Why are we so addicted to sugar?

chocolate cupcakes on tray

Photo by Josh Sorenson on Pexels.com

We are fundamentally wired for survival.

Designed primarily to hunt and gather in times of scarcity, we are built to seek out sugar. With no guarantee of the size, timing or even certainty of the next meal, we became finely tuned to search for sugar and instinctively wired to gain pleasure from consuming it. The body, as a result, has become highly efficient at utilising sugar and storing the excess to fuel a future famine.

Aligned with this evolutionary drive to eat, we have been gifted with a ‘Hunger Management System’ policed by our old friends’ the hunger hormone Ghrelin which signals hunger and counterbalanced by the anti-hunger hormone Leptin which signals satiety by disrupting our natural desire to eat.

Fast forward to the present time.

Sugar and calories now plentiful and equipped with a finely tuned Hunger Management System: Why is portion control, calorie intake and our ability to say no to that second or third piece of cake so difficult?

Food availability has changed. How we choose our food sources and the ease with which we are able to sustain our energy needs has been hugely transformed. Our physiology has yet to catch up with this transition that we see from food scarcity to food abundance.

Whilst we wait for that 4.0 systems upgrade by Mother Nature or further research to give us answers and possibly an external solution; we need to find a strategy to deal with this desire to consume more than we need.

STRATEGIES TO HELP CURB CRAVINGS AND PROMOTE FEELINGS OF BEING SATISFIED.

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Paleo, Keto, Low Carb, High Fat, Atkins…Which one really is the BEST diet for me to achieve Optimum Health?

vegetable salad with wheat bread on the side

Photo by Dana Tentis on Pexels.com

Our default mode is of OPTIMUM HEALTH.

This is how we are designed to be, our lifestyles and environments enhance this or move us away from this baseline.

Like an elastic band, our body is in constant struggle trying to pull us back to what it knows is best for us, often our lifestyle choices tug against this, with each pull adding strain and pressure taking us so far from wellbeing that we can forget what it was like to feel energised and well.

Eventually, our body cannot sustain this resistance, in constant tug of war, the strained elastic band snaps and the body drifts into wearily into disease. This is the sad reality of many diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease to name only two.

I am amazed however at how battle hardy our bodies really are, it takes a great deal to push us over the edge into disease and even then, after all the damage we inflict on our bodies, our inner evolutionary drive is to keep fighting, trying to claw back even just to an in-between place of pseudo-health where it tries to adapt to our lifestyles and tries to keep us going.

What has astounded me, even more, is how much we can do with simple food choices to help heal our body and pick ourselves up again to return to what we know is inherently where we belong, in Optimum Health.

I welcome you to join me on my journey back there.

So where do we start?

With so many diet books on the market all touting to be the best for us; how do we know which diet and celebrity to buy and follow?

I have had a long fascination with how food is intricately linked to our experience of the world and the quality of our life.

The more we study food and its effects on the body, the more we are realising how the food we consume can have direct effects on general wellbeing and health.

What I am reading and discovering about nutritional science is mind-blowing. I think the biggest light-bulb moment for me was realising that despite all the new claims that the current fashionable diet can make you slim and healthy in 21 days…there is a fundamental flaw in them all. Read More