Wine & chocolate, what's not to love? Except the sugar! We kicked off the new year by breaking up with sugar with Lily's and Kimberly Snyder, a celebrity nutritionist & holistic wellness expert. To showcase that you can break up with sugar and still have your fun (like having your cake and eating it too), we organized a sugar-free wine and chocolate tasting curtesy of Dry Farms and Lily's. We also had the pleasure of chatting with Kimberly and learning why breaking up with sugar is so beneficial.
Here are Kimberly's Top 5 Reasons as to why we should break up with sugar:
1. Gut Health. Excessive sugar can lead to gut dysbiosis, an imbalance of gut microflora and digestion issues. Furthermore, if one’s system is imbalanced or one’s digestive system is compromised in any way, sugar can exacerbate particular issues, such as candida or leaky gut syndrome.
2. Aging. Regularly consuming significant amounts of sugar can accelerate the aging process. Sugar damages your skin through a natural process called glycation. The sugar in your bloodstream attaches to proteins to produce harmful free radicals called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). As AGEs accumulate (the more sugar you eat, the more you develop), they damage the proteins around them, including by damaging collagen and elastin, which are proteins that help the skin stretch and keep its youthful appearance.
3. Calm Moods. When we consume too much sugar on a regular basis, it feeds unstable emotions, drama and can adversely affect our mood and energy. Specifically, eating too much sugar may increase your risk for mood disorders, including depression and anxiety. Sugar won’t get to the root of the problem. We need to listen to our needs, which are not only physical but also include healthy processing of emotions and feelings for optimal mental health. Mindfulness and spiritual practices to connect you with your true self, like meditation, can be enormously helpful as well instead of reaching for sugar.
4. Healthy Weight. Added sugars cause weight-gain and increases visceral fat, which is a kind of deep belly fat. There is a relationship between sugar and fat. High blood sugar levels impair normal cell function and promote inflammation, which increases insulin resistance. Though cells become resistant to insulin’s effect on blood sugar uptake, they remain responsive to the hormone’s role in fat storing, meaning that fat storage is increased. Additionally, high blood sugar levels and insulin resistance interfere with leptin, a hormone that plays a major role in energy regulation — including calorie intake and burning — and fat storage.
5. Energy. Sugary foods can quickly spike blood sugar and insulin levels, which ultimately causes erratic energy swings, leaving you reaching for more external aids, like more sugar, or more caffeine. The insulin imbalance associated with sugar intake also extends to other women-specific hormone conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and issues with estrogen, a hormone responsible for many processes in the body.
Kimberly Snyder is the founder of Solluna and bestselling author of The Beauty Detox book series, Radical Beauty, co-written with Deepak Chopra. She also hosts the top-rated Feel Good Podcast. She has been featured in media outlets including Good Morning America, Ellen, The Today Show, The Dr. Oz Show, Vanity Fair, The Wall Street Journal and Elle, and was named one of the top “results-oriented nutritionists” by Vogue.