Join Betsy’s this summer on a weight loss journey with our six-part series, The Best Summer Weight Loss Guide. In Part Three, we explore the importance of blood sugar control to your weight loss efforts, along with tips to help you manage blood sugar more successfully.
Use these four simple steps to hit the healthy sugar sweet spot.
- expert tip: Maintain a healthy weight.
why? Insulin resistance and obesity go hand in hand.
how? Try to drop 10 pounds to start.
- expert tip: Limit white sugar + flour.
why? Simple sugars and carbs spike blood sugar.
how? Cut simple carbs and sugars found in pasta, potatoes, baked goods, juice and cereals.
- expert tip: Aim for five servings of fruits and veggies daily.
why? Fiber slows carbohydrate digestion and entry into the bloodstream by regulating blood sugar levels.
how? Reach for nutrient-dense options rather than starchy ones like corn and potatoes.
- expert tip: Up your fiber intake.
why? Fiber helps maintain an ideal body weight, and obesity is a risk factor for diabetes.
how? Easy! Stock up on whole grains, fruits and veggies.
Say goodbye to sugar
Americans devoured about 130 pounds of refined sugars per person in 2011, increasing risk of diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure—and making nutritionists cringe. That’s because new research shows that a diet high in added sugars can not only lead to metabolic syndrome, but that when risk factors like overweight or impaired glucose tolerance are present, negative effects in other areas are more likely. Here, experts explore sugar’s effects on the body and offer real-life tips for cutting back.
ease stress levels. Chronic stress exhausts the adrenal glands, which means they can’t produce enough blood-sugar-spiking cortisol. The result is brain fog, lethargy … and sugar cravings.
take omega-3s. Two or three servings each week of cold-water fish can protect the brain against fructose’s effects, says Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, PhD, UCLA.
protect your immune system. Eating too much sugar (more than 6 teaspoons daily) can spur the release of cortisol which, in excess, can stimulate inflammation.
make smart swaps. Keep healthy, low-sugar options (like plain Greek yogurt with blueberries, or dark chocolate) on hand to satisfy a sweet tooth.
understand the sugar-yeast connection. Excess yeast feeds on sugar. The result? Chronic fatigue, muscle soreness and a tough time dropping pounds.
eat small snacks every two to three hours, says Holly Lucille, a Los Angeles-based ND. Protein, fiber and even fat slow sugar’s release into the bloodstream.
reduce salt intake. Overindulging in salty foods often leads to sugar cravings. Limit salt to less than 200–250 mg per serving.
value vegetable sugars. Vegetables like tomatoes, onions and sweet potatoes contain natural sugars and ample fiber, which slows the sugar’s release into the bloodstream.
trust the science. UCLA researchers believe that sugar consumption can cause insulin and fructose to cross the blood-brain barrier, potentially leading to memory problems down the road.
Use these tips to keep sugar intake at a healthy level as you strive to reach your weight loss goals. And join us next time for the simple lifestyle tips that will support your ideal weight.
Read Part Four: Simple Lifestyle Shifts
Betsy’s Note: This article is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease. Consult your healthcare provider about any health concerns and before beginning a diet, exercise plan or supplement, especially if you take medications or have a known medical condition.
Article copyright 2017 by Delicious Living and Sabinsa Corporation. All rights reserved. Used with permission.