Natural Sugars

While natural sugars are allowed on the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol, it’s not meant to be the center of our diet. The occasional treat makes this healing diet more enjoyable and more sustainable. But how much is too much?

show notes image with photo of host and guest

Episode 199: Best of – Overcoming Sugar Cravings with Dr. Vickie Bhatia

This is one of the most popular podcast episodes – for good reason! While not everyone has a sweet tooth, a lot of us do, and it’s often hard to break the sugar habit. Why is that so true? It turns out there are a lot of forces driving those cravings: emotional, psychological, and even biological. It’s no wonder they’re not easy to resist. In today’s episode, we dive into the details. My guest is holistic psychologist Dr. Vickie Bhatia. We discuss everything from the gut microbiome and brain chemistry, to the emotions surrounding food, to the psychology of habit change. Most importantly, we share practical tips for making empowered food choices, and breaking the sugar craving cycle.

Episode 190: Best Of – Blood Sugar & Autoimmunity with Dr. Jeff Horacek

This is one of the most popular podcast episodes – for good reason! Autoimmune health depends on blood sugar balance. When our blood sugar gets too high, drops too low, or swings wildly between these extremes, it increases inflammation in our body. If this happens regularly, it leads to chronic inflammation. In today’s episode, we’ll be sharing diet, lifestyle, and functional medicine tips for achieving and maintaining blood sugar balance. My guest is Dr. Jeff Horacek, a functional medicine physician with over 20 years of experience. Blood sugar is one of his medical specialties.

5 Tips for Healthier Smoothies

Most people choose smoothies because they think they’re a healthy alternative to fast food. The problem is that liquid “meals” like these can hit our bloodstream as sugar blasts, which isn’t healthy for anyone but especially people with autoimmune disease. So, what do we do? Here are 5 tips for making your smoothies as healthy as they can be (while also being delicious). And I also share my personal favorite smoothie recipe

How and Why to do a Paleo AIP Sugar Detox

Even when sugar is natural and unrefined, our body still processes it as sugar, and too much sugar in any form is inflammatory. That’s why the leaders of the paleo community warn against eating too much (no more than 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon per day). The problem is that moderating sugar can be hard. You start within the limits – a tiny taste here and there – and before you know it, paleo AIP desserts have become a core part of your daily diet and you’re eating dried fruit by the handful. Suddenly, you notice your healing progress has stalled or even started to move backwards. This doesn’t happen to everyone, but if it’s happening to you, it might be time for a “reset”. In this article, I talk about my own experience with sugar and autoimmune health, and I teach you how to do a sugar detox, including handling your cravings and boosting your mood during the process. I also share the times when a sugar detox isn’t healthy.

50 Low-Sugar Paleo AIP Dessert Recipes

Honey, maple syrup, and dried fruit may not be refined, but our bodies still process them as sugar. Sometimes we forget this when we’re following a healing diet. We scan an ingredient list, and if it’s on the “yes” list, we think we can eat as much as we want. Not so! Too much sugar in any form is inflammatory, which is why the leaders of the paleo community warn against eating too much. So, this recipe roundup is designed to help us make healthier choices when our sweet tooth beckons. Every recipe on this list has just one tablespoon (or less) added sugar per serving. And here’s another secret: for many of us, the less sugar we eat, the less we crave. Our taste buds begin to change, until simple fresh fruit starts to taste decadently delicious.

mini cupcakes with frosting and strawberries on top

Where Do Natural Sugars Fit on a Healing Diet?

Treats are a point of controversy in the paleo community. Our ancestors had limited access to sugar, natural or otherwise. Yet healing diets also need to be sustainable, and some days we just want a cookie. So, what should we do? In the autoimmune community, this is an even more important question. We aren’t following paleo to simply optimize good health; we’re trying to reverse autoimmune disease, which is infinitely harder. The truth is, our bodies behave very differently than those without autoimmune disease, and sugar can have a bigger impact on our system than the general population. In this post, I look at all aspects of this question and ask some paleo experts their opinion.

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