Archive for the ‘Blood Sugar’ Category

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Raw Nuts Help Lower Blood Pressure, Fight Metabolic Syndrome

April 5, 2012
Raw Nuts Help Moderate Blood Sugar Levels

Raw Nuts Help Moderate Blood Sugar Levels

Metabolic syndrome is a well studied and documented group of biomarkers and physical observations that are known to preclude many chronic and potentially life-threatening diseases, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Researchers reporting in the Journal of Proteome Research have uncovered a critical link between eating nuts and higher levels of serotonin in the bodies of patients with metabolic syndrome (MetS) who are at high risk for heart disease.

Serotonin is a chemical signaling compound found in the brain that helps transmit nerve signals and can decrease feelings of hunger, boosting spirits and helping people feel happier. The findings indicate that just one ounce of nuts eaten daily is enough to produce the health-promoting benefits.

Nut Consumption Increases Serotonin Levels to Prevent Metabolic Syndrome Symptoms

Nut Consumption Helps Control Weight to Prevent Obesity

Nut Consumption Helps Control Weight to Prevent Obesity

The explosion of the obesity epidemic around the world is leading to an exponential rise in metabolic syndrome symptoms including excess abdominal fat, high blood sugar, high blood pressure and lipid abnormalities. As a result, cases of Type II diabetes and heart disease are increasing in record numbers. Metabolic syndrome is largely the result of excessive abdominal fat stores that result from a diet filled with high calorie processed and fried foods. As fat storage cells (adipose tissue) begin to increase in number and swell beyond capacity, they prompt the release of a torrent of chemical messengers that promote systemic inflammation and disease.

Researchers from the Biomarkers & NutriMetabolomics Research Group of the University of Barcelona in Spain studied the biochemical effects of nut consumption on metabolic syndrome and human health. They put 22 patients with diagnosed metabolic syndrome on a nut-enriched diet for 12 weeks and compared them to another group of 20 patients who were told to avoid nuts. The scientists analyzed the full spectrum of compounds excreted in the patients’ urine and found evidence of several healthful changes.

Nuts are Packed with Monounsaturated Fats and Antioxidants to Prevent Chronic Disease

Raw Nuts Should be Part of Every Healthy, Well-Balanced Diet

Raw Nuts Should be Part of Every Healthy, Well-Balanced Diet

Lead study author, Dr. Cristina Andrés-Lacueva commented “Dietary changes may help patients shed the excess weight and become healthier… the regular consumption of nuts, which are jam-packed with healthful nutrients, such as healthy fats (unsaturated fatty acids) and antioxidants (polyphenols) have been recommended to fight the metabolic abnormalities associated with MetS.” Researchers determined for the first time that nut consumption boosted serotonin levels to promote satiety and happiness.

Nutrition scientists now understand that the fats provided with regular nut consumption correlate closely to improved human health. In the past, nuts have been branded with a high-fat stigma and avoided by many health-minded people. Fortunately we now have solid evidence to show nuts are a super food that can help prevent chronic disease including MetS. The study authors concluded that one ounce of nuts eaten daily “reduced levels of substances in the body associated with inflammation and other cardiovascular risk factors in patients with metabolic syndrome.” Grab a handful of tasty nuts to help ward off metabolic syndrome and chronic illness.

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Almonds and Cinnamon Lower Blood Sugar, Prevent Disease

April 29, 2011
Elevated Blood Sugar is Linked to the Progression of Chronic Diseases

Elevated Blood Sugar is Linked to the Progression of Chronic Diseases

Many people don’t give a second thought to their blood glucose levels until a physician indicates a problem with sugar regulation or there is a diagnosis of diabetes. At this point, a cascade of metabolically mediated events is taking place that paves the road toward chronic disease and an early demise.

Even slightly elevated blood sugar readings have been shown to be a significant cause for concern that signals the early stages of a host of potentially fatal conditions and debilitating complications. The good news is you can halt and even reverse the damage caused by poor blood sugar control with almonds and including the natural nutrients cinnamon and chromium before meals.

Checking Blood Sugar Levels to Prevent Disease

The importance of checking blood sugar levels cannot be understated. Researchers have demonstrated that fasting levels and post meal (postprandial) readings currently considered normal by standard medical practice lead to many chronic illnesses including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.

Fasting readings should be no higher than 80 mg/dl and postprandial levels should not rise more than 40 mg/dl. When blood sugar is allowed to exceed these readings, pancreatic beta cell death ensues leading to insulin dysfunction. Purchase an inexpensive blood sugar meter and check your fasting and post meal readings until you have a good understanding of how different foods affect your glucose levels.

Almonds Shown to Dramatically Lower Blood Sugar

A Handful of Almonds Before Eating Can Help Lower Blood Sugar Readings

A Handful of Almonds Before Eating Can Help Lower Blood Sugar Readings

Diet is the most powerful intervention you have to bring blood sugar reading in control. Everybody has a different tolerance level for the number of glucose-inducing carbohydrates that can be consumed at each meal. Highly processed foods are most likely to trigger high blood sugar levels while raw foods such as almonds have been found to have a neutralizing effect on sugar spikes.

Information published in the American Journal of Infectious Diseases found that eating almonds had a profound effect on a wide variety of health biomarkers including blood glucose. Almonds are packed with phytonutrients, antioxidants and biologically active compounds that lower the risk of many chronic diseases. The study authors concluded, “The present study has demonstrated that inclusion of 10 g of almonds in diet led to a significant reduction in fasting and post prandial blood glucose levels.“

Cinnamon Restores Normal Sugar Metabolism

Cinnamon Compounds Naturally Blunt High Blood Sugar Levels

Cinnamon Compounds Naturally Blunt High Blood Sugar Levels

Cinnamon not only tastes great but also is rich in bioactive compounds that have been shown to regulate the impact of rising blood sugars. In an article published in the journal Phytomedicine, cinnamon extract has been shown to trigger cellular signaling of proteins inside the pancreas that assists secretion and regulation of insulin. This action prevents deadly blood sugar surges when taken before eating a carbohydrate controlled meal.

Chromium Aids Glucose Breakdown

Chromium is an essential element that has been shown to be chronically deficient in the diet due to poor farming practices. Chromium is critical to healthy glucose metabolism and works by interacting with cellular receptors that enhance our response to insulin. The online forum Current Diabetes Reports explains that chromium improves insulin sensitivity and aids in the transfer of glucose from the blood into cells by activating special glucose transport molecules. Most people will need to supplement with 200 mcg twice daily before meals.

Maintaining blood sugar in a narrow range is critical to lower disease risk and achieve optimal health. Monitor your own fasting and post meal blood sugar readings to better understand the dietary impact of different foods, and take advantage of almonds, cinnamon and chromium to assist healthy blood sugar regulation.

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Blood Sugar Control Essential to Prevent Diabetes

January 24, 2011

(Article first published as Blood Sugar Control is Key to Prevent Diabetes and Chronic Disease on Technorati.)

Excess Dietary Sugar Leads to High Blood Sugar and Diabetes Risk

Excess Dietary Sugar Leads to High Blood Sugar and Diabetes Risk

Humans did not evolve to metabolize the large amount of carbohydrate calories consumed by the most health conscious individuals today. High levels of blood glucose are a significant underlying factor that leads to the development and proliferation of many age-related diseases.

Diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer and dementia are all accelerated by slowly increasing fasting and post meal blood sugar levels that cause needless suffering and death for millions of unsuspecting people each year. Taking the necessary dietary and nutritional steps today can prevent the current explosion of new diabetes cases in the future and lengthen natural lifespan.

Redefining Healthy Blood Sugar Readings

Use a Simple Blood Glucose Meter to Test Post Meal Readings

Use a Simple Blood Glucose Meter to Test Post Meal Readings

Normal blood sugar levels have been continually revised downward over the past several decades as it`s determined that current levels cause cellular damage. Presently a fasting reading over 126 mg/dl repeated twice is considered cause for a diagnosis of diabetes.

A reading of 110 mg/dl or above is classified as impaired by the American Diabetes Association. Information published in the journal Diabetes Care indicates that a fasting blood glucose level above the range of 70 – 85 mg/dl dramatically increases the risk of developing heart disease and death from a heart attack. The researchers conclude “fasting blood glucose values in the upper normal range appears to be an important independent predictor of cardiovascular death in nondiabetic apparently healthy men.”

Excess Sugar Damages Vessel Walls, Leads to Insulin Resistance

Carbs Quickly Convert to Sugars and Damage Blood Vessel Walls

Carbs Quickly Convert to Sugars and Damage Blood Vessel Walls

Excess blood sugar triggers a cascade of potentially deadly processes that contribute to diabetes, hardening of the coronary arteries and neuropathic complications. High glucose levels from dietary sugar and excess carbohydrate consumption provokes the release of chemical cytokines that promote arterial wall inflammation, endothelial dysfunction and atherosclerosis. Eventually the pancreas is no longer able to secrete enough insulin, and the insulin that is produced is no longer able to efficiently escort sugar to the cells and muscles.

Naturally Lowering Blood Sugar with Diet

Nutrients such as cinnamon and vinegar taken before eating can help lower post meal blood sugar spikes and can compliment proper diet. The most dependable way to naturally cut blood sugar levels is to dramatically lower calories from carbohydrate sources at each meal. Totally eliminate all processed and refined carb foods including bread, pasta, corn and rice.

Depending on carbohydrate sensitivity, some individuals may also need to limit fruits and starchy vegetables as well. The results of a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition shows that a diet rich in monounsaturated fats such as the Mediterranean diet improves post meal blood glucose levels and moderates healthy insulin response.

High Protein, Low Carbohydrate Breakfast Regulates Blood Sugar

The result of research published in the journal Diabetes Care demonstrates the importance of including protein as part of a low carbohydrate breakfast. Participants were given a high protein food shortly before eating a low carb breakfast. Post meal blood sugar readings were 40% lower than the same meal eaten without the protein source in advance. This underscores the importance of combining proteins and monounsaturated fat sources with each meal to slow down the release of potentially damaging sugar surges.

The best way to protect yourself from out of control blood sugar spikes is to monitor your blood glucose at 1 and 2 hour intervals after eating. Avoid any reading above 140 mg/dl as tissue damage has been observed with sustained levels above this threshold. Research provides extensive evidence that controlling fasting and post meal blood sugar results in lower disease risk and lengthened lifespan.

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Mediterranean Diet May Hold the Key to Obesity and Natural Weight Loss

November 8, 2010

(Article first published as Obesity Rate Skyrockets, Mediterranean Diet Helps Weight Loss Efforts on Technorati.)

Overweight and obesity are known to dramatically increase the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, cancer and dementia. Excess body fat fuels the fire of systemic inflammation and the release of dangerous chemical messengers or cytokines that damage the delicate inner lining of our arteries and set the stage for vascular dysfunction.

As we pass age 35, there is a natural tendency to gain weight due to slowing metabolism, unchanged calorie intake and less physical activity. These problems are compounded by a diet high in processed carbohydrates and hydrogenated fats that stimulate fat storage and metabolic disarray. Following a Mediterranean style diet can help to curb weight gain, improve health and boost your weight loss efforts.
Alarming Study Projects 42% Obesity Rate by 2050
Researchers have been encouraged that the obesity rate has stabilized at 34% over the past 5 years. The number of overweight and obese individuals has also remained steady at just under 70% for the same period. New research released in the journal PLoS Computational Biology uses statistical projections from the Framingham Heart Study to suggest that the upward trend will continue over the next 40 years to peak at 42% of men, women and children registering as clinically obese.
Obesity Explodes Over the Past Century 

In the early 1900’s 1 in 150 people were obese. By 1971 the obesity rate climbed to 14%. 40 years later that number has jumped to 34%. Something has changed during this time period to create such an explosion in body fat accumulation. We are still the same genetically diverse people we were 100 years ago, yet our metabolism has been dramatically altered toward fat storage. While physical activity may play a small role in the increase, there is one much more compelling reason we’re exposed to many times each day.

Understanding the Real Cause of Obesity
Our diet has been altered considerably over the past 100 years. Natural foods eaten raw or minimally processed have given way to fast convenience items that have been scientifically altered in a lab to appeal to our innate taste for sugar, fat and salt. Fast releasing carbs cause our blood sugar to remain high most of the day. Eventually insulin becomes resistant to excess glucose and is no longer able to effectively usher sugar from the blood and into the cells. Our grandparents didn’t have this problem, and while they did put on small amounts of weight as they aged it didn’t lead to early onset obesity commonly seen today.
Mediterranean Diet Could Hold the Key to Controlling Weight

The results of new research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition show that a Mediterranean style diet can help to keep unnatural weight gain in check. Study participants that adhered closest to a diet consisting largely of vegetables, fruits, fish, nuts, seeds and monounsaturated fats such as olive oil were 10% less likely to become overweight or obese and had 26% lower odds of packing on more than 11 pounds over the course of 4 years. This is because the Mediterranean diet is much higher in fiber and provides a feeling of satiety while eliminating sugary junk foods that raise blood sugar and cause dangerous belly fat.

Overweight and obesity is one of the leading preventable causes of chronic disease and death. The past century has seen the problem grow to the point where it threatens nearly half of the adult population. The solution is a low sugar and carbohydrate diet based on the Mediterranean way of eating, monitoring calories and ensuring adequate physical activity. Small changes to diet and lifestyle today will result in many healthy years later in life.
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Soda Consumption Increases Risk of Diabetes by 26%

November 1, 2010
(Article first published as Soda and Sweetened Drinks Increase Risk of Diabetes on Technorati.)

The incidence of Type II diabetes has been steadily increasing over the past half century. Projections are that the number of new cases will triple by 2050, afflicting 1 in 3 men, women and children. Many people are unaware they have the disease as there are no outward symptoms in the early stages of the disease.

Few realize that having diabetes increases the risk of developing heart disease and sudden death from a heart attack twofold. Research has now linked liquid sugar in the form of soda and sweetened beverages directly to the skyrocketing incidence of new cases of the deadly disease. Taking the proper steps today can dramatically lower your risk of becoming diabetic and allow you to avoid the many dangerous complications.
Study Confirms Link Between Soda and Risk of Diabetes
The typical 12 ounce serving of most sweetened soft drinks is equivalent to eating 12 teaspoons of sugar. Few people would ever use that much if they were to sweeten a beverage themselves, yet they subject themselves to several servings every day. The results of a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health and published in the journal Diabetes Care demonstrates that soda and other sweetened beverages are ‘clearly and consistently associated with greater risk of metabolic syndrome and Type II diabetes’. Two sugary drinks per day increase risk of diabetes by 26% and metabolic syndrome by 20%.
Sugar in Soda Linked to Weight Gain

Empty sugar calories in sweetened beverages are linked to weight gain and play a significant role in the rapid rise in obesity. The key sweetener in most soda is high fructose corn syrup that is known to promote obesity because of the way it’s metabolized by the liver.

Calories from this source aren’t registered as a source of energy since they bypass processing in the liver and are passed straight through to the blood where they cause blood sugar levels to spike. The excess sugar is converted to triglycerides and neatly packed away as body fat. Eventually this process causes metabolic instability, high blood pressure, insulin resistance and diabetes.
Break the Sugar Cycle with Natural Diet and Fresh Brewed Tea

The best news from this study is that you can have a significant impact on your risk of developing diabetes by making small changes to your diet and lifestyle. The first step is to cut all sweetened beverages. This will lower your daily calories significantly and begin the slow process of metabolic recovery as your body works to regain control over blood sugar levels and improve insulin response. Include at least 4 cups of fresh brewed tea each day and sweeten with all natural stevia extract as needed.

A natural compliment to removing sugary drinks from your diet is to lower your total glycemic load by slowly cutting processed foods that contain high fructose corn syrup or excessive amounts of sugar. Remember that refined carbohydrates such as breads, pasta, rice and potatoes have the same effect as eating sugar because they are rapidly converted to glucose through digestion. Replace these foods with healthy alternatives including fresh raw vegetables, nuts, seeds, and minimally cooked meats. These foods break down slowly and don’t cause wild blood sugar surges that lead to diabetes.
Everyone needs to be aware of the need to cut sugar from their diet. Soda has been identified as a prime food source that contributes to diabetes, and health conscious individuals will remove all sources of sugar from their diet to dramatically lower the risk of diabetes and extend their natural lifespan.
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Is There a Genetic Link to Weight Loss Success?

October 25, 2010

(Article first published as Best Weight Loss Diet Determined by Genes? on Technorati.)

From an evolutionary perspective we are diverse, as many people can trace their lineage to different parts of the globe where their ancestors endured a distinct lifestyle, environment and diet. All of these factors play a part in determining the genetic makeup that we carry today. It’s not difficult to imagine that each of us has evolved to function optimally on a different type of diet based on the lives led by our ancestors over countless generations. Modern gene testing may provide answers as to which type of diet is best to help us achieve our weight loss goal.

Follow Your Genes to Weight Loss Success

The long standing question as to whether a low fat or low carbohydrate diet is best for weight loss may finally have been answered. The results of a study conducted at Stanford University show that dietary balance is important in the battle to lose weight. Two groups were placed on a calorie restricted diet consisting of either low fat or low carb foods, and DNA testing was performed to establish a compatibility profile. Researchers found that dieters eating a matched type diet were able to lose 13 pounds over the course of a year, compared with only 3 pounds for the mismatched group.

Genetic Destiny: Low Carb Diet
The results of this study are not without controversy, as some scientists argue that no test can determine the success of a weight loss strategy. To be certain, there are many factors that influence weight loss including diet, physical activity, lifestyle, stress, mindset and environment. And extensive research over the years has shown that a diet that excludes refined carbs is most likely to produce significant weight loss results, regardless of genetic composition. Protein and healthy fats are also important as they are more difficult to break down and increase resting metabolic rate.
Best Diet For Health

Another critical factor to consider is which type of diet is most healthy. The standard low fat diet prescribed by the medical profession is notoriously high in carbohydrates and deficient in Omega-3 and monounsaturated fats that are necessary for heart and brain health. High carb foods cause blood sugar rushes that raise oxidative stress and free radical production. This leads to metabolic syndrome, diabetes and accelerated aging. A diet consisting of 80% raw vegetables, leafy greens, nuts, seeds and only 20% cooked foods provides the necessary nutrients and enzymes needed to promote health and fight disease.

The idea of genetic testing to determine who may benefit most from different foods in an effort to encourage weight loss is an interesting concept that requires more research before it can used to reliably predict success. Everybody is coded with a different genetic build and some people may be able to better metabolize carbs, fats and protein based on evolved heritage. The fact remains that the vast majority of people will achieve optimal health and successful weight loss by following a whole diet that includes plenty of foods eaten in their natural state.
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Protect Yourself From Diabetes

October 24, 2010

(Article first published as New Diabetes Cases Projected to Triple by 2050 on Technorati.)

Information released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that diabetes will continue to grow to epidemic proportions over the next 40 years. Presently 1 in 10 US adults suffers from the disease, yet a quarter of those people are unaware their metabolism is no longer able to counteract the damaging effects of all the processed foods and sugar they consume each day. The disease is caused by poor diet and lifestyle and is considered to be one of the ten most preventable diseases.

Disabling the Health Care System
People diagnosed with diabetes have medical costs that are more than twice that of those who don’t have the disease. According to a study published in the journal Population Health Metrics, the number of diabetes cases will triple by 2050, affecting between 1 in 3 and 1 in 5 depending on population statistics and how long people will live after developing the disease. Diabetes will become the leading underlying cause of mortality as it more than doubles the risk of heart disease and sudden death from a heart attack.
The Real Cause of Type II Diabetes
With small exception, Type II diabetes is caused by a diet that is packed with processed foods stripped of any nutrients and loaded with sugar and refined carbohydrates. This diet accounts for the majority of calories consumed by many people each day. With every meal, blood sugar levels are pushed higher, followed by a severe crash.
These wild swings eventually overpower insulin’s ability to mop up excess sugar in the blood and usher it to muscles and our cells to be used as a source of energy. Ultimately insulin becomes resistant to the increased blood sugar levels and is unable to efficiently remove excess glucose from our blood. Sugar is then allowed to remain in the blood where it damages organs and causes serious complications to our kidneys, heart, eyes and nervous system.
Prevent Diabetes in Your Future with Diet

Research has shown that you can effectively prevent and treat diabetes through a stringent plan involving dietary modification and blood sugar monitoring. Any food that dramatically raises blood sugar must be systematically eliminated from your diet. Begin by cutting all processed carbohydrates such as chips, crackers and all junk food treats. The vast majority of people are also very sensitive to wheat and cornstarch so they must eliminate all breads (including multi-grain varieties), pasta and potato-based foods.

Check Your Blood Sugar After Eating

The second part of the plan involves checking blood sugar after eating, as this is when glucose becomes elevated and is known to be most dangerous. Begin by reading all nutrition labels for carbohydrate content. Any food that lists more than 5 grams per serving should be avoided. Using an inexpensive blood glucose meter, check your blood sugar at 1 and 2 hour intervals to be sure you don’t exceed 140 mg/Dl at any time. Extensive research has shown that blood glucose levels above 140 mg/Dl result in diabetic complications and are a strong indicator that you are either diabetic or will become diabetic within the next 6 to 12 months.

The important news is that you can either prevent or treat diabetes before it has a chance to deteriorate your health. By controlling blood sugar with a healthy low carbohydrate diet and strict monitoring of blood glucose levels, you can halt this disease in its tracks and dramatically lower the risk of many deadly complications.