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"I Don't Eat Sugar"

When people say that, it’s accurate. They’re not putting sugar cubes in their coffee and scooping sugar on their cereal in the morning.


When you always feel sore all over, there aren’t too many reasons other than sugar driven inflammation though.  So, where is the sugar?

First, WHAT is sugar?  It helps to understand the terminology better.  Carbohydrate is what sugar is.  And I think everyone knows what carbs are.  Fruits, grains, pasta, rice, even some veggies like corn.  Pretty much everything other than fat and protein.  But wait, there are “good carbs” and “bad carbs”, right?


Yes and no, depending on where you are in your metabolic journey.


If you ARE sore all over every day, or prediabetic as well as into diabetes, using metformin or the uber popular new class of drugs like Ozempic (that drag sugar out of your kidneys into your urine so you can keep eating sugar but the drug forces you to excrete it too through urine), that’s a “no” for you too.


I just celebrated my wife’s birthday last week.  We DID have cake, ice cream and pie.  I ate all three on a Thursday night.  I’m pretty active and was working on building a chicken coop run and dragging around very heavy salvaged railroad ties for lumber.   I’m 62.  Many people can’t do this at that age already.   But, by Saturday my elbows hurt, like tennis elbow.  Both elbows.  I could have simply chalked it up to overuse and considered myself old and I need to slow down or something.

But, here’s the thing: Symmetrical problems (like left and right elbows hurting) are not always, but usually, metabolic rather than injured by overuse.  I ate so much junk food it caused enough inflammation that combined with activity, both elbows hurt.  For days.  Until Tuesday, in fact.


Here’s what I ate:  One piece of chocolate cake.  I didn’t eat the frosting.  It was way too much sugar.  One piece of blueberry pie.  A scoop or so of ice cream and some appetizers that were loaded with carbs and bad fats at a restaurant akin to Famous Dave’s, the place where they bring piles of cornbread and sugared up spare ribs appropriately on a garbage can lid.   By most people’s yardstick, that’s not a lot. And you see this all the time when you are out.  It’s how people eat, and we consider this normal. 

During the week, I don’t eat much for carbs at all.  An apple, some grapes, a piece of bread every other day.   So, this was a lot for me.  But it’s also a lot for anyone who eats like this during the week as well.

I’ve been seeing many people lately who complain “everything hurts.” There’s no spot on the spine to adjust for that.   That’s a lifestyle that needs help.  Their lifestyle, just like mine, got off in the carb department.  Or possibly there’s not enough omega 3s.  But you can’t trump Pop Tarts with fish oil anyway.  You need to reduce

carbs if you are sore all the time.

There’s a bit more to it than this, but for most people looking at reducing our already high carb intake, it is sensible and a good start.   Start by looking at your plate and dividing the percentages of carbs, fats and protein in your head.  For most, the ratio is about 60% carbs.  It would be better at 30-40% carb, 30-40% fat, and 30-40% protein.  Roughly 1/3 of your calories from carbs.  As you regain your health you can increase carbs again.


In addition, considering the type of carbohydrate, good versus bad, helps.  This has to do with nutritional value and the glycemic index impact of the carb.   Whole grains and less processed carbs, fresh off the branch or vine if you will, have nutritional benefits.  So, even though you are eating super sugary grapes, you get resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant in the skins of the grapes which helps you with… inflammation.

On the other hand, baked potatoes, or worse, French fries, have been partially digested by cooking.  The raw potato has cellulose bonds that hold the sugar in the potato. Those get broken down by heat in baking or deep frying and the sugar is immediately available and sent into your bloodstream and your blood sugar into the stratosphere with a reactionary insulin release and cortisol release which tells your body to store fat.  If you ate the potato raw, even though it has the same amount of sugar, you’d have to chew it and swallow it and let your digestive juices work on it to get the sugars out of it.  So blood sugar never spikes and you don’t get the insulin/cortisol spike.  Seemingly the same for calories but a different effect on your metabolism.


These are the kinds of things that are hard to understand at first but once you start exploring them and using this knowledge in your kitchen and when you are out eating lunch or dinner, your health will improve from making these changes every day.


I’m not saying never eat a baked potato.  Well, never eat the whole baked potato or pile of mashed potatoes.  And you STILL should eat the cake with the birthday celebrant or wedding event.   I’m not saying don’t eat cake.


I AM saying, don’t buy cake, cookies and these kinds of things and bring them home. Don’t bake potatoes at home.  This is for special occasions only.  Thanksgiving, for instance.  But less is more. Taste them, a couple of forks.  Don’t eat them and fill up on them.  Fill up on veggies (the less cooked the better) and turkey.

That’s how you start to turn your health around.  Nobody can do it for you.  There’s no doctor who can make you healthy.  You can get drugs to treat the effects of your lifestyle but they don’t make you healthy again.  They shift or defer the effects at best.

Please join us at our next workshop in our office.  Better yet, set up a workshop for you and your friends at your work, school, church or even your home.  I’ll come and preach the gospel of the chiropractic lifestyle which will keep you and your family healthy and able to enjoy your life for a long time.



Dr. Barrett

Vibrant Life Center

6070 50th St. N.

Oakdale, MN 55128




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