Could sugar intolerance, your inability to metabolize sugar and carbohydrates, be the problem instead of sugar itself? Sugar intolerance is a malabsorption issue, leading to fatigue, bloating, gastrointestinal distress and anemia.
Consider the issue could be you’ve been oxidizing free fatty acids for some time now, producing too much lactic acid and thus slowing your energy metabolism down over time. Caused by eating too much protein and not enough healthy carbohydrates, eating the wrong fats and by doing too much activity without replenishing your energy reserves. Basically burning yourself out.
I’ve been one of those people. Years ago when I was experimenting with the low carb diet, I eliminated dairy, fruit, root veggies, grains and anything that contained sugar. This was my "so called" solution to what I thought was candida.
I felt great at first, but it didn't last long. Eating soon became a joyless experience and I quickly fell into a state of depression and chronic low energy. After doing some research, I discovered cutting carbs was the last thing I needed to do if I wanted to heal my candida and fungal issue. More surprisingly I realized that I may have even made my issues worse by trying to fix the problem by cutting all sugars.
I’ll explain why….
It was a real shocker because since I could remember (since the 1970’s) sugar was seen as a junk food and something that’s incredibly harmful for your health. So cutting it all out is good right? Well not exactly.
Looking back on it, I'm not sure what surprised me most, the fact that I'd been working so hard at something I thought was healthy but was really making me sick or the fact that I now needed to consider eating sugar again.
It took me a really long time to process this but I eventually realized I needed to redefine what "I believed was healthy", not what had been marketed to me as healthy. I was on a path to discover my truth about what was healthy for me.
There wasn’t a whole lot of information about it so I kinda felt like I was heading into uncharted territory. At that time the consensus was that sugar was bad and the recommended advice was to go low carb. To be honest that's still the case, but what's changed is my experience and perspective. Now I see sugar as a food that can aid the metabolism in it's function if used to deliver nutrients.
What I found out...
We produce higher serotonin and adrenaline levels when we either skip meals (fast) or skip any of the three macro-nutrients (protein, carbs and fat) in your meals. A significant and frequent blood sugar drop can create an addiction to dieting (just by chronically raising serotonin levels), low energy, low metabolism and muscle wasting (catabolic state).
The simplicity of this was surprising to me. Although the biochemistry can get really complex, the therapy doesn't have to be. I've found we can easily make the therapy more complex than it needs to be. It surprisingly comes down to proper blood sugar regulation and replenishing your body with enough fuel (food) on a daily basis.
If you’re cutting your essential macro-nutrients out or fasting, your energy will consistently come from adrenaline and cortisol instead of glucose. You can survive for some time off of adrenaline (which is a by-product of fat oxidation) but ideally glucose is our body’s preferred fuel for the brain, energy metabolism and recovery. Since glucose gets stored in the muscles and liver, your body doesn't have to take resources from the tissue itself to produce energy.
Glucose is also what your thyroid and liver rely on to function well. This sets the stage for anti-aging protective hormones to be produced like pregnenalone, progesterone and DHEA and more reserves for energy production and better recovery. Not to mention better brain function and hair and skin, since your body's not in a hyper adrenaline state. It's the best way to slow down the aging process.
On the other hand, if you lack reserves (glucose storage in the liver and muscles), there's absolutely nothing you can do to motivate yourself to workout, eat healthy and take care of yourself. The energy is simply not there. This is why I think most people feel they've failed, you just can't will your way through it because it simply comes down to a lack of energy.
The science behind sugar intolerance….
If you’re producing too much lactic acid from low carb eating, the cell begins to favor the oxidation of fat rather than glucose, which doesn’t produce as much carbon dioxide (needed to transport and liberate oxygen). Leading you down a path of reduced function, low energy and hormonal imbalance. A similar process happens in cancer cells – Lactic acid turns into fat then the body oxidizes the fat.
We’re supposed to be able to metabolize sugar well, but instead the foods we’re presented with have missing parts, like separated macronutrients and manufactured/modified sugar. This could be why our bodies have such a hard time metabolizing sugar. Not because sugar is bad, but simply because our metabolisms are not functioning at their best.
The good news is there's a way to get your body back on track if you’ve hit an all time energy low. Considering the type of carbohydrate you choose is the most crucial factor. Getting your healthy carbs from fruit, root veggies, squash and dairy instead of grains with sugar added and high fructose corn syrup can make all the difference in the world when it comes to repairing your metabolism.
Too much starch inhibits digestion and promotes endotoxins in the gut. Energy from starch (grains and legumes ) is pure glucose which requires insulin to metabolize. Energy from fructose and sucrose has been proven not to require insulin to metabolize your food, therefore, does not create insulin resistance.
If you're constantly requiring insulin to metabolize the food you eat you damage your metabolism over time and your body’s energy systems become less efficient affording less energy production.
Begin by taking in more beneficial real food carbohydrates, like the ones I mentioned above, to offset the lactic acid and free fatty acid production. Doing this slowly (if you've been avoiding them) as to give your body time to adjust and acclimate so your body can produce enzymes to break down the carbohydrates. Always eat clean protein, saturated fat and healthy carbohydrates together, never leave one out.
In addition trade out foods that contain high polyunsaturated fatty acid (vegetable fats - canola oil, soybean oil, etc.) concentration for those that have a high saturated (animal and fruit) fats content. Saturated fat is a major contributor to blood sugar regulation as it aids in this process and helps you recover from stress.