By naturopath Margaret Jasinska
Good blood sugar control is important for all diabetics. The closer you can keep your blood sugar to normal, the less likely you are to suffer with diabetic complications in later years. Having good blood sugar control should also allow you to require less medication. Some medication, particularly insulin can promote weight gain in diabetics. Generally, the lower your blood sugar, the less requirement you’ll have for insulin.
It’s not just diabetics that should be concerned with maintaining a healthy blood sugar level though. For all of us, minimising spikes in blood sugar is important if you want to take care of your health. Sugar is sticky, and having a lot of it in your bloodstream can cause harm to nearly every part of your body. Sugar can stick to the protein component of your joints and create pain and stiffness; it can stick to the collagen in your skin and speed up the signs of ageing. Perhaps most frightening is the fact that high blood sugar can create the plaques and tangles in the brain that are hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease.
Every time you eat carbohydrate, your blood sugar rises and your pancreas must secrete insulin in order to get the sugar into your cells where it can be used for energy. Consuming carbohydrate rich foods regularly, and thus having chronically elevated insulin levels is damaging in itself, particularly to your cardiovascular system and risk of cancer. High insulin also has a negative effect on fat metabolism. It signals to your body that there is plenty of glucose around, so it instructs your fat cells to stay put and not get used up for energy, even if you exercise. This is what happens in people with syndrome X, which is also known as insulin resistance. You can read about how to overcome it in Dr Cabot’s newest weight loss book “I can’t lose weight and I don’t know why“.
People with chronically high insulin levels often feel unsatisfied after eating. They can feel like they could keep eating all day but never actually feel full. This makes weight loss almost impossible. It also has negative effects on mood, cognitive function, emotions and sometimes even sleep quality. Getting insulin levels down is critical for overcoming these symptoms, and also for achieving a healthy blood sugar level.
Here are my tips on how to do that: