Imbalanced blood sugar is one of the primary causes of fatigue, brain fog, cravings, depression, irritability, weight gain, weakened immune system and more. To help balance blood sugar levels and lick the sugar habit…
• Regularly follow Eating-for-Health Guideline #2: eliminate or relegate stimulants to rare occasions, including, caffeine, chocolate, refined salt, alcohol and refined carbohydrates [sugars, high fructose corn syrup, white refined flour, etc.]
• Transition from refined sugars to more naturally sweetened treats.
• Be aware that going “cold turkey” on refined sugars may cause withdrawal symptoms [headache, fatigue, irritability, etc.], plan ahead, alert household members, drink lots of water, and eat nutritious foods to ease the process. Health, energy, and balanced emotions await you on the other side!
• Eat animal protein or whole grains within an hour of waking up.
• Take a generous dose of a barley grass supplement daily to help balance blood sugar, reduce cravings for sweets, and provide essential vitamins and nutrients. Ask your natural healthcare practitioner about other supplements or herbal remedies that may help.
• Feed cravings for sugar and sweets with protein.
• Eat protein before sweets to lower the overall glycemic index and help stabilize blood sugar.
• Have nothing sweeter than fruit during the week. Limit treats made with concentrated sweeteners to a once a week planned indulgence on the weekend.
The best alternative to sugar… FRESH FRUIT!
Alternatives to Refined Sugar:
• raw honey
• brown rice syrup
• fruit juice
• date sugar
• real maple syrup
• Fruit – Nature’s sweet treat
• Stevia – natural herbal sweetener
White Refined Flour — The Other Sugar
Similar to refined sugars, white refined flour is a simple carbohydrate that quickly breaks down into sugar when consumed. Remember the experiment you did as a kid in elementary science class when you took a bite of a Saltine cracker, and held it in your mouth to see what would happen?
What happened was the taste went from a salty cracker to sweet as sugar within seconds; the lesson being to demonstrate how quickly white refined flour and refined grains break down into sugar.
This happens because the refining process has broken down and stripped the once whole-wheat grain, a nutritious complex carbohydrate that is slowly metabolized by the body, into a simple, refined carbohydrate that is now an anti-nutrient. As such, it will not only deplete the body of vitamins and minerals, but will also spike blood sugar levels as it is quickly metabolized.
Many food items made with white-refined flour also have refined sugar added to the mix, especially breads and other baked goods. In addition, white refined flour is processed with toxic substances such as bleach (how do you think it gets white?) and has a high gluten content which is problematic for a growing number of people. You made paste out of white-refined flour, not whole wheat flour, for a reason. With its fiber removed and gluten remaining, white-refined flour is the perfect ingredient for making a sticky paste that is great for childhood art projects, but not so great for trying to process through your body. For all these reasons, white-refined flour and other refined grains are included in the stimulant category.
As you start to move away from food products made from white refined flour, be aware that because it is a simple carbohydrate, much like sugar, white refined flour can be addictive in nature. You may need to clear it from your system in order to eliminate cravings.
Also be aware that many pseudo-food products have misleading verbiage on the front label, such as “rich in whole grain” or “made with natural whole grain.” A closer look at the ingredients label on the back, however, may reveal another story. Many will list as the first ingredient either “white refined flour,” “unbleached flour,” or “enriched wheat flour,” all of which are refined flour and are best kept to a minimum.
Beware of Artificial Sweeteners
When licking the sugar habit, also resist the temptation to turn to artificial sweeteners as these are not a healthful alternative. Aspartame, the most popular artificial sweetener for example, is a neurotoxin that accumulates in the tissues over time and has been associated with a host of side effects, including: headaches, depression, fatigue, anxiety, seizures, brain fog, weight gain and more. For more on this topic, read: Excitoxins, by Russell Blaylock. Similarly, sucralose, saccharin and other artificial sweeteners all have controversy and problems associated with them as well. Be safe rather than sorry and stick with the natural sweeteners.