Healing through education, nutrition and exercise instead of medication
951-292-4332

Manage Your Blood Sugar… Naturally!

Essential Knowledge: Where in our body are carbohydrates digested?
  1. The two digestible carbohydrates are starches and sugars.
  2. Whenever we consume foods containing carbohydrates (breads/pastas/cereals/fruits/sugars), these carbs are digested, or broken down along the gastrointestinal tract into their most elementary form “glucose.
  3. The starches are broken apart by the enzyme Amylase” in the mouth and in the small intestine.
  4. Glucose then enters the bloodstream (blood sugar).
  5. Pancreas secretes the hormone “insulin” which brings glucose into the cells -to be used for energy
  6. By bringing glucose into the cells, insulin lowers blood sugar levels.

 

The Fierce Cycle.

When carbohydrates break down relatively rapidly in the body, blood sugar levels rise too high (hyperglycemia). As a response, pancreas secretes high amounts of insulin to counteract the high blood glucose.  As a result, the blood sugar swings from high to low (hypoglycemia). At these moments, we tend to experience

  • energy crashes,
  • confusion/poor memory,
  • mood swings/irritability,
  • anxiety and hunger cravings in an attempt to raise glucose levels again.

If we then reach for the same type of foods that originally spiked blood sugar, this creates a fierce cycle of imbalance (dysglycemia)!

 

The Risks of High Blood Sugar.

Insulin Resistance

Long-term high blood sugar leads to serious health problems. If these surges happen on a continual basis, eventually cells become resistant to insulin (insulin can no longer bring glucose into cells effectively). Type 2 diabetes results from insulin resistance. Individuals who have higher than normal blood glucose but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes are Pre-diabeticsInsulin Resistance is the main characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease. This is why it is known as Type 3 Diabetes!

Other adverse effects

  • destruction of thyroid gland,
  • overloaded/fatty liver,
  • overtaxed adrenal glands,
  • weight gain and resistant fat cells,
  • weak immune system,
  • nerve damage in eyes/kidneys/GI system,
  • higher risk of candida overgrowth,
  • osteoporosis,
  • heart disease (excess cholesterol production, arterial damage and poor circulation), etc.

 

Tips for Blood Sugar Management !

  1. Eliminate sugar & sweeteners from your diet – This includes honey, syrup, table sugar, and artificial sweeteners – Try: Xylitol, Stevia!
  2. Select your fruits wisely – Avoid juices and higher glycemic fruits (i.e. bananas, dried fruit) at all circumstances. If consuming fruit go for fresh, lower glycemic options (i.e. berries) and enjoy them with some type of protein (i.e. nuts/seeds, Greek yogurt).
  3. Focus on whole foods – Avoid foods that are not in their whole form (processed, refined, instant, artificial) These include “white” products like bread, rice, sugar, pasta as well as flour, crackers, pastry, cereal.
  4. Choose high fiber, complex carbs – When consuming carbohydrates, ensure moderation, and choose complex and unrefined ingredients that provide good amounts of fiber, such as flax and chia, green beans, legumes and of course, all kinds of green leaf vegetables!
  5. Eat balanced meals: Always be sure to include ingredients that are high in fiber and protein along with good healthy fats to slow down digestion & prevent spikes in blood sugar.
  6. Great protein sources include naturally-raised/wild caught meats and fish, free run eggs and organic/grass-fed dairy.
  7. Healthy fats include coconut, olive, avocado, nuts and seeds. Consider high quality supplemental protein (such as whey protein isolate), or fiber powders (such as psyllium husk, xanthan gum) as an easy way to boost nutrition in addition to a healthy diet! Tip: Try adding cinnamon or brewer’s yeast to help stabilize blood sugar levels!
  8. Try eating three meals throughout the day. No snacking.
  9. Lifestyle – Make an effort to get regular exercise, manage stress, sleep well, and minimize toxins and common allergens. Physical activity moves sugar from the blood into cells and helps reduce insulin resistance and stabilizes blood sugar levels.
  10. Consider liver & thyroid support. Improve digestion (probiotics, enzymes), etc.
  11. Consider Natural Supplements – Here are a few key supplements to consider:
  • Chromium with Vanadium help control blood sugar and cravings by helping insulin activity.
  • Magnesium improves insulin sensitivity, activity and transport.
  • Vitamin D helps control insulin and blood sugar levels.
  • Garlic decreases and helps stabilize blood sugar levels, prolongs half-life of insulin.
  • Healthy Fats/Omegas (Fish Oils/DHA & EPA, Evening Primrose/GLA) help decrease insulin resistance!
  • Zinc & Vitamin B are common deficiencies for people with insulin resistance.

 

The Glycemic Index of the Foods
  • Glycemic Index is the carbohydrate break down rate of a particular food. GI indicates the effect of the glucose release on a person’s blood sugar level.
  • The higher the GI is, the faster the foods turn into blood sugar.
  • A value of 100 for GI represents the standard, an equivalent amount of pure glucose.
  • A lower GI means a particular food is digested, absorbed and metabolized more slowly, causing a lower and slower rise in glucose and insulin levels.
  • GI does not take into account typical portion sizes of foods.
  • Glycemic Load is a tool that takes into account the GI as well as the amount of carbohydrate in a typical portion size of that food.
  • As a rule of thumb, foods with a GL under 10 can be consumed liberally, foods with a GL above 20 should be eaten sparingly, and all foods with a GL between 10-20 should be consumed in moderation.

 

What others are also reading ...