Quitting sugar is paramount if you want to have awesome health, good energy, balanced hormones, good skin, fewer menopause symptoms, better sleep and many more benefits.
Sugar is eight times as addictive as cocaine. In combination with the right amount of salt and fats, it activates the same part of your brain that is activated by drugs such as cocaine.
The sugar industry spends an obscene amount of time and money on developing foods that our brains will become addicted to.
Being addicted to sugar is a disorder, driven by hormones and neurotransmitters that fuel sugar cravings.
We need carbohydrates in our diets as they are broken down into glucose by our bodies and used for energy to survive. What we get from natural foods is enough to provide the energy we need. It is definitely not necessary to include sugary foods or added sugars into the diet.
is found in fruits, vegetables and honey. Table sugar is one-half glucose. Glucose can be used immediately for energy or stored by the body for later. Our bodies need insulin to convert glucose into energy. Glucose is also the main source of fuel for the brain.
is commonly called milk sugar because it is found in milk and dairy products. It is often argued that as adults we don’t require lactose in our diet and in fact many are allergic or intolerant of it as they don’t easily make Lactase the enzyme needed to process the lactose. Milk does contain some essential vitamins however these are available from other food sources with a lot more to offer our health.
is also known as malt sugar and is found in malted drinks and beer. It is not an essential nutrient.
which we would recognise as sugar consists of 50% fructose and 50% glucose. It is present in most fruits and vegetables.
Foods containing sucrose such as cakes, biscuits, chocolates and lollies, as well as sweetened beverages such as carbonated soft drinks and sports drinks contain large quantities of added fructose. Fruit juice, sweetened or unsweetened is also high in sugar.
is a simple sugar, or carbohydrate typically found in fruit. Being a simple sugar means that it can be absorbed directly into the bloodstream, without having to be broken down or processed by the body during digestion.
Fructose in small amounts has been in our diets forever. When consumed in fruits and vegetables it’s absorption is slowed due to the fibre it is encased in and the body metabolises it efficiently. In the whole form, they also contain vitamins and minerals.
Your liver can only metabolise the amount of fructose contained in two small pieces of fruit a day.
High levels of fructose in your diet inhibits the liver's ability to properly metabolize fat.
When too much fructose enters the liver it is unable to process it so it sends it off to our thighs, bum, wherever, to turn into fat.
Fructose also raises your bad cholesterol, may facilitate insulin resistance, and eventually even type 2 diabetes.
To add insult to injury, hormones, associated with feeling full, release in lesser amounts so appetite-regulating hormones aren’t triggered—and you’re constantly hungry.
Eating sugary foods makes you hungry and tired, and causes weight gain.
Refined sugar increases inflammation.
Sugar consumption has been associated with depression, increased triglycerides, lower HDL, and higher LDL cholesterol; it also feeds cancer cells.
A diet full of excessive sugar – which includes all refined carbohydrates, can lead to significant hormonal imbalance in women.
Too many carbohydrates in your diet can lead to insulin resistance which can cause a whole host of health problems not least of which is Type 2 Diabetes.
Insulin resistance can also cause a charming excess growth of hair and dark patches on the skin.
Sugar molecules, when eaten, can attach themselves to protein molecules and become advanced glycation end products or the appropriately named AGEs. AGEs attach themselves to the collagen and elastin in the body causing wrinkles and inflammation as well as worsening the effects of skin conditions such as acne and rosacea.
Besides the health benefits, since cutting sugar from my diet I have noticed a huge improvement in the condition of my skin. Finer wrinkles have disappeared and my skin is clearer and smoother.
Vitamins B1 and B6 help inhibit the AGEs mentioned above. Brewers yeast is one of the best sources of Vit B1. It gives a lovely savoury flavour to foods. B6 is found in leafy greens such as kale
Cut as much added sugar from your diet as you are able and limit your natural sugars to one small serve of fruit and a good selection of non-starchy vegetables.
Dried fruit and juice are ridiculously high in sugar so if you are planning on losing weight these would be a no-go zone. Try a green smoothie using coconut water as the base instead.
Some vegetables can be quite high in sugar and yes they are the ones we all love to eat!
Limit - sweet potatoes, carrots and peas.
These veg are low to zero so go crazy and fill up:
your cravings will drop off fairly quickly.
Within a short time, you notice amazing things begin to happen in your body. Your hormones begin to regulate. Your hunger/satiation signals normalize. You begin to enjoy the taste of real (unprocessed) foods. Fruit tastes sweeter and vegetables more flavorful.
For my tips on quitting the sugar habit check out my post
For more reasons why too much sugar is bad for your health see
Hi, I'm Jane. I'm the author of the janelamason.com blog. Hitting midlife and menopause can be challenging. I write these posts to highlight my own experience for other women to read about and to give tips that might help to make their path into this time of their lives a little smoother.