Effects of Sugar- Our Hunger & Energy Levels
Hunger & Energy levels.
The first part to this series can be found here- Sugar and Our Mood
In foods of today in the western world, we are drowned in hidden added sugars which are causing many unseen problems in our daily lives. In the previous post I focused on how sugar effects our mood, an in this one it will be focusing on how eating too much sugar effects our hunger levels and also our levels of energy that we have daily.
I have experienced many years, in fact for 66% of my life I was eating a lot of sugar every day. I remember when I was living in a house that I would drink 2 cups of tea in the morning, adding 2 spoons of sugar to each. I would then go to work and at 10am have another cup, or two. Lunch would involve also 2 cups of tea with the 2 spoons of sugar also stirred in, followed by another at 15.00 and then when I got home I'd usually drink another 2 cups before sleeping.
I add this up to being 7 cups of tea (on average) a day, with in total a whopping 14 teaspoons of sugar a day, that was just in the tea I was drinking - equal to roughly 60 grams of sugar a day!
At this point in life I was living alone and working on fancy building projects in England, and my shopping consisted of frozen food, pritty much all frozen processed food. I didn't know at the time that these cheap and easy to do foods where very bad and actually just tasted quite good, but because of the amount of sugar added to them. It was just convenient to get home and turn on the oven and pick out from the freezer, what would be cooked that evening. Who wants to cook a fresh meal when your tired and should rest for the next day at work?!
I used to eat so much food but just never got fat and I had put it down to the fact of smoking cannabis giving me the "munchies" constantly, which was fine at the time but now I look back as to what I was eating - and it was all just empty calories. Mcdonalds, choco bars, packets of crisps and 2 L bottle of soda, were common things to snack on all of which are great examples of foods that hold nothing but calories, as I mentioned in the last post these are called empty calories (basically just sugars) and these keep us in a cycle of constant hunger and want of snacking.
The mistake we are making is that we get the urge to eat something,and then we snack on say a muffin. Everyone loves muffins, and once you eat one, you will feel satisfied for some short time until the stomach makes that funny noise and says to the mind -
"What was that?! There was nothing there of substance - it was just Sugar - Feed Me - I'M HUNGRY!"
Then what happens next?
hmm, well, there are still 5 more muffins in the pack, I'll get just one more and then later I'll get something proper to eat.
There are several types of hunger (yes there really is!), and the most common one being is "Memory Hunger".
This is when our brains remember a taste of something and how it made it feel at that moment it was eaten, and so after we eat something mega sweet for a good and fitting example, our minds store this moment of ecstasy and wish to experience it again - it's exactly how people get addicted to drugs.
There were 5 muffins and now there are only 3! - hmm, don't really feel like cooking anything now huh?
This is how a cycle can start from having no energy to do things, hunger (from eating nothing but empty calories) and then being lazy (the mind is being clever and knows exactly what its doing here!) to just grab another muffin on the promise to cook something nice later. I bet there are people constantly stuck in this perpetual cycle, which leads to depression over time, amongst many other illness's
We have natural ebb and flow of energy levels throughout the day, even if we took no sugar at all. The biggest myth is that sugar gives you energy and sure, its true it does produce energy in very small amounts. We consume way over the good amount and then we head towards the sugar rush stage, which by this point is the point of no return to get ready for the crash that will follow it.
You might be surprised to learn that less sugar = more energy! There are also many food that drain your energy and we don't even know. The food we ate in the evening was most likely loaded with sugars and the body didn't sleep to rest, it was breaking down all that added sugar you ate the day before whilst sleeping, which leaves us tired in the mornings feeling like we didn't sleep when we actually did.
Image from Wikipedia
Some people are buying Energy Drinks throughout the day or mixing them with spirits like vodka in the evenings to stay awake whilst at work or at the club.
These are also containing so much sugars that after one or 2 we would have a sugar crash again - when we were already tired from the day before. You know when you just feel so run down? Its most likely from a build up of just taking constant sugar to battle the last sugar crash in that dreadful cycle of having no energy.
Another myth about sugar and energy levels are that sugar is giving us energy which means we should wake up. The actually effect of the "sugar rush" isn't a rush at all, because we actually become docile and sleepy from the high sugar foods. This can be proven because when we have eaten sugar, a chemical called Orexin stops being produced in the brain, and this is a chemical that keeps you feeling awake, so sugar makes you sleepy and not awake, which explains why you might suffer from having continuous low energy levels.
On the next part, I shall dive into the history of sugar industry and the modern day sugar industry. I'm not an expert, I'm just a free thinker who has been questioning things since many years now, and finding information for alternative and non government organizations. I am just sharing knowledge I have collected in life.