Sugar by any other name is … well … sugar. Here is a list of the more common names for hidden and not so hidden, sugar in our foods. (part 1)
Sugar. It’s been around in the form of fruit since the Garden of Eden, but today it’s also in almost everything else we eat. The first sugar refinery was built in 1689 in New York City. People started putting sugar in everything they ate and drank. By 1699, people were eating 4 pounds a year, and today the average American consumes over 130 pounds of sugar! (The USDA recommends no more than ten teaspoons a day, but most people consume over twenty-five teaspoons a day!) No wonder why diabetes is so rampant in the United States—over 300 million people in the United States have it.
Sugar will also affect your thyroid by overtaxing your endocrine system.
Today refined, processed sugar is in nonfat and low-fat foods, junk foods, wine, peanut butter, canned vegetables, bread, protein bars, organic processed foods, every sauce you can think of, ketchup, and oh the list goes on.
Sugar addiction and cravings are some of the hardest to break. Even having just a small amount can trigger a desire for more. Refined and processed sugar is mostly found in the form of high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, glucose, and maltose.
“When people lose the ability to maintain a steady blood sugar level, the entire human organism is affected. A healthy body exists in a state of homeostasis, maintaining a steady balance within all systems that ensure smooth functioning for the whole organism. Maintenance of blood sugar is controlled by the hormonal system, which is interconnected with many other vital body control systems, including the sexual reproductive system, adrenal glands, thyroid and pineal glands. The breakdown of blood sugar regulation can lead to the breakdown of other systems until the entire organism is out of whack.” Joshua Rosenthal, Institute for Integrative Nutrition,
God, in His infinite wisdom, has provided some natural sugars that are actually good for your body!
Let’s get some sugar facts straight: Yes, there is a three o’clock slump! You feel the need for caffeine and sugar to help get you through the rest of your day. It’s about three hours after lunch, and your blood sugar level starts to tank because you had simple carbs for lunch.
When you experience your slump, you grab something sweet: a donuts, cookie, candy bar, or cake—anything but fruits or vegetables. When your body sends out a sugar craving, it’s telling you that your glucose level is too low. Glucose is your cell’s energy source, and if your glucose level is low, your body needs energy—and it needs it quick.
Simple carbohydrates (short-chain sugars) are the sugars that are refined and processed—for example, anything with high fructose corn syrup, artificial sugars, deserts, and snacks. These types of foods are nutrient empty—there are no nutrients or vitamins present. They are all chemically produced. When you eat this type of food, it enters into your blood stream as sugars and feeds your cells, filling them up fast, causing a rapid rise in glucose. This is a sugar rush. Then you experience a sugar crash. Your body thinks you are in an emergency state and burns up the sugar quickly, causing you to experience hypoglycemia: the pancreas secretes too much insulin, making you feel weak, dizzy, hungry, and shaky.
God has a solution: complex carbohydrates (long-chain sugars)! These carbs are found in whole foods—nutrient-rich foods—in the form of vitamins, fiber, and energy (as opposed to processed foods, which have very little if any fiber or nutrients). Your body can break down this type of sugar more easily, by processing the sugar and releasing fiber into the blood stream. This process takes longer; therefore, when you add this fiber to your diet, you don’t experience a sugar crash or three o’clock slump. What are examples of complex carbohydrates? The food that God created for us: foods like vegetables, whole grains, some fruits, and some plant and animal protein sources.
Carbohydrates are essential for your body. They provide the fuel your body needs for energy. Without energy, your heart would not beat; you would not be able to breath or digest food. But the carbohydrates that provide this energy must come from the food that God gave, not highly processed foods, like candy bars and low-fat/nonfat foods.
You can tame your sugar cravings by choosing to eat foods like squash, sweet potatoes, fruits, and whole grains. They are full of fiber and will keep you full from breakfast to lunch and from lunch to dinner.
When you crave sugar, it’s not just the white or brown crystals in your cupboards you desire; it’s also the chemical, synthetic sugars found in almost all foods that have been altered by humans.
Excerpt from Feed the Furnace, Using Nutrition to Help Heal Your Thyroid Disease, #1 Best Seller in 5 categories
Debra Thomas, Integrative Nutritional Health Coach