Let’s first get some definitions out of the way. I’m not going to be technical about sugar – whether it’s lactose, sucrose, or glucose. Let’s lump all the sugars together and just call them “sugar.” I’m going to define starches as sugars that are linked – starches get digested into sugar.
The term that encompasses both sugars and starches is “carbohydrates.” Carbohydrates are starches and sugars. Because starches get digested into sugars, carbohydrates get absorbed and raise the blood sugar – technically, it’s “glucose,” but I’ll just say blood sugar. That elicits an insulin response to keep the blood sugar down and that’s why carbohydrates are fattening foods. They raise blood sugar, and raising the blood sugar raises insulin, which is the fattening hormone. Foods like bread, pasta, or rice all get digested to sugar, which raises blood sugar.
The top five reasons you’re having too much sugar
1. You’re craving sugar.
If you’re craving anything like candy, pasta, rice, bread, or other carbohydrates and sugar, that’s a sign that you’re having too much sugar. You need to have it less often to break that cycle.
2. You can’t stop eating sugar.
If you can’t stop eating sugar, you’re having too much sugar. That’s a little different than just craving it. You’re actually having it and then you can’t stop eating it. For example, my problem food that I’m very careful to not have around very often is peanut M&M’s. It’s a candy that you can’t stop eating. I can’t stop eating that candy – there’s no break. If I’m faced with a bag or two bags, it doesn’t matter how big the bag is, I will be eating that food until the bag is gone. If you can’t moderate and you can’t stop, that is a sign that you’re eating too much sugar. It’s not a universal thing. Some people can eat two M&M’s and stop. I can’t, and I understand that, so I just have to be very careful. One behavioral strategy is you just don’t let yourself be around that sugar or pasta or rice or bread.
3. Your weight is out of control.
The control knob on weight is actually controlled by sugar and carbohydrates in the diet – not fat, and not calories. This is because, when you raise blood sugar, the body doesn’t like the blood sugar to be elevated, so it sends out a hormone called insulin, which brings the blood sugar down. Insulin, however, is also a fattening hormone. This means that it is the carbohydrates that are fattening, not fat. You want to get the carbohydrates in your diet in check and control.
4. You have pre-diabetes
Pre-diabetes is typically measured at a doctor’s office. If the doctor says that you have pre-diabetes, it’s time to get a handle on the sugar, because you are having too much.
5. You’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
This is a definite sign that you are having too much sugar. Type 2 diabetes is an elevation of blood sugar all day long. Often, you’re put on medications to manage diabetes. The good news is that you can reverse type 2 diabetes by getting a handle on carbohydrates. That’s what I do in my practice: I take people off carbohydrates, reverse diabetes, and monitor and take people off medications safely. If you’re on medicine for diabetes, don’t do this on your own without medical supervision unless you understand how to reduce these medications.
All too often I see people with type 2 diabetes think they are unable to not have sugar when actually it’s the sugar that’s causing the type 2 diabetes in the first place.
These are the top five signs you’re having too much sugar. I hope that’s helpful.
Watch the full video here.