The Importance of Glycemic Control

Dietary blood sugar control

When we eat foods that contain carbohydrates, the carbohydrates are digested in the stomach and intestines and are absorbed into the bloodstream, generally in the form of glucose. The glucose in the blood stimulates the pancreas to excrete a hormone – insulin – into the blood. Insulin helps the body’s cells to absorb the glucose and to use it for energy; insulin levels rise and fall with the levels of blood glucose.

When the carbohydrates we eat cause the blood sugar to quickly rise to high levels, excess insulin can cause too much sugar to be absorbed by the cells.

This results in a condition of low blood sugar. The subsequent stress on the body stimulates the adrenal glands to secrete hormones into the blood.Metabolism rises, glucose is manufactured from stores in the liver, and the entire body may be activated in what is called “fight-or-flight response.”

The glycemic index is a classification of carbohydrates based on their potential for raising blood glucose levels.

Those foods that result in rapid rise in blood sugar and therefore, in insulin, have a high glycemic index. Carbohydrates that are broken down slowly and cause only a moderate increase in blood sugar have a low glycemic index. Some carbohydrates fall in between.

A study from the New york Obesity Research Center shows that after eating a breakfast of oatmeal, a food with a low glycemic index, subjects were not as hungry at lunch time as those who had a breakfast of sugared cornflakes. The sugared cornflakes breakfast, equal in calorie content to the oatmeal, left subjects as hungry as a control group that had only water for breakfast.

These groups tended to eat more at lunch compared to those who ate an oatmeal breakfast. Oatmeal , of course, also provides benefits due to its high fiber content.

The primary goal – for not only diabetics, but for everyone – is to maintain a relatively stable blood glucose level, and thereby to prevent the “rebound” effect of insulin spikes.

Chronically high or very low levels of blood glucose can be dangerous to anyone. High glycemic foods have also been shown to increase appetite and to indirectly effect cholesterol levels. In addition, a high level of insulin signals the cells of the body to absorb the extra blood sugar and to store some of it as carbohydrate in your liver and muscle cells (in the form of glycogen) and the rest in your fat cells ( on buttocks, hips, abdomen etc.)

Becoming familiar with the glycemic index of the foods you eat can help you plan your diet. Tables of the glycemic index are available for most common foods, including in the LEAN section of the USANA internet site. As always, informing yourself is key to providing your body with optimal nutrition.

The statements of this publication have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.

About the Author:

Adrian Joele became interested in nutrition and weight management while he was an associate with a nutritional supplement company. Since 2008 he wrote several articles about nutrition and weight loss and achieved expert status with Ezine Articles.com. He has been involved in nutrition and weight management for more than 12 years and he likes to share his knowledge with anyone who could benefit from it.

12 Ways To Be Healthier

Want to loose weight, sleep better and boost your immune system?

1 Have a lie down
Back pain can be avoided and the damage repaired with one easy exercise, which is lie down on the floor with your knees bent, hip width apart, feet on the floor. Do this daily for about five to fifteen minutes to release and lengthen your spine.

2 Note your nibbles
Crash diets don’t work for long enough; instead maintain a food dairy to note your daily eating habits. With this you’ll be conscious of what you eat, and make healthier choices.

3 10 deep breaths
Our breath power our lymphatic system, which removes waste from cells. By taking 10 deep breaths, three times a day, you’ll clear more toxins and boost your thinking power by getting 20% more oxygen to your brain.

4 Put your fork down
Put your fork down between every mouthful of food, it makes you chew your food properly, preventing digestive problems, and also prevents you from over- eating.

5 Make a list
The most effective stress buster is to make a list. Your short term memory can only remember, on an average, seven things. So when you overload it , your stress level escalate. Making a list clears out all the stress from your brain you feel tension free. This saves you from headaches, depression and high blood pressure.

6 Massage your feet
Poor circulation could be robbing you of much needed sleep. Your temperature needs to drop slightly before you fall asleep, so your body dispels heat via your face, hands and feet. But many women have poor circulation, which constricts the blood vessels in their hands and feet and prevents them from dispelling heat. A hot bath before sleeping or a hand and foot massage will increase your circulation.

7 An organic apple a day
If you buy one organic item a day, make it an apple. Research found that pesticide residues in 71% of apples- the highest in fruits and vegetables.

8 Change your tea bag
When it comes to tea white is the new green. White tea comes from the same plant as green and black but is harvested earlier and undergoes less processing, which means it contains more cancer fighting anti- oxidants.

9 Eat dried apricots
The most common nutritional deficiency is iron. Tiredness, irritability and lack of concentration. Prevent it by having two helpings of lean red meat a week, or three dried apricots a day.

10 Stop skipping meals
Eating three meals a day is very important for a healthy body. It’s the simplest way to balance blood sugar levels, which will keep your mood, energy and concentration balanced and strengthen your stress tolerance.

11 Keep it crunchy
Include some raw vegetables in every meal. Many of the vitamins and minerals are in vegetables are lost through cooking, so raw food is as good as it gets.

12 Focus on your feeling
Take two minutes to boost your resolve to do walk, jog or aerobics class. The instant gratification of that exercise high is far more motivating than the promise of thinner thighs two months down the line.

7 Supplements That Help Fight Holiday Stress

By Dr. Mercola

While the holiday season can be a wonderful time of celebration and connection, few of us get through it without experiencing some level of stress. Emotions can run high around the holidays and expectations higher still. You may feel pressure to entertain, cook a big meal and shop for gifts for family and friends, whether you can afford it or not. In addition, there are many holiday-oriented activities and special events to attend.

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