Why Eliminating Sugar Isn't Good Enough

When your doctor comes in and tells you that your glucose is elevated, what do you do?

If you’ve been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, are you following a low glycemic meal plan?

For many people, elevated blood glucose doesn’t seem like a big deal. Maybe it is because doctors mention that you should stop eating sugar and don’t say much else about it. You are not handed a diagnosis or medication, so it doesn’t seem too important. But it is. It is your body clearly showing you are on your way to Type 2 Diabetes. If your fasting glucose is elevated, you already have insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is when your blood sugar is elevated so often that there is always a flood of insulin in your body so your cells stop reacting to it. Much like walking into a Yankee Candle store. When you first walk in you are assaulted by scent, but after being in there for 10 minutes you stop noticing. Changes at this point will help reverse your insulin resistance much quicker than if you wait for a diagnosis of diabetes.

And when you get that diagnosis of diabetes? It is not the end either. You can reverse Type 2 Diabetes with diet change, exercise, and mindfulness to reduce stress. But if you continue eating what you’ve been eating, even the medication your doctor gives you will stop working, and you will need more and more to manage your blood sugar. Get off that train as soon as you can!

Most of us know that sugar is bad for us. It should be a very occasional treat, but has snuck into our daily food supply. Maybe you’re eating peanut butter with added sugar, maybe you eat bread a couple times a day and don’t realize there’s sugar in it, and many people have some form of dessert or candy daily. Since many people know that sugar is bad, that is the first food to get reduced when there is a diagnosis of diabetes. But just eliminating sugar isn’t enough.

That is because simple carbohydrates get broken down into glucose in our bodies and keep that blood sugar high. So while you may have eliminated candy and sweets, if you’re still eating pasta, bread, crackers, white rice, etc. you are still consuming high glycemic foods. If you have insulin resistance, you really need to eliminate or strongly limit these foods in order to heal your body and reduce your blood sugar. The maximum amount of carbohydrates you should be having in a meal is 15g. That equals about 1 slice of bread or 1/3 cup pasta.

Increase your protein and especially your non-starchy vegetable intake to give your body the micronutrients it needs to function optimally. And while you shouldn’t be afraid of fats, especially anti-inflammatory fats found in wild caught fish and plant foods such as nuts, seeds, and avocados, there is some evidence that high intake of saturated fats, like those found in meat, can impact insulin sensitivity. So think of your meat as a side to your vegetables. An appropriate amount of meat, which will still give you plenty of protein, is 4oz.

The total amount of calories, protein, carbohydrates and fat you need depend on your body type and activity level. If you have elevated fasting glucose on a blood test, reduce your total carbohydrate intake, not just your sugar intake.

Author
Lara Lara Lattman is a Nutritionist at Five Stones Healing Arts and Wellness Center

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