If you want to lower your blood sugar and at the same time, lose weight without feeling hungry, counting calories, or buying specially prepared calorie restricted processed meals, consider your overall carbohydrate intake. Scientific studies show that a diet low in simple carbs, with the proper ratio of proteins, complex carbohydrates and dietary fats, is key to optimal health, sustainable energy, and relatively effortless weight loss. Diets that restrict added sugars, sugary drinks, refined grains, and white flour products result not only in weight loss, but more stabilized blood sugar, as well as improved blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Along with regular moderate exercise, a low-carb diet can help to reverse prediabetes and metabolic syndrome and reduce risk factors for other chronic illnesses.
All digestible carbohydrates contain single, double or multiple sugar units that are converted by the body into glucose, the main fuel source for our brain and cells. Typically, simple carbs, such as found in soda, table sugar or juice, are sweet tasting, while vegetables, fresh or frozen fruits, whole grains and fiber are starchy complex carbohydrates. After eating, our blood glucose levels rise, signaling the pancreas to secrete insulin, a hormone that facilitates the transfer of glucose from the blood stream to cells for energy usage, and prompts muscle and liver cells to absorb excess glucose for storage as glycogen. As cells absorb glucose, blood levels of glucose fall, prompting the pancreas to release glucagon, a hormone that signals the liver to release stored sugar and keep the body supplied with a steady energy source.
In a healthy person, blood sugar is maintained in a very narrow range. Complex carbs, which contain fiber and nutrients, take longer to digest, resulting in a slower, sustained rise of blood sugar, curbing hunger and maintaining energy. Because of their simple chemical structure, simple carbohydrates are rapidly digested and quickly utilized for energy, leading to a faster rise in blood sugar and insulin secretion. Essentially, to maintain proper blood sugar levels, insulin is secreted when blood sugar is high and glucagon is secreted when blood sugar is low. When we eat a diet high in simple or refined carbs, insulin levels may become chronically elevated and much of the energy-supplying glucose in the blood stream gets deposited and stored in fat cells.
Blood sugar spikes followed by steep drops in blood sugar can result in hunger cravings, low energy reserves and moodiness. Overeating simple and refined carbohydrates leads insulin to aggressively increase fat storage, while at the same time preventing the release of energy producing stored fats. When the body is unable to access stored fat, it’s very difficult, if not impossible to lose weight. By eliminating simple carbs and focusing on nutrient dense carbohydrates, you can moderate the insulin response and eat enough to dispel hunger, increase energy, and lose body fat without feeling deprived or counting calories.
Over time high insulin levels can lead to insulin resistance, a state in which cells do not respond properly to insulin and don’t easily absorb glucose from the blood stream. The body responds by releasing ever increasing amounts of insulin to aid cellular absorption of the blood glucose, and increasing the risk for developing symptoms such as fatigue, obesity, increased blood pressure, and depression. Because insulin has a role in the process that regulates inflammation, insulin resistance is a risk factor in the development of prediabetes, diabetes type 2, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease. Losing weight, increasing physical activity and concentrating on a diet low in simple carbs and higher in complex carbs can help to stabilize blood sugar levels and restore the body’s normal response to insulin. To consume healthier carbohydrates, opt for unprocessed whole grains, starchy vegetables, fresh fruits, beans and pulses. Supplements that help stabilize blood sugar include:
Alpha-lipoic acid– ALA is an antioxidant that improves the cells’ response to insulin. Studies have shown that ALA appears to enhance insulin sensitivity, especially in those with diabetes type 2 or metabolic syndrome.
Chromium – This essential mineral helps to stabilize blood sugar and plays a role in how insulin helps to regulate blood sugar levels. Studies have found that chromium supplements may reduce blood sugar levels, as well as the amount of insulin required by diabetics.
CoQ10 – As a powerful antioxidant, CoQ10 helps to re-energize the mitochondria in the heart cells, where energy metabolism occurs. Some studies have found that CoQ10 may improve both heart health and blood sugar control.
Magnesium – Low magnesium levels are often observed in those with high insulin and blood sugar levels. Studies suggest that low magnesium levels may play a role in preventing insulin dysregulation and may be highly protective for those at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Cinnamon – Cinnamon has been shown to reduce serum glucose, triglyceride, LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association suggests that the inclusion of cinnamon in the diet of people with type 2 diabetes will reduce risk factors associated with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
Professional Supplement Center carries these and other fine products to support proper blood sugar levels and overall wellness:
Alpha Lipoic Acid 400 mg by Pure Encapsulations – This free radical fighter supports various metabolic processes, healthy glucose metabolism, and healthy vascular and blood vessel function. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.
Chromium Picolinate by Douglas Laboratories – This biologically active form of chromium, known as GTF (glucose tolerance factor), increases the effectiveness of insulin, influencing blood sugar, carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism. Gluten, soy and dairy free formulation.
CoQ10 ST-100™ by Metagenics – This high quality, stable formulation provides highly bioavailable CoQ10 for support of energy production, cardiovascular health, overall wellness and healthy aging. Gluten free, Non-GMO formulation.
Vanadium Complex with Cinnulin PF by Progressive Labs – This blend of natural ingredients supports glucose metabolism, insulin production and sensitivity, normalized blood sugar and reduced sugar and carbohydrate cravings.
Cinnamon Force by New Chapter – Save 15% This proprietary blend of supercritical cinnamon assists in the conversion of glucose into energy, and promotes healthy weight management by helping glucose create immediate cellular energy, discouraging stored potential energy in the form of fat deposits. Gluten free, Non-GMO formulation.
Carbohydrates and Blood Sugar. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/carbohydrates-and-blood-sugar/
Prediabetes and Insulin Resistance. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/types/prediabetes-insulin-resistance
Normal Regulation of Blood Glucose. http://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/diabetes/normal-regulation-blood-glucose
8 Reasons Why Carbs Help You Lose Weight. http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20359383,00.html
Insulin Resistance. http://www.drweil.com/health-wellness/body-mind-spirit/heart/insulin-resistance/
Cinnamon Improves Glucose and Lipids of People With Type 2 Diabetes. http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/26/12/3215