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I doubt there is more of a question of whether or not sugar is good for you. Even when consuming sugar, sometimes in large amounts, most people have a flicker of “I shouldn’t eat this” as they continue to do so. Why does sugar have such a hold on us?

It reminds me of electricity. At low amperage, if you touch a bare wire, you can barely feel it. A little higher amperage and you’ll feel a tingle. A little higher and it feels like a shock, but you can let go. As the tension builds, the shock hurts, you lose muscle control, and you just can’t let go. Any higher and it can kill you. Sugar seems to be on the same scale, minus the painful part. When your diet is low in sugar, you can drop it if you need to, especially for health reasons. When sugar is a regular part of your diet, it seems like you just can’t live without it. At higher amounts, yes, it can kill you.

Obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes can be fatal diseases and are often the result of excessive sugar consumption. They are stressful for your body and also expose you to other illnesses. Controlling sugar intake can be as difficult as dropping a hot wire, but in the case of sugar, it’s easier. Well, maybe not easy, but possible.

Sugar is said to occupy the same receptors as heroin and is just as difficult to get rid of. Heroin is one of the most addictive substances we know. It and sugar appear to occupy the same areas of the brain associated with addiction. Wow! No wonder it’s hard for some people to stop eating sugar!

Sugar is an acid in the body that robs minerals and B vitamins. These are needed for multiple functions in the body, such as energy production, calming, mood enhancement and endocrine function. Many people turn to sugar to boost their energy and feel better. Although it seems to work at first, it ends with a drop in energy and mood 2-4 hours later. This translates to more sugar consumed to “be able to function”. It’s like turning a light switch on and off over and over again. This roller coaster leads to a worsening of the blood sugar mechanism.

Eventually, you start to develop insulin resistance. When you eat food (sugary foods or carbohydrates), glucose enters the blood. The pancreas then releases insulin to help move this glucose through the liver, muscle, and fat to either be stored for future use or used immediately. If glucose levels are perpetually high, the insulin receptor eventually becomes insulin resistant. This keeps blood glucose levels high. The pancreas responds by sending more and more insulin to deal with it. Eventually, this can lead to pre-diabetes or even type 2 diabetes. You don’t want that.

In many cases, insulin resistance is reversible if proper steps are taken, the first of which is to stop eating sugar. Food choices, which are not just about sugar, can make a profound difference.

Learn more by attending our next health class, “Conquering Sugar Cravings and Sugar Diseases,” at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 12 at Vital Health in Coeur d’Alene. Fee: $15. Attend in person or online via Zoom. To register, call 208-765-1994 or visit vitalhealthcda.com/health-classes/

Want to know more about Holly Carling? Discover our podcast. Search VitalHealth4You on your favorite podcast listening app or go to vitalhealthcda.com/podcasts/

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Holly Carling is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, Licensed Acupuncturist, Naturopathic Doctor, Clinical Nutritionist and Master Herbalist with over four decades of experience. Carling is a “health detective”. She looks beyond the picture of your symptoms and investigates WHY you are experiencing your symptoms in the first place.

Carling is currently accepting new patients and offering natural health care services and whole food nutritional supplements at his Coeur d’Alene clinic. Visit Carling’s website at www.vitalhealthcda.com to learn more about Carling, see a list of upcoming health classes, and read other informative articles.

Carling can be reached at 208-765-1994 and will be happy to answer any questions regarding this topic.