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Sugars Explained


SUGARS EXPLAINED 1024 1024 Delphine Remy | Holistic Nutrition & Eating Psychology Coach

If you are wondering what the significance of blood sugar levels is, here is a fun fact for you: did you know that most people who live long, over a 100 year, healthy lives all have one thing in common?

You guessed it! Balanced sugar levels.

Blood Sugar. What is it?
Blood sugar, or glucose, is sugar the bloodstream carries out to all the cells in your body to supply energy. Glucose is what provides all the energy to our body and brain and it comes from the food we eat. To enjoy good health and ultimately a long life, it is important for these Glucose levels to remain stable, balanced. And this balancing is done by the pancreas and several important hormones. Hormones such as insulin and cortisol allow the liver to release a specific amount of sugar into the bloodstream.
Some of these hormones (cortisol and catecholamines) increase the blood sugar levels, while Insulin lowers the blood sugar levels. The bottom line being that the blood sugar levels must neither be too high, or too low, but should be balanced.

The Spike in Our Blood Sugar Levels
Blood sugar levels rise for a number of reasons. For some people, that spike comes in the morning due to a change in hormones or a drop in insulin and for others the spike comes when introducing certain foods or sugars into the bloodstream. Coffee, Chinese food, bagels, stress and even sports drinks have high fats, carbs and starches that boost your sugar levels and keep them for a while, others foods such as fruits, veggies and exercise are intended to lower blood sugar levels. When we eat such foods naturally the blood sugar level adjust causing the pancreas to immediately jump into action and start secreting insulin into the bloodstream.

This insulin then turns the sugar into energy after which the blood sugar levels start to come back to their normal range. However, if you eat a lot of processed foods, you are basically giving your liver and pancreas that much more work to do and then both of them are not able to regulate the blood sugar levels.

The level of the sugar in our blood then stays high which results into several health concerns we will be speaking about shortly.

Unbalanced Sugar Levels
The releasing of insulin into the bloodstream is a natural response of our body dealing with a sugar overload. Sometimes, the body does not know when to stop releasing the insulin; it keeps on releasing the insulin which causes the blood sugar levels to drop down and then we experience something which we refer to as the “crash.”

This crash experience is characterized by mood swings, irritableness, extremely tempting sugar cravings where you end up consuming more sugar which causes the body to release more insulin into the bloodstream and if the insulin does not stop secreting itself into the bloodstream you may very well experience another crash.

Most people are under the false impression that only refined sugars are bad for your health; excessive consumption of refined carbohydrates (white rice, potatoes, pasta, etc) are also ultimately broken down into sugar molecules and are also capable of making the body crash.

Insulin Resistance
In some cases the insulin that is secreted into the bloodstream may not turn the sugar into energy. This phenomenon is called as insulin resistance which can lead to developing problems like diabetes.

People who have insulin resistance crave sugar almost always, they are always hungry, they find it extremely difficult to concentrate on things, they might even experience memory loss. Feeling lethargic and exhausted becomes a day to day thing for them.

Problems That Arise Because of Insulin Resistance
Other than diabetes, several other health concerns may also arise because of insulin disturbances. High insulin damages arteries which mean that the risk of developing a heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure increases. Gout and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) may also be a result of high insulin.
Obesity is also a result of high insulin. When the blood sugar is not converted into energy, it gets stored as fat. So technically, if you are looking to lose weight avoiding food items marked as “low-fat” or “fat-free” is not going to do you any good; you should be actively avoiding sugar. Fat is not the issue, sugar is!

How Do Carbs Work?
Carbs (carbohydrates) also provide energy like their sister glucose but instead of powering up cells, carbs provide energy to your muscles, the central nervous system, your metabolism and prevent other essential foods like protein from being used wastefully. A common misconception is that carbs are bad — well, no, carbs are not bad but just like everything else needs a healthy balance.
Carbohydrates are essentially of two types: Complex Carbohydrates and Simple Carbohydrates

While both types of carbs give you energy, complex carbs take longer to be broken down. This is why when you eat complex carbs you do not feel hungry for a long time because your body is still breaking the carbs from the last time you ate a meal. This a great tip for anyone who is looking to lose weight. You brain needs glucose to function; it is important to have some of it on hand for complicated processes like ATP (adenosine triphosphate) conversion and simpler ones like for energy purposes.
The more we educate ourselves on how the body works and what it needs the easier it becomes to maintain a healthy body and ultimately healthy blood sugar levels. Just remember the primary function of any sugar is to metabolize and provide energy for bodily functions such as neuro functions, mood stabilizing, providing your body with energy to do physical activities as well as counter impeding health threats. You are only as healthy as what you eat — so keep it healthy!


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