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Sugar Free Sunday & Time Of Day

Welcome to one of the sweetest weekly virtual potluck get-together ever! Yes indeed — it is Sugar Free Sunday! We host it every Sunday to exchange incredible sugar free recipes. Inspiration to start the week right? You bet!

I recently met the wonderful woman behind The Whimpy Vegetarian who is visiting Tahoe. I was amazed at how quickly we clicked. It really did feel like I just “got” every word she said. And better yet, I felt that she “got” every word I said. Our conversation ranged from everything beautiful about Tahoe and everything wonderful about blogging. Of course my passion of promoting being refined sugar free came up pretty quickly. Susan mentioned an interesting thing that I had never really paid attention to: The time of day that sugar was consumed affects our bodies dramatically.

I’ve actually heard other people say this to me. Much like caffeine, I’ve heard my yoga teacher say plenty of times that she did not do well when she had fruit late in the day. In fact that’s why another friend in LA gave up eating dessert after dinner. But it wasn’t until Susan described it that I realized that I really had no clue why this was happening. Why was it that at certain times of the day, these healthy people could not eat sugar but if they wait for a couple of hours or had the same sugar a few hours earlier, they didn’t suffer the same noticeable symptoms?

Glucose is the primary source of energy for our body’s cells. (There are better options for glucose than table sugar for so many reasons — but that’s another post.) To get to our cells, glucose is transported from our intestines or liver via the blood stream. Our pancreas creates insulin when it detects the presence of glucose in the blood stream. Without insulin, our cells would not be able to absorb the glucose to use as energy. Here is a nice little picture that shows this process pretty clearly.

Since most of us are not constantly eating, the glucose and insulin levels in our blood stream will fluctuate as we consume food. Here is a typical 3-meals-a-day fluctuation.

Glucose Insulin Levels

Source Wikipedia. Authors: Jakob Suckale, Michele Solimena

As you can see, our levels are the lowest at breakfast since we’ve gone about 6 – 8 hours without any food. The typical average value for the blood glucose level is about 4 mM. When there is too much glucose circulating in our blood, it’s known as hyperglycemia. Chronic hyperglycemia leads to diabetes but we can also suffer from temporary hyperglycemia. Some symptoms include:

  • Frequent Urination: If we can’t absorb the glucose, then our body has to flush it out.
  • Ketosis: When our body can’t use glucose as a source of energy, it finds other sources known as ketone bodies. The side effects of this include headaches, fatigue and dizziness.
  • Some people report blurry eyesight when their blood sugar rises to a certain level. Others notice a tingling sensation in their extremities.

So if you think about it, if you suddenly introduce a lot of glucose into your blood stream, it is possible that you send your body into a state of temporary hyperglycemia. Which could mean that you notice some of the symptoms above (or maybe some that I don’t even have listed). Most healthy people can handle these surges in blood sugar without any long term issues that we are aware of or have agreed upon yet. But why do it?

I still believe that there is very little to gain from eating refined sugar. And I highly highly recommend and SUPPORT anyone that wants to go sugar free. However, I know many many people who are just not there. Who are just not going to give up sugar. To those people — watch the time of day that you consume sugar. Watch what you’ve already eaten. Watch how your body reacts to what you put in it. You may be surprised how much you discover about yourself.

How do you participate in the virtual potluck?

  • Link your recipe post (NOT your homepage) if it does not use refined sugar. Your blog does not have to be entirely sugar free, just the dish you’re sharing!
  • Please link back to this get-together somewhere in your post’s text.
  • If you’re new – see all the details on the Sugar Free Sunday page.
  • Sign up for free to our new venture Velvet Aroma. It’s a visual way to read the blogs you love and really bring their recipes into your kitchen.
  • Need more ideas for sugar free recipes? Check out Velvet Aroma’s Sugar Free Diet page.

We’re so excited to see what you’re cooking….. Sugar Free!

Click on the ‘Add your link’ button below to share.



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7 Responses to Sugar Free Sunday & Time Of Day

  1. Vicky says:

    Great information, thank you for all your hard work! I shared my tomato salad recipe today!

    have a lovely week!

    • Raj says:

      Thanks Vicky — I’m learning so much with all this research!

      Your salad looks fantastic. I’ve become quite the fan of heirloom tomatoes.. love eating them just chopped up with basil, salt and pepper. Going to try your addition of pine nuts soon.

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