The Sugar Made Me Do It!

It was happening again. I wasn’t feeling like myself. It was hard to identify exactly what was off, just something was off. I was completely exhausted. I felt like I was in a constant haze. I was always hot, and my fuse was short. I seemed to often feel stressed, frustrated and even kind of sad. Even when all may have looked well on the outside, I could feel things unraveling on the inside. I knew this feeling. I had felt like this before. Actually, I had felt like this for a long time once. When I first learned the cause of this “off” feeling, I couldn’t believe it! I didn’t want to believe it! I was told it was caused by the sugar I was eating. “Did you know that white refined sugar has side effects”? I was asked. “You mean aside from causing weight gain?…” “Well, no…actually… I did not” In addition to being one of THE MOST addictive substances on the planet, the list of “side effects” from sugar is actually quite lengthy. And like you may be thinking right now, I initially thought this was a bit of a “hokey” opinion, and I was very skeptical. Sugar is in everything and everyone consumes sugar…surely it can’t be THAT bad! Never the less, I half heartedly went on a sugar detox as it was recommended to me. When I first cut out all white refined sugar, I didn’t notice an instant drastic improvement. But, it was at the 10 day mark when I was flying around my house cleaning and organizing at lightning speed, and actually enjoying it that I stopped for a moment and realized how different I felt. My increase in energy was off the charts! My head felt clear and light and happy. I had more patience with my kids and my husband miraculously seemed less annoying! πŸ™‚ I felt totally relaxed and confident and I realized that I had actually felt like this for days. Could it really be because of the sugar?!! Maybe it was just a coincidence.

This summer I let things slide. I can list of bunch of excuses and tell you about how insane our schedule was. Isn’t everyone’s though? I stopped planning my meals ahead and found myself often reaching for whatever was quick and easy. The sugary foods quickly snuck back into my life. And again, I didn’t notice anything drastic at first. By the end of August I was reflecting on what a miserable summer I’d had. I was stressed. I was unhappy. I was overwhelmed. Something was WAY off! I didn’t feel like my self. Then I remembered…I had felt this exact way before. It was happening again. It was the sugar!! It HAD to be! I immediately went on a sugar detox and cut out ALL white refined sugar and sure enough within a week I felt like a new person!

Sugar is a drug and it’s making you sick. It’s messing with your head. It’s messing with your emotions. It has the capability to CHANGE THE KIND OF PERSON YOU ARE!
I know… I know…you don’t want to hear this. I know that’s how I felt! Most North Americans cannot fathom the thought of living in a world without sugar! That’s so extreme! It’s madness!

Aren’t you curious to meet the “sugar-free” version of yourself? πŸ™‚

P.S. Cutting out white refined sugar does not mean the end of delicious meals, snacks, and desserts. There are many recipes that use alternative, natural sweet sources and taste incredible!

There are many resources where you can read about the scientifically proven side effects from sugar if you are interested in learning more. Here are a few:

(NaturalNews) A cross-cultural analysis published in the British Journal of Psychiatry found a strong correlation between refined sugar consumption and mental illness. Researchers found that a high national intake of refined sugar and dairy products predicted a higher incidence of schizophrenia and depression. Research published in Neuroscience in 2002 found a high fat, high sugar diet reduces a key growth hormone in the brain necessary for memory and learning. Research into the correlation between diet and mental illness is finally expanding. This new research is shedding much needed light on the reality that diet does play a role in the incidence of mental illness.

The most provocative finding in the cross-cultural analysis was the consistent connection between refined sugar intake and worse outcomes for schizophrenia and increased prevalence of depression. Researchers also found that consumption of pulses or whole grains and high consumption of starchy root vegetables were linked to a lower prevalence of schizophrenia and depression. The connection between dietary habits and mental illness was not seen with healthy carbohydrate consumption but strongly correlated with refined sugar consumption. Sugar consumption causes a cascade of physiological effects that may explain the increased prevalence of mental illness.

Refined sugar consumption suppresses brain-derived neurotrophic factor or BDNF, an important growth hormone in the brain. This growth hormone is extremely important for the health of neurons in the brain. BDNF triggers new connections between neurons in the brain which is crucial for memory function. Studies have shown low BDNF levels in patients with depression and schizophrenia. The consumption of refined sugar has the potential to exacerbate depression and schizophrenia by contributing to low BDNF levels.

Refined sugar is notorious for causing increased inflammation in the body. Regular consumption of refined sugar can lead to chronic inflammation which can disrupt immune system functioning. Chronic inflammation is implicated in arthritis, some forms of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease among many other illnesses. Chronic inflammation has also been linked to a higher risk of depression and schizophrenia. Psychologists who have become aware of the recent research on sugar and mental illness have begun recommending sugar free diets to patients.

Dr. IIardi, associate professor of psychology at the University of Kansas, stated that he has encouraged depressed patients to remove refined sugar and refined foods from their diets. Patients who were willing to comply to these recommendations reported significant improvements in mental clarity, mood and energy. Research and patient experiences indicate that a diet high in whole grains and low in refined foods and sugar can provide significant improvement in mental health, clarity and reduced risk of mental illness

Learn more:

Eating lots of sugar is going to give you sudden peaks and troughs in the amount of glucose in your blood; symptoms that this is going on include fatigue, irritability, dizziness, insomnia, excessive sweating (especially at night), poor concentration and forgetfulness, excessive thirst, depression and crying spells, digestive disturbances and blurred vision. Since the brain depends on an even supply of glucose it is no surprise to find that sugar has been implicated in aggressive behavior, anxiety, and depression, and fatigue.
Lots of refined sugar and refined carbohydrates (meaning white bread, pasta, rice and most processed foods,) is also linked with depression because these foods not only supply very little in the way of nutrients but they also use up the mood enhancing B vitamins; turning each teaspoon of sugar into energy needs B vitamins. In fact, a study of 3,456 middle-aged civil servants, published in British Journal of Psychiatry found that those who had a diet which contained a lot of processed foods had a 58% increased risk for depression, whereas those whose diet could be described as containing more whole foods had a 26% reduced risk for depression.
Sugar also diverts the supply of another nutrient involved in mood – chromium. This mineral is vital for keeping your blood sugar level stable because insulin, which clears glucose from the blood, can’t work properly without it.

0 thoughts on “The Sugar Made Me Do It!

    1. Hey Pam, thanks for sharing this…I feel the exact same way as you do, it’s as if I was reading my own story! I gave up sugar 2 years ago for better mental and physical health, and lately I’ve been letting in sugar here and there, at first no big deal, but then I was finding myself very tired every afternoon again, mental fogginess (is that a word), even heightened anxiety…It’s been a few days now since I’ve decided to get it right out of my system again and I feel a whole lot of awesomeness!!!

    2. It can be hard eh Janet?! You almost need to be a detective in the grocery store to really avoid sugar. BUT, when I do, I notice a huge difference! It’s so worth it! πŸ™‚

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