Your Body Needs Sugar! Say What?!
Before you go and join mainstream media recommendations to ‘quit sugar’ for the good of your health, it turns out our bodies run on the stuff!
Glucose is a form of energy you were designed to run on. Every cell in your body, even every bacterium – and in fact, every living thing on Earth – uses glucose for energy. So it’s no wonder our body continually monitors the amount of glucose in our bloodstream to maintain balance. Too much or too little triggers the release of hormones to return the glucose levels to “normal.” And this seesaw between too much or too little is what we really need to focus on for health.
Sugar is Everywhere!
It’s not just the white granular sugary stuff we add to our coffee that affects the too little or too much glucose in our blood stream. It’s anything that can be broken down into glucose that we eat, as well as allergenic-foods we might not even know we’re sensitive to. Even not getting enough of the right type of sleep at night, as well as stress play a role. Sugar really is everywhere, so just quitting sugar would actually not be enough, especially if you’re stressing about it!
After a meal of carbohydrates, glucose is converted into a starch form of sugar called glycogen. Glycogen is stored first in the liver and then in the muscles. It’s our reserve. It is converted back into glucose when blood sugar levels need to increase (the too little scenario).
Oh and only the glycogen stored in the liver can be used to elevate blood sugar. The glycogen stored in the muscles is only used for the muscle. Sounds like we should eat as many glucose-rich carbs as possible right? No! We were designed to use a balance of unrefined carbohydrates along with good fats and proteins as our primary sources of fuel:
– Carbohydrates are like “kindling”
– Fats are like “logs”
– Proteins are used as needed
We were never designed to run on just carbs. Unless you want to be a slave to food constantly needing to eat. We need all three marconutrients. That said, what we eat is a great place to start in balancing blood sugar responses.
Where you Should Get Your Sugar
Eat real whole foods, avoiding processed foods with their unrecognizable (read stressful and blood sugar spiking) ingredients, with a balance of all three macronutrients – not too many carbs, fats to slow things down in your tummy and proteins from responsible sources.
It turns out all sugar summates. It’s not just stress or too little sleep or foods you didn’t know you were allergic to. It’s all of them together. To your body they’re all stresses and they look pretty much the same on the inside- a spike in blood sugar. Perhaps the secret to longevity is truly low insulin secretion. It’s our blood glucose lowering hormone, and also our fat storage one! Maintaining an even blood sugar balance would also mean an even hormonal balance. With that comes the weight, mood, energy, motivation and pretty much everything we’re all hoping to fix in our lifetimes!
The truth is nothing is good or bad just in or out of balance and our body’s blood sugar responses are most definitely out of balance and not just cos of the sugar we’re eating.