Your sweet tooth vs. your immune system – who will win?
Is your sweet tooth keeping you from being your best self? Let’s take a look at how sugar effects your immune system and what you can do about it. Who do you think will win in the end?
Sugar effects your Immune system:The science
Did you know that sugar actually lowers your immune system? We all have heard how too much sugar isn’t healthy, and we usually think about things like being overweight or rotting our teeth. I have discovered, however, that it is so much more than that. Sugar effects your immune system by causing inflammation and making it harder for your body to fight off infections and bacteria.
“Eating or drinking too much sugar curbs immune system cells that attack bacteria. This effect lasts for at least a few hours after downing a couple of sugary drinks.” Web MD
I was listening to this podcast by Mom’s Together about Diet and behavior when I discovered this new information. I always knew sugar affected my ADHD kids energy and ability to focus, but her explanation really helped me understand why! Now I have a better understanding also of why carbs and sugar make me feel sluggish and I have more joint pain as well. Sugar was negatively effecting my immune system itself, and with Lupus, that is definately something I want to avoid!
Negative effects of sugar: my experience
Let me tell you about how my health has been affected by sugar and other inflamatory foods. I was a stressed out prison wife and mamma, just trying to hold it together. Also, as mentioned, I have lupus which kept me in bed most of the time for several years until I tried one simple change. I started the keto diet. I began learning about this way of eating through a product/supplement I started using. It was something I simply added to my drink every morning for a month and by the end of that month I had noticed significant improvement in my energy levels. Why did this work? Because it was giving me all the healthy nutrients I was missing by not eating right. I decided to change my eating habits and see if I would see even more results.
After 3 months of eating the Keto way I felt 100x better than I had in years, despite the stress, and seeing so much more energy. Keto cuts your glycemic sugars out and lowers your carbs to about 20% of your diet. My joints felt better, my energy levels were closer to normal, my reponses to my husband and kids were more appropriate, and my lab results were coming back normal – even without most of my meds. It was surprising to see just how much sugar effects your immune system!
I see sugar effects my immune system, But isn’t it hard to change?
I really thought switching up my diet was going to be difficult. I was thinking “it will be complicated and expensive”. There was a fear that I was going to be fighting cravings and hunger pains all the way. You see, I love, love my bread, pastas, and desserts! However, I had NONE of those effects. You can make this an easy, painless transition like I did. Simply learn the concept and reasoning behind Keto and why it works.
So, explain please!
First, understand that what you are doing is simply cutting out things that make you tired and achy. The things that make you want to eat more. Sugar especially affects your dopamine levels. This means you automatically want more because it gives you that instant feel good reaction. That feel good doesn’t last long though. It actually creates it’s own little addiction cycle that keeps you trapped in an unhealthy body. Yes, sugar gives energy, but it is in short bursts that leave you dragging when it wears off.
Next, recognize what your body actually needs. Your body was designed to get it’s energy from fats. Healthy fats like avacados, nuts, and fish ( to name just a few) give you solid, sustainable energy throughout the day. These fats also fill you up faster and longer – reducing hunger. Your body now has the kind of energy it needs. It knows to look for fats instead of carbs for that energy. When you keep your diet properly balanced it helps your body to function in the way it was designed to. It will naturally burn excess fat you have stored to get the energy you need to go about your day.
Finally, knowing that sugars/carbs are an inflammatory food helps you be better informed when deciding what you eat. When I think I want “just one donut” I remember how draggy and achy I feel when I give in. Then I focus on how much better I feel when I make wiser choices. Simply replacing most of my foods with fresh vs. packaged was the easiest way to accomplish this. Making it a habit to read ingredient lables is another simple way to begin. There are several apps that are very useful for getting information from, as well as tracking your progress.
So, how do I get started?
Still not sure how you can make the switch? I’m here to help! Come join my facebook group for tips, tricks, tools, and support in the keto journey. Keep an eye out for my Midweek Health Minute posts here on the blog. If you need a one on one assesment and some personalized mentoring I will be starting a mentor program soon. Keep a watch here and on the Facebook page for details!
As always, feel free to ask questions here too! I am happy to help in any way I can.