We come into this world with a propensity for sweet foods. I know I sure did! Humans can detect four basic flavors – salt, sour, bitter and sweet, but it’s the sweet that we seek out. Scientists reason it’s because we evolved eating fruit from the trees. The sugar in the fruit provided energy for our brain and helped us store fat. Two necessary survival abilities for the human body.
Richard Johnson, a professor of medicine at the University of Colorado and author of “The Sugar Fix” explains during human evolution there was a time of global cooling. Eating fructose was a way for the body to store fat, so starvation was not likely and therefore upped the chance of survival for the species. Basically any food that people were likely to eat would mean the likelihood of surviving and passing on their genes.
Seeking out and eating sweet foods was a survival instinct. Our bodies were trained biologically to seek out the sweet stuff!
Where Does Sugar Come From?
Simple, white sugar comes from the dried juice of beets and the sugar cane plant. Sugar in America comes from sugar beets. The final product of sugar from sugar cane and sugar beets is the same. Unfortunately, sugar beets are also almost all genetically modified or GMO. Another good reason to stay away from it.
You’ve probably heard many names for sugar: Cane sugar, brown sugar, powdered confectioners sugar, organic cane juice, fine sugar, raw sugar and turbinado sugar. Don’t be fooled, it’s effects on the body are the same.
What Happens To Your Body When You Eat Sugar?
Sugar, or sucrose is made up of a fructose and glucose molecule. Remember our ancestors needed fructose to survive by storing fat and the glucose for fuel for their brain and body.
When you eat sugar, an enzyme is immediately released in your mouth to help partially break down the sugar. Sugar spends a very short amount of time in the stomach, not fully broken down yet, and enters the small intestine where the majority of digestion takes place. Enzymes in the small intestines break the sugars into monosaccharides, which are absorbed into the bloodstream and used for energy. That’s a very simple explanation. You know there are many reasons for bowel problems but the question is Can Tomatoes Cause Bowel Problems? 4 Research-based Facts will surprise you.
Glucose – is absorbed into the bloodstream and insulin is secreted from the pancreas to attach to glucose and transfer it into the cells for energy use. You get blood sugar spikes from glucose and diabetics have to be very careful of their sugar glucose intake.
Fructose – Insulin has no effect on fructose! Fructose is not controlled by insulin nor can fructose be used or turned into energy for any part of the body. Fructose can only be processed in the liver. Fructose can only be turned into fat by the liver. Remember our ancestors survived on the ability of their body to increase fat after eating sweet plant foods? However excess simple fructose – as in soda with High Fructose Corn Syrup, raises the risk of fatty liver disease, obesity and especially fat accumulates around the torso leading to heart disease.
Quick note about fruit sugar (Fructose) – The fructose in fruit is bound to fiber, other carbohydrates and protein all which have to be digested or broken down in the stomach and intestines before it can be used by the body. Getting a fructose ‘hit’ on the body is negligible and why fruit is healthy and desirable for diabetics under a good eating plan.
Now that we have an understanding of what simple sugar is, what it is made of and how it’s metabolized, we can address how sugar and leaky gut are connected!
Leaky Gut Syndrome
Leaky gut syndrome is still much of a mystery to mainstream doctors. There is plenty of research on its existence, but still not well known about. There are symptoms that accompany leaky gut including bloating, gas, cramps, food sensitivities, aches and pains, brain fog, and other digestive illnesses. Leaky gut is also thought to aggravate or be the precursor to autoimmune diseases.
The lining of the stomach is permeable with small holes or ‘tight junctures’ that allow microscopic nutrients and molecules to pass through and into the bloodstream. That is completely normal and how digestion works to get nutrients and other molecules needed for the body to use.
The problem that occurs with leaky gut is when the lining of the stomach gets inflamed and the tight junctures now become not-so-tight. They open up and allow molecules and other substances in that should not get into the bloodstream. This causes widespread problems ranging from allergies to autoimmune diseases.
What Causes Inflammation in the Gut?
- Food Additives
Sugar feeds candida, yeast and bad bacteria. Bad bacteria creates toxins that damage the lining of the stomach, opening up the tight junctures and allowing more molecules to get through and into the bloodstream. A diet high in simple sugar causes the body to work harder to process it by manufacturing enzymes and using nutrients to digest causing a deficient state.
Sugar is hard on the body causing inflammation, nutrient deficiencies and problems with candida that can all result in Leaky Gut SyndromeThe good news is that you can heal! You may also want to know Do Tomatoes Cause Inflammation in the Gut? Interesting Facts That May Shock You!
The Four R’s Are Your Steps To Healing.
Remove those foods that are known to cause Leaky gut: Sugar, grains, processed foods contribute to inflammation in the gut.
Replace with healing foods and supplements like fermented foods, probiotic rich foods like yogurt, cleansing vegetables like dark leafy greens.
Repair the gut with foods and supplements that heal. Bone broth and vitamin D as well as l glutamine have been shown to heal the lining of the stomach. Quercitin is another supplement that has been shown to heal the lining and improve the tight junctures of the stomach.
Rebalance Probiotics rebalance the gut by providing healthy strains of probiotics into the gut helping rebalance the ratio of good to bad bacteria.
Helping the body to heal by taking sugar out of the diet is a big and important step to feeling better.
In conclusion, excess simple sugar in the diet causes inflammation in the body and the gut resulting in Leaky Gut Syndrome. Leaky Gut Syndrome can be healed by following a protocol and sticking with it until symptoms subside.