Is All Sugar The Devil?
How It Works
There are so many dietary theories these days on reducing or eliminating sugar from your diet. While I am a huge advocate for unprocessed sugar there is some gray area I wanted to dive into to see how I would feel if I eliminated close to all sugar and here is what happened.
What You’ll Need
- Cut out all sugar
nor hard Somewhat
On my path to overall wellness I decided there must be some thing behind sugar and inflammation. Sugar was said to fuel cancer cells, cause diabetes, weight gain, heart disease etc. There has been allot of focus on ketogenic diets and paleo diets promote the use of less sugar. I wanted to explore what this meant. Certainly fruit sugar in moderation was okay? Right?! What about coconut sugar and all the health benefits people claim it has? Dairy also breaks down to a sugar! Were root vegetables ok?
With great effort I decided to go Paleo Vegan (since I eat a plant based diet to begin with.) Whoa Nelly not an easy challenge. I had to be SUPER mindful of what I was consuming because I was losing weight too fast. I had to make sure I was getting an adequate number of calories a day to stay healthy while balancing that I was also getting enough protein and nutrients. I was doing really well for 3 months before I had a major crash in the fall. My personal journey ended after 4 months feeling like I was having cognitive issues without the carbs. I slowly added in whole grains again but kept sugar low to this day. I felt inflammation was better and all around felt pretty good but it was too high maintenance to keep track of carbs and became a little obsessive. I try to balance all things and this certainly didn't fall into the balanced category. I did have more energy and felt less bloated and my system ran really well. I was really muscular and could work out longer with less down time. I was amazed at how much sugar was added to anything that was in a box or jar at the supermarket. Even kids foods... SUGAR is ADDED to EVERYTHING.
With my story said lets dive a little deeper. The good news is the body uses different sugars differently. This article was really informative by Chris Kresser :https://chriskresser.com/is-all-sugar-created-equal/
What about lactose - Yes! Lactose breaks down as sugar. Just like the above articles states, it behaves in the body different then HFCS or table sugar. The body needs glucose to function. Dairy is made up of two sugars glucose and galactose. Not fructose which has been shown to cause allot of negative health issues. On a cellular level it is becoming known as a vital nutrient. Lactose is also a low calorie sweetener and aids in the healthy development of babies brain function. It is also a prebiotic helping build good flora in the gut which aids in immune function. (WOWZA.) After reading this I wondered about some cognitive issues I was having being lactose intolerant and vegan... hmm. Food for thought.
So in short. Veggies that have fiber and sugar may be beneficial in combating obesity and diabetes in moderation and same goes for fruit. If you have digestive issues then sugar may be a challenge. The devil lies in the details of HFCS and table sugar and all the awful things that type of sugar causes in high consumption. It seems that in studies with mice and cancer, high consumption of sugar was leading to an increased risk of breast cancer, however there are a lot of inconclusive studies linking cancer and sugar. Bottom line is: in high amounts the negative effects of sugar far out weigh the deliciousness of the ingredient. Be mindful of your consumption and you can always take a few weeks with low sugar consumption to see if its harming you. Become intuitive in your own body with what its telling of you.