We know that sugar can be as addictive as any drug, and that it’s pretty much devoid of nutrients. But did you know how bad sugar is for your immune system? Anyone wanting to keep their body in tip-top shape and optimize their health should be aware of the 4 ways that sugar suppresses immune function. Armed with this knowledge, it might just be easier to say no to the next candy bar that looks your way.
Candida overgrowth can be a significant barrier to weight loss. Candida is a naturally occurring yeast in the intestinal tract, and is vital for healthy digestion. However, when Candida overgrowth occurs, it can create problems, both with digestive function (gas, bloating etc) and more systemically with fatigue, headaches, brain fog and so on. Candida overgrowth can prevent weight loss, mostly through setting us up for eating and drinking too much of the wrong things.
In looking at the association between Candida and weight gain, the first thing we need to examine is the fuel source for yeast (and subsequently Candida). Yeast feeds off sugar – that is its preferred fuel source. Subsequently an individual with a hefty yeast overgrowth is going to crave sugars and carbs, as that is what the yeast is craving.
Part of the dilemma is that the sugar/ carb phenomenon is a catch-22. Yeast feeds off sugar, so a diet high in sugars and carbs will perpetuate Candida overgrowth; and yet Candida overgrowth will set of cravings for more sugars and carbs. See how this might be a hard cycle to break?
Furthermore, yeast will crave not only sugar, but more yeast. What is alcohol? Sugar and yeast. And a bunch of empty calories. I know many individuals who crave wine or beer – not because they have a drinking problem – but because they have a yeast overgrowth and they’re predisposed to that because of it. High yeast foods can be a trigger also – vinegars, mushrooms, breads to name just a few.
Anti-fungal treatment can often help curb cravings for sugars, carbs and alcohol, and these are three things that will be very helpful in maintaining a healthy weight. Also, treating yeast overgrowth can help reduce intestinal bloating which makes one more feel more rotund, even if it’s not true body fat. Addressing yeast overgrowth will also boost energy levels making exercise a more viable and appealing proposition.
Candida overgrowth also compromises proper absorption of nutrients. It is associated with “leaky gut”, which means the gap between the intestinal cells widens. This then leads to nutrients not being well absorbed, as well as larger-than-normal food molecules escaping into the blood stream triggering immune reactions and inflammation.
Addressing Candida overgrowth can be done through diet, although even the most rigid anti-Candida diets are rarely enough to eradicate the problem. The more balanced option is moderate dietary modifications, coupled with anti-fungal remedies, which can range from herbal medicines all the way through to strong prescription medicines. Many people find that once yeast overgrowth is addressed, cravings for sugars and carbs are reduced and weight loss is much easier.
It might seem like an interesting time of year to talk about this, since holiday time is typically one of more indulgences, but I do think that it is so important for us to stay aware of the amount of sugar our kids are eating (and us too of course!). Sugar is a habit that can be tough to break. In fact, many people don’t realize just how much sugar they eat every day. It is often worse for children who tend to eat things parents are unaware of. That makes it even more important for parents to be vigilant at home. If you can tame that sweet tooth it will go so far to improving your kids’ health.
Cravings are tough. Whether for sugar, crunchy snacks, alcohol or wheat-based foods, cravings can certainly send your nutrition goals topsy-turvy. They’re uncomfortable, difficult to resist and can make you feel like a failure should you give in to them. To me it’s important to understand the possible mechanisms behind cravings, so that you can adopt tools and strategies that can help address the underlying cause. While not an exhaustive list, here are three causes of cravings and how you can overcome them.
Many women experience compulsive eating patterns at some point in their lives – whether it be comfort/ emotional eating, overeating because of cravings, hormonal eating or stress-related eating. Sometimes the driving factor is stress and emotion, sometimes it is more about a chemical imbalance in the individual that they are trying to self medicate. I have found five ways to help curb compulsive eating that have helped people in many different situations.
I believe sugar is a true toxin. I also believe it is a drug – it is fully addictive. It might be odd to think that foods can have such a powerful impact on us, but I have seen so many people addicted to sugar and have many health issues because of it. [Read more…]