Stop Sugar Cravings and Those Sugar Highs and Lows
This is an explanation of sugar cravings – why our bodies go through sugar highs and lows when we eat sugary foods. It is an important topic because there is such a tragedy in our lives due to our dependence on sugar. If it is something you are dealing with, there are ways to Sometimes kick-start your effort to get off sugar. If so… Get Expert Help Every Step of the Way - See this Review of Diane Sanfilippo's 21-Day Sugar Detox Program.
This is an explanation of sugar cravings – why our bodies go through sugar highs and lows when we eat sugary foods. This is the main reason many of us end up overdoing the sugar and overeating. It is also a situation handled quite well with a good plan for a low carb diet. Sugar Cravings usually cause what many of us call Sugar Highs and Lows. What I mean by a sugar high (or rush) is that sense of joy and high energy that occurs after you’ve eaten something sweet. It might not be something you distinctly notice, but when you think about it, it may well be a part of your lifestyle. An example would be picking up a candy bar at a convenience store on the way home from work because you’re tired and need some energy. A sugar low (or crash), on the other hand, reduces your energy level to the point that you are sleepy, cranky, and often intensely yearning for sugar. I don’t eat candy bars very often (I have other sweets that I have trouble staying away from). When I do eat a candy bar, though, in most cases I am actually shaking with hunger, starving, in about 2 hours. If we eat too many sugary foods, we may suffer from a series of these highs and lows – first the high and then the sugar low around 2 hours later. Unfortunately the low causes us to seek out sweets again and the cycle repeats.
First – How our Bodies Consume Sugar and and Cause Sugar Cravings
After it’s digested, sugary or high carbohydrate food enters the blood stream as blood sugar ( ) and from there, it is absorbed and removed from the blood stream, either to burned by the cells in the body to provide energy or stored as fat, which can be later used to provide energy. The pancreas regulates the rate at which glucose is absorbed and therefore the level of glucose in the blood stream. To do this, the pancreas injects a hormone called insulin into the bloodstream. The insulin acts as a trigger mechanism for the cells in the body for this and the amount of insulin released therefore controls the rate that the glucose is absorbed. In between meals, the pancreas injects a nominal amount of insulin to give you the energy you need through the day. As you eat, it will detect additional glucose in the blood stream and inject more insulin to either burn it or store it as fat to keep the glucose at a consistent level. This is an important mechanism actually in this sugar high and low process, because the existence of abnormally high or low glucose levels is quite dangerous.
To explain why we have sugar highs and lows, the sugar cravings syndrome, we need to go back in our history a few thousand years and examine what human beings were eating in those days. Well, let’s face it – it was pretty dull, chewy, unrefined stuff. Whatever we ate took a long time to digest, so the sugary stuff that we run across every day now just wasn’t readily available. Our whole process of consuming sugary food was based on those times and really hasn’t changed much since. So, the speed with which the pancreas adjusts the insulin to either increase or decrease glucose was matched to the very slow speed at which food was digested in those days. For our day and age, when we eat something really sugary, this just isn’t fast enough as explained in the following example.
- I eat an entire Snickers candy bar. Darn it – I deserved it!
- My pancreas, taking it’s time, doesn’t realize till too late, that my blood sugar (glucose) level is high. It reacts though and releases a whole bunch of insulin to get that glucose level back down.
- The insulin does its thing and triggers my body to absorb the glucose, either as energy or for storage (fat). So I am in a Sugar High. I’m really feeling good – but I’m also a little fatter!
- The insulin is still triggering the absorption of glucose and, unfortunately removes almost all of it. This level is much too low. Normally, the pancreas adjusts the insulin level to keep a moderate level of glucose in the blood stream, along with a moderate level of insulin, to steadily absorb the glucose for energy.
- Now I’m in a sugar low. I’m shaking, hungry, and really need something to eat.
- The pancreas, still taking it’s time, realizes there’s no glucose in the blood stream and finally, but too late, stops pumping out insulin.
- In most cases, I find something to eat. If it’s sugary I start back at step 1) again on the craving sugar cycle.
So, that’s it in a nutshell – the vicious little sugar cravings cycle that will keep you moving from one sweet snack to another, unless you find a way to get out of the rut and into a low sugar diet.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~I'm here to help, so let me know if I can help with getting off of sugar or weight loss in any way. Contact me at Joe AT CravingSugar DOT net. If you like what you see here - Share It at the top of the post!!
Filed under: Blood Sugar & High Fructose Corn Syrup
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