Sugar Problems and What to do about it

Sugar Problems and What to do about it

Diabetes is affecting so many people across the country. The first thing that must be explained is how and why blood sugar rises. When sugars are digested that forces the pancreas to produce insulin to transport the sugars out the blood into the cells. The more refined the sugar the quicker it gets dumped into the bloodstream causing more insulin to be pumped. When insulin levels are driven up several times a day, the pancreas get worn out and the cells become insulin resistant.  When the sugar is unable to be absorbed by the cells, the sugar will be left in the blood, with a high blood sugar count. Pre-diabetes has been associated with; acne, alzheimer's, anxiety, cancer, constipation, depression, ED, fatigue, food cravings, heart disease, high cholesterol, hypertension, irritability, mood swings, poor circulation, sleep apnea and other sleep disorders. 

Fruits and other foods contain sugar naturally, the thing is it is not refined and concentrated. You see, take an apple for example. An apple contains sugar, however when eaten the sugar is together with fiber and everything else in the apple. It takes time for the body to break down and digest those sugars. So instead of a sudden spike of sugar in the blood, there is a slow and steady trickle of sugar being digested and entering the bloodstream. When you take a candybar or even honey, the sugar is dumped in your blood cause insulin spikes. 

The overall sugar consumption has increased in the past century. A 12 oz can of coke contains 39 grams of sugar. How long does that take to drink? Vitamin water is not far behind that, with a 31 gram content for the same volume. Orange juice although natural and better than table sugar is still processed sugar. An 8 oz glass of it has 24 grams of sugar. Once juiced the fiber that slows down absorption of sugar is gone. I would assume pulp orange juice is probably a bit better. Soda, ice cream and candy obviously have lots of sugar, but the thing is that sugar is everywhere, in your breakfast, lunch and supper. 

Look at the label. Check the sugar content. Even dried fruit is highly concentrated. 100 grams of fresh mango contains a mere 13.7 grams of sugar. The same amount of dried mango has 76 grams of sugar. That's quite a difference. So you want to really limit the amount of refined sugars you consume. Another thing to keep at a low is foods with a high glycemic index, foods like corn, white rice,white bread and white potatoes. Opt for foods with a low glycemic index like vegetables and whole grains. 

You can test your blood sugar levels with a cheap monitor and strips for 30-50 dollars. Test yourself first thing in the morning. Blood sugar tends to be higher in the morning. If you measure anywhere from 65-85 mg/dL you are fine. 90-100 means more risk. 100 and up indicates possible prediabetes. Above 126 is a diabetic fasting glucose range.

Increase greens in your diet and avoid processed foods. The protein will also help curve your sugar cravings. Some people find that animal protein in particular curbs their sugar appetite. When you feel a sugar craving, reach for a whole fruit instead. I know its hard to fight the dopamine urge for sugar highs, but it is worth it in the long run. You will feel better in the moment as well. 

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