Skip to main content

Sickeningly Sweet

Most of us think of sugar in the form of candy, cakes and cookies. But sugar lurks in surprisingly unexpected places. All carbohydrates turn to sugar, or glucose, in the body.  Simple carbs are foods that very quickly convert to glucose in the body, while complex carbs are, well, more complex, therefore, are slower to convert to glucose. White bread, pasta, desserts and many fruits are all simple carbs. Whole grains, vegetables, and some fruits are examples of complex carbs. Bottom line is, they all turn into glucose eventually. Maintaining low blood levels of glucose is key for weight loss and weight maintenance.

What happens when we eat something sweet? First our digestive system breaks it down into glucose, which is readily absorbed into the blood. Taste buds signal to the pancreas to release insulin into the blood in anticipation of the sugar surge. Insulin acts like a bus and shuttles all that glucose to muscle cells, fat cells, and vital organs for fuel. Insulin tells the fat cells to stop releasing fatty acids, which are also used as fuel. As long as blood glucose is elevated we are in fat storing mode and we are no longer hungry. What goes up, must come down. As the glucose drops, so does our energy; ghrelin, the hunger hormone, is released and hunger increases. Tiredness, irritability, and the inability to concentrate may also be signs of decreasing blood glucose. Sugar cravings kick in and we eat more carbs and the cycle starts all over again... unless we make different choices.

Choosing lean protein snacks (such as turkey, chicken, beef jerky or tuna) signals hormones lower in the intestines to slow stomach emptying. This prevents sudden blood sugar spikes and helps maintain steady glucose levels, further curtailing those sugar cravings! Getting off the glucose rollercoaster is one of the most important diet strategies you can make.

Dr. Christine James Dr. Christine James As a regional leader in obesity medicine, Dr. Christine James helps people from the Seattle area transform their lives. She provides science-backed, individualized weight loss programs at Sound Medical Weight Loss in Kirkland, Washington. Dr. James specializes in helping patients improve their overall well-being, including their cardiovascular health and conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Glow and Shine Salad

Cucumbers are known for their perks to even out skin tone and combat aging! Add that with carrots superpowers to help maintain skin structure and you have a winning combination!

Practical Resolutions for The New Year

Sticking to New Year's resolutions can be challenging due to many different factors, including setting unrealistic goals, lacking a clear plan, not recognizing underlying habits, unexpected obstacles, and experiencing lack of motivation over time.


Exciting news on the horizon for those exploring weight management solutions! The FDA recently approved Zepbound, also known as Mounjaro, a groundbreaking medication for weight loss.

Holiday Eating Guide

For many people, the holiday season can feel like walking through a minefield of sugar bombs awaiting to tempt you away from your healthy eating plan. Utilize this guide to make things a little easier this season.