Thursday, February 21, 2008

Here's How to Stop the Sugar - Rollercoaster Before You Develop Diabetes!

If someone stacked 110 2 pound bags of sugar on your kitchen table on January 1st, how long would you say it might take you to ingest all of it in the course of your normal diet? A couple of years? Five years? Longer? The fact is that in the United States, the per capita sugar consumption is three times that amount, per person, per year!
Sucrose, corn syrup, caramel color and fructose are all sugar in disguise. That's not to mention the cans of cola, ice-creams, and starch-based foods that we eat on a daily basis. Glucose is the bottom line - as far as your body is concerned only three major sources of carbohydrates exist in the normal human diet. They are sucrose (known popularly as cane sugar), lactose (found in milk) and starches (found in all non-animal foods - particularly the grains).
Starches, lactose and sugar are broken down into glucose molecules during digestion, and it is these molecules that are the major source of energy in our bodies. In the ordinary diet, which contains far more starches than all other carbohydrates combined, glucose represents more than 80 per cent of the final products of carbohydrate digestion, and glucose and fructose seldom represent more than 10% each of the products of carbohydrate digestion. So lose the crabs!
The consumption of sugar and refined starches is having a devastating effect on the world's population. It is a multi-faceted disorder and inflicts a tremendous economic burden on patients, families and health care providers.
Our blood sugar levels are governed by the hormone insulin, which is responsible for carrying glucose from the blood across the cell membrane and into the cells. If you don't have sufficient insulin, your cells will literally starve, due to a lack of glucose for energy production.
The glucose therefore remains in the blood, resulting in elevated blood sugar levels. In the case of diabetics, the cause of these high blood sugar levels is either an inability to produce enough insulin (which is secreted by the pancreas), or a decrease in sensitivity of the body's cells to insulin. Insulin is designed to eliminate excess glucose in the bloodstream.
Consuming excessively large amounts of carbohydrates over extended periods of time means that the pancreas must produce more and more insulin to bring down the glucose level, causing the body to become "resistant" to the insulin. And, the higher the insulin, the more fat gets shoved into our fat cells for storage. Put simply, the body becomes resistant to the hormone insulin, due to long-term carbohydrate overload.
There are serious complications of Type II diabetes to every organ in the body if blood glucose, blood pressure and lipid (fat) levels are not adequately controlled. In addition to diabetes, the health problems that can result from elevated blood sugar levels include obesity, hormone imbalance, elevated blood pressure, low 'good' HDL cholesterol, and fatigue. Type II diabetics have a very high incidence of heart disease, and this is their main cause of death.
However, this can be prevented, or at least controlled, by taking great care to control blood glucose, blood pressure and lipid levels. A recent study reveals that high blood sugar boosts the levels of damaging free radicals Now, a recent study reported in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism shows that excess blood sugar may boost the production of free radicals - the byproducts of normal metabolism that have been linked to ageing and heart disease.
The implication is that it can be prevented by lifestyle measures, which include exercise and diet. But it's not just diabetics who should be worrying about their carbohydrate intake. We are all in danger of permanently damaging our bodies by carbohydrate overload. A healthy diet is the most important factor in controlling blood sugar levels.
How to take action today!
• Skip the white rice, white flour, potatoes and corn.
• Reduce or dilute fruit juices, especially from tropical fruits, and eat the whole fruit, but in moderation. Temperate fruits like apples and pears are a wiser choice.
• Never over-eat. Stop when you are no longer hungry. You really do not have to clean your plate (leftovers are "good things").
• Do eat high protein foods: meats, soy products, nuts, eggs and cheese.
• Look for products higher in fiber or with added fiber.
• If eating bread, go for whole grain products without added sugar. Read the labels on your food. Even most brands of tinned tomatoes contain sugar!
The rollercoaster effect of rising and sinking glucose levels in the blood have a huge impact on mood. Cut out starches and sugar and you'll lose weight, feel better, and have much more energy.
For more information on diabetes visit