Health and Lifestyle Information, tips, and fun facts!
There is an innate problem with refined sugar. It increases system inflammation, contributes to hormonal dysregulation, reduces dental health, and can cause weight gain due to all the above.
Taking control of your blood sugar does not mean living a life free from sweet! What you will learn about is how to fight cravings and balance your blood sugars so that you have a shining bright life!
THE SCIENCE OF SUGAR
Anything ending with an -ose is a saccharide, a sugar.
The Monosaccharides are Glucose, which is blood sugar (Dextrose is similar); Galactose, milk sugar; and Fructose, fruit sugar . These are sigular molecules. When 2 mono's are bonded together, they are called disaccharides which are Sucrose, Glucose + Fructose; Maltose, two Glucolses; and Lactose, Galactose + Glucose. When multiple molecules are bonded repeatedly, they are called polysaccharides.
There are also sugar alcohols: Xylitol with the same sweetness as sucrose, Maltitol, Mannitol, and Sorbitol with half the sweetness of sucrose, however have a low glycemic response, therefore often labeled “sugar-free”.WARNING! Can have a laxative effect since they bypass the small intestine, where digestion and absorption take place! The reason these do not affect the blood sugar levels like the other sugars is because these are not sugar - they are sugar alcohols and instead of being processed through the digestive system, they are processed through your liver.
And of course there are sugar alternatives known as artificial sweeteners - think Aspartame (Nutrasweet, Equal), Sucralose (Splenda), and Sachrain (Sweet 'n' Low). These have all been found to create health issues and honestly should be avoided - so put down the diet soda and sugar-free gum!
THE EFFECT OF SUGAR ON BLOOD GLUCOSE AND HORMONES
Our bodies release insulin to manage our blood sugar levels at a rate that is consistent with our circadian fluctuations. Meaning that even while we are asleep, our body is attempting to keep everything in balance from the days stressors.
After every thing we eat, our blood sugar levels increase triggering the pancreas to release the hormone insulin to bring the blood sugar level back down. Exercise also affects our blood sugar levels by increasing the muscular use of sugar for fuel, reducing glucose levels. The goal is to keep our blood sugar in a healthy range - this means that we have balanced blood sugar. If we loose control of our glucose levels, then insulin levels rise suddenly resulting in a sudden decrease in glucose resulting in us needing to eat more sugar to increase our glucose levels... this severe peak and valley wreaks havoc on our hormones, our stress levels, and our waist lines!
This is because, as the cycle of peaks and valleys continues, over time our bodies become resistant to the insulin being relieased, so our blood sugar levels become less stable over time requiring more insulin to remove less glucose. When we are in a state of insulin resistance, we gain weight and we are at higher risk of cardiovascular disease thanks to increased systemic inflammation and arterial damage caused by the increase of glucose. When we are in the valleys it is no better as too low blood sugar means that the body loses energy, craves sugar to get the bump in energy, and further increases our weight as the body will become reluctant to release fat.
In the next blog post, Blood Sugar Control - Taking Control Back!, we will discuss ways to manage our blood sugar through lifestyle modifications and targeted supplementation.
Jenniferlyn Kryvicky, MS, CFSPP, CHHC
Certified Functional Nutritionist
functional nutritionist, transformation coach, and lighter of paths.