The two ingredients I’m going to name should come as no surprise: SUGAR and FLOUR. By now, most of us know the effects of sugar; but what about flour? Did you know that both substances are equally toxic and highly addictive? They are. And here’s why: both sugar and flour downregulate (block) the production of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine plays a major role in the motivational component of reward-motivated behavior. 

“What this means is that you require MORE sugar/MORE flour to feel satisfied and to placate your appetite or craving.”

Additionally when you eat sugar and flour you block leptin. Leptin is a hormone that signals the brain to tell it you’re full; STOP eating; get up from the table…

This is exactly why sugar and flour are so addictive — they leave you to your own deVICES (pun intended) and there is no “STOP” for you or your body. There’s also another factor to consider: gluten (more on that in a separate note). But I digress…let’s look at sugar and what it does to your body.
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First, realize that flour (along with many other simple carbs) turns into sugar, thus the old adage that sugar turns into fat. Foods that contain lots of sugar usually don’t contain much fiber, fat or protein. Fiber, fat and protein are what slow down sugar absorption, so when those nutrients aren’t present, blood sugar spikes really fast, like to the top of a roller coaster.
At the top of this roller coaster, the brain is alerted. The brain uses about 50% of your blood sugar at any given time, so any drastic rise or fall in blood sugar levels cause our brain to flip out. When blood sugar spikes, our brain and our body aren’t happy. What’s worse, this signals an EMERGENCY to our body!
At that point, the pancreas secretes the hormone INSULIN to bring blood sugar back down; however, most of us have spent a lifetime of eating a lot of high-sugar, processed products and insulin has gotten used to doing its job all too well. When too much insulin is secreted, our blood sugar dips way down — and that’s the blood sugar crash you feel after the sugar high – that shaky, spaced out, uncomfortable feeling. After the blood sugar crash the body craves more sugar, and the cycle perpetuates.
The easiest and most convenient food to restore blood sugar balance when blood sugar is low is sugar. The problem is, if we keep eating sugar, we will stay on that crazy craving roller coaster. Just what does that mean for your body? This affects your mood, causes weight gain, and can lead to serious diseases like Adult Onset Diabetes.
According to the CDC in 2014, below are the diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes statistics for the United States:
Total: 29.1 million people or 9.3% of the population have diabetes.
On Nov 17th, 2017, CBS This Morning reported that diabetes is on the rise in children! (Originally this was know as adult onset diabetes because it rarely occurred in children but NOT anymore!)
Diabetes is present in one in five school children aged between 10 and 19 year olds. This is a jump of almost 5% since the last decade and some experts warn the number is still rising. And these numbers don’t reflect people that are insulin resistant in either children or adults!
So we have a REAL problem here — and it isn’t just in the U.S.
Here are a few steps you can take to reduce your sugar intake:
  1. The next time you feel a sugar craving, drink a glass of water and wait 5 minutes to see if you still have the craving. Sometimes the craving is a sign of dehydration.
  2. Satisfy your sweet tooth with sweet veggies, fruit and spices. Your tongue has sweet receptors that demand to be satisfied. You can “get around” them by eating fruits, vegetables or even spices that are sweet.
  3. SLEEP — yes, that’s capitalized for a reason. This is a BIG one for many people. If you are not sleeping well or enough, you will look for energy throughout the day, usually in the form of sugar or caffeine. Do your best to go the bed at the same time — preferably around 10 pm.
These are some simple steps — although they may not be easy — that you can take to start to cut back on your sugar cravings.
If you have any questions, please feel free to post below or contact me @ 832-858-4260.
Additionally, I give health talks on different subjects, please check the events tab to find out when the next event is.
I hope this has been a contribution to you.
Oralia pic 02In health and ease,
Oralia Acosta
Certified Health Coach