Glucose and Carbohydrates are different things –
Many healthcare professionals simply do not understand the difference between the Macro-nutrient: Carbohydrates, and the body’s form of energy storage: Glucose. The body needs glucose to survive, NOT carbohydrates.
The body derives glucose from any food you eat. Anybody trying to improve their blood sugar and body chemistry would benefit from foods that better regulate blood sugar and do not cause such a big spike of blood sugar and insulin in the system. Eating foods that are predominantly carbohydrates (especially simple carbs) cause huge highs and lows, turning your blood sugar into a crazy roller coaster.
On the other hand, Protein, Fats, and Fiber do a great job at regulating blood sugar. If you are suffering from blood sugar issues, this is what your diet should regularly consist of. I am horrified to see what some of these dietitians are feeding to their clients suffering from type II diabetes because they do not understand the difference between carbohydrates and glucose. They have their clients eating 50 grams of carbohydrates at every meal or even more. They then recommend some kind of juice like cranberry or orange in order to meet certain micro-nutrient criteria completely ignoring the fact that they just added another 20-30 grams of pure sugar. This absolutely does not help to regulate blood sugar. It is important to understand that ANY food that you eat will raise blood sugar in some respect. Proteins, Fats, and Actual Fiber (Not “whole wheat” or “whole grain” products) do a great job of controlling the blood sugar roller coaster. Foods that are predominantly carbohydrates (yes even fruit) rocket blood sugar up high, and then because of the body’s positive feedback mechanism can drop the body’s blood sugars dangerously low for individuals suffering from type II diabetes. When you are constantly turning your blood sugar into an out of control roller coaster you are also wreaking havoc on other hormones other than just insulin. Hormones work together in the body, and when one is out of whack such as your insulin, it can cause improper levels of other hormones in the system which can lead to many other diseases besides just type II diabetes.
* Take Home Point
Any carbohydrate that is not a green vegetable does a horrible job at regulating blood sugar in individuals suffering from blood sugar issues. Individuals who have a healthy level of insulin sensitivity can better handle carbohydrates in the system without such a negative impact. If you have insulin resistance or type II diabetes any type of bread, pasta, rice or any other carbohydrate is contributing or adding to the problem, end of story.
Now whole fruit and other vegetables that aren’t green can be healthy foods generally speaking for people with adequate levels of insulin sensitivity. However, you have to understand that if you already have a problem with blood sugar then you need to make sure you properly regulate even “healthy” foods that are high in carbohydrates. If you are type II diabetic or morbidly obese then you must also come to the realization that pure sugar as found in many processed foods, soft drinks, and yes even juice is pure POISON for you. There is no nice way to put it, if you are a type II diabetic or morbidly obese, reaching for that candy or big gulp soda is just as dangerous as any drug you could name.
There are essential amino acids and essential fatty acids, but NO such thing as essential carbohydrates. You could live the rest of your life healthily without ever eating another carbohydrate as long as you eat enough protein and fat (which eventually can be broken down into glucose in the body.) If you did the opposite and stopped eating proteins and fats, and only ate carbohydrates, you would not last very long. Most people can get more than adequate fiber, vitamins, and nutrients by just eating a variety of green vegetables every day. It is simply not efficient to get your fiber or vitamins by eating processed juices, fortified cereals, breads ect…
The average person does not need to be eating starch at every meal, not even an elite level athlete. So with that being said, why are dietitians and physicians recommending that obese, non-active individuals suffering from type II diabetes each starch at every meal? This is NOT OK. Many people are trying to do the right thing and improve their health but are being steered in the completely wrong direction. Something needs to be done or else this epidemic will only continue to get worse.
In Part III I will address with reality behind exercise as it pertains to improving your blood sugar.