Sugar, grains, and refined vegetable oils are three of the most offensive and over-emphasized foods in the modern diet. In fact, it’s been estimated that over 70 percent of a typical Westerner’s calories come from these nutrient poor foods (or more accurately, “food-like products”).
What’s so bad about sugar, grains, and refined vegetables oils? I’m glad you asked.
In a nutshell, they make you fat, hangry, sick, inflamed, and wrinkly. Upon ditching these modern offensive foods for even a week, people often report more stable energy levels, improved sleep quality, and reduced cravings for sugar. Imagine how they’d feel after two weeks, months, or years!
Over the next few weeks, we’ll dive into how sugar, grains, and refined vegetable oils (and of course trans fats) compromise your health.
#1 They make you fat and hangry.
Our high carbohydrate eating pattern, which centers around cheap refined grains (think wheat, soy, and corn) and processed sugars stimulates chronically excessive insulin production to remove sugar (aka: glucose), which is toxic to the body, from the bloodstream and deliver it to safe storage depots (liver, muscles, and fat cells). The liver and muscles can only store so much, so unless we’re active, into the fat cells it goes.
The problem is that insulin, when called upon too frequently, does such a good job of storing energy that our bodies can forget how to burn that same energy when we need it. When we eat too many grains and sugars, insulin essentially locks energy away in our fat cells and throws away the key!
We then become reliant on external fuel to boost our sagging energy levels (i.e. we must eat something) rather than burn our internal fuel (i.e. the fat from our hips, thighs, butts, and bellies!). Our appetite hormones go nuts, stimulating us to seek out and over-consume quick energy in the form of more carbohydrate and sugar calories.
We may even act out or say things we regret to unassuming coworkers in our hypoglycemic stupor, which characterizes the modern phenomenon of feeling “hangry,” a cross between hungry and angry (as well as a recent introduction to the Oxford dictionary). We’ve all been there!
After we locate our granola bar or break into the vending machine, the cycle starts all over again. Over time, we wind up with a sugar-burning, fat-storage metabolism that relies predominately on regular carb feedings while our abundant fat stores suffer in silence — feeling shunned that they didn’t get “picked for the team.”
Think of this like being granted free admission into the amusement park of the modern world, including its most popular ride … the insulin roller coaster from hell!
Warning: The lineups are incredibly long during the mid-morning hours between 9-11 a.m. and mid-afternoon hours between 2-4 p.m. Despite our attempts to warn people, they keep coming back for more!
Now I want to hear from you. Have you ever experienced the dreaded insulin roller coaster from hell? What about hangriness? And what strategies have helped you regulate your energy and hunger levels? I’d love to read your comments below.
Stay tuned for more posts on why to ditch sugar, grains, and refined vegetable oils in favour of real food.