So friends, by now – if you have been following my sharings on physical and psychological health – you would have spotted my ‘views’ on sugar – the heroin of the food world. Saying I am not a fan – would be understating my position – but the craziness of it is – once you start looking for it you find that sugar is in everything.
Metabolic syndrome, syndrome X, hypoglycemia, and pre-diabetes are all names for blood sugar disorders that describe the way a body tries, but fails, to handle blood sugar. If you happen to be experiencing these disorders – the cells of your body are having trouble responding to insulin – needed for cell to change sugar in to energy.
Two things are important to share with the group when examining the body’s relationship to sugar and it’s biochemical friend insulin. These are …
- Blood sugar problems are serious.
- There is something natural you can do about it.
Three out of every five people wandering around, waiting with you at the checkout at Aldi – I am so on to you, doing me out of the unlabelled loot! – I digress, so three out of every five people you pass will have something called “Insulin Resistance”.
Insulin Resistance is a condition that assists the body develop to obesity, heart disease, high cholesterol, and diabetes because cells in the body become ‘resistant’ to the effects of insulin and they cannot convert that crazy sugar in to energy for you to act on nature’s GPS system – instinct.
Research has shown that some people who have trouble with excess weight may not realize that they are on a blood sugar rollercoaster. Let’s personify the life of a little cell – for impact and etching on memory. So imagine your little cell is running low on fuel, it is running out of energy so it sends signals out to the body brain system saying “I am hungry – EAT!” or more acurrately, “GIVE ME SUGAR! NOW!”
So eventually and following an intricate and well designed hormone signalling system – body gets hungry, saliva glands are stimulated and brain says, “How about a …” – something with Sugar. I know. I am right on to you.
As we eat, or over eat because poor cell is signalling hunger, asking for sugar but – it is as though cell is unable to actually eat because insulin cannot convert sugar to energy for cell, cell remains hungry and keeps signalling “FEED ME!” with increasing levels of distress.
We are eating and blood sugar levels and insulin levels alternately surge and plummet. This in turn makes us feel fun psychological states such as highs, fatigue, irritability, and extreme food cravings–providing fuel for the roller coaster via more of the wrong kinds of foods.
Levelling Out the Ride
There are a couple of ways to help your body begin to respond to insulin again – if this is happening. So I have had lots of success using protein. People with insulin resistance feel hungry constantly, so they keep eating – digestion keeps trying to do its thing by converting food to sugar and then transfering sugar in the blood steam to feel poor hungry cell – but just like a thirsty sailor – sugar all around me, but not a drop to drink. So body tries to round up extra sugar and stores it in fat cells. Body tries to reduce the damage the high sugar content in the blood stream is doing to nerves and tissues.
The signal brain will receive from the hungry cells in the body will feel like a craving, a sugar craving and it is every bit an addiction – which is really an incomplete attempt made by the body to learn – respond to a new feeling and or situation.
I have found using protein to be the best and quickest way to correct a sugar craving. You want results with a craving and you want them quickly – or you will ‘use’. So when the sugar craving hits – I encourage people to eat protein, wait five minutes – see what happens, if sugar craving persists – comply and try again next time. My experience is the sugar raving reduces quickly because protein satisfies a hunger craving, where as if you feel your body sugar – it will make the whole problem – worse.
The body needs help to derail the sugar roller coaster. Taking fibre – such as a spoonful of rice, oat or wheat bran may help. You could also give a bit of the olde slippery elm bark a go – I think what happens is the fibre swells up in the tummy tricky body in to thinking it is full. Give this a go if you want – but take the protein first. So straight protein – egg, fish, tofu, kidney beans, you get the idea.
The Canadians have done a bit of investigating in to the role fibre might play in correcting insulin resistance. They, researchers at the University of Toronto and the Canadian Centre for Functional Medicine, have found polysaccharide fibre is associated with slow downing digestion and levelling out the metabolism of food. This in turn was found to be predictive of improved capacity to maintain stable blood sugar balance. A study conducted on individuals with metabolic syndrome showed that consumption of a blend of fibre improved overall metabolic control by reducing insulin resistance. Total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and the LDL:HDL cholesterol ratio were also reduced.
Additional research found the use of fibre reduced postprandial (after-meal) blood glucose levels by 23 percent and improved insulin sensitivity more than 35 percent after just three weeks of daily use. Subjects in this study also lost significant amounts of body fat compared to those in the control group, although no specific dietary advice was given to the participants to encourage weight loss during the three-week-long clinical trial.
The problems of excess body fat and insulin resistance are best handled by eating food in such a way that strives to control and if possible eliminate post meal blood sugar spiking, eating so you feel full and satisfied.
Last but not least – remember – to your body, all food is basically sugar so to help you build a happier and healthier relationship with your ingenious body and all its quirks, I suggest the strategic use of protein, fibre and regular meals.