First Do No Harm

How to Keep Your Blood Sugar From Spiking

Here is a very important secret to weight loss: When you eat fats and proteins, your body goes into a fat burning mode. This is simply how the human body works. However, if you then consume a carbohydrate that raises your blood sugar significantly, insulin production is turned on and once that insulin hits your blood stream, your body immediately switches from its fat burning mode to its fat storing mode.

Even more important than weight loss concerns is that this has one huge effect on your cardiovascular system.

Losing weight is secondary to keeping from having a major heart attack. Am I right or am I right?

Let me explain what’s going on here. Glucose in your blood stream causes inflammation; the type of inflammation that is often called “obesity related inflammation,” the type of inflammation underpinning most of our major degenerative illnesses, especially diabetes and atherosclerosis.

Now, the interesting thing here is that it might just be this inflammation that turns on your insulin. Think about it: since the discovery of insulin it has always been thought that the glucose in the blood signals the pancreas to pump insulin into the system. Since we know now that glucose causes inflammation, it could actually be the inflammation that signals the pancreas to do its job.

It’s surely something to think about, but not too hard since it could take another fifty years for medical science to determine the answer. (The answer might already be known and I've not run across it...yet.)

Insulin is anti-inflammatory. You start the fire and insulin puts it out. A recent study at the University of Buffalo discovered this: UB Study Shows Strong Effect of Insulin, Glucose on Inflammation.

They also discovered that the inflammation comes quicker and lasts longer in type one diabetics than it does in type two diabetics.

An even earlier study, in 2010, showed that women who ate the most high-glycemic carbs have more than twice the risk of heart disease as women who ate the least: Eating the Wrong Kind of Carbohydrates Increases Heart Disease Risk

For some reason, they did not find the same association in men, but I’m sure that’s fodder for later studies.

So, we start a fire, we put out the fire, what’s the problem?

Here’s the problem: insulin resistance.

If you are overweight, your fat cells can’t take the presence of insulin for too long. They have to turn off the insulin response or they will die. So sugar stays in the blood longer than insulin and there you have your inflammation.

Another form of insulin resistance doesn’t care whether you’re fat or not, only that you’ve had too much sugar in your blood stream for too darn long; in this case insulin receptor cells become resistant to insulin, sugar is not allowed into the cells so it stays in the bloodstream, and there you have your inflammation again.

So, before you go off and read our article on Chronic Inflammation again and load up on supplements to fight inflammation, let's focus on how to eat to keep our blood sugar from spiking.

This article and process of keeping the blood sugar from spiking is very close to our article on keeping from creating AGE's in the body. Much of what we will point out here has already been covered elsewhere at this site. This article just puts it all together.

Before we begin, I must point out that there is a time when you do want to spike your blood sugar, and that is right after a very intense workout, especially a workout that "really" stressed your muscles (like weight lifting). The glucose will go directly where it is needed; right to your muscles.

First off: DIGESTION. Whatever you can do to slow digestion will keep your blood sugar from spiking.

Now get this: you’d think that the better your digestion the quicker the process, but that’s wrong. The better your digestion, the longer the process.

If you add acid (betaine hydrochloride) to your meals, you slow digestion. If you drink water with a slice of lemon (acid) you will slow digestion. If you drink lemonade (acid) you will slow digestion. Additionally, if you take enzymes, your digestion will slow. Enzymes insure that more enzymatic reactions take place which will thus take longer. (After years of research, I have found the best enzymes on the market and I've joined their affiliate program. It's BioTrust's AbsorbMax. I take them with each meal. However, be careful with the BioTrust company; they will fill up your inbox with junk mail and send you to sites that want to take your money. You have been warned. I love "some" of their products, just don't like their money making schemes.)

One way to add acid to your meal is by taking a shot of apple cider vinegar with a meal. However, I recall  a newsletter in which I talked about “The Pickle Cure.”

Prior to a meal, eat a nice sized pickle. Long story short, it was discovered that it was the acetic acid in the pickles that slowed the release of sugar into the blood stream. Now, acetic acid is found in all vinegars, but I prefer my pickles to be made with apple cider vinegar because most all other vinegars are catabolic, while apple cider vinegar is anabolic. Catabolism is a breaking down; anabolism is a building up.

It’s that time of year to pickle (as I write this), so why not take a look at our Health Pickle Recipes and create a batch to last you through the winter. Additionally, check out the newest pickle there, A Taste of India. The spices in it also keep blood sugar from spiking.

Another way to get your apple cider vinegar is via capsules. Now Foods has a great little capsule that you can take with you for when you go out.

There are two other ways to slow digestion and that is with fiber or with resistant starch. There is a great difference between drinking a fruit juice and eating the fruit. The fruit has fiber, but the juice none. This is why studies show that women who drink a glass of orange juice for breakfast have a 20% greater chance of becoming diabetic than women who don't. There are many ways to get your fiber; beans being one of them because there are so many different beans on the market. The only ones to avoid are Boston Baked Beans which are full of sugar.

In case you don't recall what we've told you about resistant starch (you can click on the link above to read the article) here are some highlights:

  • eat rice at room temperature.

  • undercook pasta two or three minutes

  • eat potatoes cold

  • cook up slices of sweet potatoes and keep them stored in the fridge.

Cinnamon: In our book Bypassing Bypass we mention cinnamon right up front. It’s famous for keeping blood sugar from spiking. Whether taken with meals or used as a spice in your meal, you can’t go wrong with a bit of cinnamon. Cinnamon is probably the best known spice for maintaining blood sugar, and so I separated it from the crowd below. I always have on hand Now Foods Cinnamon Bark Caps. I trust NOW foods. When it comes to cinnamon, much of it on the market is just sawdust. Below, we go deeper into this issue.

Spices: Cumin, turmeric, and fenugreek all are hypoglycemic and will keep your blood sugar from spiking. Cumin is both a Mideast and Mexican spice, turmeric is Ayurvedic. To increase the bioavailability of turmeric, add some black pepper. Fenugreek might be a spice, but it's powerful and many cannot take it. It is best to take fenugreek before a meal in a capsule, though we have created a recipe called Indian Buttered Chicken (that has received a lot of praise) that uses fenugreek. Oh, and men: fenugreek helps boost testosterone levels naturally.

Tienchi Ginseng Tienchi Ginseng by Imperial Elixir Ginseng - 100 Capsules (also known as Panax notoginseng and San Qi): This actually helps a dieter in two ways. First it hypoglycemic, meaning it not only keeps your blood sugar from spiking, it just plain keeps it low. It also increases leptin sensitivity. Caution should be used with Tienchi because it is also a blood thinner and will break up blood clots. Pregnant women MUST AVOID tienchi as it cannot tell the difference between a blood clot and a tiny embryo. Additionally, if you are having surgery anytime in the future, it’s best to go off it long before the surgery.

Svetol®: This is the famous green coffee extract that is the rage of all the weight loss doctors on television. The article has a link to the cheapest Svetol® on the web.

Fish Oils(EPA): In a very recent study, it was discovered that EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid), one of the fatty acids found in fish oils, improved both insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels in people diagnosed with type two diabetes. My personal favorites, when it comes to fish oils, are the NOW Tri-3D Omega Softgels and NOW Krill Oil. If you go to that site (link) just search for NOW KRILL and you'll find it. Eating wild salmon two or three times a week isn't a bad idea either. I have friends in Alaska who eat wild salmon five times a week. And one more way to get your EPA is in our new Fish Oil Mayonnaise recipe.

Berberine: This is a substance I've just discovered myself. Berberine comes from Traditional Chinese Medicine, but unlike most extracts, it's extracted from a number of anti-diabetic plants. It's an anti-inflammatory, is hypoglycemic (lowers blood sugar), is hypolipidemic (lowers blood lipids [fats] especially LDL), and improves digestions while acting synergistically with anti-depressants. It lowers blood sugar so well, that your blood sugar can drop too low if used with the others above. So you will want to be careful. It also seems to interact with enzymes affecting the metabolism of drugs, so be careful if you are on a prescription. I would normally point you to one of our affiliate programs to get Berberine, but they are all over overpriced. You'll want to order from Swanson, as I do: Berberine.

Ecklonia Cava Extract (ECE): Though many tell you that Seanol™ is the same thing, it is not. ECE is manufactured by one company only and they keep perfecting their extraction process. Our friends at Simply the Best are the American distributors (because of a scoop we published in our newsletter when the company in Canada started up). ECE has been shown to benefit patients with metabolic syndrome, syndrome X, or diabetes. ECE has shown to drop blood sugar quickly, and even if you cheat on your diet, blood sugar quickly normalizes.

Grapefruit: better than a short piece here, I've created an entire page dedicated to the Grapefruit.

One more thing: If you are insulin resistant, you are leptin resistant and vice versa. Cutting leptin resistance affects insulin resistance. It has been found that inflammation causes leptin resistance; or as the studies show, increased C-Reactive Protein leads to leptin resistance. The product Cardia-7 cuts CRP 50% and increases leptin sensitivity.

Hippocrates, the father of medicine, claimed walking to be the healthiest exercise:

After a meal, take a walk. It's the best thing you can do for your body after a meal for many, many reasons; and take it from someone whose knee was injured, I miss my after-meal walks.

Walking aids digestion. And as we said earlier, when digestion is done right, it takes longer.

Walking kicks your fat burning in gear. Let's say it's your evening meal. Your body knows what time of day it is. It thinks it's time to rest and so it also thinks it's time to store away those calories you just consumed. When you start walking, your body says, "Hey, wait a minute. I'd better start burning these calories."

Since digestion is such a huge process, all other processes go on break during digestion. This is one of the reasons fasting is such a powerfully healing act; the body can focus on healing rather than digesting. So taking a walk, since it's helping digestion along, allows your immune system to bulk up, and get some of the nutrition it needs right away.

So, to sum up this wonderful exercise (after a meal), you are aiding digestion, reducing inflammation, supporting immune response, preventing injuries, and helping you to sleep at night. And get this, studies show that walking prevents Alzheimer's.

Sugars: Good & Bad

Agave Nectar ─ is mostly fructose but doesn't raise blood sugar or spike insulin. However, it creates many AGEs and has been linked to liver damage. If you don't know what AGEs are, go here: AGEs.

Alcohol Sugars ─ xylitol, sorbitol, and erythritol do not raise blood sugar and do not cause AGEs.

Artificial Sweeteners ─ aspartame, sucralose, saccharin, etc., were thought to not raise blood sugar, but recent studies now dispute that. Additionally, the side effects are numerous including weight gain and hunger.

Corn Syrup ─ raises blood sugar and spikes insulin; also creates AGE 

Fructose ─ doesn't raise blood sugar or spike insulin, creates very many AGEs and has been linked to liver damage; The most interesting side effect is that you're still hungry after consuming it and it can encourage you to find other sugars to feel full.

Glucose ─ raises blood sugar and spikes insulin  and creates AGEs.

Honey ─ is half fructose and half glucose, raises blood sugar, spikes insulin, creates many AGEs and may damage liver

HFCS ─ is high fructose corn syrup, raises blood sugar and spikes insulin, creates many AGEs and has been linked to liver damage

Stevia ─ is a sweet protein that doesn't raise blood sugar or create AGEs.

Sucrose ─ raises blood sugar, spikes insulin, creates AGEs, and has been linked to liver damage

And Now For the Downside

After reading the initial publication of this article, a reader wrote to me asking if there was a dosage for cinnamon (to get the most out of it) and if I knew that a lot of people were calling most cinnamon “sawdust.”

It didn’t take me long to find the original cinnamon study, but I also found one of those “videos” by one of my affiliate programs. I’m embarrassed to support these people at times because they go on and on wasting my time telling me how important they are and how much better their opinion is than anyone else’s.

They also tend to exaggerate. They mention the study saying that to get the same results they got in the study, you’d have to take 12 capsules (TWELVE CAPSULES!!!) daily. I almost expected them to say that the only real benefit to that many capsules of cinnamon would be great smelling farts.

The study, not designed very well, used 1, 3, or 6 grams (12 500 mg caps) in the experimental group, and a placebo in the control group. They did not break down the results in the experimental group by the amounts, but said that they just got good results: “all three levels of cinnamon reduced the mean fasting serum glucose (18-29%), triglyceride (23-30%), LDL cholesterol (7-27%), and total cholesterol (12-26%) levels; . . . .” [http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14633804]

The “go-ahead-waste-my-time-showing-me-how-freaking-important-you-think-you-are video” also warned me that most cinnamon is SAWDUST.

Duh.

Did they know that cinnamon comes from tree bark? If you grind up tree bark, (duh) you get sawdust.

Yes, there is sawdust and there is sawdust. The thing that most people don’t get is that your spices (to get a great shelf life) have been modified. One way of modifying them is irradiation. Your spices aren’t going to pass on any health benefits when they’re modified; all the goodness goes out leaving only the taste.

Also, there are different forms of cinnamon from different plants. The one thing they got right was that it seems that Cinnamomum cassia is the best form, the one used in the studies.

NOW Foods Cinnamon is Cinnamomum cassia. The “standard” dosage is 2 capsules a day, a little over 1 gram of cinnamon. If I were diabetic, I’d take twice this.

Exercise: We all know how exercise is good for us, but the video tells me that to get the blood sugar benefits I have to exercise for at least an hour because the study they found that lowered blood sugar levels had their study participants exercise for an hour. More bull.

In my book, Rapid Safe Weight Loss, I teach three different forms of High Intensity Exercises. Everyone who’s read the book, worked the program, and contacted me, has thanked me for all of these because they didn’t have an hour a day to exercise and they burned calories up to 36 hours after they stopped. If done right, under a half hour of these high intensity exercises get you more benefits than jogging for three hours while burns more calories.

Here’s the program where I learned everything I needed to know about Interval Training: Pace Program. (It just works.)

Alpha Lipoic Acid

I have been taking ALA and L-Carnitine together daily for years. It’s just been recently that I learned about ALA’s connection to blood sugar. Now the video told me that I have to take R-ALA because it’s so much more bioavailable. It’s also three times more expensive. One solution to the bioavailability problem is “take more.”

ALA is first, a powerful antioxidant that is actually made in your body and is found (if you’re not deficient) in every cell in the body where it helps take glucose and turn this basic sugar into energy. Studies show that when you combine ALA with L-Carnitine (or Acetyl L- Carnitine), this whole energy business taking place in the mitochondria of your cells becomes just more efficient. In fact, the combination of ALA, L-carnitine, and biotin is quite possibly the best combination of supplements to make the energy usage in every cell in your body ultra efficient. Then there are the other things these things do that are mentioned elsewhere in this web site. This is just one great combination of supplements.

The dosage of ALA is simple. 100 mgs is perfect for most, but 200 per day, one capsule with two of your daily meals meals, is best if you’re trying to reverse your type two diabetes. Here’s a great article on ALA.

Having told you all this (along with all you know from above) I should tell you about a product; an expensive product, but taking it daily can keep you from buying up a bunch of supplements and taking all of them daily.

It’s from the BioTrust people, so expect a lot of BS in your inbox; and expect a bunch of long winded sales pitches. The product, however, is a good product and it can help you, not only, keep from becoming diabetic, if you are already diabetic, this supplement with a bit of exercise can help you reverse it in less than three months.

Just know that you’ve been warned. The product is IC-5™. Here’s the page: (http://mnwelldir.biotrust.com/Shop.asp), but the product Leptiburn is a waste of time. There are much cheaper ways of boosting leptin levels and increasing leptin sensitivity.

The products I like best from these people are

  • Low Carb Whey Protein

  • AbsorbMax™ (digestive Enzymes)

  • Pro-X10™ (probiotics)

  • IC-5™ (insulin aid)

Vinegar & Honey

We’ve mentioned this little combination at times in the past, but now we must tell you how well this combo works for your blood sugar.

Legend has it that both George Washington and Napoleon gave this mixture to their soldiers before battle. Honey is one food that can never go bad. It’s been found in the tombs of the pharos and was still edible.

The best honey is local honey. If you have allergies, many will see them fall away within minutes of taking this recipe.

The recipe is simple: 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Take this first thing in the morning. It really helps to stabilize blood sugar and helps fight insulin resistance.

Here is a little article on this combination.


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