Q&A WITH THE FITNESS DIVA
Q. Are you addicted to sugar?
A. Do you ever find that eating makes you happy? Do you ever notice that certain foods make you feel super happy? Women usually reach for comfort foods like chocolate, cookies, cake, (basically anything sweet) or salty. Men usually opt for salty and crunchy.
Whatever your preference, consumption of carbohydrates is usually the food of choice; and the effects are real—thanks to your body pumping out serotonin. Serotonin is the hormone responsible for making you “feel good”. So, sad, happy, anxious, stressed, hungry, or bored, we grab our drug of choice (in this case processed carbohydrates) and voila! Instant mood boost. So it’s somewhat natural for this vicious cycle to continue to replicate itself and lead to a slew of other problems, like weight gain and—get this—depression. Yep, you read that right. Researchers (who have collectively found similar results in six countries) aren’t exactly sure why, but overconsumption of carbohydrates overrides the temporary serotonin boost and leads instead to depression. In a nutshell, they hypothesize that insulin resistance involving stress hormones may be to blame.
Do you or someone you know suffer from yeast infections? Sugar is a huge contributor to this problem. The body naturally houses appropriate levels of yeast in the system, until sugar comes along. Yeast feeds on sugar like kids eating Halloween candy—you get the picture. The more sugar you dump into your body, the quicker the yeast grows, until you get yeast infections—or worse—Candida, the bacteria responsible for an overproduction of yeast, leading to other issues like oral thrush.
Lastly, did you know that sugar could lead to cancer? New research is showing compelling evidence that a strong link occurs between sugar fueling cancer cell growth. Although it hasn’t been proven that sugar specifically causes cancer in the body, it is known that obesity (usually as a result from eating excess sugars) causes several types of cancers and that sugar and insulin feed cancer cell growth.
This information is meant to inform you, not scare you into never enjoying sugar again. It is my hope that it opens your eyes to the addiction of sugar and to watch how much you are currently consuming. It lurks in everything from cookies, soft drinks, smoothies, and sweets, to less obvious places such as ketchup, breads, and protein bars.
Crystal Manjarres is the owner of One-On-One Fitness, a private personal training and Pilates studio for men and women on Marco Island. She is a certified personal trainer and Stott Pilates certified instructor. Her focus is “Empowering men and women of all shapes and sizes”. To send in a question, email Crystal@PinkIslandFitness.com. She can also be reached at www.PinkIslandFitness.com or www.101FIT.com and (239) 333-5771.