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 don’t thing about it too hard since it could take another fifty years for medical science to determine the answer. (The answer might already be known but 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.
And keep in mind that when we talk about this subject, we’re talking about two things:
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.
And now you also know one way to keep take control of your blood sugar: Exercise. Here is what a trainer told me: Before a meal, just do twenty to thirty seconds of extreme exercise. Crunches, sit-ups, jumping jacks. Something, but done rigorously and intense. Then go eat.
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. However, if you do and betaine hydrochloride, make sure there is pepsin in the product.
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.
As we age, we start to become enzyme deficient. Because of this I’m constantly looking for the best enzymes and digestive aids. Here is one of the best on the market with a full spectrum of enzymes: BioCore Optimum Complete Ultimate Full Spectrum Enzymes.
But there is something I’ve learned after posting this article on the huge personal biomes in which we all live: Those Little Guys Are Everywhere, and that is our bodies need these bacteria and they used to come from our soils, but our soils have been sterilized by modern farming.
There is a film on Amazon Prime that everyone should see:
It seems that because we live in such a sterile society, we’re coming down with new diseases caused by our biomes (the sphere of viruses, bacteria, fungi, and yeast) that make up 90% of our bodies) suffering. Thus there are new products on the market to help us get those things, and the lost minerals, back into our bodies, and here is just one: Dynamic Balance Blend Soil-Based Organisms.
This product is so new, we’ve not even tried it.
And as long as we’re here talking about digestion, I should probably introduce you to something that’s been used in Ayurvedic medicine for some three thousand years, and was introduced, according to Dr Axe, to Traditional Chinese Medicine in the 14th century. When I was first told by my physician that I was “pre-diabetic,” something that really pissed me off because I haven’t put white sugar or high fructose corn syrup in my body for ages, I went looking for solutions and this is the first thing I found: Bitter Melon. I took it and my next checkup was perfect.
Though this really deserves its own page, for now I’m just going to tell you all about this amazing herb right here. Everywhere I went, all the newsletters I got, they all told me more and more about bitter melon and I discovered that it’s probably had more studies conducted on its medicinal properties than any herb I’ve found, including Aloe Vera.
Primarily, the Bitter Melon is known for its ability to lower blood sugar and treat/prevent type two diabetes.
But I should warn you about side effects. For instance, Bitter Melon will enhance insulin secretion and decrease insulin insensitivity, while lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and increasing a bit of HDL, that so-called good cholesterol. Additionally it seems to repair damaged insulin-producing islet of Langerhans cells, and regulates glucose uptake and metabolism. In other words, it really helps a dieter who’s doctor has been on their back to lose some weight and bring those triglyceride numbers down.
Editor’s note: I was so impressed with what I found out about Bitter Melon as I was writing the above and going through all the studies posted on the web on this marvelous vegetable, I actually wrote an entire page dedicated to it, and here it is for your enjoyment and edification: Bitter Melon.
Now back to where I was when I just had to tell you about Bitter Melon: Acid and Digestion.
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.
And in our recipes, we have the perfect pickle for anyone at anytime, and it’s easy to make. It’s called, A Taste of India, and it has these hypoglycemic (lower your blood sugar) and anti-inflammatory herbs in it: cumin, turmeric, fenugreek, and garlic. They’re quite easy to make and then they sit in the sun for 4 days. It’s the healthiest pickle on planet Earth, and that is no exaggeration.
Another way to get your apple cider vinegar is via capsules. Swanson’s Double Strength is 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. Eating an orange for breakfast doesn’t increase their chances.
Thus blending is better than juicing in regards to your blood sugar because blending keeps the fiber in your drink. One way to get the most out of an orange is to cut it up and blend the entire orange. The peel has a lot of nutrition, but make sure your orange is organic or the peel contains a lot of pesticides. Also, and the USDA won’t tell you this, organic fruit contains more nutrition than conventionally raised fruits and vegetables.
Oh, and your drink will be a bit bitter if you blend up the entire so add a good whey protein to make a smoothie, and if you don’t have a nutribullet, you should really check them out. And my favorite whey protein is from, oh we dislike MLMs, Organo™, OGX FENIX™ Creamy Vanilla. The reishi mushrooms in it will keep your blood sugar from spiking.
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. Fresh fruit and veggies are filled with fiber, especially your greens and that fad green, kale.
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:
Cinnamon: In our book Cardiovascular Wellness articles we mentioned 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 (but keep in mind that cinnamon is sawdust, just from a specific tree). 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 (I. Link)(that has received a lot of praise) that uses fenugreek. Oh, and men: fenugreek helps boost testosterone levels naturally.
Tienchi Ginseng (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.
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. As always, when it comes to fish oils, Swanson has the largest selection: EPAs. A lot of people like Krill Oil. But personally, I like getting my fish oils from fish.
Banaba Leaf Extract: This herb comes from countries with the fewest cases of type two diabetes. The people in these countries, Philippines, South Asia, and India have traditionally brewed a tea from banaba leaves.
Medical scientists believe that banaba leaf’s beneficial effects on blood sugar are due to its high concentration of corosolic acid, a natural compound extracted from its leaves. Corosolic acid mimics insulin by moving sugar out of your bloodstream and into your cells. And numerous scientific studies have proven banaba leaf’s effectiveness.
In one study, patients with blood sugar concerns took a supplement containing banaba leaf or a placebo three times a day for four weeks.8 The placebo group had no change, but the banaba leaf group achieved very good results for blood sugar balancing. [Herbal Remedies For Healing With Home Remedies]
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.
Chromium: Anyone who’s ever dieted knows about chromium. It aids in digestion, helps transport glucose in the blood to the cells that need it for energy, and also helps turn fats, carbs, and protein into energy. But most of all, it is critical for insulin to function properly.
It is found in a wide selection of foods: brewer’s yeast, meats, potatoes (especially in the skin), cheeses, molasses, whole-grain breads and cereals, and fresh fruits and vegetables, but still, research shows that 90% of Americans are deficient in chromium.
The drawback is that chromium can collect in your organs like other metals so, when supplementing, it’s best to use it for a while, take a break for a while, then use it again.
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.
Gymnema Sylvestre: This Ayurvedic herb, also known as “gurmar,” has been used for some 2000 years. Gurmar is Hindi for “destroyer of sugar.” People would chew on the leaves, which would interfere with ones ability to taste sweetness, thus reducing cravings for sweets. An 18 month study of people taking this extract daily showed significant reduction in their fasting blood sugar levels. [Ref]
Mangosteen Fruit: This fruit hasn’t been in the US very long because it was thought to carry some fruit fly with it and was banned, that is until they decided to irradiate the thing, and then it came into this country with most of it’s nutrition irradiated out of it. Today, it’s back in the country in many forms that are not irradiated, but it’s made such a splash that people are just ripping us off when it comes to mangosteen. There are juices that have crap in them but are hyped by telling you the stuff will cure cancer. We found some dried mangosteen at one of our trusted affiliate stores, Sunburst Superfoods, and there is a pill form at Swanson’s, and I’m trying to get Simply the Best to carry it (it’s there now, but it’s the pericarp or skin and you’ll see why they carry that below), but first, let’s take a look at what this fruit can do. But you should know that though this fruit is charged with vitamins and phytochemicals, the one nutrient that researchers always focus on when it comes to the Mangosteen are the Xanthones. Here are what Xanthones can do for you:
7.) Anti–periodontic (gum disease)
9.) Anti-seborrheic (skin disease)
10.) Anti-pyretic (anti-fever)
13.) Anti-neuralgia (nerve pain)
14.) Anti-vertigo (dizziness)
16.) Anti-pain (for example, dental pain)
17.) Anti-inflammatory (cox-2 inhibitor; like Vioxx & Celebrex but without side effects)
18.) Anti-ulcer (for example, ulcers of stomach, mouth, small bowel, large bowel)
1.) Anti-oxidant (can be measured)
2.) Anti-cancer (can be measured)
3.) Anti-aging (can be measured)
4.) Anti-hypertension (can be measured)
5.) Anti-hypoglycemia (can be measured)
6.) Anti-immune-system-depression (can be measured)
7.) Anti-blood fat (can be measured)
8.) Anti-atherosclerosis (blood vessel, heart disease) (can be measured)
9.) Anti-osteoporosis (can be measured)
10.) Anti-viral (can be measured)
11.) Anti-bacterial (can be measured)
12.) Anti-fungal (can be measured)
13.) Anti-kidney stones (can be measured)
14.) Anti-cataracts (can be measured) [Ref]
But again, be careful. Find a product you can trust, and check back occasionally because we are going to add mangosteen pericarp to our salad dressings, but only after thoroughly testing them.
Update: We have added Mangosteen Pericarp to our salad dressings and to almost everything we make (Omega Muffins, Pumpkin Muffins (breads), etc. The fruit is nice, but it’s the pericarp (the meat inside the skin) where you’ll find most of that fruit’s nutrition. And the pericarp basically has no taste, so you can add it to practically everything.
Here is the article we’ve written on it: Mangosteen Pericarp. Here are a few recipes we’ve used it in:
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 Flexinol cuts CRP 50% and increases leptin sensitivity.
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.
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 (the best form is Swerve Confectionary Sweetener; this form dissolves faster than the crystal form) 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, however it will stimulate insulin production so you might want to read a bit more about it: A Quick Note on Stevia.
Sucrose ─ raises blood sugar, spikes insulin, creates AGEs, and has been linked to liver damage
I’m sort of a news junkie and I loved it when the media called out a presidential candidate for hawking a cinnamon cure for diabetes.
Sure, cinnamon helps, but you need a full diet and exercise routine to beat type two diabetes, and I know this because a few readers have written to us telling us how they beat their diabetes following the information we’ve supplied. There is no magic bullet. And one of the first things we’ve learned in this journey is that “everything works when you do everything.”
Because we keep our ear to the ground, we’ve just learned that “they’ve” just discovered (quite accidentally) a cure for type two diabetes. It’s an amino acid and the story is here: A Cure for Type Two Diabetes — Accidentally discovered.
But still, we want to do everything to keep our blood sugar from spiking because sugar is inflammatory and we want to keep inflammation to a minimum.
Everything works when you do everything.
So, here’s a little story about cinnamon:
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 our 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.
Editor’s note: We’ve dropped that affiliate program. They did have good products, but we’ve found others just as good. They are BioTrust, and they waste your time with videos, play bait and switch, and once you buy, they fill up your mailbox with tons of spam. We won’t put our readers through that to make a few bucks.
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.
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 our book, Rapid Safe Weight Loss, (I.Link)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, but his entire set of DVDs can be found here: Lies, Damn Lies, And Cardio. (It just works. And when I added a systematic diet with carb building, fasting, and a cheat day, well, the book Rapid Safe Weight Loss was born.)
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.
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 great combination of supplements to make the energy usage in every cell in your body ultra efficient (only the addition of Ubiquinol could make this better). 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, now I have to tell you that since this was first written, we’ve discovered a form that goes by two different names: R-Fraction Alpha Lipoic Acid, or R-Lipoic Acid. I shan’t go into the differences here. We will do that elsewhere at this site, but I should tell you that this form, when stabilized, is a better form and you get more bang for your buck. And for blood sugar control, this one is the best: Triple Strength R-Fraction Alpha Lipoic Acid. Additionally, R-Lipoic acid was super expensive when it first came out. Not so much today.
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.
Control of your blood sugar is one of the most important things you can do to live a long, healthy life. And there’s is an extra benefit to being in control, and that is weight loss. When your body isn’t flooded with insulin, you are burning fats. Keep it up.
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