What exactly happens inside of you when you eat that big or even small dessert?
Do you know that when you eat carbohydrates in any form, whether its refined sugar, processed foods, grains, natural sweeteners, or even fruits and starchy vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, and cassava your body turns it all into glucose? It true, all carbohydrates, even the “healthy ones” are turned into glucose inside our body. Once the glucose is in the blood, the pancreas is immediately alerted by your brain to pump out the hormone insulin to get the glucose out of your bloodstream and into your cells to be used as energy or stored for later. Insulin is doing its best to balance your blood sugar.
In a perfect scenario, as the glucose comes into the blood the insulin shuttles it to the cells and it is turned into ATP inside our mitochondria. It would be fantastic if we all lived within this perfect scenario but unfortunately the majority of us do not.
When you are constantly feeding yourself carbohydrates at every meal and often for snack as well your insulin production skyrockets.
This is what I used to do and I had hypoglycemia followed by undetected insulin resistance and high blood sugar for years as a result of my own faulty eating habits. Initially you get a great amount of energy from your meal and then as the insulin surge rushes to remove the glucose from the blood your energy plummets. This stage can last for a long time and as I learned can be left undetected while further damage is taking place inside your body.
Now you have inconsistent energy with big dips in the afternoon,
- You may experience unstable moods,
- Get shaky when meals are delayed
- Have difficulty staying asleep,
- Experience intense food cravings,
- And cannot go longer than 2-3 hours without your next dose of food.
What happens next is that there is too much glucose circulating in the blood and too much insulin being produced so your cells become resistant to insulin and do not except any more glucose in. Our bodies are not made to handle the excessive amounts of carbohydrates that people consume daily. Now your blood sugar is too high and your cells become resistant to insulin.
This means your body cannot make much energy out of glucose but you are saturated with it. This feeds inflammation, high cortisol, and high blood pressure.
Insulin is actually a storage hormone meant to take glucose and other nutrients into the cells, however presented with excess glucose or insulin resistance in cells, your glucose is turned into triglycerides and shuttled off to your fat cells for storage. With insulin resistance comes hyperglycemia creating a scenario where you gain weight and cannot lose weight because the glucose is still coming in with your meals but has nowhere else to go.
People who are hyperglycemic experience the following symptoms:
- You may feel tired all the time,
- Have trouble falling asleep,
- Wake up feeling groggy,
- Crave sweets and other carbohydrates
- Feel depressed or have other mood imbalances
- Experience joint pain,
- Have thyroid problems
- Heal slowly
- Have difficulty remembering things and brain fog
- And may experience accelerated aging
When the cells ignore glucose, blood sugar levels soar and insulin levels remain high setting the stage for Metabolic Syndrome and Pre-diabetes. The result is an exhausted pancreas that cannot produce insulin effectively. The levels of inflammation in the body rise dramatically due to excessive cortisol production and high blood sugar.
Diabetes and several other degenerative, chronic illnesses follow in the path of insulin resistance. These chronic illnesses can include:
- cardiovascular disease,
- immune impairment,
- hormone imbalances,
- fertility issues,
- chronic fatigue,
- and hyperactivity.
Every one of them is linked back to a high carbohydrate diet and the effects of insulin.
Fortunately blood sugar imbalances such as these are, for the most part and except in very late stages, reversible with simple dietary changes, lifestyle changes, and personalized nutritional therapy support. There is so much you can do to normalize your blood sugar and it is not hard at all.
Here’s 7 things you can start doing today to balance your blood sugar!
- Never eat after dinner and leave 3 hours between dinner an bedtime
- Eat only 3 times a day
- Eat every 4-6 hours and try not to snack
- Do not under eat at meals
- Eat slowly and calmly
- Take 3 deep breaths before each meal
- Eat a breakfast that is low in carbohydrates and includes protein
We used to think that glucose was the best source of energy for the body but now we know that is not true. Fat is by far the most efficient form of energy in the body, the brain and heart even prefer fat to glucose as their primary energy source.
To learn more about changing your diet and replacing carbohydrates with fat read this article about ketosis.