R2P 13.1 – The Paleo diet can help your immune system!

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The Paleo diet can help your immune system!

While grains, gluten, carbohydrates and polyunsaturated fats still are controversial topics,everybody agrees that sugar is bad. No matter whether you choose organic raw sugar, turbinado sugar or agave syrup or more processed sugar like white sugar, brown sugar glucose, dextrose or high-fructose corn syrup, sugar is sugar is sugar.

The Paleo diet eliminates all forms of processed sugar.

Sugar is found in almost ALL processed foods, from ketchup, salad dressings, bacon, deli meat, dried fruit, marinated meats and breads to balsamic vinegar, mustard, breakfast cereals and yogurts.

Sugar can hide as many different names in the ingredient lists of your favorite foods: glucose, fructose, sucrose, dextrose, dextrin, fruit juice concentrates, raw sugar, turbniado sugar, invert sugar, dehydrated cane juice, honey, high-fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, malt syrup and any other kinds of syrup, agave nectar, molasses, lactose, xylose, saccharose, maltose and maltitol. Read the ingredient list of your favorite food; you’ll be surprised to find sugar in many of them.

Here are at least 8 reasons to stay away from sugar!

1. High in Carbohydrates

Sugar is often referred to as a simple or refined carbohydrates. But whatever you call it, the sugar in your food ends up in your blood. A diet high in sugars and carbohydrates contribute to insulin resistance, weight gain, obesity, metabolic syndrome, prediabetes, type 2 diabetetes and PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome).

Eating too much sugar and carbohydrates bring your blood sugar levels, also called blood glucose levels or glycemia, on a roller coaster. This is why your mood and energy levels are up and down all the time instead of being stable all day long like they should.

You may feel fine after eating, but within a few hours, your blood sugar levels crash and you feel hungry, irritable, tired and lack focus and concentration. You then grab anything in sight that contains sugar, whether it is a granola bar, a yogurt, trail mix or a chocolate bar, crisps or sweets and the cycle starts over again.

The Paleo diet is lower in carbs compared to the standard American diet. Although traditional nutrition guidelines recommend that you get about half of your calories from carbohydrates, carbohydrates are absolutely not essential to life. There is no such thing as a carbohydrate deficiency. We do need glucose, but it can be obtained either from vegetables, fruits and tubers or synthesized from protein (neoglucogenesis).

If you need to lose weight or improve your health, limiting your carbohydrates by following a low-carb version of the Paleo diet (by avoiding sugar, in addition to grains and legumes), can help you reach your goals. A carbohydrate-restricted diet is perfect for weight loss and weight maintenance, as well as to control high blood pressure, blood lipids, high blood sugars, diabetes, PCOS, insulin resistance and other metabolic problems.

If you are lean, healthy and physically active, you can include more carbohydrates from non-grain and low-sugar sources in your diet. Tubers and fruits are great sources of nutrient-dense carbohydrates. Accompany your meals with), sweet potatoes fries, yams, yucca, fried plantains or mango salsa. End your meal with a baked apple or pear and snack on berries, unsweetened dried fruits or fresh melon.

2. Nutrient-Poor

Don’t be fooled. Sugar and sugar-containing food and beverages are not good sources of nutrients. Even though sweetener manufacturers claim that honey, agave or maple syrup are healthier because they contain traces of minerals and vitamins, don’t expect to meet your iron, zinc and other important nutrient requirements by eating sugar, however natural it may be.

Sweetener manufacturers use these claims to help you feel better about eating sugar, but it is NOT a good excuse!

The Paleo diet is super nutrient-dense because it eliminates all nutrient-poor processed edible food substances and focuses on REAL FOOD.

3. Sugar Addiction

Sugar addiction is real.

Sugar causes the release of substances that have an addictive potential, such as opioids and dopamine, by activating the food reward centres in the brain. An addiction can be categorized into distinct components, including bingeing, withdrawal and craving, which can all be experienced when including sugar in your diet. Although the addictive nature of sugar is milder compared to drugs, eating sugar every day and multiple times each day can definitely turn into a real addiction. Weight gain, PCOS and diabetes can be worsened by sugar addiction and a high carb intake.

Even artificial sugar and artificial sweeteners can cause sugar cravings. Not to mention that they encourage your sweet tooth and perpetuate the vicious cycle of sugar craving and dependence.

Breaking the addiction is not easy, but it can be done within a few weeks.

4. Lower Immunity

Your immune system has the role of protecting your body against illnesses and diseases by killing harmful bacteria and other threatening organisms that may find their way inside your body. Eating the right food for your body, sleeping well and managing your stress are crucial to maintain a strong immune system.

If you don’t want to get sick, avoid sugar too! A study showed that your immune system is suppressed within 10 minutes of eating sugar, whether it comes from table sugar, honey or orange juice, and your immunity can stay compromised by as much as 50% for up to 5 hours.

Anytime you eat sugar, your immune system functions at about half capacity for up to 5 hours. If you eat a standard diet and have cereals or jam for breakfast, a yogurt or a granola bar at lunch and some cookies for dessert at dinner, it means that your immune system could be on slow motion all day!

The Paleo diet can help you boost your immunity so you spend less time sick and more time feeling good and enjoying life.

5. Fructose is EVIL!

Most sugar are half glucose and half fructose. The fructose part of sugar appears to be even more problematic than the glucose.

Foods and sweeteners with a higher fructose content, such as agave syrup, pure fructose and high-fructose corn syrup or HFCS, are often marketed as healthier, low glycemic alternative. Although fructose may have a smaller effect over your blood sugar levels compared to glucose, when measured with the glycemic index, fructose is worse than any other sugars when it comes to raising your triglycerides, wrecking your hunger and appetite signals and making you put more fat in your love handles.

6. Dental Health

Reducing your sugar intake is a good way to keep your teeth healthier and decrease your risk of having cavities or other dental problems. Ditch the sugar if you want to keep your teeth and avoid paying for expensive dental procedures!

7. Cancer

Cancer cells use a lot more glucose and sugar compared to healthy non-cancerous cells.

Ketogenic diets, or diets that are very low in carbohydrates and sugars, represent a good option to prevent, delay, and possibly even treat, cancer. Starving the cancer cells from their main source of energy, sugar, could help slow or even stop the growth of cancerous cells and tumour.

So there you have it….stick with the challenge guys and you will reap the benefits…

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