#FedUpChallenge Surprising Sources of Sugar

We’ve reached the final day of our Ten Day Sugar Free Challenge! I hope you all found it to be as enlightening as I did.

Here are a few types foods in which the UnityMedicine team was surprised to find added sugar:

1. Sauces and Dressings

Almost all processed and packaged sauces have added sugar - this includes hot sauces, salad dressings, stir fry sauces, hummus, and pasta sauces. I learned to make my own hummus (so easy!) and used that to dress my salads. They came out more delicious than ever before.

2. Deli Meats

Every packaged deli meat (and most of the deli counter meats) that I encountered had added sugar. This was surprising to me (why add sugar to meat?) I avoided all deli meats and chose only organic cuts when including meat in my meals.

3. Yogurt

The probiotic benefits of yogurt make it a healthy choice, but the majority of yogurt products have tons of added sugar. The best option is to eat locally made yogurt or plain greek yogurt. I like to add cinnamon and chia seeds to my yogurt to spruce it up.  

4. Dried Fruits

Even very sweet dried fruits, like mangos, often have added sugar. Also, it is much easier to eat a lot of fruit when it has been dehydrated! It’s best to save your dried fruit eating for times of high calorie expenditure, like backpacking excursions.

Thank you so much for joining UnityMedicine in the #FedUpChallenge. We hope you will continue to be mindful of how much sugar you take into your body each day. Let’s reverse the rampant growth of sugar-fueled chronic diseases. Live vibrantly, sugar free!

When NOT to Trust Your Appetite #FedUpChallenge

Have you ever eaten when you weren’t hungry? Have you ever finished your entire dessert even though you felt full after the main course? Chances are, you answered yes to both questions. Many Americans are in permanent “feast mode,” and frequently eat past the point of fullness. Why is this the case? The hormone leptin is part of the answer.

Leptin is released by your fat cells, to tell your brain how much fat you have, and to signal fullness. The intended effect of leptin is to inhibit food intake and encourage energy expenditure (exercise). However, when the brain is repeatedly flooded with leptin, a phenomenon known as leptin-resistance can ensue. Most overweight and obese Americans have some degree of leptin-resistance.

As we learned last week, sugar - especially fructose - interferes with satiety, and it does this in part by interfering with the activity of leptin. This makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint. It was advantageous for our ancestors to eat plentiful sugar in the summer and fall, to store fat (energy) for the scarce winter.  We now live in a time and place of ample resources, so we must be mindful of how much and what types of food we consume if we are to stay healthy.

Most people are not born resistant to leptin. We know when we are full. We have a very functional system in place, but if we repeatedly ignore the signals from our brain, imbalances can occur. Listen to your body, and if do you choose to eat sugar, be aware that your brain may not receive the signals of fullness that it otherwise would.


Sugar & Skin

The best part of the #FedUpChallenge has been the effect that not eating sugar has had on my skin.  As a late(r) in life moderate acne sufferer I have tried every serum, scrub and tonic on the market.  I now see the error of my ways.

“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.”
Ann Wigmore

Sugar and simple carbohydrates damage all organ systems including the skin.  
An overdose of sugar and other high glycemic foods create a reaction called glycation that leads to wrinkles, deep lines and acne.  

As I write this, we are about to have a family desert.  There are two options: fresh fruit and chocolate cake; I bet you can guess which one I am choosing.

I am lucky enough to work with Dr. Grasser as a marketing and web consultant; it is always inspiring to work with doctors who are committed to true wellness and integration of the body-mind.

I am experiencing the results of conscious, clean eating and will continue to be sugar-free long after the #FedUpChallenge.

Happy 8th day of sugar-free bliss.

Best to you,
Audrey @ BRAVE

To learn more about Glycation