Ready to Connect the dots? A love affair with Sugar & my gluten-sensitivity
To watch my YouTube video: Ready to Connect the dots? A love affair with Sugar & my gluten-sensitivity
I don’t know about you, but I love sugar, always have, and always will. Today’s difference is that I understand the variances between added, unnecessary, and natural sugars. The unnecessary and added sugars are the kinds that used to give me lots of trouble regarding my body’s health, my gluten-sensitivity, and my digestive issues.
Connecting the dots;
You see, we don’t need added sugars for our bodies to function. Our bodies get sucrose from the wholefoods we eat, such as vegetables, fruits, meats… Sucrose is the only sugar our body needs to function. It is part of our energy center.
Today’s problem (which was my problem as well) is that the average consumer eats way more than the recommended amount per day. The recommended amount per day is 6 teaspoons for women and 9 teaspoons for men. One teaspoon equals about 4 grams. The average American today eats about 22 (88 grams) to 30 (120 grams) teaspoons per day (yup, that used to be me). To put things into perspective, let’s look at a glass of orange juice at about 22 grams of sugar, this alone is only 2 grams away from the recommended amount per day for women, and we are only at breakfast.
Research shows that eating too much sugar and eating too many refined carbohydrates (simple carbs) can cause inflammation in our bodies over time and lead to health problems. In my case, it added to my inflammation in my digestive system and gluten-sensitivity. I am convinced that several things caused inflammation in my digestive system, but my diet was definitely a large part of that. The problem was that I didn’t connect the dots for the longest time. I didn’t realize that sugary foods can continue to agitate my digestive system and my gluten-sensitivity, even though I didn’t eat gluten. I thought being gluten-free should have done the trick.
My problem was that;
- I didn’t know sugars can cause inflammation or add to it.
- I didn’t know that my digestive system was inflamed.
- I didn’t understand how sugars and carbohydrates worked.
- I figured taking gluten from my diet as I had a gluten-sensitivity would have been enough.
- I kept listening to my brain as it was craving sugars all the time and ignored my body yelling at me, telling me to stop eating sugars.
Yes, the sweet stuff is highly addictive, as they work in the same receptor sites as drugs and alcohol. It was natural to me to keep eating all the sweet tasty foods, which my brain kept telling me to do.
But wait a minute:
You see, added sugars can affect us in so many different ways when eaten in too high of quantities, when it comes to our health, such as;
- suppressing white blood cell function
- suppressing our immune system
- adds to/causing inflammation
- can cause obesity, weight gain
- cardiovascular disease
- insulin resistance
Often we aren’t aware of how a simple thing such as eliminating these sweet-tasting foods (even though it’s hard to do) from our diet can make such a big difference.
Is it a pain in the behind? Yes, it is.
Did I want to do quit sugars? No!
Did I do it anyway? Yes!
How long did I keep added sugars from my diet, including simple carbs, to let my digestive system recover from the inflammation it was suffering from? One year!
Do I eat added sugars again today? I have a treat every so often, but my diet is 95% free from added sugars still today.
Luckily these changes have made a big impact on how I felt and feel today. I was feeling better than ever, but still not 100%, though. Needless to say, I was lost once more because I did not connect the dots to the added and hidden sugars in the processed foods such as cereal, granola bars, sugar-free and gluten-free foods I was buying containing added/hidden sugars.
Can you relate to anything I have been writing about this far? It’s confusing, I know; I used to be so confused as well.
Often people say to me, Andi, I eat healthily. I don’t eat any sugar. I get it. I hear you, and I believe you. You see, the bottom line is that so many of us, including myself, think that they eat healthy, when in fact, we don’t. The way we understand or think of eating healthy has changed dramatically over so many years. Many of us are influenced by what our processed foods tell us. Processed foods have become a huge part of our life when it comes to our daily diets.
Often processed foods claim to have some kind of healthy value to us, when in fact, they have hidden sugars. Sugars with unrecognizable names such as dextrose, sucrose, names I can’t pronounce. Names I would have never recognized as sugars, names you probably can’t recognize as sugars either. For a full list of these sugars, click here. Right now, I am offering this Freebie alongside one of my FREE mini-courses, The 411, on meal prepping.
It was hard to recognize and cut these sugars from my diet, but once I did, the world became a different place. My well-being made a 180. Today, they are as many products containing added/hidden sugars as there are products in plastic in our grocery stores. So to make things a little less confusing, here are a few pointers I will give you:
- Exchange your ultra-processed foods with wholefoods such as fruits, vegetables, meats, fish, nuts, seeds…
- Read the ingredients on your processed foods. Use my list of the many names of hidden sugars.
- Practice awareness, think about where your food comes from? Does it come from mother earth or a warehouse?
- Prepare your own foods, cook from scratch, bulk cook, meal prep. (Don’t know if meal prepping is for you, take my FREE 411 on Meal-Prepping course, which comes with a bonus gift the “the many names of hidden sugars” list)
If I can give one piece of advice that made a big difference in my health regarding my gluten-sensitivity and digestive issues, it is to eliminate these added and hidden sugars from our diets. It was the missing link to my health for quite some time. Today I can actually eat gluten again if I choose to and know where the food is coming from.
I hope this blog helped you understand and connect the dots between my gluten-sensitivity and digestive issues and the sugars I used to eat, how they affected me and my inflammation, and why I feel so much better today. As always, remember this is for informational purposes only, and it’s not intended to replace your own physician’s advice, as we are all different and are in different situations.
Until next time I would love to hear from you. Tell me what your thoughts are on sugar consumption and plan to make sugar changes in your life.
I cheer you on. Make 2021 your year! Yes, U can! 🙂