Reducing sugar can be one of the hardest but most valuable things you can do to protect your health. And with prediabetes affecting 1 in 3 Americans, stopping the sugar surge is a national priority! But is it your priority as well? With close to 100 million Americans estimated to have prediabetes, and 90% of those people not even knowing they're affected, it really should be. When did you last check your fasting blood sugar and hemoglobin A1C (a marker of diabetes) levels?
Why has diabetes become such a problem? The cause is clear, yet multifold. Possibly the biggest and simplest explanation can be surmised in four letters- HFCS. That's right, you may recognize this acronym notating the infamous high fructose corn syrup. Not only does HFCS spike your blood sugar levels, it's potentially as addictive as nicotene and even hard drugs. That's because your blood sugar plays a major role in many other bodily functions.
Hormones are hugely impacted by high blood sugar, and this explains why so many women are having imbalances in their hormone systems. As well, blood pressure and inflammation are also negatively affected by high blood sugar. Diana Schwartzbein, MD has explained high sugar levels as causing a domino effect in the body, in which almost every system is affected. Isn't time to finally stop this viscious cycle? We think so.
Perhaps the best thing you can do is make a strict rule to stop consuming anything with high fructose corn syrup. In addition, you want to watch your total carbohydrate level of meals and snacks. Clients always ask how many grams they can eat at a meal or snack. My rule is 30-45 grams per meal, 15 grams per snack. It's general but a good framework to start with. From there, there are other nutritional tactics you will want to employ to truly reduce blood sugar levels and reduce the addictive aspect of sugar. A couple popular effective tactics are including fiber and healthy fats or protein at each meal or snack. So, instead of a huge bowl of fat free popcorn, we'd say, reduce the portion, and add some coconut oil or organic butter. Or better yet, choose fruit, dark chocolate and a few toasted nuts for a bedtime treat. To develop a personalized program, a dietitian consultation is highly recommended.
And yet, we realize that many people are not yet ready to make major lifestyle changes. We can work with you, too, and one way that we can help is through nutritional supplementation. While supplements won't reverse a poor diet, there are many nutrients which support blood sugar metabolism that you may not be getting enough of. As well there are herbs which support a healthy blood sugar system.
There are several supplement we recommend. One of our favorites is the popular Metabolic Synergy , a multivitamin geared specifically to prevent diabetes with both high levels of blood sugar support nutrients such as chromium, vanadium, B-vitamins and the powerful Alpha-lipoic acid. Another supplement called Blood Sugar Support, is great for those who want to add to their supplement program, and are already taking a multiviitamin. And yet another simple and neccessary supplement for most, especially if diabetes runs in your family is a standard, but mercury and metal free Fish Oil, such as Finest Pure Fish Oils, or another favorite, Nordic Naturals' ProDHA Fish Oil.
Last but not least is the stand alone Alpha Lipoic Acid. This supplement is proven to reverse insulin resistance and is a must-take for those who have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes or diabetes, or anyone with signs of insulin resistance. It has shown benefits in as little as six weeks taken at the 300 mg/ day level.
For more information about how to take any supplements above or to schedule a nutritional consultation, please feel free to contact us. Whatever you do, don't let weeks, month or years pass before taking action!
Best of Health,
~ Rachael Richardson, RD, LDN