Thursday, May 23, 2013

Pour Some Sugar On Me (or, you know, not.)

I have several clients currently dealing with high blood sugar/prediabetic/diabetic conditions, and the question often comes up:  How can I keep high blood sugar at bay?

Some of the answers are obvious:  lose the extra body fat, clean up the diet, stay away from sugary/starchy/processed foods, go heavy on the veggies.

Pay attention to your symptoms.

There are, however, some pretty awesome foods and supplements that can help keep your blood just the right amount of sweet.  Here are some of the most promising I've found:

Fenugreek:  Fenugreek has been shown in several studies to lower blood sugar significantly in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.  (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)  As an added benefit, it lowers triglycerides (which sugar has been shown to increase) and improves blood cholesterol profiles. (1) (2) (3) (4)  Fenugreek does have the interesting side-effect of making your sweat smell like maple syrup (no joke!!), but I personally think that's kinda cool. 

Acai:  Despite its hype as the Superfruit of the Year, Acai has surprisingly little research behind it.  However, the research that does exist shows that it is, indeed, a superfruit.  Its antioxidant profile appears unparalleled, and it seems to be a superior cancer-killer and yeast-inhibitorA preliminary study shows that acai may also seem to have a very good effect on normalizing blood lipid and blood sugar levels.  While more research needs to be done, the promise is very impressive. 

Alpha Lipoic Acid: This antioxidant has been shown to improve glucose sensitivity in type 2 diabetics and, at least in rodents, has been shown to have an antiobesity component.  What alpha-lipoic acid seems particularly effective at, however, is reducing the neuropathy and eye damage that often comes along with diabetes.  (1) (2) (3) (4)

Chromium: Chromium is a mineral that appears to help glucose metabolism as well as help normalize cholesterol levels in both type 2 and gestational diabetes.  (1) (2) (3)  However, it does not seem to be useful as a preventative antidiabetic measure.  The American Diabetes Association states that there is insufficient evidence to recommend chromium supplementation.

So if you find yourself hyperglycemic, give some of these a shot (and get on a regular exercise program, and clean up your diet).  You might just find your diabetes risk become a thing of the past.

Questions?  Comments?  Post 'em here!

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