Have you seen the latest research on how sugar negatively affects your health? It’s disheartening. We’ve known for decades that eating too much sugar can cause weight gain, of course. And now, thanks to extensive research, we know that eating too much of the sweet stuff is associated with a host of health problems.
With COVID-19, the negative effects of having a high sugar diet are possibly even more deadly. High sugar diets cause fluctuations in blood glucose levels decrease our immune system’s ability to fight viral infections such as COVID-19. Second, viruses thrive in an environment of high blood glucose.
Eating sugary foods and drinks can lead to:
- Suppressed immune system that leaves you vulnerable to contagious illnesses, including viruses and bacteria
- Blood sugar problems and even diabetes
- Increased rate of aging
- Elevated levels of “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides, and low levels of “good” cholesterol
- Several types of cancer
- Skin conditions
- Hormonal imbalances
- Sugar cravings that keep you going back for more punishment
Sugar is now ubiquitous in the modern American diet – it’s in almost everything we eat – but it wasn’t always this way. In fact, sugar is a relatively recent addition to our plates.
In the 1700s, sugar was found on the tables of only the extremely wealthy; it was a rare treat for a commoner. Average sugar consumption was a skinny 4 pounds a year. By 1900, sugar consumption had grown to 90 pounds annually. Today, sugar consumption has ballooned to 180 pounds of sugar per person per year.
You heard that right – the average American consumes a half pound of sugar every day.
Most of this sugar isn’t coming out of the paper bag in your cupboard, though. A lot of it is hiding in plain view in your extra-sugary coffee, soft drink, donut and candy bars, of course. There is also sugar lurking in hamburger buns, processed dinners and even in purportedly “healthy” foods. All this sugar adds up.
Fortunately, simply eliminating sugar from your diet can positively affect your health, your weight, and your hormones.
Blood Sugar Handling and Your Hormones
The sugar in your blood, also known as blood glucose, is a valuable resource because your body uses sugar as energy. Having too much sugar in your blood is unhealthy, as is having too little blood sugar, so your body works hard to keep your blood glucose levels in the sweet spot at all times. Doctors refer to this as blood sugar handling.
When you eat a meal, your blood glucose rises. Your pancreas responds to the increase by producing insulin, which is a hormone that tells your body to convert glucose into glycogen and store it in your muscles and liver.
As you go about your day, your blood sugar drops. Your pancreas responds to the decrease by secreting another hormone, glucagon, which tells your body to release those glycogen stores back into your blood in the form of glucose. This process keeps you supplied with energy until you have your next meal, which causes the whole cycle to repeat itself.
The optimal blood sugar handling cycle is smooth and even, with blood sugar levels staying in the optimal range. In this perfect scenario, your energy levels stay the same, you are always in a good mood and you feel great. You can even survive a delayed meal without crazy high or low blood sugar levels.
Unfortunately, not many people enjoy optimal blood sugar handling. Many struggle with poor blood sugar handling that leaves them feeling washed out, jittery and ill.
Poor blood sugar handling typically starts with a sugary and starchy meal that causes your blood glucose levels to spike too high too quickly. Your pancreas reacts by secreting copious amounts of insulin in hopes of getting the extra sugar out of your blood. While some sugar is stored as glycogen, the excess glucose is stored as fat.
To make matters worse, the flood of insulin in your blood causes your glucose levels to drop too quickly. Your body then has to deal with the emergency of dangerously low blood sugar. When blood sugar gets too low, your body has trouble getting glycogen back into your blood fast enough to stabilize your glucose levels. As the result of all this, one of three things will happen:
- You crave sugar, which is your body’s way of getting out of the sugar crash quickly; this usually backfires, though, as eating sugar just spikes your glucose and starts the whole cycle over
- Your adrenal glands produce stress hormones to get you through the emergency
- You reach for caffeine for a quick energy boost
Sometimes all three things will happen – if you are like many people, taking a mid-afternoon coffee break with a sweet treat gets you through your sugar crash, but it almost always ends up making you feel worse by the end of the day. This is because poor sugar handling is very stressful for your body; it also puts your body in a constant state of fat storage and a perpetual release of stress hormones. The longer this cycle continues, the more fat your body will store.
The imbalanced sugar cycle affects your hormones in two important ways. First, it increases insulin levels and keeps them high. Chronically high insulin levels can lead to insulin resistance, which is a precursor to diabetes. Insulin resistance can also affect certain reproductive hormones in ways that lead to excess body fat, inflammation, acceleration of the aging process, unhealthy cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and stimulation of cancer cell growth.
The Carragher Method Approach to Re-balancing Blood Sugar
To help you get your blood sugar back under control, we have teamed with expert nutritionist, Margaret Floyd of Eat Naked, to develop The Carragher Method 14-day Sugar Detox. This plan is designed to recalibrate your blood sugar handling, and to move you to optimal sugar-handling.
Here’s how it works:
For 14 days, you’ll remove anything and everything in your diet that could possibly lead to a sugar spike. Don’t be surprised when we have you remove a few nutritious foods, such as most fruit and some starchy vegetables, for those two weeks. This aggressive approach breaks the unhealthy cycle of blood sugar instability quickly and completely.
Don’t worry – you won’t be going cold turkey on food. We have created a program that allows you to eat delicious, satisfying sugar-free food that improves your blood sugar handling, restores hormone levels and improves your overall health. And help protect you against the current COVID-19 pandemic.
For a personal assessment of sugar, insulin, and your hormones, make an appointment for an evaluation by calling (323) 874-9355 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.