Posted on 03/25/2015 at 12:00 AM by Embria Health Sciences
One of the most difficult challenges most of my clients experience when considering a nutritional program is to face their struggles with sugar addiction. Sugar can be a very addictive substance and can be as hard to kick as any other drug addiction for some people.
There is a reason we are addicted to the sweet stuff. Sugar in its natural form from whole grains, fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds is very beneficial as a primary source of energy. When consumed in these whole food forms, the energy from sugar is balanced with fibers, proteins, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and other nutritional compounds for sustained energy with no blood sugar spikes.
The problem happens when sugar is eaten in processed foods and other altered forms that can lead to blood sugar imbalances, overproduction of insulin and an imbalance of unhealthy gut flora. In 1905 Americans ate an average of 5 lbs. of sugar per year. Today we eat an average of 156 lbs per year1 …YIKES!
This overabundance of sugar has been theorized to contribute to many adverse health issues from joint pain, asthma, allergies, weight gain, acne, and ADD just to name a few. More recently, sugar addiction and gut health has been shown to have a direct link. When we eat too much sugar, bad “bugs” in our gut tend to flourish. Some strains of unhealthy bacteria produce toxins and inflammatory molecules that are the root cause of hidden inflammation in the body. They produce lipopolysccarides that trigger inflammation and insulin resistance.2 Healthy gut bacteria produce short chain fatty acids that reduce inflammation. So you can see that balancing your gut flora can do wonders for our health.
There are simple dietary changes you can make to help balance your gut flora:
- Eat whole foods. Whole foods contain a balance of nutrients that feed healthy bacteria.
- Increase your fiber. Fiber acts as a prebiotic in our gut to feed our healthy bacteria. It also helps slow down the release of natural sugars into our blood stream for more sustained energy without sugar and insulin spikes. EpiCor, a safe and natural whole food ingredient, has been show to act like a prebiotic in sophisticated digestive models.
- Quit sugar cold turkey. Yes…cold turkey. Eating just a little bit of sugar can lead to wanting more so it is best to just not eat any. The first 3 days can be rough but I promise that you will feel much better once you get it out of your system.
Balancing the gut flora by reducing or eliminating white sugar can have many health benefits beyond just digestive issues. I have seen my clients eliminate acne, allergies, headaches, and depression to just name a few issues. Sugar doesn’t just make us gain weight, it is a major contributing cause to many diseases in this country. By eating whole foods, getting away from processed foods that are laden with sugar, and taking good quality supplements you can balance your gut flora and feel amazing. Give it 30 days and see for yourself! Let me know, or provide a comment… we’d love to hear from you.