Coach Mark has good reminders for you as we kick off the Luring Challenge. He talks about some common misconceptions of Paleo and sugar as well as the consequences.
Paleo is healthy IF you remember that sugar is bad.
Last Lurong it was great to see all the conversations around the gym and on Facebook about all the nutrition experiments taking place. Playing around with your diet to find a healthier way of eating is really difficult and really important.
But then I started seeing recipes for Paleo brownies, and paleo cookies, and paleo german chocholate cake (ok, I made the last one up). While reducing the amount of processed garbage that we take in is critical to long-term health, a key element that has been overlooked is that sugar is addictive and has serious health consequences.
When you consume carbohydrates (veggies, fruit, paleo cookies) your body produces insulin, a hormone that allows your body to use the sugar in that carbohydrate to store glucose for future use/energy. Oh, and your brain likes sugar too (a lot!). Insulin ensures your blood sugar doesn’t get too high (hyperglycemia). But when you main line sugar (cookies, brownies, chocolate, etc.) your body produces a metric butt-load of insulin to regulate your blood-sugar levels. The byproduct of creating these spikes is two-fold: 1) it triggers your body to store more glucose and if it’s not used it becomes fat (triglycerides); 2) like anything overused and abused, if you tax your body to create high levels of insulin frequently and over long periods of time you will eventually break your body’s ability to do it. The gift you receive in return is called Type 2 diabetes.
Something else to remember is that just because that soda in your hand says “sugar free” or some other chemical you can’t pronounce, don’t think for a second that you aren’t ingesting something that your body sees as yummy, highly concentrated sugar. The way you can tell – stop drinking it for a week. You’ll feel like a heroin addict trying to quit cold turkey and you’ll crave it. It may also mean caffeine withdrawals. Realize neither one of these are a good thing.
So as you get ready to fuel the machine with quality food from around the edges of the supermarket with as few added ingredients as possible, just remember – keep the sugar to a minimum and don’t lie to yourself that those Paleo brownies or the sugar-free soda are good for you. Good luck!