Published on January 4th, 2017 | by Jerry & Pat Hocek0
Sugar Sense to Prevent Diabetes
An occasional sweet treat can be delicious, but sugar shows up in many places. Because sugar contains no essential nutrients, behaves like an addictive drug and is associated with a list of serious health issues, taking control makes sense, especially for kids. Type 2 diabetes immediately comes to mind, but it also facilitates cancer at every stage, causes energy crashes and can negatively impact mood. Here are a few tips for managing and monitoring the amount of sugar we’re consuming.
Avoid adding sugar when preparing food. Don’t be lured by exotic variants such as coconut sugar and agave, which are all sugar. Steer clear of toxic chemical options and instead get creative with herbs and spices; even lemon juice. Avoid packaged foods whenever possible. When we do use them be sure to scrutinize labels for total sugars and serving size. Remember that all carbohydrates except fiber convert to sugar in the body, and include that in our calculations. Keep in mind that fruit can pack a walloping amount of sugar. Berries, lemons and limes are a great lower sugar option.
For the 86 million Americans with prediabetes, maintaining sugar levels that a healthy metabolism can handle is not enough. If our body cannot metabolize the sugar, it’s causing damage. Results from a major longevity research study indicate that blood sugar issues may initially fly under the radar of standard wellness visit blood tests, so even if we pass the check-up, we could be incurring damage. With 90 percent of prediabetics unaware that they even have an issue, staying ahead of the curve is critical.
Indicators from our family history may include direct relatives such as father, mother, brother or sister diagnosed with type 2 diabetes or at risk; a mother with gestational diabetes while pregnant with us; or if we weighed nine or more pounds at birth.
The journey to Type 2 diabetes often begins with carrying extra weight; especially in the abdomen; being obese; and blood tests that reveal signs of metabolic syndrome such as elevated triglycerides, cholesterol or imbalanced “good and bad” cholesterol; or even the slightest evidence of elevated blood sugar.
Lifestyle factors include consuming packaged foods instead of fresh, organic options; exercising fewer than three days per week; not getting seven or eight hours of quality sleep per night; and excess stress.
These factors represent a good reason to have a conversation with our doctor, where more in-depth blood testing can be done. Many people have found testing their own blood sugar with a simple home meter to be the most effective.
Some of the newer sweeteners coming onto the scene appear to offer hope. Here’s an easy and delicious recipe that incorporates them with some healthy fats from avocado for a delicious chocolate treat.
Phillip Barone is a transformational nutrition coach specializing in Type 2 diabetes and natural blood sugar control. He is available for private coaching and educational seminars in group and corporate settings. For more information, call 201-210-9501 or visit PhillipBarone.com.