In Part I of this blog series, we talked about gluten, diabetes and obesity, and how they are threats to our health. Now let’s look at how we can avoid these threats. Our bodies are resilient, and we can turn our health around even if we have received a diagnosis and are headed toward one or more of these problems.
The common denominator is sugar, wheat, and other starchy, processed carbohydrates. Processed carbohydrates ultimately break down into sugar or glucose. Foods such as pasta, bread, cereal, pizza dough, you know what I’m talking about. What we need to do is to remove that sugar from our food intake. That will level out insulin resistance, stop celiac and gluten reactions, and lower our weight.
How does it work?
Our bodies have two sources of energy:
We are all familiar with sugar or glucose as an energy source. Did you know that fat is the other source of energy?
When glucose is used as a source of energy, the body digests and burns it leaving some residue behind that causes inflammatory reactions and free radical release. What’s the problem with that? Well, It is now commonly understood and agreed upon that the basis for all disease is inflammation. So when we continue to eat an overabundance of sugar and processed carbohydrates on a daily basis, our bodies are set up for sustained and even increased inflammation. That means that as we continue to eat our traditional meals of mac & cheese, sandwiches, toast, cereal, pizza, etc., we continue to build an accumulation of glucose/sugar in our system daily.
Fat, on the other hand, is a much cleaner (non-inflammatory) way to obtain energy. Burning fat is more efficient than burning glucose because there is no residue to produce an inflammatory response, such as we see in the burning of glucose. But we’ve all heard that there’s problems with fat. We’ve all been convinced that fat causes an increase in cholesterol and that it causes us to gain weight, especially around our middles. Nothing could be further from the truth. One of the problems is the low fat and fat-free foods we eat are not helping us but hurting us.
Actually, if you remember from Part I of this blog series, excess sugar is stored in the liver until the liver cannot hold any more, and then the excess sugar is stored as body fat. That’s the weight gain around our middles. This is the kind of fat that is dangerous to our health in many ways, one of which being that it causes the release of cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that sets up inflammatory responses in weak places in our individual organ systems. A buildup of cortisol also contributes to vascular thinningm the buildup of bad cholesterol and amyloid plaque.
Another problem with excess sugar
Another problem today is that our bodies are very accustomed to burning sugar instead of fat because for so long our bodies have been burning sugar. There’s an endless supply, right? We eat it nonstop. So our bodies don’t need to switch over to burning our fat because we continue to feed ourselves with sugar daily. We have an abundance of sugar, in fact, too much, and our bodies can’t burn it all. When this happens, there’s no need for our bodies to burn the other source – fat.
But I want to burn fat!
What does it take to burn fat? We need to slow our body’s intake of sugar or eliminate it entirely, and then begin to replace the sugar/processed carb items with good fats instead. Current dietary science is proving this to be correct.
I’ve tried but there are cravings!
The problem arises from the cravings we get. We have been sugar addicts all these years. But take heart. There is a way to do this without starving ourselves, endangering our health, or having to eat boring meals.
How do I address gluten issues, obesity, and prediabetes?
We need to develop new traditions with food. We must transition from burning sugar for energy to burning fat. We need to trade in our traditional high carb meals for low carb (veggies) or no carb meals that contain good protein and ONLY excellent fats. (Excellent fats include saturated olive, avocado, and coconut oils, nuts, seeds, full fat cheeses, yogurt and ghee, eggs, etc.) The shift starts as we add some good fats into each meal. I know this flies in the face of everything that you have read, and the dietary guidelines we have been given.
There is a way to jump start this process. We’re covering this information and more on April 21. I encourage you to consider joining us for “The Sticky Facts About Gluten” workshop on April 21. See the "events" page for details.
If you can’t be there, we will be streaming the morning teaching sessions. But the advantage of attending allows you to participate in all the afternoon food workshops. You can learn to transition safely and effectively from burning sugar to burning fat. If you can’t attend, your other option is to contact our office and work one-on-one to get you back on the road to health.