I’m going to come right out and say it: my name is Marie and I am a recovering sugar addict. No joke. My sugar addiction goes way back, I can remember even being in elementary school and my dad would stop by the convenience store on the way home and let me get whatever candy I was craving that day. Then in high school my evening ritual was eating half a pint of Ben and Jerry’s chunky monkey and then passing out for two hours. Even to this day, sugar is my weakness and I have to be careful around “safer” sweet treats like dark chocolate truffles and cakes made with coconut flour. Fortunately we have wisened up on the truth about sugar and how if screws with our hormones. So before you take a bite of that cookie read this first.
Sugar causes Insulin resistance
Remember sugar cubes? Well I do and I loved them, but here is what happens when you eat too many. Once that sugar hits your mouth your saliva breaks it down into simple sugars and it soon finds its way to your blood stream. When there is too much sugar in your bloodstream your pancreas pumps out insulin to help store that sugar for energy in liver and as fat. But what if you are constantly eating so much refined sugar and carbs your pancreas starts pumping out insulin all the time. Eventually your body becomes resistant to the insulin and isn’t able to regulate your blood sugar easily anymore. This is insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is probably the worst way sugar causes hormonal imbalance and is in fact a root cause to hormonal syndromes like PCOS as well as diabetes. The good news there are things you can do to correct insulin resistance but none of those ways include sugar.
Sugar causes Inflammation
If you struggle with acne like I did, you are going to love this because one cause of acne is inflammation. Sugar causes inflammation in the body by sticking onto your cells like chewing gum. This then sends the alarms to your immune system which responds by sending out its defense soldiers (inflammatory cytokines) as if it were under attack. These cytokines are markers for inflammation and your body will respond in a stress response that later can cause water retention and bloat, a breakout of zits, blood sugar spike and crash and fatigue. Inflammation is no joke and you definitely need to bring it down if you want to balance your hormones.
Sugar screws up your digestion.
This one is not quite so obvious but it does affect your hormones in a major way. Our tummies are filled with many different strains of good and bad bacteria. A healthy gut is one that has more good bacteria than bad, these good bacteria protect you from pathogens, keep the lining of your gut very tight so no food particles pass through and helps to absorb nutrients. However by eating too much sugar you can actually be feeding the wrong microbes like yeast and parasites. When you feed these bacteria, they become more dominant creating an imbalance of bad to good bacteria. This can cause a whole host of problems like, compromised immune system, fatigue and yes hormonal imbalances. The health of our gut is vitally important if you want to stay healthy, so don’t feed your sweet tooth feed the good bacteria with REAL food instead.
Quitting sugar takes a level of determination but in my experience once you make it to 7 days the cravings stop and it becomes much easier. After one month, your taste buds change and you begin to really taste the subtle sweetness of vegetables and berries that you never did before. If I could do it, so can you.