Every time you eat a meal, your different food choices will either promote stress in the body or help reduce it. The smallest, gentlest intervention you can make, that will also have the biggest impact, is balancing blood sugar. Blood sugar is the concentration of glucose in the blood. It is a simple sugar and the body’s preferred/main energy source. When there is either too much or too little glucose, or sugar, in the blood, it will trigger a significant stress response in the body. The hormone ghrelin is released when the body needs energy, which signals you to begin looking for nourishment. The bloodstream is the delivery system that carries glucose to your cells. However, just because you have glucose in your bloodstream does not be that your cells can utilize it. Frequent high blood sugar, or extended periods of this, can lead to several health challenges such as damage to your nerves, blood vessels, and organs and can lead to diabetes. Your body’s ability to utilize blood sugar is determined in large part by the hormone insulin. This hormone is produced in and released from the pancreas. When blood sugar levels increase, insulin is released. It binds to a cell’s receptors, which causes the cell to “unlock” the channel in which glucose can pass into the cell and eventually be converted into energy. Any excess glucose not needed at the time will be stored first in the liver and muscles as glycogen. If all these reserves are full, the body then looks to store the excess glucose long-term as lipids or fatty acids. Long-term storage, however, cannot be converted back into glucose. For your body to utilize this form of stored energy it must go through a process called ketogenesis, which turns fatty acids into ketone bodies. This process usually only occurs when the body is in a perceived state of starvation and is a last resort for the body since ketones mainly provide energy to the heart and brain. The body can gain energy from amino acids or protein, as well as fats, but glucose is the preferred energy source.
Simple carbohydrates are digested and absorbed quickly. They provide a quick burst of energy, followed by a crash. Examples include:
Lactose – which is milk sugar.
Fructose – found especially in honey and fruit.
Maltose – which is produced mainly in the breakdown of starches
Complex carbohydrates take the body longer to break down. These produce a slow, even burn and do not drastically spike your blood sugar levels. Examples include:
Processed Sugar The best known is white table sugar or sucrose. Processed sugar removed the fiber, vitamins and minerals from the plant, which forces your body to pull from or draw on its own reserves of vitamins and minerals. Processed sugar is disguised by various names in many processed foods, which causes people to consume more sugar than they may think. Quick Breakdown: 1. You eat a simple carbohydrate. 2. Your body breaks it down really fast. 3. Blood sugar spikes. 4. Your pancreas is triggered to send out insulin. 5. Too much insulin is released and too much blood sugar is taken out of the bloodstream. 6. Your energy crashes. 7. The body sends you a signal to eat again. 8. The cycle repeats. This puts the body int the stress response over and over again. If you are having a low blood sugar reaction, you may experience
If you are having a high blood sugar reaction, you may experience…
Feeling as though you are bouncing off the walls
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