Many of us have been searching for the best diet to help us achieve optimal health. Some of us have tried plant-based diets, while others have explored eliminating certain foods. Traditional diets from all around the world, some completely plant-based and others heavily animal-based, have all produced healthy populations. All of these diets have one thing in common: no or little sugar or processed foods.
What is Sugar?
Many foods we don’t think of as containing sugar actually convert to sugar. For example, all carbohydrate foods such as breads and pasta are converted to sugar by the body.
The glycemic index is a great tool for understanding the effects of sugar on the body. The index is a measure of how quickly a particular food turns to sugar in the body. High levels of sugar in the blood are associated with kidney failure and increased cardiovascular risk.
White sugar or glucose, which enters our blood stream very quickly, is given the index of 100. All other foods are rated relative to glucose.
The highest glycemic foods are the worst for your blood sugar, these include:
- White Bread
- White Rice
- Processed Corn Foods
- High-Glucose Corn Syrup
How Does Sugar Cause Diabetes?
When we eat sugar, our bodies break it down and send it into our blood stream. From the blood stream, the sugar can be picked up by our cells for use. The cells use insulin as a mechanism to move sugar from the blood stream into cells. If the body has been overloaded with sugar for long periods of time, the cells will develop insulin resistance. The excess sugar in the blood cannot be used by cells and begins to cause all the problems we associate with diabetes: kidney failure, excessive urination, fatigue and headaches.
How does Sugar Cause Cardiovascular Disease?
Sugar in the blood stream is damaging to the cell walls of our arteries. When this damage occurs, our bodies try to repair the damage by laying down cholesterol to protect the arteries. If the damage continues, it eventually impedes blood flow.
Dr. Heather Krebsbach is a knowledgeable and caring resource at Inner Gate Acupuncture here in Portland. She can help you design a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Call to make an appointment today at our
Inner Gate Acupuncture Halsey Clinic