November 24, 2017
Posted In: Education, Fitness, Food & Drink, General Health, General Wellness, Home & Lifestyle, Langley, London, Nutrition, Saskatoon, Surrey, What's Up Canada, White Rock
Do you feel tired, run down or depressed for no apparent reason? In many cases, problems regulating the supply of sugar to your brain and body cells may be the cause.
All cells in the body burn the sugar glucose for energy, similar to the way engines burn gasoline. Reducing the supply of glucose to your brain cells can cause poor alertness, tiredness, difficulty concentrating and even confusion, loss of memory and emotional depression.
Blood sugar levels can drop for various reasons, producing a variety of symptoms. One of the most common causes is the frequent use of sugar rich foods and beverages in a person’s diet.
The body tries to regulate blood sugar by holding it within a normal range, neither too high nor too low. Sugar in the diet is rapidly absorbed from the gut, causing blood sugar to rise. The pancreas then produces insulin to transport the glucose into the cells thereby bringing the glucose level back down after a sugary meal or snack. The liver also converts blood sugar to glycogen and stores it in muscle tissue and the liver itself.
When high amounts of sugar is consumed on a regular basis, the body often over compensates for the frequent rises in blood sugar—bringing its levels down lower than it was beforehand. These lowered sugar levels make a person feel hungry or crave more sweets. Taking that sugar rich snack provides a lift only temporarily and leaves one feeling drained or tried again shortly afterward. This is the cycle of Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.
People caught in this vicious cycle may experience weakness, shakiness or trembling if they go too long without eating. In addition to mental fatigue or depression they, may have periods of light-headedness, coldness of the hands and feet, or a variety of other mental or physical symptoms. These are usually relieved temporarily by eating and people will instinctively reach for a carbohydrate based food (often a pastry) or a coffee with sugar to give them another lift. And the cycle starts again!
In addition to being kind to your liver and pancreas by regular cleansing and support of the organs, there are simple nutrition habits that you can put into place to stop the roller coaster ride of blood sugar, and build a better foundation for long term health, free from diabetes and other disease:
Severely Reduce Sugar Intake
Pay attention to foods or beverages containing obvious sugar, whether added or natural: ice cream, cake, candy, fizzy drinks (all carbonated beverages), pies, pastries, canned jellies, preserves, Jell-O, most cold breakfast cereals, fruit juice, punch, and drink, breakfast syrups and similar processed food items are some of the obvious ones to simply eliminate.
Read labels: Corn syrup, corn sweetener, sugar dextrose, glucose, fructose, brown sugar, cane sugar, beet sugar, turbinado sugar, date sugar, raisin syrup, maple syrup, are all sugar and should be avoided or reduced. The number of grams listed divided by 4 equals the number of teaspoons.
Avoid the use of artificial sweeteners as a substitution for sugar. There simply is not place or artificial sweeteners in a healthy nutritional plan.
Avoid all the following:
Fresh and dried fruits can be kept to a minimum for a period of time of rebalancing your body’s response to sugar. Exceptions allowed: a maximum of one 4 ounce serving per day from the list below. Make sure the fruits are fresh and organic whenever possible.
Apple (green) Papaya Melon
Blueberries Fresh pineapple Banana
Grapefruit Pear Home canned fruit-no added sweetener.
Eat Protein-Rich and/or Complex Carbohydrate Rich Foods
You will feel better when you include some foods rich in protein for all meals and snacks: eggs, fish and meats, cheese (all organic is key) nuts and seeds, beans and legumes are all protein rich. Complex carbohydrates provide a “time-released” source of sugar, yielding their glucose slowly and steadily, thereby helping to avoid the “peaks and valleys” of poor blood sugar regulation.
Complex Carbohydrates include whole grains and starchy vegetables such as yams and squash.
All whole vegetables are complex carbohydrates with a relatively good slow release of sugar.
Eat Small Frequent Meals
Eat small to moderate amounts of food every few hours, particularly if your energy is low. For example, eat 3 moderate meals daily and one, two or three between meal snacks as desired, or as needed to keep your energy or concentration up.
Many factors besides sweets in the diet influence blood sugar levels. Certain nutrients are also helpful in regulating blood sugar. The mineral chromium is particularly important for the proper utilization of insulin. Brewer’s yeast, whole grains, beans and meat are the best food sources of this mineral. Sulfur and Methionine are key nutrients for the liver and can also be found in eggs, poultry, garlic and onions, cabbage, broccoli and brussels sprouts, turnips and radishes. Dietary supplements may be indicated for some people with blood glucose concerns. Each individual is different and health problems should be considered on an individual basis, whether or not professional treatment is required.
However, the three general guidelines we’ve discussed have helped many people to reclaim their lost energy and vitality.
In following these guidelines, you may feel worse for a couple of weeks before you begin to feel much better. After a few months or so, you may be able to add small amounts of sweets back into your diet without producing the same old symptoms. However, added sugars are not health friendly over the long-term. Patience and consistency in keeping added sugars out of your nutrition plan will bring healthy rewards.