There’s an absolute ton of money in sugar. It’s a big business with a murky history emerging from what we’d call human trafficking today. It enabled some of its founders to become ‘philanthropists’ based on the vast sums that they created from this highly addictive substance. It’s almost as if they don’t want you to know about the importance of balancing blood sugar.
Today in the UK we consume on average 700g/week which is about 140 teaspoons. The NHS suggests <210g/week*.
I see the direct impact of this normalisation of excess sugar consumption every day when I’m talking with midlife women. It creates insulin resistance and is a primary product for increasing inflammation within the body. The knock-on effects of this gruesome combo is linked to heart disease, impairment of brain function (Alzheimer’s aka Type 3 diabetes) and cancer.
Sugar increases inflammation
After age 40 most women tend to be in the perimenopause zone. The hormone oestrogen is protective for women against inflammation and as oestrogen declines so does our level of protection. At the same time both excess and low levels of oestrogen have been linked to higher rates of insulin resistance.
Similarly for hair loss clients these studies showed that individuals with both androgenetic alopecia and alopecia areata are at a higher risk of both developing and increasing insulin resistance.
Perimenopausal and resistant to insulin
For the demographic which crosses both of these groups we can see the potential of a double-whammy which means that balancing your blood sugar is critically important.
My clients are beating themselves up because they’re struggling to manage their relationship with this product which is laced throughout both ultra processed and processed food. It turns up where you’d least expect it, for example in supposedly savoury foods like refined carbohydrates. My favourite example of this is in Ireland where local labelling laws don’t allow Subway to describe the stuff that its sandwich fillings sit on as bread. Why? Sugar. It’s to do with sugar content and VAT read about it here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-54370056
So why is it so hard to stop eating sugar? For starters it activates the brain’s reward circuits creating dopamine and stimulates the body’s innate pain relieving opioids. This natural ‘reward’ from eating sugar was designed as an adaptation for high calorie food. We only had seasonal access in the Autumn and it was helpful to lay down that layer of fat to make it through the cold Winter. Today we’re able to lay down that adipose tissue year round!
Sugar hides under different names
Sugar shows up as sucrose, glucose, fructose, maltose, fruit juice, molasses, hydrolysed starch, invert syrup, corn syrup and honey. One way to start avoiding it is avoiding packaged processed foods.
The good news is that it can be surprisingly quick to start altering your taste buds. Literally in as little as two weeks you can create those changes. It can take longer to change the habits that we have around sugar and refined carbs, together we create new habits that are unique to you. We can prepare for those times when you’re more likely to be sabotaged. Perhaps most importantly we can change your relationship with what a ‘treat’ looks, feels and tastes like.
If you’re looking to improve your health, ditching sugar and refined carbs returns a lot on your investment in yourself. If you’d like to discuss further let’s have a chat: https://calendly.com/practicalhealthcoach/managingmidlfe
Sugar Addiction: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29266583/
Opioid Production: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29052153/ and https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28747384/
Sugar and immunity:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3448089/
Sugar and cancer: https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.2003460
Insulin Resistance and Alopecia