We get it. Most everyone says anything is better than nothing while dealing with morning sickness. However, sugar is doing more harm than good. The pitfalls of sugar are countless – from possible birth defects to developing diabetes. This article, however, will examine the dangers of sugar while dealing with morning sickness.
First, lets get a brief, rough overview of sugar.
The body breaks sugar down into two components, glucose and fructose. Most added sugar in foods is equal parts glucose and fructose. Glucose seeps through the walls of the small intestine, which triggers your pancreas to secrete insulin. Insulin delivers glucose to your blood to be used as energy. Too much glucose, however, causes your body to produce and distribute serotonin, a sleep-promoting hormone. So you felt the high of the sugar (the immediate energy) and now the crash of serotonin. In other words: a sugar crash! The excess insulin in your bloodstream also blocks the leptin hormone, the “satiety” hormone, which regulates your appetite – now you feel hungrier even though you just ate. Hence why it’s so easy to eat that entire bag of Twizzlers! Hunger and morning sickness aren’t a good combination, especially with your blood sugar rising and falling.
Fructose is processed in a similar fashion. Your liver works to metabolize fructose and requests insulin to aide liver function. Your pancreas continues to pump out insulin to transport the energy – but it’s too much. Your body can’t handle it and the highs and lows of sugar consumption continue.
Sugar wreaks havoc on the body and is characterized by swings, highs and lows. Sugar inhibits the body’s natural hormones, which are already out of alignment due to pregnancy, and hurts your body’s ability to fight inflammation and absorb nutrients in foods. On top of this, sugar is ideal food for helicobacter pylori, a bacterium strongly linked to morning sickness and especially hyperemesis gravidarum. Sugar is H. pylori’s favorite food – as long as sugar is prevalent in your diet, H. pylori will continue to harm your body and exacerbate symptoms.
Also, if you are eating a diet high in grains, the grains are converted to sugar. A high protein diet helps stabilize blood sugar and avoids the peaks and valleys of a diet high in sugar. Sugar spikes after ingestion of sugar then drops precipitously once the food is digested and processed. What’s the only thing to get the sugar high back – that artificial feeling your body craves? You guessed it, more sugar. The sugar puts Mom and Baby on the see-saw diet of sugar with detrimental ramifications for mom and baby.
All in all, it’s best to avoid sugar as much as possible while dealing with morning sickness. For more information on the ideal diet while pregnant and dealing with morning sickness check out this blog post, or, sign up for our newsletter and you’ll automatically receive our 20-page program overview with awesome diet recommendations.