Have you ever craved chocolate, coffee, donuts, protein milk shakes or cake slices? The high sugar levels common in all of these, may have led you to smugly tell others: “Look: I just have sweet tooth!”.
By trivializing the “simple choice of sugar” in our diet, we neglect the fact that our bodies may, in fact, be craving or “addicted” to sugar. Let’s be honest, sugar (like any other stimulant), is often used to keeping us “functional” during the day, and stop us falling asleep!
If you pry open Pandora’s box of sugary delights it would immediately become apparent that our bodies are being “ambushed” by foreign invaders. Our addiction to sugar often has NOTHING to do with our taste buds but rather these foreign invaders that rob our bodies of energy. For the purposes of this blog we shall label these energy stealers as “bio-burdens”.
There are five key bio-burdens that keep us dependant on sugar. By co-incidence, these can be easily recalled by using “SUGAR” as an acronymn:
S – Sleep quality and breathing
U – Ubiquitous heavy metals
G – Germs and parasites
A – Acid level of the stomach
R – Real fats in our diet
Sleep Quality and breathing
We will now take each of these 5 factors that ambush our bodies and discuss their importance.
What would sleep quality and your breathing have anything to do with sugar craving? An immense amount it turns out! But its not just sugar, but the morning shot expresso and liquid energy drinks that typically indicate non-restorative sleep.
Equally important is the plethora of hyperventilation (breathing) disorders suffered by the Australian community. Hyperventilation disorders are much higher amongst those suffering with anxiety, depression, asthma, autism and cardiac disorders just to name a few. The impact of chronic shallow, rapid breathing, is concerning … The fight or flight response is initiated resulting in release of stress hormones and loss of energy reserves from the body.
This process was illustrated by Professor Lum in 1975 and replicated below:
Those wishing to identify if they have a hyperventilation disorder can complete the Nijmegen questionnaire online that has been in use for over 30 years.
The bottom line with breathing and sleep is simple – If you can improve your sleep and breathing quality then your body will maintain its energy reserves much longer and reduce your need for sugars and other stimulants.
Ubiquitous heavy metals
Ubiquitous heavy metals also play a significant burden on our body’s ability to function properly. By ubiquitous, we refer to them being everywhere around us, and being accumulated inside our bodies on a daily basis.
Have you recently eaten food with regular table salt, tinned tuna, applied lipstick or used an antiperspirant, lately? You may just added to your body’s stockpile of aluminium, lead or mercury!
The ability to gain nutrition from our food, protect our gut lining and maintain the health of our immune system is highly dependent upon thousands of enzymes working together to nourish and protect us.
Even small amounts of mercury in your body inactivates a significantly higher proportion of zinc molecules? Why is zinc essential to health? Without functional zinc levels we CANNOT absorb our food and create the stomach acid necessary to break down proteins in our diet. Have you been labelled a “chronic fatigue” sufferer or “carrying” a virus in your body that is wiping out our energy levels? My first recommendation would be to address the “SUGAR” causes.
Naturally, mercury is just one of many other heavy metals that impact our energy levels. For those wanting to understand the importance of ridding heavy metals from our bodies, readers may wish to read an excellent blog by Jon Barron. On a personal note, I have found liquid Chlorella a safe and effective method of chelating heavy metals from our bodies with minimal side-effects.
Germs and parasites
Candida and parasites love sugar and steal the essential nutrients you are supposed to absorb by eating them first! Candida needs sugar to thrive and will ambush your will-power to crave sugar. I have had several patients convey to me how they voluntarily reduced their “need for sugar” simply by eliminating the parasites and candida infection in their body.
If you suspect you have are prone to fungal or parasitic infections then there is no harm in using short-term proven herbal remedies to reduce their toll on your body. Chinese wormwood, barbery root and black walnut are amongst the most common herbal extracts found in many effective anti-parasitic and anti-fungal preparations available.
Acid level of the stomach
As this blog has suggested, a strong sugar craving can have multiple causes and just treating a candida or parasite infection alone may not be insufficient to restore your energy levels without addressing the other four bio-burdens.
Of all the factors impacting on your energy levels, the amount of stomach acid, is among the most vital. Sadly, it is also one of the most misunderstood and mismanaged problems in society today.
Here is just a short list of problems that happen when insufficient acid is in your stomach:
1. You become depleted of essential nutrients (such as zinc, calcium, proteins and folic acid) due to poor absorption.
2. You become are target for parasite infestation and candida over-growth as the acidic environment to kill them off is absent.
3. You experience reflux and bloating – Your stomach shuts the gate to your oesophagus only when pH in your stomach becomes highly acidic. Taking antacids or medications will do nothing in the long-term to help you and is only masking the problem.
4. You experience heartburn – Heartburn occurs when the stomach cannot produce enough acid. If the stomach cannot drop the pH level to 2.5 − 3.0 then the sphincter (or “gate”) at the top of the stomach remains open causing reflux symptoms.
If you are suffering with any of these symptoms or want to learn more, then please refer to the website reflux defence which will clear many of today’s misunderstandings on reflux disease and how the stomach functions. In another blog we also discussed the strong link between poor breathing and the higher risk of reflux disease.
Real fats in our diet
Another popular misconception is the demonisation of “good fats”. Back in my undergraduate days, our physiology lecturer mentioned the existence of a sugar-fat “seesaw”. In other words, a diet high in fats provides satiety from hunger and reduces our need for sugars. Now in 2015, a group of UK researchers have confirmed this finding as a reality.
The “good fats” we are referring to here are the omega 3 and omega 6 fats that should be in a 1:1 ratio in our diet. Avocados, macadamia nuts, olive oil and fat from fish (such as salmon or trout) are amongst the healthiest choices.
Some of benefits of “good fat” intake include:
1) Better brain function and mood – Our brains can sustain themselves on either fat or sugar. A diet with more healthy fats and less simple sugars will keep our brains functioning longer without the “mood swings” we typically see in children fed sugar!
2) To make cholesterol – Cholesterol is a basic building block to make our cell membranes and our nervous system work. It is also essential to making our “stress hormones”, sex hormones and vitamin D.
3) Reduced risk of inflammation and heart disease – This is especially true for a diet rich in omega 3 essential fatty acids.
The bottom line is this: Insulin resistance and hypothyroidism are bigger problems to fear when it comes to weight gain than the consumption of essential fatty acids!
To summarise, it should now become clear that our appetite for sugar is not just determined by our taste buds but an overlapping of the five factors mentioned in this blog. It has hopefully provided you with a starting point to improving your health and boost your energy levels whilst reducing your reliance on sugar.
Nobody should ever tell you that giving up their “sweet tooth” was easy – It needs time and understanding. With both of these then the remedy is easy. On this note we can garner some inspiration from celebrity fitness trainer, Ricardo Vargas. Ricardo, a passionate advocate of aligning the Mind, Body and Spirit to achieve health and well-being once said:
“When it comes to mountains there are two kinds of people; those who walk half way up and quit & those who conquer it. Which one are you?”