Sugar is one of the most dangerous ingredients in our modern food supply. Part of living a Paleo lifestyle is getting rid of processed foods from your diet. That’s not just because of the chemical additives and packaging (although that certainly plays a part). It’s largely because American food producers have started adding sugar to everything. Even pre-made pasta sauce and cured meats tend to come full of the stuff.
Sugar in moderation is relatively harmless, but moderation is essential and often difficult. Not only is sugar everywhere, it’s extremely addictive, even more so than cocaine. It spikes our blood sugar, which eventually leads to a crash, leaving us feeling tired, lightheaded, and craving more sugar. Getting off this roller coaster is an integral part of living a Paleo lifestyle, but it’s not always easy.
Paleo and Blood Sugar
The constant attempts to keep blood sugar high wreaks havoc on our bodies, which have to pump out insulin to deal with all the sugar. Insulin promotes the storage of nutrients as fat and prevents fat from being broken down for energy – hence consuming sugar (rather than fat) makes you fat.
When insulin is kept chronically high, the cells become desensitized and stop accepting it. The body has to respond by producing more insulin and the cycle continues. This leads to a metabolic disorder that is known to precede life-threatening diseases such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
For more reasons to avoid sugar, check out Mark Sisson’s definitive guide to sugar.