Tags: glucose | heart attack | kidney disease | sunshine

Controlling Blood Sugar

Tuesday, 13 December 2016 02:48 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Blood sugar (glucose) is the body's main fuel, with the brain claiming a hefty 20 percent for itself. That's why low blood sugar can leave you feeling exhausted, anxious, irritable and brain fogged.

High blood sugar doesn't do you any favors either. It punishes the blood vessels in your body — from wide arteries to the tiny, cell-wide capillaries.

The result is increased risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, nerve pain, blindness, foot ulcers that won't heal, and amputations.

Unfortunately, we Americans eat a lot of glucose-raising sugar, with an astounding average of 150 pounds of food-processed sugar added to a person's diet every year.

The result? Some experts predict that by 2020 half of Americans will be either prediabetic or diabetic! But you don't have to be part of that half…

The message to take from this is that to feel well and stay healthy, you have to keep your blood sugar at an optimal level. And a few simple actions can help you do just that!

Check your lifestyle. A few simple lifestyle changes can make all the difference in controlling high blood sugar. These include:

Lose weight. The simplest way is to eat a diet that emphasizes filling, low-calorie foods, like vegetables, fruits, beans, fish and chicken. Cut out sugars and starches (e.g., any wheat or rice products) and you'll see a major difference.

Get more daily sunshine. Sunshine increases levels of vitamin D, a nutrient linked to a lower risk for diabetes.

Go for a walk. The best way to get that sunshine is to go for a walk, because exercise also helps balance blood sugar levels. Worried about skin cancer from sun exposure? Just follow this rule: Avoid sunburn, not sunshine.

Cut back on sugar. For a healthy sugar substitute, try Stevia, a sweet-tasting herb. I like the brands Body Ecology and SweetLeaf. You can also use saccharin which, although it is a chemical, has a fairly good safety record. I don't recommend aspartame, as some individuals experience severe reactions to it, including seizures, headaches and nausea.

Increase your intake of fiber. Along with the breakfast-time tips I just described, include more beans in your diet, and eat more fruits and vegetables.

Take a daily dose of glucose-optimizing nutrients. They include magnesium (200 mg), chromium (200 mcg), vitamin D (2,000 IU), vitamin C (500 mg), and vitamin K (150 mcg daily). You can find all of these nutrients in a good multivitamiun powder.

Sprinkle on the cinnamon. Several studies show that cinnamon can help control blood sugar. In the most recent, Chinese researchers found that low- and high-doses of cinnamon extract helped lower blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. The study was published in the June, 2012 issue of Nutrition Research. I put it on my whole-grain breakfast cereal each morning along with berries, a banana, and Stevia.

Take deep breaths. Stress reduction and blood sugar balancing go hand in hand. In fact, a recent study out of India showed that deep "diaphragmatic" breathing (breathing from your belly, rather than breathing shallowly from your chest) helped balance post-meal blood sugar and lowered levels of A1C (glycosylated hemoglobin), a measurement of long-term blood sugar control.


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Blood sugar (glucose) is the body's main fuel, with the brain claiming a hefty 20 percent for itself. That's why low blood sugar can leave you feeling exhausted.
glucose, heart attack, kidney disease, sunshine
Tuesday, 13 December 2016 02:48 PM
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