Do you know how much sugar you actually eat during the course of a normal week? Perhaps you aren’t big into dessert, avoid sugary beverages like soda and sports drinks, and prefer savory snacks over sweet treats. Good on you! But have you ever looked at the labels on your salad dressings? Pasta sauce? Nut butter? Yogurt? Cereal and granola? How much fruit do you add to your morning smoothie? Are you a trail mix junky?
In our modern industrial society many processed foods contain added sugars to appeal to our overstimulated taste buds. There’s a reason our brains are programmed to enjoy sugar: it would’ve been rare for our cave-dwelling ancestors to find it in nature. Think about it - naturally sweeten berries and fruits would only be accessible seasonally, honey would require a fair fight against bees, and syrups would’ve required heat and a fairly sophisticated methodology. Yet here we sit with the ability to spoon table sugar into our coffee with minimal energetic input.
With a growing interest in optimal living coupled with an exploding consumer health industry, documentaries like Fed Up and That Sugar Film have attempted to educate the population on the toxicity of sugar and its contribution to chronic inflammation and disease. The hope is that an informed America will demand stricter regulations and transparency from policy makers, forcing the FDA and USDA to re-evaluate their present standards. But is that enough? While policy change can be a slow and tedious path, we would be negligent to not take action on the growing body of knowledge we have in regards to our own maintenance. Personal accountability takes nothing more than motivation, inspiration, and a little dose of discipline.
Let’s do a quick recap on the less than sweet facts:
- Blood sugar, or glucose, is our main source of energy. It dictates how hungry and energetic we feel.
- Blood sugar is produced when we breakdown any carbohydrate—from quinoa and sweet potatoes to cake and croissants.
- Our pancreas is responsible for secreting a hormone called insulin that is released into the bloodstream to regulate this blood sugar.
- Insulin is like a taxi: it picks up blood sugar, then transfers it to our bloodstream and into our cells. This regulates and maintains blood sugar levels within the normal range.
- When we eat sugar (or other carbohydrate-rich foods that are quickly digested into blood sugar like white rice and pasta), the pancreas goes into overdrive to produce the insulin necessary for all the new blood sugar to be stored. This insulin surge tells our body that plenty of energy is available, and that it should stop burning fat and start storing it.
- Stabilizing blood sugar therefore is a key pillar to optimal health and maintaining satiety. Eating the right amount of protein, fat and fiber at each meal can help you maintain this homeostasis and balance blood sugar to burn fat and have consistent energy throughout the day.
For many of us, due to our lifestyles and consumption of overly processed foods, our sugar intake has increased and set our systems out of balance. In order to self-correct it’s important for us to refrain from the culprit, allowing our inner intelligence to re-calibrate to its unique norm.
Clear. Cleanse. Detox.
We will be joining as a brand and community to support one another in this wellness initiative, and hope you’ll join us as we kick off our 7 Day No Sugar Challenge next Monday, February 19th. Check back throughout the week as we discuss our top tricks for quitting sugar, ways to stabilize your blood sugar, how to deal with sugar withdrawal, and what our top natural sweeteners and low sugar recipes are to incorporate in your diet post detox!