Mark Testa, DC, MHA
Healthy longevity is easier than many think.
Removing sugar from the diet is the first step.
Its known that sugar, refined carbohydrates, and high fructose corn syrup can wreak havoc on the body.
Elevated blood sugar from foods containing too much sugar and refined carbohydrates, can result in diabetes, weight gain, fatty liver, dementia, inflammation and a shortened life span.
More studies are showing a correlation to a shortened life span, and these health conditions will certainly cause a life of suffering and premature death1.
When blood sugar (glucose) gets spiked from eating sugar and refined carbohydrates insulin gets released from the pancreas. Insulin is the storage hormone and when elevated from the high glucose in the blood it will try to push that glucose into the cell for fuel. When the cell is over loaded with the excess sugar, the insulin will push it is into the muscles and liver where it gets stored as glycogen. Once the liver is over loaded, insulin will store more of the excess glucose in the liver and belly as fat.
Over time, insulin becomes resistant to all the glucose. The body releases more and more insulin to handle the excess glucose. The excess insulin continues to store the excess glucose and the cycle gets worse.
Excess sugar gets stored as fat.
This process of excess glucose in the blood for long periods and insulin resistance eventually leads to type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease, blindness, kidney disease and amputation. Serious and bad stuff that happens to a lot of people.
This is a growing problem and we now have about 90 million American who are pre-diabetic. Many don’t even know.
Here are a few things to look for to see if you could be pre diabetic:
· Being overweight or obese. Belly fat is a good sign of this.
· Not exercising regularly
· Having gestational diabetes during pregnancy
· Being over age 45
· Family history of diabetes
Belly fat increases inflammation, damaging circulation and blood vessels. Inflammation is involved in all diseases of aging.
Excess fat can increase estrogen by converting testosterone to estrogen from a chemical released from fat called aromatase. In men this can lead to erectile dysfunction. Yikes!
Obesity is associated with 12 different cancers. Cancer cells love to fuel themselves off sugar and that is their primary fuel source.
Many Americas consume 2.5 lbs of sugar per week and as we age, we see increases in blood glucose. Maybe as a result of years of over use, misuse, and over eating.
Sugar also can lower HDL (the good) cholesterol and increase the risk for developing cardiovascular disease.
Alzheimer’s disease is now commonly referred to as type 3 diabetes and excess sugar is implicated in the process.
Sugar rarely fills you up so overeating is often a problem and consuming more calories than needed will cause obesity. Fueling the viscous cycle.
Excess sugar stored in the liver can cause fatty liver. Think faux gras. Fatty liver is rapidly becoming the leading cause of cirrhosis and cause for liver transplant. Even behind alcohol consumption.
We’re beginning to see fatty liver in children at an alarming rate. High fructose corn syrup is a leading cause of fatty liver.
So now that we know how damaging sugar is, what can be done about it?
First off, do what you can to get sugar out of your house. This is the first step. Control the environment because willpower doesn’t work. At least not at first.
Stop ingesting high fructose corn syrup commonly found in sodas but also many other processed foods. “Healthy foods” are also loaded with sugar; granola, yogurt, instant oatmeal, juices, and even bread have this hidden in them.
Refined carbohydrates like white flour foods, sweets, candy and the like are also a source that should be removed from the diet.
Fasting and intermittent fasting is a good tool to help reduce glucose and insulin levels in the blood. This works well and quickly.
Done regularly studies show improvement in diabetes, inflammation, belly fat loss, cholesterol, and may improve healthy longevity.
Herbs like berberine, supplements like alpha lipoic acid and minerals like chromium can help blood sugar handling.
Another great tool is exercise. You don’t need to do a marathon or be a triathlete to get the benefits. Daily 20-30 minutes can also make a big difference is blood glucose.
Good sleep is also part of the process to improve health and longevity. Poor sleep will raise morning glucose levels.
Don’t bother with the supplements though unless you stop putting this stuff into your body, start exercising and sleeping better. This is the fastest and most effective way of making an improvement with your health.
The bottom line is -sugar and simple refined carbohydrates will wreak havoc on your health causing poor health, suffering, and a shortened life.
Simple dietary and lifestyle changes can be the most effective tool to help you to have healthy longevity.
By Mark Testa, DC, MHA
Mark is a chiropractor and acupuncturist trained in function medicine and fasting. He reins from Ravenna, OH and lives in Denver, CO with his wife and family.
He can be found at https://www.facebook.com/drmarktesta
*This information is not a substitute for medical advice.
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