I am sure you have seen a million one different people talk about sugar detoxes. There are so many different types of sugar, but they all have similar effects. It can disrupt our hunger signals, trigger insulin resistance, weight gain, chronic inflammation, gut dysbiosis, and even type 2 diabetes.
Unfortunately, in the Standard American Diet, a lot of the food contains added sugars. This makes them hyperpalatable, in which we will begin to crave them more. If it comes in a box, jar, can, or bag it will most likely have some form of sugar in it.
What type of sugar should you be aware of?
The type of sugar to be ultra-aware of is added/refined sugar. There are over 61 different names companies will use on their ingredient labels. Here are some of the most common names:
- Corn Syrup
- Agave Syrup
- High Fructose Corn Syrup
- Malt Syrup
- Maple Syrup
- Caramel Color
- Natural Flavors
- Artificial Flavors
You can learn all 61 different from this guide too! When looking at a label, they often use more than one type. It is usually something like dextrose or maltose as not many people know that it is sugar! It is very sneaky, but that is what makes their product taste so good.
Research has found that sugar lights up the same areas of our brain as cocaine. It stimulates that same euphoric/high feeling as a drug would. This mainly occurs in the overconsumption of refined sugars, which is your corn syrups.
What about paleo-friendly sugar?
However, this doesn’t mean you can swap out your Ghirardelli brownie mix with a paleo version and eat them every day. Even the paleo version can contain high amounts of sugar usually in the form of coconut sugar, maple syrup, maple sugar, molasses, and/or honey.
If one of those ingredients is in the top three on the ingredient label, it is mainly all sugar. This doesn’t mean you can never have a baked good again. I don’t want to stimulate any form of food fear. However, if you’re following a paleo-like lifestyle, you don’t have dessert items all the time.
The paleo-lifestyle is based on our ancestors, in which they never were baking desserts. They got it from fruits and some vegetables. For example, if you try my dig inn styled sweet potatoes, they almost taste like candy!
What are the best sugars to use?
If you check out any blogger’s recipe, they often use natural forms of sugar to sweeten their desserts. Some of the common ones are:
- Coconut Sugar
- Maple Sugar
- Medjool Dates
- Raw Honey
- Raw Maple Syrup
Even though these are natural, they can still have the same effect as refined sugar if over consumed. The reason I prefer these types of sugar is due to the additional nutrients they have. For example:
- Raw Maple Syrup: Contains antioxidants, easier for digestion (unless you have Candida), zinc, manganese, and low glycemic.
- Coconut Sugar: Contains iron and zinc, source phytochemicals such as polyphenols, and flavonoids, and low glycemic.
- Raw Honey: Has antimicrobial and bacterial properties, a phytochemical bomb, a source of prebiotic, and low glycemic.
The biggest thing they have in common is being low glycemic. Refined white and brown sugar is high glycemic. Which means they will spike your blood sugar and then you’ll crash. This is often why people eat packaged food at work for the boost of energy.
However, when purchasing your sugar make sure the maple syrup is raw and organic! The fake maple syrup or the honey in the little teddy bear is NOT the real thing. Those are heavily processed are often mainly made out of high fructose corn syrup.
what do I do if I am transitioning to Paleo?
When you are transitioning from a standard American diet to a paleo lifestyle, it is normal to go through withdrawals. This due to the major cut out of processed foods. However, there are ways to make your transition easier.
- You can make some paleo-friendly emergency snacks to help you adjust. I love to have some energy bites on hand or in my bag.
- For a paleo-friendly dessert, I love to make a batch of fudgey brownies or double chocolate cookies.
- You can have a handful or a couple of blocks of 85% or more dark chocolate. I personally love 100% dark chocolate. This is a way to get that chocolate fix and a boost of antioxidants too.
The last option is to go completely cold turkey for 21-days. During this period, you would have no form of sugar. Some people go as far as cutting out fruit, but this is up to you. If you decide to have fruit, stick to low glycemic fruits such as berries. Some fruits are avocadoes, strawberries, grapefruit, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, lemons, limes, and nectarines.
At the end of the 21-days, you will feel the effects of reducing your intake. You will experience less inflammation, better digestion, and more!
I would love for you to share this with anyone who struggles with sugar addiction/wants to embrace a paleo lifestyle! Thank youu so much for reading!