(Not so) Sweet Beginnings

(Not so) Sweet Beginnings

2022 started with a bang- with no sign of respite from Covid, it’s almost like the virus had fomo and wanted to be a part of all the celebrations! Despite the lurking fear, I’m sure we found ways to ring in the new year with the ones we love, lots of food (and booze). In-fact most celebrations follow this formula, food + booze + venue= celebration

Ae we get back to routine, let’s review what all those celebratory foods, especially sugar, have on our mind and body. When I say sugar, you probably think ‘white refined sugar’, which is one of the world’s worst (and best) inventions. While this is true, our battle with sugar doesn’t end here. Sugar is not only hidden in so many foods (using different fancy long words), but it’s also about what happens to certain foods on digestion! My purpose through this article is to raise awareness and empower you to understand your body and the impact food has on it.

Sugar, the Mother of all addictions

Tobacco and alcohol come with warnings on them, even antibiotics come with fine print, but nothing similar exists for sugar. We would never offer tobacco and alcohol to our children, yet we freely indulge them in sugar laden foods. Refined sugar hasn’t been around for longer than 150 years, and if you think back to our ancestors, their ailments started much later than our parents’ or even ours! McDonalds has only been around for 67 years, lending to the fact that our grandparents didn’t have as many “junk food” options as we do today.

Have you ever eaten and apple and struggled to stop at one? I’m sure the answer is never! However, you eat a chip, piece of candy and it’s close to impossible to stop at that one piece- ever wondered why? IT IS ADDICTIVE! Some studies proof sugar is almost as addictive as cocaine! The dopamine release we feel when we consume sugar is similar to the cocaine high. Yet, we live in a world where sugar is easily accessible, to all ages, in so many different forms, with absolutely no statutory warning!

(Not so) Innocent Sugar

There are many foods that spike blood sugar apart from refined white sugar. That innocent pizza you ordered isn’t as docile as you think; the refined flour (or whole wheat/multigrain), and cheese, (when teamed with other foods) cause a spike in our blood sugar level. The hard fact is sugar is responsible for more than half the diseases we have today- and where it isn’t, it plays a huge role in how our body heals and recovers. Let’s just list a few foods that contain sugar (but we probably didn’t realise):

  • Alcohol
  • Ketchup
  • Bread
  • Packaged juices
  • Packet chips
  • Ketchup/Tabasco and most chilli sauces
  • Pickles
  • Some toothpaste
  • Icecream

The best way to know what you are truly consuming is to check the list of ingredients, and a simple google search for the names you don’t know will reveal its true colours. My simple rule is, if you don’t know the word, don’t eat it, it’s definitely not a clean ingredient.

Sugar vs. Glucose

A very common question I get asked is ‘how are fruits good if sugar is bad for me’? The quick answer is they are not the same at all! Sugar is man-made, glucose is present in nature! If nature has provided us with it, how can it be bad? We need glucose to function- our brain requires glucose, as does our entire body- that’s the energy source that keeps us going (not sugar!).

So, what does sugar have? One of those much-dreaded C words (we have quite a few these days with covid and cancer)- CALORIES! The empty kind, with absolutely no nutrition. Sugar floods our body (and brain) causing chaos. The body panics, and in an effort to stabilise the amount of sugar a hormone, famously knows as insulin, is released from the pancreas to manage the glucose level. On average, there are 100 milligrams of glucose per 100 millilitres of blood.


Enough of the technical, lets conclude by discussing what we can do to ease our sugar cravings. Unlike those addicted to drugs and alcohol, there is no sugar rehab, but the addiction is real, and withdrawals can be rough (but hopefully us health coaches can hand hold you down this much needed journey).

I’m a former sugar addict (and it’s not hard to slip back into old ways). Sugar was my pick me up, it was my friend after dinner, it was a part of my team with a cup of coffee. It held me when I felt low, it gave me the push I needed when I was depleted. But it also gave me bad skin, made me feel lower after the high was over, my energy crash was so hard it was worse than before that sugar rush- I knew I had to do something about this.

I started with a very simple addition-  a variety of fruits every day, and gradually increasing that every week, till I felt full and could actually see results. The glucose from fruits took care of most of my day time sugar cravings and energy levels- especially those dates I would include in my ‘only fruit smoothie’, or eat plain. The post dinner cravings have been far trickier to navigate, and sometimes you just need to go cold turkey. The withdrawals are real, you may feel irritable, depressed, jittery, but stick it out; in 4-7 days you will feel a whole new you!

It takes 2 weeks to kick sugar out- start today!


About the author

Wholesome by Bhavini is an initiative towards understanding the importance of health and its influence on all emotional and physical aspects of our body. Bhavini is a qualified Health and Wellness Coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. She is intuitive, sensitive and non-judgmental to work with. The biggest gain from the program is, she empowers you to understand and manage your body and its symptoms; to achieve a positive impact emotionally and physically.

For your personalised consultation, reach out to Bhavini  https://instagram.com/wholesome_by_b 

Visit www.wholesomebybhavinij.com for more information