Whether you are plagued by lack of energy, reduced resistance or a chronic illness, it can in principle all have to do with an excess of gluten-containing white flour, milk, dairy products, sugar and sweeteners, rancid fats or trans fats from the casserole or processed products. Eliminate such energy robbers from your menu, at least for a short time. This way you can effectively and cost-effectively inventory which products you do not tolerate well. It can give you a significantly higher energy level. We are now going to delve into sugar and artificial sugar substitutes.
Sugar and artificial sugar substitutes
Sugar and sugar substitutes tumble over each other in the modern diet. Most industrially manufactured foods such as breakfast cereals, cookies, crackers, sweets, muffins, donuts, sauces, ice cream, protein bars or protein shakes are full of sugar or sweetener. Excessive amounts have been shown to adversely affect energy levels and are harmful to health. Many drinks are also colossal sugar bombs: soft drinks, cola, fruit juices, energy drinks and sugared milk (substitutes). Alcoholic beverages of all kinds are diligently contributing to the sugar supply.
Also read: Where does your need for sugar come from? (+ a recipe for healthy chocolate milk!)
The disadvantages of sugar
On average, in an industrial nation, about 22 teaspoons of sugar are nibbled, swallowed, or gulped down per day. An excess of sugar not only causes caries in children, but also creates harmful sugar molecules, so-called ages (Advanced Glycation Endproducts), which attach themselves to the body’s own proteins and affect them. This process has long been associated with energy starvation, aging and disease. The list of other harmful effects of too much sugar is virtually endless.
- It disrupts the absorption of minerals such as calcium, magnesium and chromium. This destroys load tolerance (magnesium deficiency), destabilizes the glucose level (chromium deficiency) and softens bones (calcium deficiency).
- It destroys healthy and slimming good gut bacteria. This is especially true for sugar substitutes (aspartame, acesulfame-K, saccharin, sucralose, etc.). A disturbed intestinal flora promotes energy deficiency and obesity, erodes the resistance and strengthens the development of cancer cells.
- Too much sugar disrupts the autophagy process (the removal of waste products) in the cells.
- It promotes food intolerances, for example histamine intolerance, which, among other things, cause fatigue.
- Too much sugar damages the functioning of vital enzymes and contributes to damage to cells from oxidative stress (mitochondriopathy).
- It is a cause of silent inflammations, which provoke energy starvation and diseases. Examples are: myocardial infarction, cerebral infarction, diabetes mellitus, dementia, obesity, cancer, increase in blood fats (of the harmful, oxidized LDL cholesterol and of triglycerides).
- It increases the risk of migraines, gout, adrenal fatigue and autoimmune disorders.
Sweeteners are all bad. Although they provide no calories, they push blood sugar more than sugar. Therefore, symptoms such as cravings (“I’m shaking on my legs from hunger”) and energy dips are more intense after consumption of sweeteners. In addition, they stimulate an unbridled increase in colon bacteria that cause fat and disease.
Watch your blood sugar
As a rule of thumb, the higher the blood sugar stimulus from food, the stronger the drop in the insulin response (the pancreatic hormone that suppresses blood sugar) and the deeper you plunge into hypoglycemia (hypo = under); and the more severe the energy dip you usually experience. That’s why many people are irritable, surly, or poorly focused.
Usually, this sudden, sudden energy crash and/or emotional slump is followed by a new craving for sugar- and carbohydrate-rich foods, which instantly boosts energy levels and lifts the mood. But that sweet happiness is short-lived. The more often you have a glucose spike, the more the sensitive insulin receptors on the surface of your cells are dulled. They drown in the flow of insulin and become insulin resistant over time, meaning that they no longer hear the insulin ‘banging on the cell door’. Then your body needs more and more insulin to keep the blood sugar level down.
If too much sugar and insulin flush through your body at once, stress hormones ensure that the excess sugar is stored in the form of fat. Then body fat is deposited in the abdomen, and then you do not get rid of it so easily. This new gun of abdominal fat inflammation fires infectious transmitters into the blood, negatively affecting the well-known inflammatory machinery.
If you’re serious about adopting a gut-friendly, anti-inflammatory diet, you can lovingly, but permanently, banish that endlessly craving sugar monster. A sophisticated diet with few blood sugar stimuli prevents fluctuations in blood sugar levels and associated energy dips.