Healthy Blood Sugars

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As winter approaches, our primal nature emerges to prepare us for harshness of the season.  In earlier 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 that can boarder on obesity.  

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 dopamine.  Dopamine 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 may 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, avocado, 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 perfect because they 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.    Eating more bright red and blue colored fruits are linked to better blood sugar control.

9. Don’t skip a morning meal – breakfast stabilizes blood sugar levels and skipping it give you a higher rate of type 2 diabetes. 

10. Walk around for two minutes every time you spend 20 minutes sitting to refresh your blood circulation. 

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.

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SUGAR DEFINED

High Fructose Corn Syrup: Corn starch is extracted from corn by soaking in sulfur dioxide and using a high speed centrifuge.

Agave: Mexicans use agave sap/juice to make a sweetener by boiling it.  Today, agave is covered in pesticides and goes through an intense process including acids, clarifiers and filtration chemicals. 

Sugar Alcohol: are used in products that say "sugarless," "sugar free," or "no sugar added." The body doesn't digest sugar alcohols so it yields fewer calories.

Stevia: one leaf of stevia up to 30 times sweeter than sucrose and is recognize as a safe alternative; but it is banned in some countries because the long term effects are not known.

Tagatose: has minimal inpact on blood sugra and insulin.  It metabolizes differently from sucrose, and has a minimal effect on blood glucose and insulin levels

Whey Low: is a combo fructose, lactose, and sucrose - 3 refined sugars

Turbinado: is formed after the first crystallization of sugar-cane juice but not a refined as table sugar. 

 Molasses:  is sugar cane boiled three times extracting more sugar each time.

Brown Rice Syrup: is cooked rice starch that is converted to syrup by using enzymes and evaporation. It is refined but natural.

Unrefined Sweeteners: Date sugar, palm sugar, barley malt, monk fruit maple syrup, evaporated cane juice

Raw honey contains minerals, vitamins, small amounts of amino acids, enzymes and polyphenols.  Honey can help resolve inflammation, increase white blood cells and feed healthy intestinal bacteria.  Raw honey is the only sugar with health benefits.