From the I Quit Sugar blog
Recently I was staying with various family members and friends. One of the great things about living in someone else’s home for a few days other than a great catch up opportunity and numerous cups of tea is you get to pick up a few new kitchen tricks along the way. It was this two week period of living with others on various diets that I realised when standing in a kitchen pantry that was void of sweet treats that I was addicted to sugar.
I was cranky & irritable as there were no sweet munchies of any kind.
It was this little self aware moment that opened my eyes to how much my body/mind craves sugar. I am now looking at ways to reduce my sugar intake.
I came across this great blog by Australian Sarah Wilson and her approach to quitting sugar. Below is a fascinating article about how Salt has long been the enemy in the diet when in fact it has been hiding Sugar’s dirty foot prints all along.
SALT OR SUGAR –WHICH IS WORSE?
Written By Shayl Prisk
For eons we’ve been told salt is the bad guy on the dinner table. Claims were made that eating too much salt would lead to high blood pressure and hypertension, and some even went so far as to call it “the single most harmful substance in the food supply.”
But is salt really so bad?
We think not. And now emerging science is backing us up.
Could salt be the fall guy for sugar?
Think about this: Most of our salt consumption comes via processed foods – canned sauces, takeaways, snack products. But these processed foods also tend to contain sugar, too. Add more salt, you need more sugar, and vice versa.
Thus, we weren’t realising that sugar, not salt, was the evil ingredient.
A new study published in BMJ Open Heart argues that sugar consumption can be considerably worse for blood pressure, hypertension and heart disease than salt.
Indeed, sugar is now shown to be the number one cause of high blood pressure and hypertension.
Study author Doctor James DiNicolantonio explains, “Consuming sugar increases insulin levels, which activates the sympathetic nervous system, leading to increases in heart rate and blood pressure. The best thing people can do for their health is eat real whole food and avoid added sugars – worrying less about the salt.”
A UK study found that the three major issues at play in high blood pressure (an excess of insulin, an excess of leptin, and excess of uric acid in the body) could be addressed by reducing excess fructose, not salt.
And consider this: A 2011 meta-analysis of seven studies involving more than 6,000 people found no strong evidence that cutting salt intake reduces the risk for heart attack, stroke or death.
Why unrefined salt is crucial for our health.
Some of the health benefits of unrefined salt include:
- Unrefined salt is a natural antihistamine.
- Unrefined salt reduces circulating stress hormones, supporting thyroid function.
- Your body needs natural salt to maintain the proper stomach pH.
- Unrefined salt aids blood sugar control by improving insulin sensitivity – a low-salt diet increases insulin resistance.
It also depends on the type of salt you’re using.
If you’re shaking salt on your meals, it’s important to make sure it’s an unrefined version, like sea salt or Himalayan sea salt. These salts contain beneficial trace minerals like magnesium, while regular table salt is not much more than sodium and chloride, because it’s been iodised. Interestingly, it’s the trace minerals in salt that help to balance blood pressure.
Oh, and you need to know about the sodium/potassium thing….
We’ve actually been eating lots of salt for the past 200 years. What has changed however, is our drastic decrease in potassium consumption. Why do we care about potassium? Well, it’s the ratio of sodium to potassium that is most indicative of cardiovascular risk, not just the absolute level of sodium in the body.
So where do you get more potassium? Veggies are naturally high in potassium and low in sodium, so if you’re eating a whole food diet with an abundance of fresh veg, you’ll have a healthy sodium to potassium ratio, easy!
Article and Image has been taken directly from I Quit Sugar with no amendments made. I just wanted to share this with you Munchers and I claim no ownership over research or authorship. All Content above apart from my little introduction is Copyrighted by I Quit Sugar Pty LTd. You can visit original posting on I Quit Sugar on the various hyperlinks posted on this page.
Sarah Wilson also has an 8 week Quit Sugar Program beginning on June 4th, 2015. Or if you have missed this program you can sign up to an alert via email for the begging of the next.