Are you craving sweets? Do you have the urge to find things in the pantry that may satisfy your sugar cravings? And do you find that you’re suddenly more tired or irritable for no apparent reason? If your answer to any of these questions was ‘yes,’ you’re not alone. And the answer to all of it may be on your plate! Sugar intake is on the rise, and it can be challenging to know just how much is too much when it comes to your daily meals.
Are all sugars created equal? The short answer is no. There are two broad kinds of sugar, which can be further broken down into subtypes: Natural occurring sugars and processed sugars.
Naturally occurring sugars are found in fruits (fructose) and dairy (lactose). They have barely any negative impact when you ingest them in recommended quantities unless you have an intolerance—but more on that later! They're often accompanied by vital vitamins and minerals for your body's processes.
Processed sugars often originate in natural places but are altered in various ways. Fructose and sucrose are the most common ones here. You can identify processed sugars as "high fructose corn syrup" and "table sugar" on food labels. Both high fructose corn syrup and sucrose have natural origins (corn, sugarcane, and sugar beets) but are altered to make a cheaper and more sweet product.
You can accidentally over consume these sugars since they've become a common ingredient in most popular foods today. Reading food labels is an excellent way to gauge what's in your food, but this can get a little tricky with sugar. Sugars are listed under carbohydrates and now are broken down even further into “added sugars” which shows processed sugars that are added into the food. It all gets trickier when you consider this: more than 60 different names for processed sugar can be hidden in your foods!
It may take some detective skills, but you can discover these hidden sugars and sweeteners by looking at the ingredients on the nutrition facts label. Here are three shortcuts that can be helpful when you're looking through the ingredients to identify the processed sugars:
Foods that may be high in processed sugars include:
Have you ever wondered why belly fat is the hardest to get rid of? A high sugar intake and increased insulin levels can cause the body to change from "fat burning mode" to "fat-storing mode." And guess where your body's favorite storage place is? You guessed it, it's the abdomen! This type of fat accumulation is called visceral fat (the most stubborn fat of all). It can lead to other health concerns such as heart disease and diabetes.
High sugar intake can cause uncomfortable digestive issues such as bloating, diarrhea, and gas. Sugar alcohols and high fructose corn syrup are processed sugars that tend to cause distress because your body cannot process them efficiently. They move through your intestines unchanged, and when they reach the large intestine, gut bacteria feed on them in fermentation. This process can cause a build-up of gas, often accompanied by cramping, bloating, and pain.
People who have Celiac disease, Chrohn's disease, and other digestive intolerances produce a high amount of mucus in the intestines, which slows digestion and prevents the absorption of some sugars. Lactose (a combination of glucose and galactose) is a naturally occurring sugar that many people have difficulty digesting. Lactose intolerance occurs when your body does not produce the enzyme required to break down lactose, resulting in gas, bloating, and other digestive discomforts.
Have you ever heard of the term ‘sugar crash'? This is a common problem with high sugar intake that can lead to mood swings and irritability. When you eat high sugar foods that are then broken down into glucose for energy, your body releases a large amount of insulin to process and remove the glucose from the blood and move it into the cells.
This insulin overload reduces the amount of glucose in the blood too quickly, causing your body to release adrenaline, cortisol, and other hormones to compensate. Adrenaline then sends a signal to your body to make more glucose to increase your levels. The fluctuation causes mood swings and irritability. Studies have also found that this cycle of glucose fluctuation can lead to depression over time.
This study found that when people consume high amounts of sugar, they sleep less deeply and are more restless. High carbohydrate diets increase tryptophan (promotes sleep) and suppress orexin (responsible for alertness), which makes you doze off. But they also may provide more readily available energy to burn so your brain stays in REM sleep longer than in deep restorative sleep. This may lead you to wake up feeling tired or sluggish.
You know that gross filmy feeling you get after eating or drinking something with a lot of sugar? The sugar molecules combine with saliva and bacteria in your mouth, leading to plaque on your teeth. When plaque is left on your teeth, it can dissolve the enamel and cause cavities and gum disease. Sugar intake is currently one of the leading causes of dental issues like tooth decay and cavities in adults and children.
Sugar contributes to increased inflammation, which breaks down the collagen and elastin in your skin, leading to wrinkles and sagging skin. When you consume sugar, your body releases insulin from the pancreas to absorb and transfer it to your liver. Your pancreas can only process so much sugar, so if you eat more than your body can process, it can cause inflammation.
High blood glucose levels can cause a cross-linking of collagen fibers called glycation of the skin. When this happens, the skin loses elasticity, leading to wrinkles. Acne, dermatitis, psoriasis, and rosacea can also be triggered by the inflammatory response in your body.
You may already know a bit about the cycle of sugar crashes and how they impact your mood. But remember that the other thing sugar does is cause us to want more of it. When adrenaline is released, its function is to produce more energy (sugar) for your body. This leads to cravings, which start the cycle over.
Imbalanced hormones and glucose instability are often the leading causes of late-night cravings. People naturally crave sugar in the evenings when the body slows down. Having a nighttime snacking habit is common, but remember that it's associated with many health issues, including a higher risk of being overweight or obese.
Sugars are the easiest fuel source for your body to break down compared to protein, fiber, and healthy fats. This means that you will be hungrier faster and crave more of them. When you eat sugar, it also causes a hormone called dopamine to be released in the brain, making you feel happier. Coupling this with the sugar crash you experience can lead to compulsive snacking and insatiable hunger. These foods also tend to be calorie-dense (more calories for a smaller portion), leading to higher calorie intake throughout the day.
Have you had issues with high blood pressure that don't get any better, no matter how much you limit your salt intake? You may be limiting the wrong element. High sugar intake has been shown to reduce nitric oxide in your blood vessels, causing them to constrict instead of expanding and improving blood flow. This restriction leads to higher blood pressure and poor circulation. Poor circulation to the brain can limit brain function, causing brain fog and memory loss.
Have you ever considered that the tired, foggy feeling you have that makes it difficult to concentrate at work could be high blood sugar? When your glucose levels are elevated, it can affect your brain's serotonin and GABA levels. When these increase, you will feel more tired.
Once your glucose crashes after the elevation, you can experience the adrenaline increase to bring the sugar level back up, which causes stress and concentration issues. Your brain likes to have things stay consistent, so these elevations and crashes can lead to a breakdown in brain cells, nerve damage, and inflammation. When inflamed, brain function becomes difficult, resulting in memory loss.
Do you have chronic aches and pains? High sugar intake may be the culprit. Research shows that consuming foods that are high in sugar can cause inflammation. Remember earlier when we talked about visceral or belly fat? It releases inflammatory proteins and hormones, which create chronic inflammation. Most forms of joint pain and muscle aches involve inflammation. Even when joint pain is caused by an injury, it can worsen if you overeat sugar.
We touched on glycation earlier while discussing aging and wrinkles, and it also plays a role here. Glycation is a process where sugar bonds with proteins to create "advanced glycation end products" (AGEs). A buildup of these AGEs in joint tissues can cause changes to cartilage, making it more prone to developing damaged areas and osteoarthritis. Finally, a high-sugar diet can lead to the loss of magnesium, potassium, and calcium in the urine, responsible for muscle contraction and relaxation.
High sugar consumption inhibits the production of orexin, which is a chemical in your brain that stimulates the feeling of being awake. The more sugar you eat, the more sleepy you will feel. The same research discovered that protein consumption helps to counteract this sleepiness, so if you consume more protein, it will help you stay awake.
Eating high amounts of sugar ultimately causes your brain to regularly expect a large amount of sweetness. This makes it challenging to enjoy foods that are less sweet because your brain is expecting more. Sugar substitutes containing artificial sweeteners can be much sweeter than natural sugars, so you may skip those if you're attempting to break the habit.
When you’re making changes to your diet, it’s essential to understand how individual foods affect you personally. Everyone has a unique glycemic response to different food sources. An excellent way to know your personal reaction is glucose monitoring. Continuous glucose monitoring allows you to see real-time data trends to monitor how food changes your glucose and how long it takes to return to baseline.
With a subscription to the CGM Program from NutriSense, you can experiment with the help of a CGM sensor and advice from a registered dietitian. Using the data from the CGM, your dietitian can help you gain a better understanding of your personal calorie, macronutrient, and fiber needs.
Age isn't the only factor that can affect fertility. Let’s explore how new technology has changed our understanding of fertility and reproductive health..
Watermelon is a hydrating and delicious summertime snack, but have you ever wondered if it can raise your glucose levels? Read on for more about this tasty fruit.
Polycystic ovary syndrome, or PCOS, is a condition that involves endocrine and metabolic imbalances. Here are some PCOS friendly foods to include in your diet for better health.
NutriSense dietitian Katrina Larsen, MS, RD,N, LD, CDCES discusses the risk factors for sleep apnea and how this disorder is linked to other health conditions.
A well-stocked kitchen is the key to making healthy eating choices. Let’s explore some kitchen staples that you can keep on hand to make healthy eating easier.
Have you ever wondered how your glucose levels might be connected to joint pain? We'll take a deep dive into this connection and share tips for reducing pain.
Hiking has a host of benefits for your health and fitness. We'll explore how this activity can boost your wellbeing and share a few tips for getting started.
In this article, we break down what a low FODMAP diet looks like for beginners, and its potential benefits and drawbacks for gastrointestinal health.
Russell Battles shares how using a CGM helped him revamp his diet, exercise, and lifestyle after suffering from a heart attack.
Wondering how effective ketones are for building muscle? In this post, we’ll dig into ketones, exercise, and muscle growth to see what the connection is.
Here are nine tips for stabilizing your blood sugar levels, plus some insights from the NutriSense dietitian team on how to detect blood sugar imbalances.
In this article, we explore the the effects that tomatoes may have on blood sugar levels and insulin response, plus other ways that tomatoes can affect your health.
Macro setting and tracking can be valuable tools in reaching your health goals. Here's how to get started.
Let’s take a deep dive into how high blood sugar levels can be a risk factor for kidney failure and what you can do to ensure optimal kidney health.
Did you know that aging can lead to problems with your balance? Read on to find out what can cause balance issues and how you can combat this occurrence.
Do mangos raise blood sugar? Are they good for your health? Read on to find out.
Whether you're trying out “meatless Mondays“ or exploring vegan food for the first time, here's a beginner’s guide to getting started on a plant-based diet.
Dermatomyositis is an autoimmune condition that affects the skin. Here's how to manage it with evidence based nutrition and lifestyle tips.
Learn what high-intensity resistance training is, how it can benefit your metabolism, and nine tips to get started with HIRT.
Learn more about whether or not avocados raise blood sugar levels, and the many health benefits that can come from including avocados in your diet.
Member Stuart Tutler explains how insights from a CGM helped him change his approach to nutrition and improve his blood sugar levels.
Did you know that living with a pet can do more than just put a smile on your face? Read on to learn all the ways living with pets improves your wellbeing.
Amanda Seitz explains how the NutriSense's 3 month CGM program helped revamp her habits and lifestyle for better glucose response.
Let’s take a deeper look at conditions like the common cold and the flu to see what they can do to your blood sugar levels.
Starting on a weight loss journey might sound daunting if you’re someone who doesn’t love to hit the gym. Here are 20 practical ways to shed a few extra pounds without exercise.
The summertime means switching out hot lattes for iced coffee. Read on to explore dietitian-approved healthy iced coffee drinks.
Kate Brown shares how she was able to lose weight, reduce stress, and manage her anxiety using a CGM.
Let’s have a look at 11 reasons why you may not be shedding weight on a keto diet and a few solutions to help you make it over your weight loss plateau.
A blood ketone level of .5 to 3.0 millimoles per liter is the ideal range for ketosis. Find out more here.
Read on to learn about the potential causes of constipation, how constipation can affect your blood sugar, plus a few tips for healthy stool formation.
In this post, we share our roundup of six NutriSense dietitian-endorsed healthy desserts that will hit the spot this summer. Read on to discover healthy treats for your sweet tooth.
Nordic walking is a full-body workout in which special lightweight poles are held in each hand to activate the entire body while walking. Learn the benefits of Nordic walking and how you can get started with this activity.
Meredith Standridge discusses her takeaways after a year with a CGM, and how NutriSense has helped her implement new, lifelong habits to help her optimize her health.
In this article, we’ll cover 12 of the best exercises to add to your routine to help you lose weight, build muscle, and improve your metabolism.
What are the healthiest types of noodles and how can you turn them into a delicious noodle bowl? Read on to find out.
Insulin resistance can be tough to manage. Learn why it’s important to improve insulin resistance and how you can reduce or reverse the effects of insulin resistance with healthy weight loss.
Polyphenols and tannins are prominent antioxidants found in many common foods. So, what exactly do they do and how can you add them to your diet? Let's find out.
Reducing your exposure to toxins means making your environment healthier. Here are eight dietitian-approved tips for a healthy environment.
Want to boost heart health? Learn which foods reduce risk of cardiovascular disease and which foods add to it.
Weight management is essential for a healthy lifestyle. Here are nine weight management tips.
Staying hydrated is important. We'll guide you through a few dietitian-endorsed hydration tips that can help you boost your daily fluid intake.
Let’s break down just how vital water is for overall health and how dehydration, among other things, can affect blood sugar levels.
The best way to combat low blood sugar at home is to take a glucose tablet or glucose gel. Here’s what to do with low blood sugar at home.
Ready to learn all about fiber beyond just the basics? In this post, we dive deep into the different kinds of fiber and health benefits of each. From functional fiber to fermentation, we break down all the jargon into a layman's language.
Inflammation can have a negative connotation it comes to your health. But could it actually be a good thing when it comes to muscle-building? Read on to find out.
Check out these healthy Fourth of July recipes plus some tips on keeping blood glucose levels steady through the holiday from the NutriSense Nutrition Team.
Dietitian and author of "Heart Disease Cookbook" Katie Reines discusses using a CGM to help balance blood sugars and hormones to manage and reverse health conditions.
Technical writer, competitive ballroom dancer, and seven-year veteran of the carnivore diet, Linda Salant talks about using the CGM to get clarity on how a unique diet could affect blood sugar levels.
Founder of health and fitness brand Shack Fit, John Shackleton is a fitness and nutrition enthusiast. He talks about using the CGM to "check under the hood” and see how his physiology was responding to certain foods.
Athletic trainer Shaye Reynolds talks about feeling stuck on her health journey, and how NutriSense and the CGM Program helped fine-tune her wellness routine and have a better understanding of her diet and workout practices.
If you're gearing up to travel or spend more time outdoors this summer, here are a few tips to help you stay safe and hydrated in the sun.
When Christine Aochi was diagnosed with prediabetes, she knew she had to start focusing more on her health. She tells us how the CGM and dietitian support with NutriSense helped her to lower her blood glucose levels, lose weight, and enjoy her food.
Charlotte LaGuardia, MS, CNS, CDN, is the owner of virtual nutrition practice, Thrive East. She talks to us about using data points and experiments with a CGM to make informed decisions about health and wellness.
Elite athlete and founder of Pure Massage Boulder, Tracey Jacobs is committed to her health. She discusses using the CGM with dietitian support to help maximize performance and elevate her workouts.
Jennifer Brumit loves the CGM because it helps her add to what she already does to stay healthy. She talks about why she thinks everyone should be using one to educate themselves and boost overall wellness.
Donating blood can save a life, and these donations are needed more often than you may think. Read on to learn how autoimmune conditions affect your eligibility to donate.
As a new mom, you may be eager to regain your pre-pregnancy body, but it's essential to take things slow and follow postpartum diet guidelines. Read on to discover dietitian recommended postpartum guidelines to losing weight.
Alongside a healthy diet, adding certain nutrients can help with achieving optimal blood glucose levels. Here are nine supplements that help your body do just that!
We asked our Nutrition Team to help us debunk 14 popular nutrition and lifestyle myths. Here's what our dietitians—and the research—say about these age-old myths.
You may have always considered oatmeal to be a healthy breakfast option, but is it really that good for you? Let’s break down the different components of oatmeal and find out.
To help you make the most of the warmer weather, we asked Carlee Hayes, RDN, CD, and Nutrition Manager here at NutriSense, to share a few of her favorite summer soup recipes.
Insulin resistance can create a variety of health issues and lead to type 2 diabetes. Here are nine effective ways to improve insulin sensitivity for improved metabolic health.
Did you know your gut influences how well your brain functions? Here are our top dietitian approved tips to boost gut health for improved cognitive functioning.
Catherine Staffieri discusses the impact of glucose on hormones, perimenopause and menopause, weight loss and the incredible benefits of using a CGM as a tool to help you feel your best.
To discuss how a health coach can incorporate this in their practice, Health Coach Academy invited Carlee Hayes to the show.
This week, we’ve compiled some of our favorite podcasts that go beyond nutrition. Here are 20 wellness-focused podcasts to add to your queue.
Are BCAAs worth it? This post digs into 30+ years of research to answer this question. The answer may surprise you.
Menopause can be a difficult journey, so we've compiled some of the most effective, science backed tips to help you with menopause-related weight gain.
Father’s Day is around the corner, and whether you’re celebrating your dad, a father figure, or another cherished loved one, helping them take care of their health can be the ultimate gift.
Here's a helpful list of some of our favorite low-carb snacks that can help you keep your diet varied and full of healthy nutrients.
Whether you're looking for low GI summer snacks or healthy sweet treats, this post has got you covered. Here are tasty low glycemic index recipes everyone will enjoy!
Wondering if grapes are safe for people with diabetes to include in their diet? Read on to find out.
Cholesterol plays a very important role in the human body, contributing to the structure of the cells, helping with vitamin D synthesis, and also promoting the production of steroid and sex hormones, like cortisol, aldosterone, testosterone, and estrogen. But how exactly is cholesterol connected to blood glucose levels?
We sat down with Kara Collier, our co-founder and VP of Health here at NutriSense, to take a closer look at how CGMs work and what you need to know about these devices before using one.
Are carbs and sugar the same? In this post, we break down the key differences between the two and share the benefits of complex carbohydrates.
Read on to learn more about DOMS, how long it can last, and then pick from our list of the best breakfasts to help beat that post-workout soreness, support muscle building, and encourage fat loss.
When it comes to lowering blood sugar levels, not all supplements are created equal. From ginseng to aloe vera, here are some of the best supplements to help avoid high blood sugar and encourage blood sugar control.
Bloating that results from a surgery can sometimes be an unexpected part of the recovery process. Is there anything you can do to reduce bloating or prevent it from happening? And what causes this bloating anyway? Read on to find the answer to these questions and much more to help you combat your post-surgery swelling.
Learn why fiber is classified as a carb and how to increase your intake of this health promoting nutrient.
Did you know Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease? Read on to learn what it's like living with PD plus discover treatment options.
From rosemary water to dry scooping, should you be trying every new trend that hits TikTok? How can you tell which ones may help and which ones to steer clear of?
As great as sugar tastes, including too much of it in your diet can lead to certain health problems. Read on to learn more about the role sugar plays in keeping your skin healthy.
Read on to see which podcasts our dietitians recommend if you’re interested in learning more about nutrition and health.
Nicotine is a chemical in tobacco that can affect your health in various ways. Read our article to learn how it impacts blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity.
CGMs are now an excellent tool for anyone who wants to optimize their metabolic health. Read on to find out more about the benefits CGMs can have for healthy people!
Although bariatric surgery can be an effective way to lose weight and improve health for people who are obese, it’s a major decision. Find out what lifestyle changes you need to make before going under the knife.
Excited to fire up the grill this summer? Read on to learn if grilling is healthy for you plus check out the NutriSense Nutrition Team's favorite grilling recipes for the season.
Did you know that your gut health can impact your blood glucose levels? Explore ways to improve your gut health for optimal glucose levels.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease that can cause swelling and joint pain. Learn more about how it develops and how other health conditions affect its onset.
We’ve hand-picked the best weight loss apps available. Here are the thirteen best weight loss apps.
An emerging treatment, red light therapy promises to prevent and treat the signs of aging and other skin issues. Read on to find out more.
Struggling to stick with a health-promoting diet? Here’s how to make it enjoyable so you can reap the benefits.
VP of Health and co-founder of NutriSense Kara Collier discusses reaching optimal health through blood sugar regulation, what a continuous glucose monitor is, and who might benefit from using it.
In this episode of Zero to CEO, Jason Sherman talks to Dan Zavorotny about how to turn your idea into a 120 person team in 2.5 years.
Body mass index is a term you may have seen tossed around quite a bit in the health world. You may know that it’s a way to measure body fat, but with so many new tests for measuring overall fitness and health, is BMI still reliable?
If you're watching your glucose levels, traditional BBQ staples may not be the best choice. Here are some recipes that will help you enjoy a Memorial Day meal without a blood sugar spike.
Mental health has a significant impact on your overall health; here are tips, tools, and apps to improve your mental wellbeing.
Living with diabetes can be a challenge, especially when it comes to keeping your blood sugar levels regulated. Learn if you can check your blood sugar at home without a meter.
With summer right around the corner, it’s time to make sure you have the tools you need to protect yourself from sunburn and sun damage. But how do you choose the right one for adequate sun protection?
Learn how Japanese water therapy can help with weight loss, energy levels, and detoxification.