Balancing Your Blood Sugar and Loosing Weight

Annette Nay, Ph.D.

Copyright 2000

Your body tries to keep your blood sugar at its normal rate. It needs some sugar to give you energy to get through your day, but not too much. Let's say on a scale of 1 to 10, your blood sugar is normally at a 5. Most foods have some natural sugar in them.

Foods Effects on Blood Sugar

Foods Add to Sugar to the Blood

* The average vegetable will pull your blood sugar up to a 6 or a 7. Corn is high is natural sugar and on average will cause the blood sugar to jump to an 8.

* The average fruit is a 7 or an 8, but there are fruits that are high in sugar content. The banana is a 8 or 9, grapes are a 9 or 10, and pineapple is a 10 to 12

* Carbohydrates are full of natural sugar. The average blood sugar will go up to an 8.


Just because a food contains high natural sugar should it not be eaten?

All natural sugar foods need to be eaten in moderation so the body can use up all the sugar before the day is out or the excess will go into fat storage. The high sugar content can be down played by eating a protein with it or by eating a small portion.


Foods That Pull Blood Sugar Down

* The average non-animal protein actually brings the blood sugar down to a 3 because it uses up blood sugar or glycogen, to help break down the protein into its usable parts.

* A nice big steak that many Americans love, actually drags the blood sugar down to the low ebb of a 1 or 2 depending on the quantity of steak eaten. Your blood sugar can even go to 0 if too much meat is eaten at one setting. It is when blood sugar is at its low ebb that most people have to lie down because the body cannot sustain itself and your activity too. It has use up all the free sugar to give you energy to move you about. This lethargy can go on for up to 10 hours while the meat is broken down.

* Dairy products on the average lower the blood sugar to a 4, because they are a protein and protein uses up energy derived from glycogen, to break it down.

* Eggs with the yoke are about a 4 also.

* Eggs without the yoke or egg products such as Egg Beaters is still a 4, because it is a protein. The difference between eggs with and without the yoke or Egg Beaters is of course the saturated fat content. The yoke is high in saturated fats and causes the body to make cholesterol.

* Fat of course has no natural sugar, but continues to be fat in the body.


How All Types of Sugar Are The Same

All sugar acts the same in two ways, whether it is processed or natural sugar from carbohydrates of fruit.

1. Any excess sugar, of any kind, that is not used to give you energy throughout the day goes into storage as fat.

2. Sugar tastes good. We like it and want more. There is a greater likelihood of you pigging-out on sugared junk food than on fruit. Wanting it because it tastes good and wanting it because you are hooked on the chemical high produced by processed sugar are two different things.


Why Sugar From Fruit or Wheat Carbohydrates Are Better for You

1. The bonds between the different sugar changes in these fruit and wheat have not been fractured because they have not undergone processing. The sugar therefore takes time to breakdown in your system which helps to maintain your blood sugar at a more healthy level.

2. The release of sugar continues for the duration of the breakdown of the food. For wheat it takes about 4 hours. Fruit takes 30 minutes to an hour depending on the fiber content of the fruit. This means that you are able to have energy to get through that portion of your day.


Why Processed Sugar and Processed Flour Are Not Good for You

1. Since white, brown, and powdered sugar, and white flour have gone through processing from the plant material they came from, they have had the bonds between the different sugars shattered. This means that the total amount of sugar is available immediately, instead of over time. This is like shooting up a drug straight into the blood stream. You feel euphoric because sugar triggers endorphins in the brain to be released which gives you a natural high. Then, a massive quantity of insulin is released to counteract the glut of sugar in the blood. Now the blood sugar is being brought down to a more normal level. During this time you have a burst of energy. All this is the up side of the story. Now for the down side.

2. The glut of sugar is processed quickly. It is gone in about a half hour. This leaves a glut of insulin in the system with no sugar to neutralize. Alone the insulin acts as a depressant. Now you feel depressed and will do so for about another hour. Also, the burst of energy from the sugar is gone, so not do you feel depressed, but you have little energy and experience lethargy. Many people tend to take another processed sugar hit, and the cycle begins again. The high-highs and the low-lows do not produce good health and fact they cause more health problems like thyroidism, addiction and one form of depression.


Addiction and Depression

1. Continuous large doses of processed sugar and/or carbohydrates from processed flour, overtime, usually causes the brain's serotonin sites to slow production or close sites to regulate the amount of serotonin in the brain. When the body cuts back on serotonin production, it reduces the amount of serotonin available in the body at any given time. The lack of enough serotonin in the brain causes slight to deep depression.

To maintain a normal level of serotonin in the brain, the individual usually chooses to eat more processed sugar and/or processed flour to get out of the depression and maintain a normal mood level. This causes a vicious cycle of physiological addiction.

2. There are two chemical related reasons, then, for the resulting depression. There is the a short-term depression from the glut of insulin depressing the system and there is the long-term depression caused by the lack of serotonin in the brain.

Continued abuse of the body in this way can cause physical and/or mental problems such some forms of diabetes and some bipolar disorders.


A Chance to Recover from Addition and Depression

1. To get away from sugar craving, or sugar fits, individual's can use fructose, fruit's natural sugar, to mediate the effects of the processed sugar or sugar substitutes. Natural sugars are not as potent as the concentrated processed sugars or sugar substitutes. The lack of concentrated sweetness causes people to favor processed sugars or sugar substitutes over fruit in sweetening food.

2. After an extended use of fruit and an elimination of processed sugar or sugar substitutes from the diet, the body becomes more sensitive to the sweetness or the fruit. The fruits blandness gives way to enhanced sweetness as the effects of processed sugar dissipates from the body. The brain will usually register the withdrawal of the concentrated processed sugars as the fruit having increased in sweetness.

3. The benefits of using fruit instead of processed sugars and sugar substitutes is that the body does not have to work so hard to control the high's and lows of your mood. The body is not addicted to the chemicals in processed sugar. This causes less chance of overworking the system which leads to less chance of the body breakdown and having illness.

4. Chemical sugar substitutes are not good substitutes for processed sugar. They, like the processed sugars, retard the bodies ability to lose weight because they stimulate the body to crave more sweets.


Most Foods Add to Sugar to the Blood

1. Whatever you eat, the blood sugar is going to go up or down and the body will continue to fight to bring it back to its normal point of 5. The body only sees it two ways: 5 is good and above of below a 5 is bad.

2. So do you eat:

* fruit and jerk the blood sugar up to an 8 on average?

* vegetables and jerk it to a 7 on average?

* carbohydrates and jerk it up to 8 on average?

* protein and drag it down somewhere between a 4 to 0?

3. Obviously the middle ground is preferred because the body can have glycogen to break down foods yet give us energy to carry out our active day. To get that balance nutritionist suggest to balance a food that will jerk the blood sugar level up with a food that will pull it back down. For instance if you haven't got time for breakfast in the morning, nutritionists suggest taking cheese and an apple with you. Why? The apple puts the blood sugar at an 8, but the cheese being a 3, pulls the blood sugar down to about a 5 1/2 which is a better level for the blood sugar.

How Can I Maintain a Good Sugar Level and Loose Weight?

1. Eating cheese and an apple is fine if you are not trying to loose weight. The cheese is high in saturated fat, so basically you are eating fat which will go into fat storage.

2. For those who can exercise properly, the extra fat in the diet can be defeated. This is done by doing:

* Aerobic exercise to burn fat and

* Resistive exercise to build muscle which provides the sites where fat is burned and also develops the bone mass to support the muscle

3. What happens to individuals that cannot exercise because of disabilities or, dare I say, those individuals that are either too busy or don't want to exercise? Yes, there are those types of people out there. And guess what? They are, for the most part, the majority. The only way they have to conquer a weight problem is:

* by watching what they eat.

* take chemicals to lessen the need to eat.

* take chemicals to speed up the metabolism to burn off fat for them.

4. The problem with chemicals is that they always have nasty side effects, some of which are deadly. The latest fad is to take pills to speed up the metabolism. What the manufactures don't include in their ads, but is buried in their labels in minuscule type, is that it speeds up the heart and can cause heart attacks.

So let's find a natural way to deal with weight-loss!

5. Fiber is good for lowering fat content of meals, because it takes energy to break down fiber. The energy comes from blood sugar and fat. Fiber also helps to carry away impurities in the system, and to a very small degree satisfies the bodies need for fuel. When the available blood sugar called glycogen, is used up, the body turns to fat for energy.

6. Saturated fats are out. They should be very limited in anybody's diet because it forms cholesterol. Cholesterol clogs arteries and causes heart attacks. Again we see the wisdom in the Word of Wisdom as it states to eat meat sparingly.

7. The body needs unsaturated fats to help the brain think and to carry out the other functions of the body. You need unsaturated fats to lose weight. The body needs at least 20% of its daily food intake to be unsaturated fats or another words 2 tablespoons. It is truly easy to get at least 2 tablespoons what is hard is keeping it down around that area.

8. The food to be consumed needs to be looked at to see how the fat content can be changed, but still give flavor to what you eat. If it doesn't taste good, don't eat it! If you only have 2 to 3 tablespoons of fat to play with each day, make it work for you. Fat gives flavor to the food, so make your fat for the day make your foods taste good. That way you are more willing to stay with the program.

9. The average person does best with a 45% carbohydrates, 30% protein, and 25% to 20% fat in the diet.

10. The amount of food you eat also plays a big part as to the blood sugar level.

* You can eat the fruit and/or vegetable in bites as you need it to curb hunger, which gives the body a small rise in blood sugar, but keeps the fat burning level (metabolism) the same because the body is satisfied and doesn't think it is starving.

* Or you can eat the whole thing and flood the body with a lot of natural sugar and raise the blood sugar a lot.

11. How much to nibble is a personal thing. It is what you need to curb your hunger. Personally, I can get away piecing on 3 pieces of fruit or just a Chef Salad topped with lemon or lemon pepper from 7 Am to noon. The average blood sugar rate is a 5 1/2 to 6.

12. The benefits of nibbling to satiate hunger:

* It is just as stabilizing as the nutritionists apple and cheese.

* No fat.

* You didn't starve.

* Your eating good food which goes toward the vitamins and nutrients you need.

* Your metabolism rate for burning fat has not gone down.

* Having several smaller meals as needed keeps you from overeating and gives you energy as you need it.

* Not extra sugar means not fat storage only weight-loss, because the body is getting rid of past fats, instead of trying to break down complex foods.


Calculating the Blood Sugar for a Meal

Here are three average breakfast menus. These menus will be used to calculate blood sugar and estimate what is going on in the body. Discussing these menus does not say these are good things to eat for weight loss. For the most part these meals are high in processed sugar and/or saturated fats and will guarantee weight-gain, unless the person is able to burn up all the fat that is eaten.

Pancakes or Waffles

syrup - blood sugar 10

butter - blood sugar 3

2% milk - blood sugar

pancake or waffle - (carbohydrate) blood sugar 8

Over all blood sugar is 8 over approximately a 4 hour time span, the time it takes to break down these foods.

* The first hour the processed sugar in the syrup gives the system a jolts to blood sugar up to a 10. the butter and milk bring it down 3 points to average to a 6 1/2.

* The process sugar is gone by the second hour leaving a glut of insulin which was injected in the blood to try to balance the blood sugar. With the processed sugar gone the insulin alone produces depression and tries to drag the blood sugar down to 0, but the natural sugar in the non-processed carbohydrate pancake, tries to pull the sugar level up to an 8, but levels out about a 4.

At the top of the second hour it might be a good idea to eat grapes or pineapple (something with a lot of sugar content) to use up the glut of insulin. By the time the fruit is gone in an hour the insulin will go down with it. You will have eliminated a huge swing in blood sugar and all or part of the depression, as the fructose takes up the slack gently as the sugar bonds are broken down one by one. Of course the best thing would have been to top the pancake with real, fresh fruit to begin with instead of syrup.

* The third & fourth hour the has the fat from the milk and butter, the fiber and natural sugar from the carbohydrate blood sugar still an 8 and some natural sugar from the milk (blood sugar-3) and butter (blood sugar-3). The average blood sugar for the third & fourth hour is about a 4 1/2.

The over-all average for this meal is a 4.


Cereal and Fruit

2% milk - blood sugar 3

processed sugar - blood sugar 10

fruit - blood sugar 8

cereal - (carbohydrate) blood sugar 8

* Over all average blood sugar is a 6 over approximately a 4 to 5 hour time span, the time it takes to break down these foods.


Eggs and Bacon

2% milk - blood sugar 3

eggs - blood sugar 4

bacon - blood sugar 4

toast - (carbohydrate) blood sugar 8

butter - blood sugar 3

* Over all average blood sugar is about 5 1/2 over approximately a 6-8 hour time span, the time it takes to break down these foods.

Major Points To Remember

1. As you can see in these three menus, the lows of the proteins offset the highs of the fruit and carbohydrates or visa versa, to help level out the blood sugar. This can be use to the advantage of diabetics and those that want to stay healthy.

2. The more food there is, the more it will affect the rise or fall of blood sugar. By the same token, piecing or eating small quantities of food, to stave off hunger, will have a more moderate affect on blood sugar.

3. It is better to have a natural sugar food or a non-processed grain food, than one with processed sugar or white flour (processed wheat). It provides better nutrition and a less violent swing in mood and blood sugar.

4. Eating food as needed instead of eating large meals, regulates gluttony causing fat storage, gives energy as needed, and helps moderate blood sugar.


Other Articles With More Information Regarding This Subject


Annette Nay, Ph.D.

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