Nutrition By Mercedes Aspland / August 22, 2013 So the first thing I can hear you asking is why is sugar such a big problem? If you think it is because it is processed and if you replace it with honey or something natural you will be fine then think again. Yes I agree that refined sugar is not great but the main reason is that sugar and other sweet products have a massive effect on your blood sugar regulation. This is a problem that more people suffer from than they realise and I have to say I am one of them. When I went to see a doctor they diagnosed me as having hypoglycemia and told me to eat something when I felt the symptoms. For years I carried on like this until I real Patrick Holford’s book on the Low GL Diet. To many this may seem like a fad but it really is a vital tool for those that have problems controlling their blood sugar. To give you a bit of background I discovered from reading this book that the reason my blood sugar was dipping was I had become insulin resistant and so was producing too much insulin causing big drops in blood sugar, particularly a couple of hours after eating something sweet. This often occurs in the build up to getting type 2 diabetes and I discovered as an adult that my grandfather and uncle had both developed gout from diabetes in later life and so this became a big concern of mine. The other thing that has become apparent to me is that if you cannot control your blood sugar you tend to have an increased appetite and crave sweet foods. All of this leads to great difficulty controlling your weight. It is also the reason why many diets do not work as they do not eliminate sugar. So what do I mean by sugar, obviously it includes regular old white sugar but also honey, some fruits and simple carbohydrates, plus anything that has sugar as an ingredient, like chocolate. Simple carbohydrates include potatoes, white pasta, white bread and many others. All of this sounds like a major change in lifestyle and I have to be honest, yes it is but you can do it gradually without noticing it much. I still have not completely given up sugar but now substitute many things with a healthier alternative, so I will use Xylitol to sweeten my breakfast which is now made from oats and usually home made rather than shop bought cereals which contain so much sugar it is scary. If you have not tried Xylitol before the give it a go as I am sure you will find it just as satisfying as sugar, in fact many say they need a smaller quantity that sugar and it is lower calories and will not affect your blood sugar. What you really need to think about is are you like me, desperately trying to control your weight, do you get moody when you have not eaten for 2 or more hours, do you get internal shakes when you are very hungry or do you ever crave sweet food so much you binge and eat 8 penguins in 1 go (or is that just me). In all seriousness if you think you amy be suffering from similar problems then please do give this a go, read as much as you can on the Low GL diet and make an effort it is worth it. I am now happier, have more energy and wake up alert and ready for the day. I will be updating this blog with a recipe for Bircher Muesli that is Low GL and the perfect alternative to porridge in the summer months.