Balanced Blood Sugar
As winter approaches, our primal nature emerges to prepare us for harshness of the season. In more primal times, we would need a high calorie diet to prepare us to hunt and gather supplies. So we would turned to sweet, ripe foods. We needed to pack on a few pounds to sustain us through the winter. Today, we lack the same physical exhaustion and our food is riddled with hidden sugars. The results are a bit more than a few pounds as the more artificial sugar we eat, the more we crave it.
There are many different theories on the causes of sugar cravings, including food allergies, adrenal fatigue, monthly hormonal changes, parasites, Candida (yeast), and bacterial overgrowth. When we crave sweets and indulge, we are rewiring our brains towards addiction by the over release of dopamines. Dopamines modulates the brain's ability to perceive reward reinforcement. They are the same compounds released by addictive supplements; which stimulates the brain to think the altered feelings are desired and soothing. To your body, it doesn’t matter if you eat a tablespoon of sugar, have a soda or if you eat pasta. The end result is the same: an increase in your blood sugar.
The good news is that our brains and taste buds can be retrained. The simplest way is to start to cut down. When you adjust down, something that tasted bland or doesn’t make a dent in your cravings, will taste sweeter than it did.
There is no perfect time to start, you just decide to begin. And yes! Quitting isn’t fun, it’s hard. Sugar is in everything. Mentally introduce the term “low sugar” diet instead of the feeling that you are exiling your taste buds to a deserted island. A gradual decrease in sugar will eventually lead to success and once you do, you will notice a decrease in inflammation and pain, improvement in sleep, stabilization of emotions, weight loss and decrease in heart disease. It can take 8 weeks for your body to fully adjust; but your taste buds start to adjust in 4-5 days.
To assist you with your success, here are some tips:
1. Keep educating yourself which will keep you motivated. There is so much in the press about the problems sugar creates for us. The more data you read, the more ammo your brain has to turn down that next cookie or soda.
2. Hydrate: drink ½ your body weight in ounces to make sure you are flushing the sugar toxins out of your liver, spleen, glands and more.
3. Eat healthy fats. Everything in moderation but healthy fats (coconut oil, nuts, seeds, dark chocolate, whole eggs) stabilize your blood sugar.
4. Boost your serotonin, the “happy hormone,” through exercise, sleep, healthy diet or meditation. The higher levels of serotonin you have the fewer cravings for sweets.
5. Nutrient-rich greens can increase energy levels, transport minerals and vitamins more efficiently and reduce cravings. (Sea vegetables are naturally high in minerals the body needs).
6. Alternative modalities such as a nutritionist, therapist or Emotional Freedom Techniques can help address deeper causes as to why you give in to the sugar craving.
7. Gymnema is a natural supplement helps inhibit sweet taste sensations and cravings, normalizes cholesterol levels and maintain a healthy blood sugar levels. (Available at Body Wellness Center. More info on this product: click here.)
8. Follow a Mediterranean diet—building meals around plant-based foods, including fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts, whole grains, and olive oil. Fish and chicken are eaten regularly but not red meat, butter, or sweets.
9. Eating more bright red and blue colored fruits are linked to better blood sugar control.
10. Don’t skip a morning meal – breatkfast stabilizes blood sugar levels and skipping it give you a higher rate of type 2 diabetes.
11. Walk around for two minutes every time you spend 20 minutes sitting.
Even without measuring your blood sugar levels, there are certain signs that you may need to talk with your doctor such as chronic fatigue, high sugar cravings, excessive thirst, weight fluctuations, blurred or worsening vision, mood swings, slow healing skin wounds or bruises, frequent infections, and headaches. You can also purchase a glucometer to test your blood sugar levels available in most drug stores. Do your own research above anything else, talk to your doctor about a sensible plan and consider making some positive changes to help keep yourself disease free.