The Sugar Experiment - Its killing you

My experiment with sugar

First, I want to take the time to re-introduce my blog. I have toyed with the idea of doing a weekly blog post but have struggled with finding the time between building a business, being a father of two kids and a dog, and trying to be the best husband I can be. 

However, I think now is the time to finally dig deep and start to get my ideas and research out into the public domain. Forgive my writing skills. I write like I talk. Deal with it.

On that note, this first post is about something that I think we all are experienced with. 

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SUGAR.

We will start off with a little examination of the effects of sugar on our body before I talk about how my experiment proved sugar is toxic.

Sugar is probably the one thing in the American diet that is killing us. It’s the root of so many different health issues, disease, and how well our bodies operate on a daily basis. One of the biggest things about sugar and simple carbs is most people are addicted. This is evident in the research of the students at Connecticut college who found that our favorite cookie, Oreos, are just as addictive as cocaine. Basically, the sugar acts on the same pleasure centers in the brain and this would explain why even though we know these sugary foods are bad for us we eat them anyway.

That’s insane. If you want to read more about their study check it out here. (https://www.conncoll.edu/news/news-archive/2013/student-faculty-research-suggests-oreos-can-be-compared-to-drugs-of-abuse-in-lab-rats.html)

Another negative effect of sugar is the imbalance of blood sugar that comes with consuming your sweet treats. The highs and lows after a sugary snack is something we have all felt and some of use may just chalk it up to a normal part of our day. However, our blood sugar should remain relatively constant throughout our day. 

When we have this imbalance in blood sugar we eventually will develop some insulin resistance which is not a good situation for your body. Insulin is made in our pancreas, it’s really just our fat storage hormone. It's also the hormone the pancreas sends out to lower blood sugar when we eat. If we spike this hormone too much our bodies stop listening to it and we stop processing and removing the sugar from our blood and start to store it as fat and leading to the development of diabetes.

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Another important thing to note is something that opens my eyes. The fact that cancer seems to have a sweet tooth too. See cancer cells have been shown to utilize sugar as a fuel source to grow more rapidly. If we can reduce the feeding of these free radicals we can hope to slow or stop the growth of bad cancer cells that float around our bodies. One interesting study showed a link between being overweight with a sedentary high sugar lifestyle with the increased risk of colon cancer. 

No thanks here.

And there are many more negative effects like headaches and cognitive fogginess, immune issues, tooth and gum issues, and many more I’m sure we could get into, but these are the ones that stand out the most to me.

So, what was my experiment you ask?

I can honestly say that over the course of the last year I have rarely consumed more then 20g of sugar a day and very low carbs. This is not just added sugar, I have avoided any form of sugar.

I have been able to keep my diet low in sugar and high in healthy fats while only consuming whole foods. This means No grains, bread, sugar, minimal fruit, very few starchy carbs.

It seems extreme but has become part of my life, and with great results. 56lbs lost in that time and now at a body fat percentage in the single digits. 

I will say that I do participate in intermittent fasting as well which helps regulate blood sugar and reduce overall calorie consumption. (Will be explained in a following post)

THE EXPERIMENT

So today was Mother’s Day and one thing that I try my best to do is let myself enjoy important experiences in my life. 

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Family

This was based around our first opportunity as a family to have Mother’s Day brunch at an incredible restaurant that I have tried to get reservations for, for the last 3 years. (We haven’t gone because I had procrastinated the last 3 years and tried to book the brunch to late)

So, I decided that at this brunch I would enjoy myself with my family and see how the sugar and carbs affected my body. 

See I assumed I would be extremely sensitive since these things are not a regular part of my diet.

The results were worse than I thought. Here is a list of what I noticed over the course of the day.

1.    After eating the bread and sugary treats at breakfast my urges to continuously eat those things was at an all-time high. I never have sugar and bread cravings but once it started over the course of the next hour all I could do is think about and eat more and more. This speaks to the addictive nature of these types of foods.

2.    As the day went on the first thing I noticed was I had a foggy head and headache ALL day. Again, this is something that I never really deal with and could tell it was an effect of the foods that I had consumed. As of the writing of this post I am still a bit in a fog. HAHA

3.    The next thing I noticed was an extreme increase in thirst. I have been extremely thirsty. When the brain senses sugar overloads, a part of the brain called the hypothalamus triggers thirst. I have drunk so much water today I honestly don’t know where it’s going.

4.    Now let’s talk about the gut. My stomach has been on the frits the whole day. While on my regular diet I have normal gut health and never real issues. However, after the sugary, carb-loaded breakfast I have noticed an increase in gastric juices gargling around in my stomach that have been extremely uncomfortable. Also, a bit of acid reflux that I can honestly say is very uncomfortable.

5.    See how things really felt I wanted to go for a run and see what the effects would be on my cardio and legs. Based on my heart rate monitor data, pace, and how I felt I can say it was not a performance enhancer. My legs were heavy, heart rate elevated about 10 beats per minute higher than normal and pace about 20 seconds slower at the same effort.

6.    Lastly, since sugar is an inflammatory I did notice an increase in joint pain specifically in my knees and hips that is not something I regularly deal with.

So, based on my own personal experiment I have seen and felt the effects of sugar on my body and look forward to removing it again as I go forward. 

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I can honestly say based on my own experience Don’t Eat Sugar!

To battle the amount of sugar and carbs I have consumed I will be resetting my system with a 24 hour fast. My only meal was our Mother’s Day brunch for today which was completed at 11:15 am. I will not eat again until tomorrow at noon for lunch where I will be back on my Paleo-ish meal plan. This will help my body reset its systems and hormones and get me detoxed from the sugar and carbs. I also went on a 3.5-mile run to help burn off some of that extra fuel in my muscles. 

To wrap this up I wanted to make this post as a glimpse into how sugar really affects our bodies. For me, and most people, it was not good and should be avoided at almost any cost. 

Please post below how your body is affected by sugar or any questions you may have about how to limit or eliminate sugar completely. I will also be posting tomorrow in the comments how I am feeling 24 hours later so check by in.