Dr Libby – Sweet Food Story

Count Nutrients Not Calories:

  • In ‘low fat labeled foods’ – sugar and salt replaces the fat
  • Juice from sugar cane is rich in nutrients
  • Refined sugar is concentrated sweetness (making us want more)
  • Refined sugar is concentrated calories and destroyed nutrients

Biochemistry & Metabolism of Sugar:

  • Without nutrients your body can’t break down or make the substances it needs
  • Excess intake of carbs leads to too much glucose in the blood requiring more insulin be produced
  • Insulin is a fat storing hormone and affects appetite regulation
  • When you have more glucose than needed insulin transports it to fat cells
  • When you get carbs from real not processed foods, you obtain the nutrients needed to use the energy in the food. If it contains fiber it slows the release of sugars into the blood.
  • Too much sugar means the liver has to make more enzymes to process it. In extreme cases of liver overload the liver cells are killed and replaced by fat

Digestion and Fermentation:

  • Adults have 3-4 kg of bacteria in the large intestine (some good, some bad). They all feed on sugars and have an optimal PH range they like to live in.
  • 80% of your immune system lines your gut
  • Digestion is responsible for energy levels, the amount of fat you burn, the texture and appearance of your skin, bloating and mood
  • When the stomach reaches a certain point nerves will tell the brain we have eaten (around 20min after eating). When eating protein and fat the brain receives these signals within 5min of chewing
  • It takes 4 days for the stomach to shrink
  • Chronic production of stress hormones can compromise the gut and signal that the cells need to move further apart so more nutrients can get through to the blood (leaky gut). This means food particles can get through and the immune system thinks it’s a germ and mounts an immune response. This is how some food intolerances can form
  • Serotonin is converted to melatonin our sleep hormone, so when people don’t eat enough carbs the balance of hormones can be upset
  • Honey has higher fructose levels than pure maple syrup which has more antioxidants (the darker the better)
  • Rice syrup is processed but is low in fructose

To support digestion:

  • Chew your food
  • Watch portion size (Eat 2 fist sized portions of protein/carbs and as many greens as you like)
  • Wake up stomach acid (lemon juice or apple cider vinegar 5-20min before eating)
  • Don’t drink water 30min either side of eating as this dilutes the stomach acid which helps us digest our food
  • Aloe vera juice can assist an irritated gut

Sugar Cravings:

  • Adrenalin is designed to get you out of danger (fight or flight). When activated blood supply is diverted away from the digestive system to the periphery (arms and legs). For some, the stress that produces adrenalin is never switched off. If you are not in danger and sugar is dumped into your blood you make insulin to deal with it. Insulin is a primary fat storage hormone, and it sets your blood sugar to crash later in the day when dumped into your blood

Blood Glucose, Insulin, Leptin:

  • Carbs are essential for the function of our brain, kidneys, and red blood cells.
  • When you eat carbs, glucose is released into the blood stream which can damage blood vessels, so insulin removes it from the blood and takes it to the muscles (which are finite and can only take so much). When it runs out of space it is taken to the infinite fat cells – GROW MUSCLE
  • Leptin should tell your brain you have eaten. Produced by and in your fat cells insulin stops your brain from seeing leptin
  • Exercise decreases insulin
  • Most people can handle 2-3 pieces of fruit a day. Fruit contains fructose which the body can’t use. Fructose must be made into glucose with an enzyme the liver makes
  • Cinnamon is good at supporting blood glucose levels
  • You should eat no more than 25g of sugar per day
  • Taste buds renew every 10-14 days so we can train ourselves easily to eat more bitter foods
  • Breathing is the only way we can control our Autonomic Nervous System (ANS), which communicates we are safe
  • Turn a horrific hardship into your greatest opportunity

*Please note:

These are my personal notes taken from Dr Libby’s Sweet Food Story and have been edited and shortened slightly. I may leave out pieces of information and include only parts with relevance to me.


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