Our bodies were not meant to deal with the hundreds of pounds of sugar, processed fats, and fake food we consume every year.
An estimated 16 million Americans including tens of thousands of children and teens have blood sugar problems that could jeopardize their health, their energy levels, and their weight-loss efforts. I hate to tell you this but sugar is not your friend. And we might as well bust another bubble while we are at it, sugar is sugar is sugar. All forms of sugar ultimately break down into glucose. The more we strip or process out the fiber, the quicker it gets into the blood stream and the more the body has to compensate.
If you really think about it, our bodies were not meant to deal with the hundreds of pounds of sugar, processed fats, and fake food we consume every year. Is it any wonder our cells and cell membranes are compromised? Insulin is essential to pull sugar or (glucose) into the cell. Because our culture consumes SO many refined sugars, our very cells try to resist extra sugar intake because they can only store a certain amount as fat in a healthy way. So to reduce the amount of sugar coming into the cells, the cells will ultimately reduce or down regulate the amount of insulin receptor sites. Well, that’s good for the cells but bad for the bloodstream. Insulin can’t get into the cells so it remains in the blood.
Insulin is a powerful regulating hormone and affects systems that we wouldn’t normally think of. Dr. Ron Rosedale, in his book, “The Rosedale Diet,” quotes a study where insulin was dripped into the arteries of dogs and in just a few months the artery became blocked with plaque. Plaque buildup can deprive the heart of blood and oxygen and eventually cause a heart attack. As a person continues to ingest refined carbohydrates, it drives the body into a fat storage mode rather than a fat burning mode. Insulin has many key roles that will not be fulfilled if blood sugars are elevated; let’s look at a few of them.
- Insulin is necessary to pull magnesium into the cell.
- Blocked insulin receptor sites in the cell result in low intracellular levels of magnesium.
- Magnesium is critical for energy production, healthy heart, flexible blood vessels and blood pressure regulation.
Excess insulin in the bloodstream causes retention of sodium, which in turn causes increases in blood pressure and fluid retention. There is also a significant correlation between elevated insulin levels and certain types of cancer, namely breast, colon, prostate and pancreatic cancer. Poor sugar regulation and insulin dysregulation has also been indicated in aging, memory problems, fatigue, anxiety, depression, immune suppression, obesity, vascular disease and heart disease.
A Wellness approach to regulating blood sugar levels will not only help with energy levels and weight loss, but can be a major factor in preventing disease. We want to make sure we reduce amounts of refined carbohydrates like soft drinks, fruit juice, cookies, desserts and candy. Also starchy carbohydrates like bread, pasta, potatoes, corn or snacks foods like pretzels should be avoided until blood sugar is stabilized. Exercise is critical for anyone who is struggling with insulin resistance. Cells will burn sugar with activity and movement. So the best way to reduce sugar, besides not eating it, is to burn it. Keep in mind, the most stubborn cases of insulin resistance usually involve one or more food allergens so reducing food sensitivities can be important too.
There are nutritional supplements available that can help blood sugar regulation, but let’s be honest, without lifestyle changes, taking supplements alone will not fix the problem. If you have concerns, ask Dr. Godo about tests that can measure insulin. With a little coaching, you can put the basic building blocks in place that can help control blood sugar, prevent diabetes, promote fat burning instead of fat storing, help prevent disease and even give you more energy. It may not be easy to hear that “sugar is not your friend,” but look at it this way, maybe it takes a friend who will tell you the truth so you can feel great and enjoy life.
Dr. Jason Godo, DC