The dirt on sugar

The dirt on sugar

I know you’re all thinking, “Yes, we know sugar is bad for you, we’ve heard it all before.” With all the negative impacts sugar has on our health, our brains, our moods, our behaviour, and ultimately on how efficiently we stave off disease, it’s time we give you the real dirt on sugar.

When sugar enters the body

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In the brain, sugar registers the same as a drug would. It comes with cravings and withdrawal symptoms when you don’t feed it, and when you do, feel good hormones serotonin and dopamine are released. This leads to further cravings, and before you know it, you’re stuck in an unhealthy sugar addiction.

The rest of our body uses glucose (blood sugar) to fuel many parts of the body. Therefore, a healthy intake of glucose is vital to bodily function processes. When the correct amount enters the bloodstream, Insulin releases it into our cells to either break down as energy, or be stored for later use in keeping our blood sugar levels balanced in between meals. 

But what happens when we continuously take in excess sugar?

Remember Insulin? The hormone that regulates your blood sugar levels - it stops listening. Cue – insulin spike and this happens every time you eat sugar, ultimately leading to Diabetes.
Other potential negative outcomes:

  • Tooth decay – sugar strips calcium from your bones and teeth
  • Obesity – unused fat stores from excess glucose
  • Heart disease
  • Increase in bad cholesterol
  • Alzheimer's – long term inflammation is linked to neurodegenerative disease
  • Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease - from poor liver health over time

Symptoms and outcomes of excessive sugar in the blood stream

What goes up must come down, right? Therefore, high blood sugar leads to low blood sugar.

Symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Confusion and brain fog – too much sugar leads to a lack of focus
  • Fatigue – the lows leave your body feeling extremely tired
  • Weakness – lack of energy with no glucose in your cells
  • Anxiety – mood disorders, irritability, even depression

Sugar is e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e!

Your favourite snack or burger sauce might not say “sugar” on the nutrition label. But watch out, because companies know every trick in the book. If the label mentions fructose or sucralose, you can be sure you’re taking in sugar, and not the good kind that your body needs, it’s the kind that negatively impacts your bodily functions, mood and weight.

You already have all you need in your pantry to make the healthiest and tastiest sauces! Take a peek now, do you see Olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, vinegar and spices? Then you’re just a recipe away from a guilt-free dressing that tastes great too!

Guilt-free vinaigrette

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Combine the following, whisk and chill:

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar of choice
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste


Who loves Peanut Butter cookies?

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•     1 cup peanut butter
•     1 teaspoon cocoa powder
•     1 large egg
•     2 tablespoons xylitol

1. Preheat the oven to 150°C
2. Whisk egg with xylitol and butter. Continue whisking until combined.
3. Add cocoa powder for additional flavour.
4. Line a baking sheet with wax paper and scoop spoonfuls’ of cookie batter on the sheet.
5. Bake for 15 minutes.

Banana pancakes - For the sweet tooth and health conscious!

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  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder (fluffier pancakes)

1. Mash the bananas until there are no major lumps.
2. Add baking powder.
3. Add eggs to the banana and whisk until combined.
4. Heat and lightly grease a non-stick pan.
5. Spoon batter into the pan.
6. Cook for one minute each side.
7. Enjoy your guilt-free pancakes!

During a global crisis such as the pandemic we’re currently going through, it’s so easy to slip into a poor lifestyle and eating habits. Stress eating, cravings and a lack of exercise make it all the harder for our bodies to detox the undesirables that we feed it. Understanding the negative impact of sugar on our bodies is a step in the right direction to a stronger immune system and overall improved health!

Date Published: 
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