Sugar cravings? Not satisfied after meal? Hungry all the time? It can be symptoms of a serious condition. Luckily it can be fixed if you know how sugar affects our bodies. Figure it out all about the sugar in this summery of Dr. Eric Berg’s webinar about how to reverse diabetes, insulin resistance, cravings, heal the liver and burn fat.
Eric Berg, DC, in practice in 27 years as a chiropractor and health educator who specializes in weight loss through nutritional and natural methods. Author of The 7 Principles of Fat Burning, has conducted over 4950 workshops, seminars and symposiums, has 26,5 million views on Youtube.
What is insulin?
Pancreas is the small gland behind your left rib cage that secretes the hormone named insulin which is triggered in the response to carbohydrates, especially in the form of sugar, sweets, wine, white bread and other. What is does – takes out the excess sugar out of the blood. Why is it so important? When you have high sugars, it is very dangerous. Under controlled diabetics go blind, have gangrene, clumped arteries, strokes.
The interesting thing about insulin, that the body will do everything to maintain the normal blood values at a constant rate. And the insulin is that hormone that helps to stabilize blood sugars and maintain its constancy.
The body has three main ways to get rid of the blood sugar:
- Drives it into the brain, muscle and liver cells in a form of glucose like a nutrition and a fuel
- Stores the sugar in the form of glycogen, in the liver and in the muscles, called stored sugar. It’s a quick release of sugar if you need it fast, need quick energy
- If there is any excess, converts sugar into fat, cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides
People have been told that the cholesterol that we are eating is causing high cholesterol levels. But it’s the sugar.
Cell is fed by sugar. But people sometimes think that they have to eat sugar. It’s not true. Everything you eat turns into sugar eventually. If you have high cholesterol and triglycerides, we know that you have too much sugar in your diet. And it is confusing, because people have been told that the cholesterol that we are eating is causing high cholesterol levels. But it’s the sugar. It is so easy to prove – just cut down your sugars and cholesterol will soon come down as well together with triglycerides.
You have a one tea spoon of sugar in your entire body. That’s all sugar that you really need – a very tiny amount.
What is normal blood sugar?
Normal is considered between 90 and 110 mg/dl. What does it mean? It’s that you have a one tea spoon of sugar in your entire body. That’s all sugar that you really need – a very tiny amount.
An average American consumes at average of 31 tea spoons of sugar every single day. That is crazy. It DOES affect your body.
What happens when you eat too much sugar?
The sugar rises and that is called hyperglycaemia. Normally sugar does increase after you eat, but then insulin comes in and brings sugar down. When you lose control of insulin, and it goes too high, that is called diabetes.
Hypoglyceamia is when your sugar goes too low. It is pre-diabetic situation. So at first, when you are eating too much sugar, insulin comes in hard and pushes the sugar down way too far. You are feeling light-headed, irritable and craving sugar.
If you are eating sugar over too much time, you develop hypoglycaemia, which leads to insulin resistance. Basically it’s the situation when your body is blocking insulin and does not accept it anymore. Then you get the diabetes type II and then it turns into diabetes type I. In diabetes type I, pancreas is exhausted and cannot produce insulin. Blood sugars will go very high which is very dangerous and you have to inject insulin. People have to control insulin every time they eat.
When you consume too much sugar too long, your body considers it a poison. Cell’s insulin receptor starts to block insulin and sugar is no longer delivered. Brain and the muscles begin to starve the fuel.
When you consume too much sugar too long, your body considers it a poison. Cell’s insulin receptor starts to block insulin and sugar is no longer delivered. Brain and the muscles begin to starve the fuel. That’s where you get the cravings, fatigue and feeling of being not satisfied after you eat.
Signal is sent back to pancreas that you have low insulin – increase more. So insulin resistance is the situation, when in some parts of your body you will have too much insulin and in others – not enough. If we don’t have enough insulin in the blood, what is going to happen to the sugar? It will keep going higher. Insulin resistance is pre – diabetic.
Interesting thing about insulin resistance is that it starts small and then it gets worse. You may go to the doctor and get you blood test being normal, because body resisting the insulin a little bit, so the insulin is going higher to compensate the low insulin inside the cell. The reason I am telling this, that it is very difficult to test. So if you have the symptoms, I advise to go get a fasting insulin test (not a fasting glucose). Insulin resistant case has 5 to 7 times more insulin than the normal person.
Symptoms of insulin resistance:
- Belly fat
- Fatty liver
- Brain fog
- Belly bloats and swells
- Sleepy after meals
- Not satisfied after meals – need something sweet
- Craving for carbs and sweets
- Urination frequency at night
- Cannot go without eating from one meat to the next – excess hunger
- Have to snack at night
Dementia, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, fatty liver, diabetes, heart diseases, clogged arteries – these all are not diseases, but symptoms. If we could correct and heal insulin, we can prevent a lot of problems.
How to fix things
It is said, once you get insulin resistance or diabetes II, you are stuck with it, there is no cure. It’s not true. My goal is to give you information to think about and to research further.
Liver is 10 times bigger than the pancreas. The liver controls the blood sugars when you do not eat. The pancreas controls the blood sugars when you eat. How much more times do you eat versus when you don’t eat? You might say – I eat all day long. And that’s the problem.
The liver is bigger because it has to maintain the blood sugars when you don’t eat. And it produces the hormone which mobilises the stores of sugar, raises the sugar and insulin brings it down. Diabetes is not just the pancreas problem – it’s also liver, adrenal and involves the whole body.
The liver is a key organ in correcting diabetes. If you have a gut, you have a fatty liver. Fatty liver may take some time to undo, even up to three years. Even you might feel better, it takes some time.
Glycaemic index and cholesterol
Glycaemic index is a measure of the change in blood sugar (glycaemia) following the consumption of 50 grams of carbs of a given food. Each food has its own GI. Some foods spike your blood sugar faster than others. Foods that are absorbed slower will not spike your blood sugar very high. So when you eat a jelly beans – it’s sudden spike, when you eat celery – it’s smaller. GI is the scale how fast the food will affect your blood sugars.
But if you will focus on the GI it’s only 50% of the problem, because glucose (sugar) is only one factor that triggers insulin. Other factors that stimulate insulin secretion:
- Amino acids (proteins)
- Gastrointestinal hormones (eating in general)
Low fat proteins trigger insulin way higher than fattier proteins. Fat free cheese, fat free yogurt, lean meat, lean chicken will affect your blood sugar worse than in combination with fat.
If you combine sugar with protein, you will increase insulin response by 200 proc. So you are spiking up insulin when you are eating breaded meat, burger and bun, burger and fries, burger and soda.
Low fat proteins trigger insulin way higher than fattier proteins. Fat free cheese, fat free yogurt, lean meat, lean chicken will affect your blood sugar worse than in combination with fat. The more fatty food is, the less response it has on insulin. And here you might say – Oh, but what about my cholesterol?
Your body makes the cholesterol, about 3000mg every day, that’s the equivalent of 14 eggs or a pound of butter or 333 strips of bacon. When you eat less cholesterol foods – your body makes more. When you eat more – it makes less. If it so bad, why the body makes it? Well first of all, it’s not bad. It has a purpose to make hormones, heals the micro bleeding in the artery walls, feeds lens of the eye.
When you wake up in the morning and you are not hungry – don’t eat.
If you are eating breakfast, lunch and dinner and snacking all the time between, you are raising insulin all the time. This is bad. You are never giving a chance for the liver to heal and you create insulin resistance, because your will have too much insulin too long. It is best to have 3 meals and no snacks. The problem is that if you have and insulin resistance, you will have hard time from going from one meal to the next, you going get hungry. So you have to add fat to the meal, so you can go longer without eating. You cannot fix diabetes and insulin resistance without fat. This principle goes against what you’ve been told, but it really works. Good source of fat: olives, coconut oil, peanut butter, nuts, brie cheese.
When you wake up in the morning and you are not hungry – don’t eat. Your body is burning fat from your belly and it is doing it all night long. If you will eat, you will spike your insulin again, then drop down and again get hungry. So the idea that eating stimulates metabolism is bad advice, it is not true. It actually just increases your hunger. Don’t eat if you are not hungry.
What else can cause insulin resistance?
- sugar in diet
- higher amounts of proteins (especially concentrated)
- combination of protein and sugar
- snacks between meals, frequent eating
- High cortisol (stress hormone) levels.
Cortisol breaks down proteins in your body to sugar which again – raises insulin. Some people have a perfect diet, but they are stressed out. And they need to fix that.
Insulin is a dominating hormone. A tiny bit of insulin is all it takes to block fat burning hormones. Let’s say you have a perfect diet and you are exercising. Half a glass of juice is enough to bump you out of the fat burning for 48 hours, especially if your metabolism is slow. So the key to fat burning is to bring your sugars to zero.
Whole cruciferous food is what supports the liver, helps the fat come off. It’s broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprout, radish, turnip, watercress and other have additional health properties to support the liver. Raw wheat grass juice also has an amazing nutrition – tons of potassium, nutrition for the cells. Potassium is the most important mineral with diabetes and blood sugars. Your cravings will go away, because it stabilises your blood sugars. Then you are in fat burning and not burning anymore sugar, you don’t have cravings. I recommend a large bowl of salad every day, it will give you all the potassium you need and other nutrients as well.
Apple cider vinegar/lemon drink with meal – it will prevent kidney stone development, helps to speed up fat coming of the liver process (1-2 table spoons of apple cider vinegar per cup of water).
This eating plan for lowering insulin is the same plan for losing weight, because insulin is the key hormone involved in that.
- Protein – fat breakfast: eggs, bacon, avocado, cheese
- 2-3 meals per day, no snacking
- Add more fat per meal if you are too hungry
- Best meal is combined of vegetables, protein and fat.
Avoid hidden sugars:
- fruit (for example, an apple has 19g of sugar, is like a candy bar)
- grains (including oatmeal)
- yogurt (even plain yogurt has 10 g of sugar)
There are substitute pleasure foods, so you don’t feel you have to give up with all the pleasure in your life. You can consume it with your meal (not between).
Summary by Kristina Bondar. Images are the property of dr. Eric Berg.