A friend recently sent me a post she found on social media, which was a series of slides about sugar and the ‘common thread’ of health issues linked to sugar.
“Sugar in the brain = Alzheimer’s Disease …
Sugar in the blood = diabetes …
Sugar in your teeth = decay …
Sugar in your eyes = glaucoma…”
and so on.
This started me thinking… while all of these are true, it’s not only about the ‘sugar’ you consume, rather our overall diet and lifestyle and how well (or poorly) we are able to regulate our blood glucose levels. Afterall, this is the type of sugar many of these conditions are referring to. Just because you don’t have sugar in your coffee, or eat dessert on a regular basis, doesn’t mean you are not at risk.
Some of the lesser-known risk factors for developing insulin-resistance and exposing your body to chronically elevated levels of blood glucose are as follows:
- Chronically elevated stress levels
- Poor sleep quality/habits
- Moderate to heavy alcohol consumption (yes, even vodka and low-carb beer!)
- A diet high in refined foods (including cereals, flour products, refined fats & oils, soft drinks (including diet soft drinks), juices (all) and of course, sugar.
- A diet low in fibre (we require around 10g in each meal)
- Frequent snacking
- Regularly eating late at night (after dark)
- General overconsumption – even ‘healthy’ food options
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Loss of lean muscle tissue (we lose 1% each year after 40 if we don’t do weight training)
- Being overweight or obese
The great news is, all the above are completely preventable!
If we allow our metabolic health to deteriorate, it’s not a matter of if it will negatively impact our health, it’s a question of when. Some simple lifestyle tweaks and consistency in forming positive habits goes a long way towards quality of life and longevity.
As they say, ‘you are up to you!’