Thursday, August 25, 2016

Prevent Sugar Spikes and Crashes

Credit writing to Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM

One of my clients told me about a high fat diet her medical doctor prescribed for the treatment of heart disease. As a long-time nutritionist and doctor of natural medicine I am well-versed in the benefits of healthy fats, but would never recommend the fatty bacon, sausages and other foods this patient ate as part of her prescribed eating plan.

Too often people assess a dietary strategy by one factor only: 

does it work? But that should not be the only factor to consider when it comes to your health. In addition, you should ask what the diet does for your overall health. This has never been truer, particularly with the high fat and high protein fad diets on the market right now.

New research published in the medical journal Experimental Psychology confirms this fact. In this study researchers found that a high fat diet can harm the kidneys as much as type 2 diabetes. The study found that these dietary habits caused a significant increase in blood sugar levels, which is to blame for the kidney damage.

Blood sugar naturally fluctuates in response to the various foods we eat. Glucose, one of the body’s energy currencies, powers our muscles, brain and other aspects of our bodies. But, when we eat high amounts of sugars or refined starches, our blood sugar fluctuates wildly, causing spikes and crashes that result in the same fluctuations in our energy levels, mood and over time, our weight.

When high levels of glucose build up in the blood—an extremely dangerous state—the kidneys come to the rescue in trying to filter it out before it can cause damage to the organs or tissues. But, sometimes that comes at the cost of damage to the kidneys when the problem occurs frequently or is ongoing. Many diabetics experience a state called diabetic kidney disease due to high blood glucose levels over long periods of time which results in the kidneys straining to filter out waste products from the body. This new study found that a high fat diet can have the same type of effect on the kidneys. I’m sure it will come as no surprise that diets high in junk food were also found to have the same effect.

How to Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes and Crashes

Fortunately, there are some excellent natural ways of preventing the blood sugar spikes and strain on the kidneys:

1) Significantly reduce your intake of junk food. I’m sure I don’t really need to tell you this.

2) Avoid high fat diets. They are the nutritional equivalent of choosing a career path as a bank robber. Sure, you may reach some of your short-term goals like weight loss, but a life of crime will definitely catch up to you before long. And, as you’ve learned, high fat diets can wreak havoc on your kidneys.

3) Eat more fiber. A diet high in fiber helps to evenly release sugars into the bloodstream so your body will have the energy it needs without the rollercoaster spikes and crashes.

4) Eat protein at every meal. That doesn’t necessarily mean meat, which is often high in fat. There are many excellent sources of plant-based protein. Check out my blog “Top Vegan Sources of Protein” for more information.

5) This one’s another no-brainer: reduce your sugar consumption. For ideas on how to do so and how to curb cravings, check out my blog “A Guide to Cutting Sugar Out of Your Diet.”

Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: 60 Seconds to Slim: Balance Your Body Chemistry to Burn Fat Fast! (Rodale).

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