I have a love/hate relationship with sugar.
Since I was a little girl, and well into my early twenties, it’s always been something I can’t resist. Hell, until today I still struggle resisting the siren call of desserts at dinner! I know what its like to demolish a packet of cookies, or a tub of ice cream, and feel like you have no control over your body. Sugar does that to you.
White sugar is a greedy thing. All it does is take take take and it gives nothing back. In fact, all you get is a few minutes of pleasure followed by many more minutes of pain – be it physical or emotional. It’s like a bad boyfriend you just can’t seem to let go of.
To quickly explain it, sugars are basically a classification of carbohydrates. Once sugar is digested, it is absorbed in the form of glucose. Our pancreas then secretes the hormone insulin, which gets the glucose and gets it to the cells in our body to use as energy. That’s why kids tend to go mental when they have something with lots of sugar, as they are literally being given a big ol’ dose of fast energy.
The same is true for carbohydrates seen as healthy, such as sweet potatoes, quinoa, and buckwheat. The difference is the speed in which this happens, as the healthy alternatives are complex carbohydrates, so are higher in fibre, which means they don’t release sugars as quickly into our blood stream and also provide us with great nutrition.
If we eat too much sugar, the insulin will in turn convert and store the excess glucose as fat in our bodies, and while insulin is present, our bodies actually can’t burn fat, giving us that hated pudge in our mid-sections. Urgh. There is also research showing how excess sugar can not only make us insulin resistant (which can lead to diabetes) but also leptin resistant – and leptin is what tells our bodies to burn fat and also tells us when we are full. Continue reading