heat all week.  My soups are just meat and veggies and sometimes black beans.  I never add potatoes or rice to keep the carbs lower.  We will cook chicken and do the same thing as turkey.

The other things we prepare for the week are boiled eggs, cut up veggies and lettuce.  So, when I am hungry (and lazy or busy) I can simply put a salad together, eat soup or have some boiled eggs with cold veggies.  I use MCT oil and balsamic vinegar for my salad dressings and veggie dips with some spices.  So, what exactly should I be eating when following a low carb diet?

  • Meat – all types of beef, pork, chicken, lamb etc.
  • Fish – all types especially those high in Omega 3 such as salmon, mussels, tuna, and sardines
  • Chicken – skin on, free range
  • Vegetables – all types that grown above the ground. Leafy greens, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, avocados, mushrooms, lettuce.  Stay away from root veggies, the ones that grow in the dirt
  • Cheese – choose the full fat varieties.
  • Cream – full fat, double, whipping.
  • Full fat milk – avoid all flavored milks and avoid any milk in large quantities because even though it may only contain 5% carbs, it is easy to drink a 250ml serving which equates to 12.5g carbs.
  • Nuts and seeds – a great snack but just watch not to overindulge as they still have a fair amount of carbs
  • Eggs – choose free range if you can
  • Fats – use butter, olive oil, coconut oil (high in oleic acid), lard, MCT oil

Foods to Avoid:

  • All processed sugar drinks – pop, juice, energy drinks, anything with sugar and carbs
  • All cakes, biscuits, jams, sweets.
  • All cereals – most cereal contains anywhere from 50%-80% carbs. No wonder they are known as CEREAL KILLERS!!!
  • Bread, pasta, potatoes, sugar etc. There is little nutritional value in these foods and they are loaded in carbs
  • Fruit is something that should be limited because of the high fructose content. It is natures candy. Yes fruit has vitamins and healthy nutrients, but you will be getting far more nutrients from your increase veggie intake. Choose nutrient dense, low carb fruits such as berries. Fruit such as pineapple, mango, and especially dried fruits, should be avoided. Also avoid ALL fruit juices. They have an incredibly high glycemic index, which will make your insulin spike (and start storing fat again). “If you are overweight, fruit is not your friend”.
  • All wheat products have a high glycemic index, raise your blood sugar and increase appetite
  • Grains avoid all grains including wheat, oats, barley, spelt etc.
  • Pasta  is extremely high in carbohydrates and has almost no nutritional value
  • Starchy vegetables if you can tolerate some carbs, choose highly coloured starchy vegetables such as pumpkin, carrots, beetroot or sweet potato for their wonderful phytonutrients and vitamins.
  • Rice very little nutritional value. Generally used to bulk out a meal. Try substituting rice for more vegetables or check out cauliflower rice recipes
  • Rice crackers these are almost 80% carbs and incredibly processed, especially the flavored ones. Avoid.
  • Diet or low fat products check the labels and you will see how processed they are and how much higher in carbs they are compared to their regular version e.g, low fat cream cheese can be up to 15% carbs, whereas the regular is only4%

Alternatives to Sugary Foods/Drinks

Finding Alternates to Sugary Foods/Drinks:

If you’re addicted to sugar or carbs and want to reduce/eliminate them but don’t know how, here are some alternatives to some of them:

Soda pop:  One can of regular soda pop has at least 10 teaspoons of sugar in it.  Many of you drink more than one can per day.  Regular diet soda is typically sweetened with aspartame however you can buy pop that is sweetened with Stevia, it’s called Zevia and you can purchase it in many grocery stores or some health food stores.  You could also get a “Soda Stream” which carbonates water or other drinks.  You can then add some lemon or you can get water flavorings but be sure they are sweetened with stevia.  Or you can purchase different flavored stevia drops from nutrition house or other health food stores.

Juice:  If you took one orange and squeezed it, how much juice do you get out of it?  Not much.  Now imagine how many oranges it takes to fill an entire glass.  One medium orange has 12 NET carbs and 9 grams of sugar.  Also, when you are juicing the orange, you are eliminating all of the fiber.  Fiber helps to slow the absorption of sugar so you are losing this as well.

Fruit:  As much as fruit is good for you, it is very high in sugar and carbs.  You should not eat more than 2 fruits per day if you are trying to follow a low carb or low sugar diet.

Candy:  Candy is pure sugar…that’s it, pure sugar.  If you must have candy, you can buy sugar free candy but be sure it is sweetened with Stevia or Sugar Alcohols

Cereal:  Cereal is very high in carbohydrates and sugars.  On average a 30g serving has between 25-30g of sugar.  Keep in mind though we typically eat more than 30g at a time so you may double or triple that amount.  If you must have cereal, choose ones that have a lot of fiber in them.  All Bran with Psyllium has 22g total carbs, 11g fiber and 7g sugar.  Subtract the fiber from the total carbs and you have only 11 NET carbs (the absorbable carbs).  You can also use a vanilla protein shake mixed with water to use as a milk substitute.  It adds protein which slow down sugar absorption.  Keep in mind though that if you are following a gluten free diet, you will need to find gluten free cereals but all gluten free cereals re very high in carbs.  You’re best to give up cereal altogether.

Sugar is Everywhere! What Do I Do?

Eliminating Added Sugar

Sugar is hidden in many foods that we consume on a daily basis, such as sodas, fruit juices, candies, and ice cream. In fact, one can of soda has over 10 teaspoons of sugar in it!  It also lurks in almost all processed foods, including breads, meats, and even your favorite condiments like Worcestershire sauce and ketchup.  You add it to your morning cup of coffee or tea, bake it into pastries, cakes and cookies and even sprinkle it all over your breakfast cereal or on your oatmeal.  It seems impossible to avoid it altogether.

Sugar is one of the most damaging substances that you can eat and we are addicted to it. But how exactly does sugar work in our body, and what are the side effects of eating too much sugar on people’s health?  An average person consumes about 32 teaspoons of sugar per day, however newest studies show that the average person consumes close to 126 grams of sugar!  What’s even more disturbing is that people are consuming excessive sugar in the form of fructose or high-fructose corn syrup. 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 metabolized directly into fat which can cause a whole host of problems that can have many negative effects on your health, including insulin resistance, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, liver damage (similar to the effects of alcohol), decreased HDL and increase LDL cholesterol, elevated triglycerides and high blood pressure, to name a few!

Excess sugar also increases your risk of other diseases such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.  Your liver metabolizes alcohol the same way as sugar.  Some studies found that fructose is readily used by cancer cells to increase their growth which allows the cancer to spread faster.  Also, there is also a growing body of research that shows a strong connection a high fructose diet and the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease through the same pathway that causes type 2 diabetes. Alzheimer’s and other brain disorders may be caused by the constant burning of glucose for fuel by your brain.

Remember too that ALL food with the exception of meat and fat, are carbohydrates and ALL carbohydrates break down into sugar in your body, which increases your insulin levels and causes insulin resistance. Remember that artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose are also a no-no, as they actually come with a whole new set of health problems that are much worse than what sugar or corn syrup can bring.

Step 1 of eliminating added sugars is understanding why excess sugar is bad for your health and will sabotage you in your weight loss efforts.  Learn to read labels so you can identify hidden sugars.