Big news at the moment is…SUGAR! Finally people are starting to realise that sugar is one of the leading causes of weight issues, these days it’s probably more of a problem than fat. It’s no surprise to us, as we have been advising people who want to get healthy to try and cut sugar out of their diet for years, but this is not always made easy by food manufacturers and there are a lot of misleading claims made about the health of certain products. One of the adverts which annoys me the most at the moment is the one that is trying to sell Nutella to us as a health food, telling us it contains nuts and slow release sugars…ok maybe it does, but that does not alter the fact that the product itself is 55% sugar and therefore probably not the healthiest choice we could be making. Then again maybe I shouldn’t get upset about that, after all most of us would expect chocolate spread to be high in sugar, like many people may not be surprised that coco pops are 35% sugar. What may surprise you though is that cereals which are held up as healthy and good for people trying to lose weight are also high in sugar. For example All Bran contains 22% (that’s nearly a 1/4 as sugar) and Special K contains 6.8g per serving, which is actually more sugar than you would find in a McVities Chocolate Cake Slice! On top of this did you know that a weight watchers digestive biscuit has more sugar in than a standard digestive?!
The problem with all this is that when you eat something which is high in sugar, the energy from that food is released very quickly into your blood stream. Your body then produces insulin, which tells the cells of your body to take the sugar out of the blood stream to make energy. However, when you eat more energy than your cells actually need, insulin will store the rest of that sugar for later. Most of that excess sugar will be stored in the fat cells around your middle. Is it any wonder then, that despite their best efforts many people struggle to get the weight off eating foods they are told are healthy?
Weight issues are not the only thing affected by this high intake of sugars either. We see a lot of people with bowel issues, bloating and wind, who are surprised to learn that we believe the sugars are feeding the fermentation in their guts which is causing the problems. Cutting out sugars in those situations can make a massive difference – one girl I saw recently had been struggling with bloating and pain for years and was shocked that such a simple step made a massive difference to her in just two weeks!
Cutting sugar down then could be a key to weight loss and bowel problems, but we know it is often easier said than done – sugar is addictive and many people struggle with sugar cravings and sugar dips which affect their energy levels and their mood. There are things that you can do to help though and getting on top of those cravings and keeping your blood sugar levels balanced is a real key to this. We tend to suggest using a supplement like Higher Natures Metabolic Balance to start off with. This supplement is designed using nutrients like chromium and magnesium to help support healthy blood sugar levels, which will in turn reduce fat storage, and sugar cravings. Once the sugar cravings are more controlled, a low sugar diet is easier to stick to and weight loss tends to follow. When we see people for our weight loss clinic then, one of the first things we do is work with them to get as many sugars out of their diet as possible, get their blood sugar levels balanced and get rid of their sugar cravings and it is surprising how quickly this can be achieved. Using a low sugar diet alongside Metabolic Balance can knock those cravings and the cycle of fat storage and low energy levels on the head and give weight loss a real kick start.