The guilt-free guide to enjoying Easter (part one)

Hoorah! It’s Easter! The time when we all get to enjoy some bank holiday time off, treat ourselves to Easter eggs and tuck into hot cross buns and other sweet treats.

Which is fine, every now and then.

However, we all know that with Easter, comes piles of goodies, not just a nibble of Easter egg or quarter of hot cross bun.

And that’s where the problems start to kick in.

Many of these sweet treats are packed with sugar, which can have a detrimental impact on our health and here’s why:

Within the first 20 minutes of eating sugar

Your blood sugar level rises as the sugar hits your bloodstream as glucose. This sudden rise in glucose stimulates your pancreas to produce insulin, which is the hormone that helps your cells take in the available glucose. Some of this glucose is used immediately for energy, but the rest is stored as fat.

More sugar = the more insulin produced by your body

Unfortunately, your body producing high levels of insulin, isn’t a good thing. The extra insulin tells your body that you need more glucose, which causes you to crave even more sugar. And after constant exposure to high insulin levels, your cells start turning numb to the effects of insulin, which causes insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes.

When your cells no longer respond properly to the storage effects of insulin, the sugar in your blood has nowhere to go, and so it continues circulating in your blood.  This is what is known as having a high blood sugar level.

High blood sugar level = fatigue and other problems…

People with high blood sugar levels tend to feel tired, weak and find it difficult to concentrate because they have no way of accessing the energy that’s in their blood.

Having constantly high blood sugar levels can also:

  • Damage the capillaries, which can lead to blindness
  • Cause the kidneys to become diseased, which can eventually require dialysis
  • Damage the nerves throughout the body, which can lead to amputations
  • Weaken the heart muscles, which can lead to heart disease plus, the organs start to age at a faster rate
  • Make people more susceptible to getting infections

For more details about why reducing your sugar intake is important and practical advice for making it happen, check out this post. In the meantime, for details of some Easter food alternatives you could try, read part two of this blog, ‘The guilt-free guide to enjoying Easter (part two).’