How can a “sugar free” product still effect your blood sugar? Artificial sweeteners like sucralose, saccharin, and aspartame don’t contain carbohydrates or calories, so they won’t impact blood sugar levels. However, The New York Times reports, these sugar substitutes are accompanied by sugar alcohols in many foods labeled sugar free.
Not quite a sugar or an alcohol, sugar alcohols have a molecular structure that looks like a cross between the two. Food manufacturers add them to “sugar free” products like chocolate, hard candy, cookies, and chewing gum. Sugar alcohols do have fewer calories than normal sugar, but still have some impact on blood sugar. (more…)
We’re usually told to gauge our heart attack risk by the size of our waistlines. The more belly fat, the higher the risk. Well, you may be “up to your neck” in heart problems. And both men and women need to take heed.
Your neck size may be a predictor of heart disease risk, according to two new studies on the subject. The researchers found that the bigger a person’s neck size, the greater their risk of having high levels of LDL “bad” cholesterol and blood fat, insulin resistance, and high blood sugar. Maybe the most interesting and telling aspect of their findings is that it held true even excluding belly fat. (more…)
The Glycemic index was developed as a means of ranking carbohydrates (or carb-containing foods) based on their effect on blood sugar level. Foods with a high glycemic index value tend to raise blood sugar levels faster and higher compared to foods with a lower glycemic index. Rapid increases in blood glucose are potent signals to the beta-cells of the pancreas to increase insulin secretion. Over the next few hours, the high insulin levels induced by consumption of high-glycemic index foods may cause a sharp decrease in blood glucose levels (hypoglycemia).
In contrast, the consumption of low-glycemic index foods results in lower, but more sustained, increases in blood glucose and lower insulin demands on pancreatic beta-cells. However, this does not necessarily mean that a low-index food is healthier than a high-index food. (more…)
Do you want to decrease your chances of getting heart disease? Don’t eat. Well, consider fasting once in a while.
In the 1970s, scientists found that Mormons had a smaller chance of dying from heart disease than the general population. This was accredited to the prohibition of smoking. But in a recent study, fasting seemed to play a role as well.
In the current study of 4,500 people, those who fasted were 39 percent less likely to be diagnosed with coronary artery disease than those who didn’t fast.
While 90 percent of the people in the Utah study were Mormons, the results applied the same to the other 10 percent. The study did not put any time frame on fasting, but one can probably assume that 24 hours was typical.
Fasting is definitely not for everyone, especially diabetics who need to monitor their blood sugar levels.