In keeping with the spirit of National Diabetes Month, we have decided to provide a few guidelines for our customers to follow. Probably the most important considerations to keep in mind are related to diet and exercise, but there are also quite a few supplements that can be of help. It’s also important to remember that prevention is the best medicine, so making proper lifestyle choices before things go wrong is absolutely essential.
Much of what we eat in our modern society wreaks havoc on our blood sugar. Foods like ice cream, doughnuts, bagels, pies and cakes, many fast food items, and soft drinks all can spike blood sugar, which causes a vicious roller coaster kind of effect. When your blood sugar is high, your body will burn off what it can by driving glucose into the cells. Whatever it cannot burn, the body converts to fat and stores it. This process is performed so efficiently that the end result is usually low blood sugar. Some of the symptoms of low blood sugar are low energy, lethargy, moodiness, confusion, dizziness, and—maybe most importantly—cravings for more sugar!
It can be extremely difficult to control symptoms of low blood sugar, because your brain demands fuel in the form of glucose. So it can be a challenge to stay disciplined with your diet in these situations. And of course if you satisfy your cravings by eating another meal that spikes your blood sugar, you start the whole cycle again. If this cycle remains unbroken for years and years, you’re body can become unable to metabolize sugar with the same efficiency. Extreme blood sugar fluctuations are very common in our society, but they don’t usually become diagnosed until the situation has become very serious. This is unfortunate, because so many health issues can be resolved just by balancing out the blood sugar. Many mood disorders or mental issues like depression, hyperactivity and ADD can be linked to blood sugar shifts. Weight gain and sleep disorders can also be linked to blood sugar imbalances. In short, every aspect of your life is dependent on your body’s ability to metabolize sugar properly.
So what do you do about it? Exercise is extremely important, because you increase the rate that your body burns off excess glucose. But probably the most important thing you can do is change what you are putting in your body. For at least the last 30 years, we have been told to avoid fat, because that’s what supposedly causes you to gain weight. And while some fats should be avoided, including all fats that have been overly processed and damaged to the point where they are harmful to consume, they are generally not the true culprits when it comes to blood sugar disorders. The most important thing to look for on a label, aside from any unnatural, toxic ingredients, is the sugar content. Most people look at calories and fat content. But a high sugar content is what will start the vicious cycle mentioned earlier. The second thing to look at is the fiber content. Fiber will slow down the rate that sugar goes into the blood, which is extremely important. So if you have low sugar, high fiber product, that’s a good starting point. The items to avoid are the ones that have a high sugar, low fiber content.
These are concepts that everyone should incorporate, not just people who are dealing with diagnosed blood-sugar conditions. In the next few weeks we’ll discuss some supplements that you can take to help balance things out.
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