Taming the Sugar Monster

November 19, 2017
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

Sugar does NOT bring out the best in us.

Researchers have tried to convince us that sugar doesn’t cause hyperactivity, but any mother or teacher can tell you that it certainly does. The problem with the research is it’s looking at the blood sugar, and that’s not where the problem lies. The trouble lies in the effect sugar has on your brain chemistry, and how it feeds Candida yeast overgrowth.

Sugar IS Addictive

Eating sugar causes the release of excessive amounts of neurotransmitters. When this happens on a regular basis, it leads to depletion. When these neurotransmitters are released in excessive amounts, it results in hyperstimulation. This is when behavior changes and the “sugar monster” comes out. After this cycle goes on for a while, the brain can no longer produce these brain chemicals in sufficient amounts, and is then reliant on sugar. This is how you become dependent on sugar – chemically addicted.

Sugar IS an Anti-Nutrient

When you eat sugar your body has to use nutrients to digest it. For every molecule of sugar you eat, it takes 54 molecules of Magnesium to break it down. This quickly leads to magnesium deficiency. Your body also burns through B vitamins during times of high sugar consumption. Sugar mobilizes calcium in the body, which then leads to kidney stones. And finally, new research is showing that carbs, which convert to sugar in the body, are a risk factor for Cardiovascular Disease.

Carbs, Alcohol, and Paleo Sweeteners ARE Sugars

Any carbohydrate-rich food like fruit, fruit juice, low fat milk, bread, pasta, cereal, and even whole grain is converted to sugar in the body. What’s worse, if it’s not burned for energy within a few hours it is stored as fat. This includes oatmeal, which has been advertised as the perfect, heart-healthy breakfast food and actually is not the best way to start your day.

Alcohol is the most refined sugar you can consume. It doesn’t even have to be digested; it’s absorbed directly through the gut wall. This is like giving Candida an IV of its favorite food source.

The Paleo diet is a good low sugar, low carb approach, but does still contain some concerning sugars. Natural sweeteners like maple syrup are refined sugars. Maple syrup comes from the sap of the maple tree, which gets boiled down for several hours and filtered to remove all the minerals. What’s left when the minerals are taken out is a concentrated, refined sugar. Honey is a significant source of fructose, despite its health benefits in the raw form.

Candida IS a Big Deal

Candida yeast overgrowth is epidemic in our society. Candida is a simple, single-celled organism that is even present in the air – you can’t escape exposure to it. It feeds on sugar and gives off over 70 different toxins into your body, including alcohol.

Candida overgrows for several reasons, all of which center around decreased populations of probiotics – the healthy bacteria, and increased amounts of available food for the Candida to eat – which is sugar of any kind. Antibiotics kill all kinds of bacteria, including the healthy ones. Even one short course of them is enough to upset the probiotic balance and allow yeast to overgrow.

Eating and drinking excess sugars in the diet pull the trigger for Candida overgrowth. These sugars bog down digestion and turn it into a fermentation process, which then causes your food to essentially rot instead of being broken down for nutrients. Candida breaks down anything that’s rotting or fermenting in your body, and comes to the rescue to help free the nutrients for you to use. This process causes bloating, gas, sugar cravings, and a variety of psychological symptoms including anxiety, hyperactivity, irritability, trouble concentrating, and impulsive behavior.

Steps YOU Can Take to Tame the Sugar Monster

Let’s be honest, sugar has been the comfort food of choice for generations. But what once was a rare, occasional treat has turned into a national obsession and addiction, and it’s hurting our health. It’s time to break up with sugar. Here’s how.

Step One: Cut the Cravings. Before we can even talk about diet, we have to talk about cravings. They’re the number one reason you keep going back for more. Your brain is depleted and calling out for sugar, and somewhere in your gut is a population of Candida crying out to be fed. L-Glutamine in 500mg doses 3 to 4 times daily will stop sugar cravings in their tracks. Take this with my Weight Loss Formula which contains chromium and berberine to stabilize blood sugar and calm the cravings that come from blood sugar lows.

Step Two: Turn to a Low Sugar, Low Carb Diet. My Fat Flush Plan is perfect for this. I created it with sugar and Candida woes in mind. If you are looking for weight loss, start at the beginning of the plan. If no weight loss is needed, the whole family can benefit from Phase 3, along with a good Candida cleanse. Join us in the Fat Flush Nation community on Facebook for support and meal ideas.

Important Note: Do NOT turn to artificial sweeteners to kick the sugar habit. These aren’t foods, they are chemicals and are not good for you. Some like aspartame are excitotoxins, which kill cells in the brain and pancreas by overstimulating them to death. Some have a harmful effect on your gut and healthy bacteria, like Splenda, and cause digestive woes. Finally, because they taste sweet, they are often used in baked goods and high carb foods, which we need to quit eating. They don’t stop your sugar cravings or promote healthy food choices.

Step Three: Do a Candida Cleanse. You can’t entirely eliminate carbs from your diet without creating other problems, and as long as there are carbs, Candida has food. This is why a cleanse is needed. You want to restore healthy probiotic levels while removing Candida to bring the microbiome back into balance. The first step is a good probiotic. Flora-Key was formulated based on before-and-after stool tests to ensure its efficacy. I like the flavor so much I even sprinkle it on my food and add it to my smoothies. These are effective ways to get probiotics into children, too. The next step is my Y-C Cleanse. It’s a homeopathic formula that cleanses the body of Candida and some of its harmful byproducts. This liquid is also safe for children.

Step Four: If You Fall Off the Low Sugar Wagon, Get Back On. The holidays and social gatherings are times where temptation abounds and it can be hard to find healthy low sugar foods. One suggestion that comes from my successful Fat Flushers is to have a nutrient dense smoothie before you go to these functions. You won’t be as hungry or as tempted. My recommendation is to take Y-C Cleanse before you go, and if you decide to indulge in a sweet treat, take it for at least a few days afterward to keep the Candida from overgrowing again.

Related Articles and Podcasts

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. Karen Denham

    Can you recommend a good L glutamine supplement?

  2. Team ALG

    Dear Karen: Carlson’s L-glutamine is what we would recommend.

  3. Kathleen

    Great article on the dangers of sugar!

  4. Ellen

    Dear Ann Louise, Very helpful blog. Fascinating to learn about how neurotransmitters are affected.
    1. If one indulges in a treat with sugar, would taking a digestive enzyme help digest the food and thereby decrease the likelihood or the severity of a spike in Candida?
    2. Is it true that if one has had a Candida overgrowth that even after taking antifungals there are spores that are left behind and are always present? Is it the presence of spores that lead to one easily having a recurrence of overgrowth?
    Thank you very much as always.

    • Team ALG

      Dear Ellen:

      Thank you for your kind words.

      1) The only enzymes which will help Candida particularly are those specially designed to digest the cellular walls of this fungus.

      2) Many experts now believe that medicinal anti-fungals may leave behind spores that can trigger overgrowth which is why a good probiotic is essential.

      We appreciate your insightful questions.

  5. Fabi

    Ive been taking the weight loss formula and i just ordered female multiple. Is it ok to take them together?

    • Team ALG

      Yes, Fabi. Weight Loss Formula and the Female Mult go well together.

    • Dani Barton

      I just read your great article, “Taming the Sugar Monster”. I’ve been making a conscious effort to cut out all refined sugars, but had no idea oatmeal was not quite the superfood it’s been touted to be. What are your thoughts on soaked, whole oat groats, since they’re supposed to be a good source of beta-glucans? In your opinion, should oats be avoided altogether? Thank you 💚

      • Team ALG

        Dani, Whole oat groats are less refined and will not turn into sugar as quickly. You can slow this down even more by adding a fat like coconut oil or butter to your oat groats when you eat them.

  6. keini

    Thank you for this great article. Will pass it on.

  7. Olga Schwedland

    Great article! Thanks for sharing and opening our eyes!

  8. Lana Chavis

    Ann Louise, I developed tinnitus about six months ago. I started taking l glutamine for alcohol cravings. Will this make tinnitus worse? Thank you in advance

  9. Karen Kilalea

    Is there a test for Candida? I did turn to sugar when I quit smoking about 8 years ago, and I am experiencing some memory loss and mid-section fat. Fruit, especially fresh picked blackberries has the appeal of health values – but I accept that it’s fructose. Thanks for the cleansing tips too, which I’ll study carefully.


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