Mousab Kassem Azzawi
2020 / 10 / 15
Researched by Academy House Team
Edited by Mousab Kassem Azzawi, MSc, MD, PhD.
In this lecture, we will discuss the interaction between sugar and carbohydrates on one hand, and your metabolism and health on the other hand. We will cover a spectrum of metabolic disorders, ranging from prediabetes to full-blown diabetes. We are not going to discuss the kind of diabetes that occurs early in life as a result of pancreatic failure, which is called diabetes type I. Instead, we are going to discuss the kind of diabetes that results from lifestyle—including what kind of food you eat, how physically active you are, and how you respond to stress and tension. This type of diabetes called diabetes Type II. We will also uncover some of the tools that can help you prevent and even reverse diabetes.
Diabetes is one of the key risk factors for kidney disease, leading to dialysis, heart disease, and stroke. Diabetes, in fact, affects every organ in the body without any exception.
We need to think of the diagnosis of diabetes as the end result of a much longer continuum—starting with insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome before manifesting itself as the disease known as diabetes. This is important because even before the blood tests show that you have diabetes, there are signs that can be attended to.
One of the first signs that you are at risk for developing diabetes is the presence of insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that controls blood sugar and is produced by the pancreas. Stimuli such as insulin and even exercise carry blood sugar into the cells, where they can be used for generating energy.
Insulin resistance occurs when the transport of sugar into the body cells no longer works properly. This usually happens because the insulin receptors on the surface of the recipient cells get exhausted due to the recurrent and almost non-stopping stimulation. This scenario can take place when and individual consumes carbohydrates and sugar more than her/his body actually needs. Consequently, when insulin receptors develop resistance to insulin, the pancreas has to keep working harder and harder to produce more insulin to overcome the exhaustion of the insulin receptors, and eventually, the pancreas cannot keep up. It becomes exhausted itself and cannot produce enough insulin. This is when people develop insulin-requiring diabetes and need insulin injections.
Insulin resistance is part of a larger syndrome called metabolic syndrome, which has four components: insulin resistance, high blood pressure, abnormalities in the cholesterol panel (low HDL and high triglycerides),
and abdominal obesity (accumulating fat in the belly area).
Nearly a quarter of all adults in the developed world are obese´-or-at least overweight. This is the key trigger for developing diabetes Type II.
There are five key areas that people on the path to diabetes need to focus on: proper nutrition, physical activity, responses to stress and tension, patterns, and environmental toxins.
Most people do not realize that lack of can lead to insulin resistance. Lack of is a stress on the body, and stress raises blood sugar and makes insulin resistance worse. Research shows that people who tend to get five hours´-or-less of each night have a higher risk of developing diabetes.
Nutrition is the key to shifting the diabetes continuum. Sugar and carbohydrates are digested at different rates, and the rate of digestion is called the glycaemic index. The higher the index, the faster the body -convert-s food to sugar.
Another way of measuring the conversion of food to sugar is called the glycaemic load, which is an even more accurate assessment of the impact of food on blood sugar and, ultimately, on insulin levels.
A food with a glycaemic load of greater than 20 is high, and a food with a glycaemic load of less than 10 is low. Foods that have a low glycaemic index and a low glycaemic load are the foods that are the best for everyone, but especially for someone who is overweight, prediabetic,´-or-has diabetes.
In general, you should not eat foods that spike up your insulin level, which are mainly every type of food that is made of´-or-with refined sugar.
Soluble fibre—which is found in oats, bran, beans, and lentils— lowers cholesterol and blood sugar, by decreasing the speed of sugar absorbance in the digestive system.
Green leafy vegetables have a low glycaemic load and low glycaemic index. Cruciferous vegetables, such as cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage, are all good choices. Other options include eggs and fish, which can be consumed in moderation. Lean meat such as free-range chicken and turkey will not spike up your insulin.
Choose fruits that have a low glycaemic index, such as apples, berries, peaches, pears, plums, oranges, and grapefruit. On the other hand, dates, banana, grapes, and raisins are high in sugar.
Nuts, such as walnuts and almonds, are good snacks—but only eat about 15 of any type of nut at any given time because of the many calories that nuts contain.
Celery sticks and baby carrots are also good snacks. Carrots have a low glycaemic load and are high in fibre, which slows down the absorption of sugar and lowers blood sugar.
Granola is incredibly high on the glycaemic index, but you can substitute granola with a high-fibre cereal, a protein smoothie, an egg-white omelette,´-or-some steel-cut oats.
If you are trying to lower your blood sugar, you need to find healthier alternatives for cookies, cakes, candy, and ice cream. In addition, you should not drink soda, fruit juice,´-or-alcohol. You also need to find substitutes for anything white—whether it is a bagel, bread, rice cakes,´-or-potatoes.
You can also use spices in a creative way. For example, add cinnamon—which has been shown to lower blood sugar—and a few walnuts to steel-cut oats for breakfast. Instead of drinking coffee with cream in it, start drinking organic green tea.
Garlic and onions help bring down blood sugar, which should be part of your general focus on eating green leafy vegetables with light amounts of olive oil and turmeric, which has a healthy anti-inflammatory effect as well.
Fenugreek can be used as a spice that lowers blood sugar. There are also properties in vinegar that have been shown to lower blood sugar.
You need to make sure that you are making time for exercise—which builds muscle, decreases insulin resistance by increasing the resilience of your muscular cells, decreases blood pressure, improves cholesterol, and improves your sense of well-being.
You may use a pedometer, a small device that counts the number of steps that you take, and work toward the goal of taking 10,000 steps each day.
One of the best added benefits of exercise is that it helps you better, which is your first defensive line against diabetes.