Originally published September 16 2008
Five Principles for Lifelong Blood Sugar Regulation
by Kal Sellers
(NaturalNews) Blood sugar issues lead to problems with every system of the body. Everyone knows about these problems and most people are mildly to moderately worried about them. Blood sugar that is too high can exhaust the pancreas, damage all tissues, including neurological and cardiovascular tissues, throws the endocrine system out of balance and can cause weight management problems.
Blood sugar too low will result in fatigue, weird food cravings, poor brain function and possibly death of brain cells. It will lead to a complex endocrine pathology and will lead to deficiency in all sorts of nutrients from proteins to minerals and vitamins to water.
The complexity of low sugar problems comes because of the release of cortisol that causes the release of cellular proteins in order to create more glucose in the liver from those proteins.
All told, the problem with blood sugar may be the cause of as many problems as constipation and seems to be a serious matter. Corresponding interest in the subject seems to be present, but a good deal of misinformation on the subject also exists.
The place to start with any issue is the simple question, what does Nature teach us about the subject?
When you know what we would experience in nature, you have the one clue without which no accurate solution can ever be reached. All attempts to solve the problem in a laboratory will omit key facts simply because it is impossible for the human conscious mind to manage the literally thousands of operations, pathways, checks and balances involved with any physiological response to any situation.
A simple glance at nature results in the obvious conclusion that we are designed to consume plenty of leaves, nuts, seeds, fruit and honey along with some tubers and other vegetables, grasses and grains in a far lesser degree.
We are unsuited for attacking and disemboweling our prey and are well suited for highly evolved selection of our food, lending itself to the ability to avoid damaged foods and insects, or to eat insects and other animals in times of extreme dearth. This function also allows us to eat very bitter and strongly medicinal herbs to facilitate adaptation beyond simple natural selection (in other words we can cure illness and strengthen our systems consciously, instead of falling prey to such things which would select out the weak for elimination/death naturally).
Thus we can glean a basis, a foundation, if you will, for selecting the conclusions we will endorse and accept regarding blood sugar problems and ideal human diet.
Humans, like all mammals, are suited for consuming the majority of the enzymes we use, rather than producing these ourselves. Plants produce enzymes without consequence to their growth and health and we are adapted to benefit from their enzyme production as part of our symbiotic relationship with them.
Thus we can go forward and discuss blood sugar and the 5 key principles prerequisite to healthy blood sugar levels for life.
Principle 1: Usability
The primary question on our minds when dealing with blood sugar should be, "how easily is this sugar used by my body?"
The issue is not how quickly will it digest, but, rather, how easily, once digested, will it go into my cells and liver for use or storage.
Sugars that are processed or cooked, which also enter the blood quickly, create major problems because they tend to stay in the blood for inordinate amounts of time, relative to the rate at which they enter the blood. They go in fast, but are used slowly. This is the definition of high blood sugar.
If an unrefined/raw carbohydrate enters the blood slowly, it is also okay if it takes a little longer to get it into the cells and into storage. This is the case with green leafy vegetables and whole seeds.
If a carbohydrate breaks down into sugar quickly and enters our blood rapidly en masse, it is vital that it is effortlessly used, which means it must be perfectly formulated for immediate uptake without consequences of chemical imbalances in our cells.
Raw honey, sprouts and ripe fruit are perfect examples of carbohydrates that immediately become glucose (the only usable sugar) and enter the blood rapidly. These, if they are raw and whole and if they are eaten wisely so that they do not ferment, are perfectly formulated and balanced and are effortlessly taken into the cells and easily used.
Yes, these can be over consumed, but generally, they will have only the best of consequences when they are eaten wisely, even in what would appear to be excessive volume and quantity.
Where we get into trouble is when we eat refined or cooked sugars/carbohydrates that enter the blood quickly but are either unusable in that form (sucrose, which must be converted to glucose for use) or are so refined that the uptake of them will inevitably result in chemical imbalances in the body.
This is the truth about sugars and fruits. We do not over consume healthy sugars in our culture, rather, we grossly under consume them and the consequence is a roller-coaster of blood sugar which results in regular deficiencies, which start the cortisol process rolling, which disturbs pretty much every body function and results in pretty much every deficiency (including water/hydration) known to humanity.
The key is eating high quality sources.
An equally valuable key in considering use of sugars is learning to chew well and eat while relaxed. The violation of either of these valuable principles will result in imbalance in the body and poisoning of the system.
Principle 2: Competition in the blood
This concept is one that has been treated in dozens of ways under as many titles, but boils down to the presence of things in the blood that lead to inhibited flow of nutrients into the cells of the body.
This can be toxins, but often is unusable or excessive macronutrients, vitamins, minerals and protein fragments. It also can be wastes from the cells that are poorly eliminated.
These problems are treated in many places, including the author's website and on (www.bestfoodist.com) and do not need to be addressed here.
One simple issue that arises for the healthiest eater, and which is often overlooked, is the issue of fats and sugars. The conclusion we will strive toward is that one should not consume very much of fats with sugars.
Raw foodists have this as perhaps their number one vice. They love to eat high quality glucose with fats in the form of treats or salad dressings.
Truly stable fats are healthy for our bodies and include raw tropical oils and olive oil. Raw nuts, if not rancid, also contain healthy oils that are less stable, but which are stabilized by protective devices in the nuts (also applies to seeds) which work well as long as the temperature is kept relatively low.
Even the healthiest fat poses a threat to healthy blood sugar balance however, since they greatly obstruct the flow of healthy glucose into the cells and cause it to remain in the blood abnormally long. This is when insulin is secreted heavily and when those sugars can feed yeast and cancer and can form triglycerides and adipose tissue and can lead to immune reactions and endocrine dysfunction.
In this situation, we are little better off than when eating processed sugars. We are better off in some ways because of the micro nutrients and enzymes present in the healthy sources of glucose, but it will still cause great distress in the body.
Thus we encourage a habit for anyone who struggles with blood sugar issues that they separate the consumption of high quality glucose (generally honey, ripe fruit, sprouts and raw non-starchy vegetables) from fat.
Naturally, we strongly encourage only the healthiest fats so that they do not stay in the blood an inordinate amount of time and so that they do no damage. Generally, raw (cold-pressed, extra virgin, exclusively cold-pressed in centrifugal presses) olive oil is the only oil that may be consumed every day.
This separation, while subtle, will yield profound results in how one feels. This article is by no means directed toward pathological conditions, such as diabetes, but, if applied by those having diabetes, would be sure to surprise them favorably as well.
Principle 3: Constancy
Our bodies are made of protein; they do major regulation with fats which also form many of our regulatory structures. Yet with all of this very real need for fats and proteins, comparatively little of these are actually needed regularly under most circumstances.
The focus for fats and proteins should be on quality, not quantity.
Glucose, on the other hand, is always used up in every major process and most minor processes in the human body. It is burned 24-7 and must be regularly replenished.
If glucose were totally removed and no secondary reserve or manufacturing source were allowed, the human brain would die just as fast as it would with total removal of oxygen. They are needed together.
Thus, we have a need to supply regular doses of glucose all day long.
There are three valid approaches to this which should be approached with understanding and with consideration of combining rules, which are addressed in detail in Traci's books found on (www.bestfoodist.com) .
Approach number 1 is to eat high quality glucose sources every hour or so all day long. This is generally done when one is juice fasting and may only be consuming fruit or non-starchy vegetable juice all day long for several days. The juice is usually drunk every hour and distilled water drunk on the half hour between.
This regular dosing could be accomplished with any of the four sources of high quality glucose (sprouts, honey, ripe fruit, raw, non-starchy vegetables).
Approach number 2 is to eat slower-yielding sources of high quality glucose at less frequent intervals. Non-starchy vegetables, eaten raw, actually provide both short term and long term glucose. When cooked, they only provide long-term glucose and when really overcooked, they only provide low-quality short-term glucose and will lead to disease.
All vegetables and raw tree nuts can be consumed under this plan and will have slow uptake.
Here is the place where you make the decision at your stove whether it is a health food or a disease food. If you lightly cook or eat raw, you will get the delayed benefit. If you cook to death, you will get a low-quality, sudden uptake that throws your body out of balance.
Sprouted, low-heated grains are also slow-releasing sources of glucose that can actually feed and fuel you all day without ever running out of glucose (in fact, they are so dense with it that even in the absolute most healthy form, as taught in Traci's books, if you overdo them you will always gain weight just because they supply so much usable nutrition).
Approach number 3 is the consumption of protein.
This approach plans on the conversion from protein into glucose slowly throughout the day.
This has all of the benefits of Approach number 2, and is often the cop-out used by nutritionists who do not want to stand up and be counted as assertive healing experts. They are selling the long-term for the short term.
True, this method is the easiest method, but there is a catch. If you do this all the time, especially if you are consuming concentrated sources of protein (some nuts, beans that have not been sprouted and animal proteins), there is a consequence of toxic byproducts that are produced.
That assertive word, toxin is probably controversial. There are protein fragments that are not usable and tend to cause acidic conditions in the blood that place additional stress on elimination organs to remove.
One of the greatest concerns of the protein method is early exhaustion of the key body systems like the adrenal glands and the liver. The toxicity will definitely have repercussions.
Very often the load on the kidneys is even more profound and leads to actual renal failure. High protein diets kill people and when the second Atkins diet revolution took place, they included ketone strips for your urine because they hoped to avoid killing people the second time around from extreme ketosis.
Still, this method can pan out very well if one is still consuming enough healthy glucose to offset the total dependence on protein and if that person will consume protein of the highest caliber.
High quality protein is found in raw tree nuts, green legumes (like peas or edamame or alfalfa sprouts), seaweeds, algae, sprouted grains, raw hemp seed (which, by the way, provides a totally raw protein powder without the hemp oil, which is cool, because it is raw) and the like.
Principle 4: exercise/breathing
Oxygen is needed to use up glucose and when exercise is regularly done, there is a change that occurs in the cells so that they will take up glucose better and will metabolize nutrients better.
You do not have to become a tri-athlete to get benefits of this sort. Some sources suggest that intense exercise for 20 minutes every 5 days is enough to make substantial metabolism changes. This will maintain muscle and bone mass if it includes the right sorts of exercises. Often serious athletes will find that they can actually improve their performance and health.
While this subject does not fit here for a long discussion, it is a vital point that is at least as important as any other subject here.
Indeed, that improved metabolism from exercise will help the individual deal well, physiologically speaking, in those weak moments when food choices are not ideal. Notice, "not ideal" is not the same as, "terribly toxic."
Principle 5 Damage Repair/Maintenance
When damage to metabolism or to endocrine glands has taken place, healing must be done. Future damage, it is logical to say, should be avoided.
This section includes a few short discussions of some issues of repair or maintenance that can be noticed and addressed with some immediate value.
1) It is a good idea to learn about some healing foods or medicines for the pancreas, adrenal glands and for the cells themselves. Many of these are discussed on (www.kalsschool.com) and many others are available anywhere on the internet. One can always contact the author through (www.kalsschool.com) and request formulas or information about healing some particular system or organ.
It is well to select products that are whole food products that could be made in a cave and that are free of preservatives and chemicals of all sorts.
2) Blood poisons appear all around us, which damage blood cells and their ability to carry nutrition and carry on nutrient exchange. It certainly seems wise to avoid these.
While the list is certainly long, we shall focus on the big ones that are totally in our power, which are preservative nitrates and nitrites found in processed meats.
While thinking about really toxic foods, we should also take a peek at dairy. Diary is known to cause blood sugar problems and some articles to this end have been published in medical journals in recent years. Further, the congesting affect of dairy causes poor circulation and adds insult to injury when there is a problem getting sugar out of the blood and into the cells where it belongs.
3) If a person has had blood sugar problems for very long, cardiovascular repair is in order. Many good products are on the market, though few have the immediate effectiveness of cayenne and blackstrap molasses. Generally, cayenne pepper is taken by the dose of 1/4 teaspoon in water 15 minutes before each meal, which is believed to both heal the heart and greatly improve digestion.
One study suggested that just smelling cayenne in water would result in a 30% spike in digestive secretions. Many of us would like to see some modern data on that subject, as the last such study is about 15 years old and our dietary and stress problems have changed since then. Clinically, this approach still seems to work very well.
Blackstrap molasses is loaded with potassium, calcium and iron. It also seems to have an affinity for any tissue that would be robbed by refined sugar, which means the bones, teeth and capillary/cardiovascular system.
This odd affinity puts blackstrap molasses in the natural healer hall of fame and so far it has not been equaled for that purpose. Dr. Christopher, my mentor, used to use it always for a rheumatic heart or one damaged from infection or weakened from malnutrition.
While processed sweeteners seem to make problems with blood sugar worse, blackstrap seems to do the opposite, making the whole blood sugar system work more smoothly. It was Dr. Christopher's idea of a superfood. It is inexpensive, easy to obtain and readily absorbed by everyone in the author's experiential domain.
4) For blood sugar issues, it is logical to cleanse and regenerate the liver. If this is done with herbs, it is required to cleanse the bowel at the same time and anytime thereafter that liver cleansing/healing is done.
One of the Author's recent clients called to announce that the mild cleansing formula given her by her naturopath resulted in extreme problems from skin eruptions to swollen and painful joints to body stench. After only a few seconds, it was ascertained that the problem was that nothing was being done to facilitate the removal of said toxins through the bowel. The formula was stopped temporarily while the bowel was brought up in activity using Dr. Christopher's Lower Bowel formula. When 5 Bowel Movements daily is reached, the formula will be reintroduced.
Generally, the Author recommends either Dr. Christopher's Liver Gall Bladder formula or Richard Schulze's formula by the same name for cleaning and restoring the liver. It is remarkable how promptly every body function seems to be buoyed or significantly altered for the good when the liver is tended properly.
Thanks for reading.
Until next time,
Kal Sellers, MH
About the authorKal Sellers, MH currently operates KalsSchool.com and teaches a 2-year curriculum for Natural Medicine, via live teleclasses.
Kal is a Master Herbalist and holds several other certificates and licenses for hands-on healing modalities. He maintains a current practice in the Atlanta area.
Kal and Traci have six children, the last four of which were delivered at home. They live now in Powder Springs, GA where they teach live classes on food and medicine. Kal is also a full time Chiropractic student.
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