Blood sugar. It is something we never think about until we have a problem. The problem may not be a medical diagnosis, such as Type II Diabetes. We may want to lose weight and realize it isn't working. We may want to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables we eat but we keep getting drawn to processed food. Or we may be exhausted all the time and want to get our energy back. These are all real life situations that are a result of making lifestyle decisions that impact blood sugar.
WHY IS BLOOD SUGAR SO IMPORTANT?
Think about the last time you were so hungry you couldn't concentrate, were short tempered and just wanted to eat everything in sight. That is your blood sugar talking. Think about the last holiday where you ate too much, felt sluggish and wanted to take a nap. That is your blood sugar talking. A stable blood sugar allows you to avoid the roller coaster of emotions and hunger, as well as illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease and vision loss. Plus, a stable blood sugar means you'll have the energy you need to get everything done every day.
Unfortunately, the American Diabetes Association estimates that well over 100 million people in the U.S. alone have health problems related to blood sugar imbalances, and staggeringly, over 80% of these people don’t know it. (Source: MITOQ) What exactly does blood sugar do for us?
MITOQ explains it very simply:
"Blood sugar levels measure the amount of glucose present in your blood stream. Glucose is the building block of the carbohydrates you eat and is your body’s primary source of energy. It is absorbed by almost every cell in your body and combined with oxygen in the tiny power plants inside your cells called mitochondria to create a special molecule called “ATP”.
ATP powers your cellular machinery and fuels cell growth and function. When you eat carbohydrates, glucose enters your blood stream and a special hormone called “insulin” is released which encourages your cells to absorb the glucose as fuel. However, when your diet is consistently high in carbs and sugars, your body can become insensitive to insulin, the glucose is not properly absorbed anymore and it remains circulating in your blood stream."
The normal reaction to the above explanation is that carbohydrates are bad. We should stop eating them. Keto is the best way to manage this! That is not the point! Carbohydrates are important to our body and our brain. Without carbohydrates, our brain does not have the fuel it needs to function. Carbohydrates come in two different categories: Right Carbohydrates and Wrong Carbohydrates.
Our body needs carbohydrates. Why? To fuel our brain. The only way our brain gets energy is through a daily supply of carbohydrates. But they have to be the right kind of carbohydrates. The right kind are fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains. The right carbohydrates supply the body with a steady stream of energy through glucose.
The wrong carbohydrates are cookies, crackers, cakes, chips, pretzels, processed rice, cereal, soda, concentrated juices, ice cream, canned soup, bread, pasta and rice. If you think about a supermarket, the foods that are in the middle of the store are the foods that tend to be the wrong carbohydrates.
However, it is never this simple. The carbohydrate guidelines are good to know to help guide the food we buy and eat regularly. But our unique physiology will be the ultimate decision maker of how our body reacts to the food we eat and if it is converted into the energy we need. How to reduce blood sugar level? Here are a few ways to start.
The delicate balance our body strives to maintain means we need to eat fat, protein and carbohydrates to fuel our body. But even the right carbohydrates may cause our body to fight itself. Why? Food intolerances. Even foods that are deemed "healthy" may not be the right food for you.
A food intolerance interrupts how our body converts food into energy. Eating a food that you are sensitive to raises stress in the body and releases cortisol. (Source: Dr. Chad) We don't think about stress as an internal response to a food. When we think about stress we think about work, school, family issues and balancing it all. But internal stress happens when we continually eat food we are sensitive to.
How do you find out if you are sensitive to a food? Two ways: an at home food sensitivity test or an elimination diet. Everly Well is an at home testing company that will identify foods that you are allergic to. An elimination diet involves cutting out the most common allergens for 30 - 90 days. Then slowly reintroduce the food and see how you feel. The most common allergens are gluten, eggs, corn, soy and dairy.
It is very hard to stop eating the wrong carbohydrates. The food manufacturers know this and formulate their foods to trigger our happy hormones so they have a customer for life. The only way to break the cycle is to stop eating those foods. When sugar laden foods become an occasional treat, it is much easier to have stable blood sugar levels.
Unfortunately, most of us don't realize we are addicted to sugar. Did you know sugar is as addictive as heroin? Sugar activates our feel good hormones which is why it is so hard to stop eating or drinking it! To stop eating sugary foods is a major lifestyle and mindset change. To make it that much harder, there are withdrawal symptoms! It doesn't matter if you stop cold turkey or simply start to reduce how much sugar you eat.
IT DOESN’T MATTER
WHAT YOU’VE BEEN TOLD OR WHAT YOU’VE HEARD ABOUT MANAGING YOUR SYMPTOMS…
You CAN reduce and/or eliminate them and learn how to eat in a way that supports your unique health concerns.
If you’re tired of…
Pain and discomfort from symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, and bloating
Anxiety and secrecy around family and friends when you absolutely MUST eat
Stigma, shame, and embarrassment about your situation
Anger and frustration that this is happening to you
And confusion and desperation about whether or not you will ever get over this.
Aren’t you tired of relying on “Dr. Google” to help you diagnose and treat your health issues? I bet you are — but that you’re frustrated too.
After all, you wouldn’t be searching the internet if anyone was giving you answers that made sense.
And I want you to know... I’ve felt exactly how you’re feeling right now.
My journey hasn’t been an easy one…
But I’m guessing neither has yours. I bet it’s been full of pain, frustration, anxiety, and confusion…
What if you could enjoy...
Confidence about eating at family meals, parties, or on dates?
Peace of mind about your health?
Freedom to eat without worrying about every bite?
The pleasure of living a richer, more enjoyable life — one that’s NOT controlled by food…
Well, I’ve got some incredible news.
I’ve developed a step-by-step process, informed by evidence-based research, that will help you manage your symptoms and end your discomfort...
And now you can use that same process to solve your symptoms at last.
As a Certified Health Coach and Certified Holistic Nutritionist, I tell my clients the truth about their situation…
You may not know for sure what is causing your issue. The food you eat may be exacerbating your symptoms. Genetics may also play a role.
Things like infection, a stomach bug, or trauma can make a variety of symptoms appear.
And there are a whole host of physical and emotional issues that can definitely make it worse — anxiety and stress, poor sleeping habits, menstruation, menopause, and more.
Getting your body and mind in sync is about discovering the root cause. It’s about learning to eat in a different way, taking some helpful supplements, and managing your emotions.
It’s very simple. No jumping through hoops and NO PRESSURE.
If we determine it’s not a fit, we’ll go our separate ways for now.
If it is a fit, we can take the next step and get you started on the path to healing.
Does stevia raise blood sugar? Maybe. In 2018, SF Gate summarized a study of how stevioside (one of the active compounds in the stevia plant) lowers blood glucose levels and decreases insulin resistance in rats with diabetes. However, this research is preliminary, and the FDA-approved forms of stevia for use in food don't contain stevioside. That means most of the stevia products you can buy in the baking section in grocery stores won't have this effect on your blood sugar levels.
The FDA has approved rebaudioside A, the other compound in stevia that is well researched, for sale in the US. While it is safe, the products on the shelf are blended with different sweeteners, such as erythritol (a sugar alcohol) and dextrose (glucose). Stevia is considered safe for people with diabetes but the products that contain dextrose or maltodextrin should be treated with caution. Dextrose is glucose and maltodextrin is a starch. These ingredients add small amounts of carbs and calories. Plus, sugar alcohols can increase carb count. (Source: HealthLine)
You may think using a sugar substitute can help manage blood sugar levels. As shown above, it is not a long term solution. You are better off trying to reduce sugar in your daily routine as much as possible and not rely on a substitute.
None of us drink enough water every day. We need at least half our body weight in ounces every single day. That means if you weigh 150 pounds, you need to drink 75 ounces every day. Does drinking water lower blood sugar? Yes! One of the key benefits of being hydrated is stable blood sugar. Drinking water helps flush glucose out of the bloodstream. If you aren't thrilled about drinking plain water, add frozen or fresh fruit to flavor it naturally.
Stable blood sugar levels are the key to losing and maintaining a healthy weight. It is also key to avoiding major illnesses like Type II Diabetes and Heart Disease. A few ways you can help your body keep stable blood sugar levels are to stay away from food sensitivities, eat the right carbohydrates, break up with sugar, use sugar substitutes sparingly (if at all) and stay hydrated.
What actions will you take to maintain stable blood sugar levels? Let me know by leaving a comment below.