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Tips on Controlling Blood Glucose Levels

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There are three basic elements that determine blood glucose levels, and how well they are controlled:

1) The amount of digestible carbohydrate you eat. Most of us eat a diet containing far too much digestible carbohydrate. It pours about ten times more glucose into our bloodstreams than we were designed to cope with.

2) The size and functionality of our muscles, the glucose 'sinks' into which blood glucose can be cleared. Our high technology society makes us so inactive that our skeletal muscle is too poorly developed to perform its metabolic function of acting as a glucose sink.

3) The efficiency with which the hormone insulin stimulates the uptake of glucose into those sinks. The prevalence of Type B malnutrition means that many of us are depleted in the co-factors needed for the glucose uptake pumps to work prop­erly. These require chromium, manganese and, according to recent studies, vitamin D; depletion in any or all of these micronutrients leaves the uptake pumps impaired.

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Thanks to our modern times, all three components are funda­mentally out of kilter.

To make matters worse, as blood glucose control begins to slip, many proteins in the blood and on cell membranes become glycosylated. Once insulin is glycosylated, its shape changes and it is no longer capable of activating the glucose uptake pumps. It is probable that the insulin receptor also becomes gly­cosylated and, in this condition, no longer recognizes insulin. These two factors, together with the depletion in chromium and manganese, lead to 'insulin resistance' whereby ever-higher levels of insulin in the blood are needed to control blood sugar levels.

The solution, like the problem, is three-fold;

1) Reduce the amount of digestible carbohydrate in the diet, replacing it with alternatives such as fermentable carbohydrate.

2) Increase exercise levels, which can be combined with or alter­nated with controlled cold exposure.

3) Use a pharmaco-nutritional programme which provides chromium and manganese to support the glucose uptake pumps and flavonoids, which protect against glycosylation and so shield both insulin and the insulin receptors. (If manganese is to be supplemented, it is advisable to co-supplement with copper and zinc also.) Interestingly, given the developing aware­ness of an inflammatory component in diabetes, the flavonoids' potent anti-inflammatory effects are very likely to play a role here too.

With the Anti-Diabetic Diet, the positive effects of changes in diet to prevent Type 2 diabetes are well documented.

1) It's important to switch to foods with a low glycaemic index, such as oat-based foods (e.g. porridge, oat cereals), whole grain foods, pulses, legumes and whole­meal pasta.

2) Choose antioxidant-rich foods, particularly foods high in Vitamin E - such as sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and wheatgerm - and in Vitamin C.

3) Eat more oily fish and nuts.

4) Try to increase your intake of flavonoids, such as grape-seed extract or turmeric.

5) Eat fewer meat and dairy products, more vegetable protein-based foods.

Roger Mitchel writes regularly on Diabetes related topics like Demystifying Diabetes []. If you want to learn more about Diabetes and how to fight it, then visit [] for more information.

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