Tis the Season of the Sugar Rush
For many, Halloween kicks off the first of several months centered on consuming more sweets and treats than usual. From the moment kids bring home their pillowcases full of candy to the last piece of chocolate while watching the ball drop, sugar is everywhere.
Fun-sized candy bars, hot cocoa, pumpkin pie, sugar cookies, you name it. The days are getting colder and the sun is rarely seen. As the holidays approach, we become stressed and over-scheduled. Sugar makes us feel good and provides comfort.
When you eat sugar, it lights up your taste buds, and sends delicious messages to your brain. This triggers a release of dopamine, a hormone that makes us feel good. Your pancreas releases insulin to take all that glucose in your bloodstream and use it for energy. If you keep eating sugar, your pancreas overshoots, and too much insulin is released. Your blood sugar drops below normal and you feel sluggish. Your body wants to bring your blood sugar back up to feel better so it makes you crave more sugar.
We eat sugar.
We feel good.
We continue to eat sugar to feel better.
If you continue this pattern on a regular basis, over time your cells may stop responding to insulin and the leftover glucose stays in your bloodstream. This insensitivity to insulin could lead to Type 2 diabetes.
Other results of chronically high insulin levels are:
- Lower levels of leptin production (our hunger hormone) that can result in overeating and weight gain
- Higher triglyceride levels that result in storing fat around your belly (visceral fat)
- Decreased ability of white blood cells to destroy invaders resulting in a weakened immune system
How is fruit different?
Fruit is the whole package. Just like that candy bar, a piece of fruit comes with plenty of sugar. Unlike that candy bar, it also contains all the vitamins, minerals and enzymes needed to digest it, as well as lots of fiber to slow its digestion. All that fiber staves off insulin spikes as well as overconsumption. To consume the same amount of fructose found in a can of coke, you would need to eat six cups of strawberries. Which one do you think will make you feel full afterwards?
If you get stuck in a sugar rush loop, recognize it, and try to step out of it. Put down the candy bar and grab an apple instead. The sweet taste will send the same feel-good vibes to your brain, the fiber will fill you up, and because it doesn’t come with the insulin spike and crash, you can walk away feeling good about your choice!
We want you to be well and to live your best life. The content is in this blog is provided for the purposes to educate and entertain you: our very important reader. It is not intended as medical advice or as a substitute for medical advice from a trained healthcare professional.
If you have a medical condition or are under the care of a medical provider, please always seek the advice of a qualified medical professional before undertaking a new health care regime. To that point, never disregard medical advice or delay treatment for a medical condition because of something you read on this site.
Listen to your care providers as they know you and your condition best. Thank you for reading!
The Team at BSDI