SWEET RELIEF
SWEET RELIEF
Sugar has been labelled a dietary villain and cause of many of our health concerns in the media. Some have even declared that sugar is addictive and stimulates the same receptors in the brain as cocaine. This has led to many people not only cutting out refined sugar, but also natural sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup, dried and fresh fruits, and substantially limiting whole grain intake. 
 
Unfortunately, the messages we receive about sugar have been oversimplified and sensationalized to present a specific view on sugar. This can lead to extreme diets that do not take a balanced view of nutrition and our relationship with food.
 
Refined sugar is not a necessary part of our diet
One of the issues with our oversimplification of the research on sugar is the distinction between refined sugar, and the sugars that form the building blocks of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and dairy. Unlike whole foods, refined sugar has been stripped of the very vitamins and minerals that are required for its metabolism. For this reason, consuming excess refined sugar can deplete the body of vitamins and minerals, and can displace nutritious foods.
 
Natural sugars are an essential part of our diet
However, the sugars as found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains are essential to our life. They are packaged with vitamins and minerals that are essential for metabolism and provide energy to our brain. I have had clients seek support due to mood issues, depression, fatigue and poor sleep after being on a low carbohydrate diet for an extended period. 
 
These symptoms are common on low carbohydrate diets, as sugars among other vital roles are essential for transportation of the amino acid tryptophan into the brain, where it is converted to serotonin and melatonin, our good mood and sleep hormones, respectively.
 
Finding your sweet spot: the right portion of sugars in your diet
Government dietary guidelines that recommend portion sizes and a percent range of carbohydrates are not specific to the individual, but generalized for entire populations. Any guideline or dietary program that assumes to know the proportion of carbohydrates suitable for you as an individual is overly simplified.
 
The best way to determine the correct portions for you is to consider your unique lifestyle and learn to listen to your body’s internal cues. That is, how your energy levels, mood and sleep are affected by different portions of whole food carbohydrates.
 
Join me at Talking Nutrition With Tansy #5: Curbing Your Sugar Cravings on Aug 29 to discuss many of the misconceptions surrounding sugar and how to contain your sweet tooth.

cd6798Tansy Boggon

Tansy is a Nutritional Therapist from Australia with extensive knowledge in nutrition, environmental health and behavior change. She takes a holistic approach to assist individuals with digestive issues, fatigue, food sensitivities, high cholesterol and blood pressure, diabetes, hormonal imbalances, poor sleep, cravings and previous eating disorders. Her approach to nutritional counselling is unique, in that she not only addresses what you eat, but your relationship with food. She believes that this is crucial in creating new lifestyle behaviors you can sustain for life.

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