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Welcome to Episode 30; You Need to Know This About Sugar Cravings!
There are different kinds of sugars that digest differently in the body and serve different purposes. In this episode we are going cover them all and talk about the real reason your child and even you, go through times of craving sugar and how it all connects to your gut bacteria. At the end I will share some recommendations with you on how to best handle those irresistible cravings.
Before we dive in I have a special announcement to share with you. If you are listening to this episode when it goes live on November 15th 2022 I wanted to let you know that you can enroll in my course for 25% off! I never offer promotions on my course and it will never be this affordable again. I am sharing this incredible deal right now because as we head into the holiday season I want to give you every excuse to prioritize what matters most. Your family’s health and happiness. I this course I teach you how to not only heal the gut but how to maintain balance. If you have been on the fence this is a great opportunity for you. This sale ends tomorrow on November 16th at midnight MST.
Okay! Lets jump in… We are going to start with natures sugars and move to the most processed ones.
First up is fruit. Often times when you good foods to avoid to rebalance the gut or get rid of Candida it will list fruit. This is extremely false information. Fruit is natures sugar. Our bodies need sugar, also known as glucose, to survive. Glucose is the number one food for the brain, and it's an extremely important source of fuel throughout the body. It is essential for the central nervous system. Natures sugar IS NOT BAD! Fruit is good! And there are some fruits like the banana that actually have antibacterial compounds so they work with your body in balancing the gut. I am going to talk more on fruit toward the end of the episode when I make some suggestions for you. But for now, just know. Fruit is good and should be eaten in abundance.
The second nature sugar is Pure Organic Maple syrup. Maple syrup has a lower glycemic index than sugar, so it won't spike your blood sugar levels as quickly. Maple syrup is also known for possessing antioxidants, which are substances that help our cells fight off oxidative stress and protect against disease. A recent study has shown that it contains a molecule called quebecol, which has anti-inflammatory properties. Pure maple syrup is the number one best option as far as sweeteners go.
Third up is organic coconut sugar. Your body processes coconut sugar very similarly as it does maple syrup so it is a great option for recipes that called for sugar. Just swap it 1:1.
Now I know you are wondering about honey? Well, honey is marketed to be really healthy. And in its purest form it is. Honeybees are amazing and create a liquid gold that is a natural antibacterial BUT! Honey regulations are a total mess. You can call honey organic by meeting very loose and vague regulations but there isn’t really a way to ensure it is actually organic. Bees fly where they fly and when they pollinate on gmo crops the chemicals sprayed on those crops destroy the good bacteria and leave the honey contaminated with concentrated amounts of roundup. Also known as glyphosate. Honey also has a higher glycemic index than Pure maple syrup but is lower than sugar. If you have your own honeybees or you have a trustworthy local source maybe honey is an okay option but for my family - honey is a rare exception. We stick to fruit, maple syrup and coconut sugar. None of this even acknowledges how terrible the honeybee industry is on the miraculous honeybee. It’s just terrible. Google honey documentaries and you will find so many that reveal the truths behind the industry. It’s really sad.
Anyway, moving on down our list. Fourth up is agave. Agave can be up to 90 percent fructose, which has been linked to insulin resistance and higher bad (LDL) cholesterol. I never buy agave because here is the thing. Our entire body is connected. When we consume something with concentrated fructose (which is the sugar found in fruit and honey) without the fiber that you get when you eat fruit it impacts your body in a negative way. And higher LDL cholesterol levels are damaging on your gut bacteria. Not worth it when there are better options.
Now Stevia. Stevia is okay in moderation. It is much more processed than maple syrup and coconut sugar and does not contain any health benefits like maple syrup and coconut sugar. Some manufactures extract the stevia from the plant in really toxic ways so it is important to trust your source.
Fruit juices are similar to agave. Huge amount of fructose without the fiber so it is hard on your digestion and blood sugar levels.
What about xylitol, monk fruit and all the other hot and happening sweeteners? Its best to stick with what we know. Period.
Now we are moving into refined sugars. These sugars are not only damaging to the good bacteria in you and your child’s body but they actually feed the bad bacteria. Refined sugars include cane sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, sugar in the raw and sugar from sugar beets. Others are high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners like aspartame. These are all really really hard on the gut bacteria and it will be nearly impossibly to heal you or your child’s gut if you don’t cut them out.
This really isn’t hard but it takes intention. So in a minute I am going to share some recommendations with you but first let’s talk about WHY this sugar cravings come on and why they are irresistible.
Your gut and brain are connected physically through millions of nerves, most importantly the vagus nerve. The gut and its microbes also control inflammation and when the gut is imbalanced that inflammation impacts the messages your brain receives from your gut. That bad bacteria is strong and when there is more bad bacteria than good it is able to speak louder, if you will, to the brain. What feeds that bad bacteria? Processed sugar! So the bad bacteria screams at your child’s brain to eat sugar! More of it! Right now!
So what to do? Get rid of foods that have processed sugar. I know this might sound blunt and hard but whats harder? Parenting a child that doesn’t sleep well and has symptoms like skin rashes, unhealthy poops and behavioral melt downs or being the leader of your family and intentionally feeding your child foods that nurture their body? Hard vs hard but one has a positive outcome and one has a negative.
Once you get rid of all the processed and refined sugars stock your kitchen with fruit. Let your child pick it out at the store, make it easy to grab, cut it in exciting ways, make yummy dips. Make fruit a staple in your home. It will appease the brains sudden need for sugar but won’t feed the bad bacteria. Do you see? Its a clever way to satisfy the brain and starve the bad bacteria.
Next, learn how to make treats at home. I will attach a link to my cookbook that has several cake, cookie, muffin and other wonderful sweet options that are made with maple syrup or coconut sugar. You can also substitute your favorite recipes by replacing the called for refined sugar with coconut sugar. But met rule is anything that calls for more than .5 cup of sugar of any kind is a crap recipe. Good recipes don’t need that much. I will share my family’s favorite cookie recipe from my cookbook in the show notes. Just so you can see just how crazy delicious healthy options can be!
Of course it is okay to make occasional exceptions and I love buying my children occasional organic treats but all in all it is important to focus on what you are getting instead of what you are giving up. Focus on your family being so happy and healthy!
Okay mama! I hope this episode gave you an entire new understanding behind those sugar cravings and filled you inspiration to cut them out and to show up as a strong leader of your family’s wellness. I will catch you next time!