The Sugar Crisis is reaching epidemic proportions due, I believe, to it’s ready availability. It is literally in everything from baby food to tomato sauce and beyond! People are sometimes unaware that there is even any sugar in the foods they are consuming. For those of us who live sedentary lifestyles we start to see weight gain, fatigue and a metabolism which just isn’t doing its job properly anymore – kind of like a key that doesn’t quite fit in the lock anymore. Excess sugar intake also has a hand in cravings, binge eating, mental and physical wellbeing and heart disease. This is not the place for me to go into the glucose/fructose/sucrose, and High fructose corn syrup debate - although I may do in a later blog post!
For now, I am sure many of you have seen That Sugar Film and others of that ilk, and if that wasn’t enough to scare the pants off you, then have a read of this:
I don’t think, when people eat donuts and McDonalds or drink diet coke, they realise the damage they are doing to their bodies – the cells and vital organs – if these foods are a regular part of their diet. Our westernized diet is, by and large, unhealthy and although there has been a huge switch to eating in a more health full manner, type 2 diabetes is still on the rise. Not to mention the fact that the consumption of calorie-sweetened beverages has continued to increase, which plays a role in the epidemic of obesity, the metabolic syndrome, and fatty liver disease. It is avoidable, and reversible. A recent study by Bray and Popkin, “Dietary Sugar and Body Weight: Have We Reached a Crisis in the Epidemic of Obesity and Diabetes?” concluded that sugar is, indeed, the enemy here. (Bray G.A, 2014).
The bottom line is that when you eat too much sugar, the body just can’t handle the huge insulin hit it produces.
Luckily type 2 diabetes is avoidable and reversible. It is never too late to change your diet and reverse the symptoms because type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease.
Good nutrition plays a key role in this process, because it is the calibre of the food we eat that regulates insulin production and keeps our blood sugar levels stable. Eating natural whole foods is a great place to start. Organic is even better. I find it paradoxical that Type 2 diabetes is by and large caused by a poor diet, yet diet is also the solution – it is a simple change in thinking, making healthy food choices that make that change. I think the easiest way to do this is to start with small changes – including plenty of vegetables, increasing whole grains in the diet, upping our filtered water intake, eating lean protein sources.
Of course, eating good carbohydrates feature front and centre in this process. Firstly because carbs are important sources of energy, providing glucose to the body’s cells. Carbohydrates though, break down very quickly in to sugar in a diabetic body. Simple carbohydrates cause blood sugar levels to rise rapidly – foods like fruits, refined foods and artificial sweets. Being aware of the glycaemic index of food (how much glucose a certain food contains) can be of great benefit as we want to be eating those with a lower glycaemic index so that there is not such a high rise in blood sugar levels.
Complex carbohydrates such as vegetables, beans and whole grains are digested more slowly by the body which provides a regular and steady sugar release but, more than that, they also contain fibre, enzymes and protein which is so important for good gut health, building healthy cells and maintaining level blood sugars. It is my belief that diabetic complications can be greatly lessened by increasing complex carbohydrates in the diet and limiting simple carbohydrates. Vegetables and whole grains are full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and have anti-inflammatory properties. When you consider that diabetes is an inflammatory disease it is a no brainer to include them daily in your diet.
One of the major issues when trying to lose weight and get blood sugar under control is sugar cravings. I believe we have formulated a tea which addresses that issue, as well as providing support for a pre diabetic condition. With herbs including the lovely Bitter Melon and Gymnema, this tea can be taken at 1 cup 3 times per day.
Type 2 Tea
Support for Pre-Diabetic and Type 2 Diabetic conditions
Bitter Melon (Momordica charantia) supports your body's maintenance of healthy blood sugar levels.
Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum cortex) can help your body maintain healthy blood sugar levels. It contains antioxidants that can help your body manage LDL (bad) cholesterol, triglycerides and insulin resistance.
Coleus (Coleus forskohlii) has a bioactive ingredient called forskolin. Through forskolin, Coleus forskohlii supports healthy hormone levels. Forskolin can support your body's production of enzymes that assist with fat burning, and can encourage the effects of other fat burning compounds.
Fenugreek Seed (Trigonella foenum-graecum) supports your body's natural insulin regulation. In addition, it supports glucose absorption in the intestines and blood sugar levels. Fenugreek is a useful addition to a diabetic diet.
Gymnema Sylvestre Leaf (sylvestre) supports the suppression of sweet cravings. This effect is attributed to the eponymous gymnemic acids.
Ginseng Panax (P. ginseng) supports healthy blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes on both fasting blood sugar and postprandial glucose levels.
Blog post by Joanna Vinsen Loveys BNatMed HbT MNZAMH