Why Does Sugar Have Such A Hold Over Us?

May 21, 2022

Does sugar have you hooked? Do you feel you are addicted to sugar, and you just have to have some to feel normal? Do you have a sweet tooth that always has you thinking about where to get your next treat? Maybe you have said to yourself, I could just ____ (insert your health goal), if I could just stop eating sugar. Why is something that tastes so good also be so bad for us? Today we want to explore some of the reasons sugar has a hold over many of us with two special hosts who share their personal connection to the sugar habit.

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CAROLYN: Well, good morning, everyone. Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. I'm Carolyn Hudson and I'm a registered and licensed dietitian. And I've been a dietitian since 1980.

NELL: Wow.

CAROLYN: Yes, 44 years: long time, right? That's really a long time that I've been talking about the benefits of real eating and eating real food, right, all the time. So I'm also happy to know a lot about nutrition, even though I'm officially retired.

NELL: Yay.

CAROLYN: Yes, since November. I still help, I still help out here with the radio show. I like to do corporate classes as well, and I still help a lot of my friends and family make better food choices. You know, friends often ask me, especially during COVID, you know, what supplements should I be taking? What should I be eating to help support myself, help support my immune system?

I learned this nutrition knowledge through, you know, first of all, getting a college degree in nutrition and of course attending many seminars over the years, because we have to keep up our education points and licensure; and continually reading. And I read research, I read books, I look at the science. I go to all of the reputable websites and check things out.

And of course I listen to podcasts and with working with a number of different clients, a variety with a variety of problems, right? I mean, no one person or two people are the same. Right? So, this knowledge has really helped me stay healthy as I've aged. And I'm really proud to say that I have really, really good health right now. And my mother, you know, who eats real food, she's 94. And she's in very good health.

So today you've probably heard Nell in the background. My cohost is Nell Kauls, and she learned to eat the real food way about 14 years ago, and lost 90 pounds. And most importantly, she's kept it off for 12 years.

NELL: Makes me a bit of a unicorn.

CAROLYN: So welcome, Nell.

NELL: Hi Carolyn.

CAROLYN: I really want you to tell our listeners what has been your biggest challenge.

Why does sugar have such a hold over us?


NELL: It is sugar and that’s the topic of our conversation today. And I often ask myself, why does sugar have such a hold over us; over me? It is not just the added sugar. So that's, that's the common mistake I think people make. It is also all of the foods that turn into sugar in our bodies, like bread or pasta, crackers, chips: all the things that I love.

CAROLYN: Oh, oh, of course I know. And people, you know, often think, well it's just sugar, right? You know?

NELL: It's, it's added sugar.

CAROLYN: It's, it's the added sugar or you know, the cupcakes or the cookies; things that are obvious. But we know that pasta and bread and chips and crackers, you know, all of those things, even vegetables, you know.

NELL: Potatoes.

CAROLYN: Potatoes.

NELL: Whatever I'm gravitated to, you can bet it turns to sugar in the body.

CAROLYN: It turns to sugar in the body because you know, the body breaks all those things down.

NELL: Yeah.

CAROLYN: And it's kind of all the same, although some things are a little worse.

NELL: Exactly.

CAROLYN: But you know.

NELL: Exactly.

CAROLYN: It turns to sugar. So as you're listening to this show, we want you to think about yourself. Does sugar have a hold on you? And that's the entire topic. Why does sugar have such a hold over us? That's our topic today? Do you feel you are addicted to sugar and you just have to have some to feel normal? So today we really want to explore some of those reasons sugar has a hold over many of us. Maybe you've even said to yourself, oh, I could lose some weight if, just if I could stop eating sugar. Why is something that tastes so good also so bad for us? So Nell, I know that you don't eat a lot of sugar now, but at one time…

NELL: It was all I ate.

CAROLYN: So you really were a sugar lover.

Nell’s sugar addiction story


NELL: Oh yeah. Sugar addict is more like it. And I'll tell you my story. I, so I'm a child, I'm a gen Xer. So I'm a, I grew up in the seventies and eighties when the low fat messaging was really, really hot.

CAROLYN: Oh yeah. So many of us. And I would have to say dietitians and nutritionists, we fell into that too.

NELL: Yeah.

CAROLYN: You know, back in the seventies.

NELL: Exactly. Exactly. And so it was right when, you know, people were trying to… I remember going from butter to margarine.

CAROLYN: Oh yeah.

NELL: And, you know, I, I, I wanted to say, you know, the, the sugar that we ate as a family, my mom did her very best to be like that we did never had pop in the house, so no soda, not lots of juices, but we would always have orange juice and we would have no sugar cereal or lower sugar cereal, which is Raisin Bran, which you could see the sugar on the raisins.

CAROLYN: Oh yeah. Oh, oh, that was my favorite.

NELL: I know, I know. Let me tell you. And so, you know, versus sugar pops or sugar snacks or some of these other sugary cereals, so even when you were trying to, to decrease the amount of sugar you gave your family, it was kind of pointless, because everything had sugar and everything has today has sugar unless you're eating real food.

So yeah, I grew up, you know, really in hindsight, looking at it, the worst possible food environment for my particular metabolism and body. Cause I, I add weight very, very easily. And so if you think about, you know, starting that in the early seventies and then through the eighties, I put on all of that extra weight and started a, a cycle of yo-yo dieting when I was in eighth grade, went to Weight Watchers for the first time summer before eighth grade year, went the complete opposite way, you know, really restricting calories, restricting fat.

CAROLYN: And really that's not what we should be doing at that age at all, is it?

NELL: At all. So, you know, really damaged my metabolism; set my adult self up for almost 25 years of going on and off these low-calorie, low-fat diets, ultimately leading to a hundred extra pounds.

CAROLYN: Yeah. And I, I just want to stop right there.

NELL: Absolutely.

CAROLYN: You know, when we're on these low-fat diets, that affects our hormones and as a woman, then that just kind of, that's why it set you up to be on this road.

NELL: Yeah.

CAROLYN: You know, this horrible metabolism road that you didn't need to be on.

NELL: Exactly.

CAROLYN: Because we do need fat.

NELL: Exactly.

CAROLYN: In our diets.

NELL: Exactly.

CAROLYN: But we need the right kinds of fat.

NELL: Exactly. So, just not ever feeling satiated and then boomeranging right back to the binge eating and, and you know, all the high carb eating that I was doing, and never, and always blaming myself, you know, punishing myself because I could not adhere to a diet. So it was, it was a pretty painful, you know, twenties, thirties until I found, you know, the way; the Nutrition for Weight Loss way.

So when I took those classes, I know that when I ate those sugar or refined processed carbs, my body released a feel good chemicals that are part of that reward system in my brain. Right?

CAROLYN: Mm-hmm.

CAROLYN: And so this is an addiction to sugar that occurred to me at a very young age because sugar and processed carbs, that was my diet. And when I repeatedly ate sugar, I activated that reward pathway, which in turn created a tolerance, I mean, vicious cycle. And then it took more and more sugar to get the sugar high. So that was the more sugar I ate and the more sugar I ate, I wanted and I wanted more and more just to feel normal, not unlike an addict. And I will say whenever, you know, the stress of COVID and life events and things, I, it's almost as if I go back to sugar as if I were an alcoholic. I get into some really bad patterns.

CAROLYN: It is an addiction

NELL: Really and truly.

CAROLYN: I wish people would really, really understand that sugar can be as much of an addiction as alcohol or cocaine or, you know, heroin, what, whatever drug of choice, sugar really is, it acts like a drug, especially in your brain.

NELL: Yeah. Yeah. I, I, very recently I bought something and it was not the Weight and Wellness way. And my husband looked at me, he's just like, what, what do you got that for? And I said like an, like an alcoholic with alcohol.

CAROLYN: Mm-hmm. Exactly. So it's already time for our first break. You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition, brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. Do you need a few ideas on how to start your day with a sugar free breakfast? Well, let me suggest joining Marianne. She's our culinary nutrition educator. And on May 24th at six o'clock, she will help you learn how to make healthy and fun breakfast meals. All you have to do is sign up at weightandwellness.com, or give us a call: 651-699-3438, and we will do it for you. And we’ll be right back.

Cooking Classes


NELL: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. If you are struggling with hot flashes, sleepless nights, weight gain, or another menopause symptom, let me suggest registering for our Menopause Solution series. These are six, one hour recorded classes that will give you real life solutions to your menopausal symptoms. If you have questions, call us at (651) 699-3438, and we will answer any and all of your questions.

Menopause Solutions - online

CAROLYN: So Nell, before we went to break, you were talking about our Nutrition for Weight loss series. Right?

NELL: Yeah.

CAROLYN: So that's the first thing that you were introduced to us; first way?

NELL: Yeah, yeah. I actually came to a nutritionist first.

CAROLYN: Oh, you did. Okay.

What is the benefit of taking the Nutrition 4 Weight Loss program?


NELL: So this was way back when before Nutrition for Weight Loss actually existed. And I remember Dar was just coming up with the concept and really putting the class together. And so I was one of the first people to take one of those first Nutrition for Weight Loss classes.

CAROLYN: How cool is that?

NELL: It was really cool. And what, and what was so great about it is I was kind of midpoint in my weight loss journey. So I'd lost about 45 pounds and I was kind of hitting plateau territory and I started taking Nutrition for Weight Loss, busted through the plateau and it got me to my goal.


NELL: Yeah, not in, in the, the, the 12 weeks, but it definitely set me up to better understand how, you know, weight loss you do have to have that really intentional focused effort to really move the needle with the fat loss.

CAROLYN: Yeah. So I just kind of wanted our listeners to know that it's a 12 week series and right now we, you know, we've got it recorded.

NELL: Yes.

CAROLYN: So you can do it anytime.

NELL: And I'm on that recording. And I also teach the live classes that are coming up.

CAROLYN: Yeah, we've got the live classes, so it's a great way to kind of kick start things. And then you actually get two sessions with a nutritionist with that registration for that 12-week series. So it's a lot of support.

NELL: It's a lot of support and I recommend my friends go to it for the reason that that wraparound support with the nutritionist, because this is very personalized. People may be hearing about personalized medicine and specialized medicine. Really, I felt like the nutritionist brought the information and made a plan just for me. And that really helped.

CAROLYN: Yeah. That's exactly what we do.

NELL: It's fantastic.

CAROLYN: Because as I said earlier, no two people are the same.


CAROLYN: So this information that you get in the class is generalized.

NELL: Yes.

CAROLYN: And then you get to narrow it down, like drill right down. What does Nell need? What does Carolyn need? What, you know, what is your special need?

NELL: Yeah. And that's the magic.


NELL: Because that's what moves the needle.

CAROLYN: Yeah. And it's not just about weight loss either. The class is like full of information about all kinds of different things.

NELL: Hormones, for example.

CAROLYLN: Hormones: yeah. And cholesterol, we teach, you know, I can't even think of all the things that are in there and we teach you mostly about real food.

NELL: Real food.

CAROLYN: And how to identify where those sugars are coming from.

NELL: How look at a label and understand like, oh, that ingredient. And, and that's one of my favorite things to do with students is they come, I say, I always come early to class so I can answer any kind of, you know, questions that came up. And nine times out of 10, someone will bring a label from something they've found. And they're like, what, what, what could be, you know, bad or good about this? And I look at the label and kind of help them navigate label reading so they can have the most success possible.

And that's just, that's just not something you're going to get trying to navigate this, you know, exploding world of nutrition information that's out there. You really need someone to help you navigate this, this world.

CAROLYN: Yes, exactly. Exactly. So what you've been saying though, about sugar is for you, the more sugar you ate, the more you wanted and needed to get that same sugar high.

NELL: Yeah.

CAROLYN: So basically, you know, basically it works the same way as alcohol addiction, right? Or any other kind of addiction.

NELL: Yeah. I was sharing this story with you. I, when I, you know, go off the, the rails a little bit, there's a, I've had some really challenging life events the last few months. And I, I bought some chocolatey something, and my husband looked at me like, wow, you don't normally eat that. And I just said like an alcoholic with alcohol.

CAROLYN: Mm-hmm.

NELL: I mean, that's what I go back to. Those pathways are so strong. Even now, after all of these years of, of navigating this, it's so strong. It, it is like an addiction.


NELL: And it has to be kind of managed like an addiction.

CAROLYN: Yeah. Yeah. You know, when I was working with clients, you know, I'd have a client say, you know, I started out with maybe one drink; one glass of wine with my dinner, you know, that was really nice. And then it would be, oh, one glass most nights.

NELL: Yeah.

CAROLYN: You know, and then that turns to two glasses. And sometimes it's the whole bottle.

NELL: Mm-hmm.

CAROLYN: You know, so alcohol addiction or sugar addiction is not about really having that weak will.

NELL: Right.

Sugar activates the pleasure center in the brain


CAROLYN: Or, or no will power. You know, it's more about how we activate that pleasure center in our brain.

NELL: Yeah.

CAROLYN: So, and I really, that's really, really important. People, when they come to our classes, they go, what? It's not about willpower.

NELL: Oh my gosh.

CAROLYN: It's not about willpower?

NELL: You're not a bad person. It is about the, the biochemistry of what's happening to you. And what helped me get over my sugar addiction is to understand what was going on in my brain. In the Nutrition for Weight Loss classes and in my individual sessions with my nutritionist, they taught me about that impact of those feel-good neurotransmitters had on my behavior. So Dr. Candace Pert, she's the author of Molecules of Emotion, was one of the first researchers that connected our emotions to our biochemistry of the brain, which is critical to understand why do I act, why do I gravitate to this?

CAROLYN: Why do I grab that sugar? Why do I grab that? You know, glass of wine or, you know.

NELL: Cause it's always going to be there. That's the thing. It's like every, we live in a culture where there's food at bookstores and there's, there's a special occasion every time you turn around. So there's tons of opportunity, but why do I grab it, knowing it's going to negatively impact me?

CAROLYN: Yeah. It's going to derail.

NELL: Exactly. 

CAROLYN: Derail. Yep. Yep. Take a sharp left.

NELL: Exactly. That's exactly what happens.

CAROLYN: You should be going straight ahead.

NELL: Exactly.

CAROLYN: It's crazy. So, you know, there's some very, very technical language in, in her book, Molecules of Emotion, about the role our feel good neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin have on our cravings and addiction. She said that “Dopamine is rapidly released when we eat sugar or drink alcohol, giving us that dopamine high or that feel good high. Sugar is very addicting.” So when Dr. Candace Pert lectures on, the role of neurotransmitters played in addiction, she always stressed the fact that sugar addiction or junk food addiction is not a form of willpower, but it's our own sensitivity and strong response to the release of dopamine and getting that feel good effect.

NELL: Interesting.

CAROLYN: Yeah. Yeah. That's so, so interesting. Isn't it? So it's almost time for our third or second break already.

NELL: It is flying by. I knew it would.

CAROLYN: So you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. Are you wondering if Nutrition for Weight loss, the 12-week series, is right for you? You can join us for a live question and answer zoom discussion May 24th at 7:30. It is free and you can ask any question. Just go to weightandwellness.com and sign up with your email address. And we'll be right back.

Nutrition 4 Weight Loss program


NELL: Welcome back to, to Dishing Up Nutrition. I personally have found three supplements that I take daily to help keep my sugar cravings at bay. First, I take three Bifido Balance capsules before breakfast and lunch. With that, I take two L-glutamine capsules before breakfast and dinner. And third, if I have a high stress day. I take two Crave Control Plus capsules before each meal. With my history of sugar cravings, I really do need all the help I can get. And these three supplements help. You can order online or stop by one of our six offices to pick those up.

CAROLYN: Yeah. You know, I have a little story about Crave Control. I love that product.

NELL: I love it too. I still, yeah, I use it still.

CAROLYN: Yeah. Well, and I think that the that's really important that, you know, you can use it like when you first start coming and, and getting over this hump and, you know, changing your ways a little bit. But the other way I always would tell my clients is, you know, if you know you're going to something that's going to tempt you; maybe it's a girl's weekend.

NELL: Vacations.

CAROLYN: Maybe a birthday party. Maybe it's a vacation, you want to add that supplement if you are, like Nell says, you know, derailed; taking that left turn when you're supposed to be taking, going straight You're derailed by these events.

NELL: Yes, exactly. Yeah. I, I always call that Dar’s magic formula that those three supplements together. And they're with me when I go on vacation, coming up on like July 4th holidays where I know there's pie, one of my own of my favorites, and lots of buns. And anywhere there's going to be a bun, I just say, I'm just going to pop a couple Crave Control and smooth sailing. It really does take away that, that, that need, that drive, to start going down that path of just, cause once I start, I, I really don't stop.

CAROLYN: Yeah. So the, what the Crave Control does is it helps boost or it helps, helps you make more of those neurotransmitters that help you feel good, the dopamine and serotonin.

NELL: Without having to eat the sugar.

CAROLYN: Without eating the sugar. Exactly. I love it. Yeah.

The neurotransmitter connection to sugar cravings


NELL: So this is, this is what I have found to help. So if I want a little dopamine to be released, you don't just need to rely on the supplements. A dish of blueberries or an apple releases just the correct amount of dopamine. So I do feel good. But not too much. I can't eat too much fruit either.

But if I ate a bag of chips or a tub of ice cream or those chocolate covered almonds I love so much, I would get a lot of dopamine released very quickly. And my pleased center would say more and more, more please. And that's exactly what happens. Maybe if you've had a sleeve of, of girl scout cookies suddenly disappear on you and don't know what happened, that's what happened.

CAROLYN: That's exactly what happened. Oh, I'm sure a lot of our listeners going yeah, I can identify with that, Nell.

NELL: Exactly.

CAROLYN: For sure. For sure.

NELL: So I learned through taking classes that I need just a little dopamine to have energy and to feel up and good and have good moods. So too much dopamine and I'm down that slippery slope of addiction. So let me tell you that food manufacturers are very aware of this dynamic and they add sugar in one form or another. So often it is high fructose corn syrup, you've often heard, which sort of hijacks your brain.

CAROLYN: Mm-hmm. Absolutely.

NELL: Doesn't it?


NELL: Getting off and staying off sugar, it can be really challenging. I had to first understand the brain chemistry. Kind of intellectually knowing what's happening does help get off the sugar. But my sugar addiction is powerful and I needed to decide to eat in a way that I could save my body and my brain. So I still do classes. I teach classes. I meet with my nutritionist regularly, at least once a month, sometimes every week, if I need to focus on real food and avoiding processed carbs.

So all of the, the great education that you highlighted, I think that's something that people underestimate is you can read all of this stuff yourself and get quickly overwhelmed. You really do need an educated professional whose job it is, is to stay up to date on the latest research to help you navigate this. Right?

CAROLYN: Yeah. Yeah. And I mean, even though we've known about sugar and the neurotransmitters and many other things like blood sugar balance, all that kind of, even though we've known about that stuff, oh, every, pretty much every day, I feel like there's something new in the nutrition world.

NELL: Yeah.

CAROLYN: And you know, I have people say to me, you know, cause I've been in this business a long time, “Well, it didn't used to be that way. We used to be able to, you know, they said it was good, you know, margarine was good back then and now it's not, you know, and how come?” Well it's science.

NELL: Yeah.

CAROLYN: And I think maybe people now understand that there's an evolution.

NELL: Yes.

CAROLYN: And, you know, especially with COVID because we didn't know a whole bunch of stuff at the beginning. And now, because there's more research, we know more.

NELL: Exactly.

CAROLYN: It's the same with nutrition.

NELL: Yeah.

CAROLYN: It's science. And it evolves.

NELL: Exactly.

CAROLYN: So as we learn more, you know, we understand more.

NELL: Exactly. And you need someone who's keeping up with all of that to make sense of it and connect the dots with your own personal biochemistry. It’s a powerful combination.

CAROLYN: I, I got to tell you, you know, when I was working, the nutritionists at Nutritional Weight and Wellness always had conversations we had, once COVID had, we had Zoom calls.

NELL: Yeah, yeah.

CAROLYN: Yeah. But we talk, we talk every single week about new information, new challenges that our clients are having. And you know, what are you doing to help them, you know? Is there something that one of us is doing different than the other and it's just, it's great.

NELL: Yeah.

CAROLYN: You know, but it takes a lot of work.

NELL: Takes a lot of work and it's, it's very important.

CAROLYN: So I just don't expect my clients to, you know, know that information.

NELL: Absolutely. Who could keep up with all of it?

CAROLYN: Yeah. So even before, Nell, you decided to give up sugar, your nutritionist encouraged you to figure out the why, right?

NELL: Yes.

What is your “why” to give up sugar?


CAROLYN: Why do you want and need to eliminate sugar? So listeners, what is it? What is your personal why? One of our nutrition educators, Oralee Kirk, she shares her why reason. And it's because both of her parents died of cancer, way, way too young. It was clear to her that sugar fuels cancer. And therefore, she didn't want to eat sugar in order to avoid that same fate of cancer as her parents. You know, her personal reason why then is basically she's going to avoid getting sugar or getting cancer by, by avoiding sugar.

NELL: Exactly. And my why was weight loss? You know, fat loss, and avoiding diabetes, which I have a, a family history of diabetes. And honestly, I remember, you know, being at the point where my son had just hit five years old and I was, I had prediabetic, prediabetic blood sugars at a doctor's appointment. I think I was like at 116, which is high, that's very high. And that spooked me and I, because I had tried so many times to lose weight. I was like, ah, I just will never do it.

But it was really the blood sugar, you know, blood sugars and the fear of diabetes that, and, and I was an insomniac. I just, wasn't living a very good life, good quality life and low and behold, I started to get some traction and lose weight. And it was, it was once I started to stop the sugary processed foods that I could not stop, I really started to make progress. So in essence, sugar increases your glucose level, which calls to the pancreas to make insulin. And that is a fat storage hormone. This is, I feel like a broken record when I'm talking to my friends. Insulin is a fat storage hormone, so you got to control the insulin. So I stored fat on my hips and my waist and on my arms; all over. So my why was really activate the fat burning and get those blood sugars under control so I wouldn't become diabetic.

The blood sugar connection to sugar addiction


CAROLYN: Well, blood sugar.

NELL: Yeah.

CAROLYN: Let's talk about that for a few minutes. So I always say to my clients that that's another biochemical reason why you are addicted to sugar.

NELL: Yeah.

CAROLYN: If you start down that roller coaster and that's what it is: a blood sugar roller coaster. Once you eat sugar or processed carbs, processed foods, packaged foods in general, right, rather than real food, you're raising your blood sugar and it's the body's job to kick out that insulin to, to lower that blood sugar. But unfortunately insulin, that response, that pancreatic response to secreting an insulin isn't precise.

NELL: Right.

CAROLYN: So what happens Nell?

NELL: Yeah.

CAROLYN: It, you, you go up the rollercoaster and then right back down. But you go too low.

NELL: Yes.

CAROLYN: And then, oh my gosh. That's when you're out of control.

NELL: And that's when, oh, the receptionist has some chocolates on her, on her desk. I'm going to run and get one of those.

CAROLYN: Yeah, exactly. Or those of us that have been working at home.

NELL: Yeah. Yeah.

CAROLYN: Or oh my goodness. That's really, I really saw that a lot when I was still practicing, people had the “COVID 15” or, or whatever.

NELL: Yeah.

CAROLYN: You know, so we have to stay off that roller, that blood sugar roller coaster. And the only way to do that is to have a moderate, like you said, the blueberries, a bowl of fruit, a moderate amount. So, you know, half a cup.

NELL: Yeah. Half a cup. Yeah.

CAROLYN: Half a cup, a cup, you know, berries you can probably get away with almost a cup.

NELL: Yeah. But like, even like a, I, you know, bananas and higher, even when I, when I get the sugar bug, I know I gravitate to those higher sugar fruits, even; very powerful.

CAROLYN: Yeah. So what I always tell my clients is don't ever have a piece of fruit by itself or the berries. Add that whipped cream.

NELL: Yeah.

CAROLYN: Add the peanut butter to the banana or the apple, or even, you know, you could have even a little slice of cheese if you're not sensitive to dairy products with that apple. That's, that's one of my favorites, and a little bit of peanut butter or whatever, but you want to moderate that blood sugar response, that insulin response in your body in order to not have that roller coaster going on.

NELL: Yeah.

CAROLYN: Yeah. That's so, so hard. I really, I really struggle with that at times, too, you know, and especially during COVID.

NELL: Oh yeah. It was yeah, rough.

CAROLYN: You know, and when you're under a lot of stress, what do you do? You want that.

NELL: Go to your old habits. Yeah, yeah, exactly. That's for sure.

CAROLYN: So it's already time for our third break. You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. If you truly want to have better health, start with one of our June in person classes, class series, or you can even go virtual Zoom. June 9th, one of the class series starts. So we understand it takes time and commitment to make a change, but it is so worth it. Sign up by May 27th and you're going to save $50 and we'll be right back.

Nutrition 4 Weight Loss program


NELL: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. I have another little tip if I get intense sugar cravings. First, I drink 12 ounces of water and then open a, a capsule of L-glutamine and dribble it on my tongue, and usually sugar cravings vanish. And then I'm a little more in control. My nutritionist taught me this one and that's why I still make appointments with her. Get the support you need to become sugar free. Call 651-699-3438 and get started today.

CAROLYN: Oh my God. That is such a good tip.

NELL: I have a thousand of those from my nutritionist.

CAROLYN: Oh, I love that one; absolutely love that one. So before break, we were talking about the “why”. We have to have a personal why, right? And a friend of mine has kind of a different why. Due to some infection as a teen, his lungs got damaged and in order to keep that lung inflammation down, so that he can breathe better, he has to eliminate sugar. So much less inflammation and easier to breathe, rather. So what's your why? I mean, and I think it made a really important point. This inflammation: people don't realize that sugar causes inflammation in the body.

NELL: Mm-hmm.

CAROLYN: And I have a, you know, personal story about that. A few years ago, right before COVID hit, I had a hip replacement and I, you know, when I was younger, I ran, ran, ran on pavement. I was like a, I was kind of addicted to running.

And, I also have a really big hip socket. So, I wore down that socket and, you know, got to the point where it, it hurt, you know, it hurt to walk. It hurt to go upstairs, downstairs. Didn't matter kind of what I did. And, but what I found that is if I went off the rails with sugar and, and the way I really saw this happening, I don't really eat a lot of, you know, sugar, outright sugar, but my family kind of does pizza.

NELL: Ah-huh.

CAROLYN: And I thought, oh, well, I'll just have a couple pieces of pizza. And guess what? The next day I was in agony.

NELL: Yeah.

CAROLYN: So I really had to watch that and I, I still watch it because I notice those things. I can tell when I've had too many carbs, too many processed foods or whatever it is I'm eating. Pizza would be my thing that, oh. I, I just want one piece,

NELL: One more and one more. Yeah, exactly.

CAROLYN: It's one of my favorites. So, anyway, that causes a lot of inflammation for me. And so just that little amount.

NELL: I know.

CAROLYN: So what's your reason people? What is your reason out there? Tell me.

NELL: Connect with it. Two weeks ago on Dishing Up Nutrition, Teresa and Jolene shared information about the dangers of drinking. They talked about how drinking too much alcohol can cause cirrhosis of the liver. Cirrhosis of the liver can be caused by too much sugar too. So your liver turns sugar into fat and you get non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which is scarring or cirrhosis of the liver. It used to just be alcohol, but now it's sugar too. Oralee has a story about her dad who did not drink alcohol, but had cirrhosis of the liver from sugar. So maybe that's your why. What is your why?

CAROLYN: Yeah. And I hear, and read research now that they are finding cirrhosis or fatty liver, cirrhosis of the liver. Maybe not quite the cirrhosis stage, but fatty liver in teenagers.

NELL: Yeah. It's tragic.

CAROLYN: And that's sugar.

NELL: Yes. Obviously that definitely is sugar. Yeah. They aren't lifelong drinkers. Right?

CAROLYN: Let’s hope not. Yeah. But yeah, I mean, the fact that they're even seeing that is just astounding. I think that tells us a lot about our food culture.

NELL: Right. And, and liquid sugar and liquid sugar being everywhere: juice, pop, and it's just amazing how that it's really tragic.

CAROLYN: Yeah. I haven't had sugar in my house or juice. Sorry. I haven't had juice in my house. I never gave my kids juice. I would always say, have a piece of fruit. You know, juice…

NELL: Because then you get the fiber that slows it down.

CAROLYN: Mm-hmm. But you can drink and spike that blood sugar so so fast.

NELL: So fast.

Sugar negatively impacts cholesterol


CAROLYN: It's so fast. Crazy. So again, what is your why? Maybe it's cholesterol, right? Are your numbers, you know, what are your numbers for your cholesterol? Sugar actually increases that bad cholesterol, that LDL cholesterol, and lowers your more protective or good cholesterol, HDL. It also increases your triglyceride levels. You know, when we, you know, sugar and bad fats, like, you know, soybean or vegetable oil, they're often the reason to have those bad cholesterol numbers. So maybe it's having a more normal or good cholesterol numbers is your why.

NELL: Yeah.

CAROLYN: So I know, you know, I tell a lot of my clients that I have seen particularly vegetarians who eat a lot of carbs. They eat, you know, rice and beans and a, a ton of carbs. Yes, they eat some, a lot of good stuff too, but some of those people cannot handle that level of carbs and that shoots up their cholesterol numbers and they're going, I'm, I'm confused. I'm confused. My cholesterol numbers are bad. Why are they bad? And unfortunately, doctors don't understand that or don't know that. I, I don't know what it is.

NELL: And then medication is the answer.

CAROLYN: And then they give them medication. Right.

The high blood pressure/hypertension connection to sugar


NELL: Yeah. Right. So, yeah. Let's look at high blood pressure and hypertension. So you often hear salt. Salt is to blame, but sugar is more, much more worrisome for hypertension and blood pressure. Sugar makes your blood vessels less flexible and up goes the blood pressure. So your why might be lower blood pressure.

CAROLYN: Yeah. I just got to go back to that salt.

NELL: Yeah.

CAROLYN: We know that if you're eating real food, you're not eating the packaged and the frozen dinners and the, you know, all of the prepared foods. If you're cooking at home, real food ingredients, you don't…

NELL: You don't get that salt.

CAROLYN: You don't get that salt. You don't have to worry about salt at all.

NELL: No; never tracked salt, never worried about it once I made the switch to real food, cause you're naturally just not getting all of the salt they add in that manufacturing process.

CAROLYN: Right. Right. So, and I hate those diuretics that, I mean, that's doctors: “You got high blood pressure here. We have to put you on a diuretic.” You know, and that's not the answer. Let's just change the way the you're eating to go to that real food. And it's likely, you know, and then of course we've got to get some supplements that naturally lower your blood pressure. Magnesium is, is one of them. Right?

NELL: And so many people are magnesium deficient.

CAROLYN: Oh yeah. Right, right.

NELL: It really makes a difference.

How do you develop the no sugar habit?


CAROLYN: So, so how do you develop the no sugar habit? First, you need to answer the question, what is your why? Why do you want to give up sugar? Maybe you're a teenager and you want to have less acne.

NELL: Yes.

CAROLYN: You know, teenagers, that's a, that's a real go to. Right?

NELL: Right.

CAROLYN: You know, second: become educated about the biochemistry behind sugar addictions. So that's about the biochemistry in your brain, the biochemistry in blood sugar balance. So those two things are going to get you, you know, on a sugar roller coaster, if you don't have those, you know, things kind of in balance. Take classes, listen to past podcasts from this show. That would be great. You know, you could pick any number of them.

NELL: Oh my god. There's it's it is like, it's like an education in that archive.

CAROLYN: Yes, absolutely; lots of podcasts on sugar. You could read a book or meet with a nutritionist. That would be great. Third, you, you want to take it one day at a time. It isn't an all or nothing process. It's every single day.

NELL: It gets better. Yeah. Yeah, definitely. And get the support you need and keep your support team. Really look at them as your team. Hang out with like-minded people. We encourage you to find your why and just start today. Don't wait until Monday or when spring starts or 4th of July. If I had, I'd be still waiting today.

CAROLYN: Yeah, exactly.

NELL: Always an excuse.

CAROLYN: Always an excuse. Start today.

NELL: And maybe it will be just a few hours, but soon those hours will turn into days, weeks, months, and years. I'm 12 years in now and never looked back. Then you realize my aches and pains are gone. My clothes fit better. My cholesterol numbers are excellent. I am not diabetic: never became diabetic. I, I diverted the course. I feel great. And I'm happy. So you could make it happen, right?

CAROLYN: Absolutely. You are in control. And what I really want to leave everybody, you know, imprinted in their brain: It's not your willpower, right?

NELL: Not at all.

CAROLYN: Not at all. So our goal here at Nutritional Weight and Wellness is to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food. It's a simple yet very powerful message. Eating real food is life changing. Thank you for joining us today. And have a great day.

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