Thursday, September 16, 2010

Reason #3: Stronger Immune System

Have you ever had a sugar hangover? You know, you wake up the morning after you have gone to a party having binged on sugary goodness throughout the night with the largest headache of your life? Your vision is blurry and your heart rate is elevated. Sometimes your face feels stuffy and your brain is foggy. All of these things are symptomatic of an extreme drop in blood sugar which happens after ingesting large amounts of...sugar.

This is what is going on in your body: After you eat a boat load of sugar (well, technically during the binge) your pancreas secretes insulin to drop blood sugar levels. The more sugar you eat the more insulin your pancreas has to secrete to slow the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream. This fluctuation in blood sugar level places stress on your body which causes your immune system to be compromised. You feel like you are sick after a night of binging on sugar because your body has been working overtime to counter the bodily harm you have inflicted. There is a good chance that if you constantly eat sugar, your immune system is never up to snuff and you experience small "illnesses" like colds, headaches, sore throats, etc. much more often than your counterparts who do not eat sugar constantly.

A stronger immune system and healthier disposition in general is a good reason to not eat sugar today!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Reason #2: Better Skin

Whenever I go big on sugar, inevitably the next morning I wake up with circles under my eyes. I never can avoid having the sugar that I ate show on my face. Often, I wonder if this has long-term effects on my skin in general. I turns out (unfortunately) it does.

Apparently, when we eat sugar it attaches itself to collagen (think of the elasticity and youthful brightness of a pre-teen's skin...this is due to high levels of collagen) in a process called glycation. Glycation causes skin to become tight and inflexible. Tight and inflexible skin equals wrinkles and pre-mature aging. You might as well go sit in the sun without sunscreen for a few hours rather than eat that sugar!

Wrinkles. Another good reason to avoid sugar today.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Reason #1: No more headaches

Why give it up?
Because it feels good...

We have all given it up at some point. When we manage to do it for an extended period of time we feel much better about ourselves. Heck, I've given it up a few times before and was mostly successful. Now, since I have not given it up for a while, I am going to try again. Yes, yes, it is time to say good-bye to sweets.
One of my biggest weaknesses is my love of sugar. It is almost impossible for me to resist a good piece of cake (red velvet with cream cheese frosting is, hands down, my favorite!). A close second to the red velvet/cream cheese combo is my friend Brittney's peanut butter balls. And Lindsay's monster cookies; heaven in my mouth.
But I digress.
In keeping this blog I hope to hold myself accountable for my own goal to give up sweets. Also, I would like to share reasons, along the way, why it is really good to give up sweets so that others may join me. So, here we go...

Reason #1: Sugar can give you a headache

Some high sugar foods can raise blood glucose too quickly and excessively [at this point] the body releases a great deal of insulin to 'move' the glucose out of the bloodstream and into cells. The sharp increase in blood glucose is then offset by a sharp drop from excess insulin, resulting in a 'sugar crash' as it is commonly called.

This means that if your blood sugar is not consistent and suffers from extreme up and down fluctuations, a headache may be triggered. This intense fluctuation both increases and decreases insulin levels, leading to problems with the regulation of other hormones called epinephrine and norephineprine. Blood vessels in your brain begin to contract and expand and the characteristic pain of a headache occurs.

Not having a headache seems like a good reason to avoid sweets today!