blood sugar

Are You Eating Gluten-free Bread?

With all the concerns about wheat these days, many people are turning to gluten-free bread. Gluten is one of the proteins in wheat. It helps make bread dough elastic, and gives bread a light soft texture, instead of the heavy, chewier texture of whole grain breads.

What is it about bread that is so hard to give up? Toasted, snuggling up to sandwich ingredients, or slathered with butter, bread is a comfort food for many of us.

Modern commercial wheat has been genetically modified, laced with pesticides and stripped of nutrients. Even people who are not allergic to gluten, or to wheat, are turning to other flour choices for bread and crackers.

It is also possible to have sensitivity to other grains, or to grains in general. If eating grains in the form of bread, pasta, or crackers causes bloating, gas, constipation, indigestion, or changes in your stool, consider that your body may not do well on grains. Buckwheat, wild rice, and quinoa are not grains, and are good substitutes. One cup of quinoa contains 222 calories, 39 grams carb, 8 grams protein and 3 grams fat. It also has some vitamins and minerals, making it a healthy food. But the carb content means you should limit serving size. It is a better choice than rice for carbs and protein. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/cereal-grains-and-pasta/10352/2

In order to mimic the light soft texture of standard American bread, manufacturers have turned to ingredients like tapioca starch and potato starch. Tapioca is a root and was often used to make a pudding in the past. It is the high starch content of gluten-free breads which can sabotage blood sugar and cause weight gain. Starch is metabolized like sugar, so can spike and drop blood sugar just like cake. Udi’s Gluten-free Bread has tapioca and potato starch as the first ingredients. For 140 calories (2 slices) you get 22 grams of carbohydrate. My personal favorite is Food for Life Gluten-free Bread. The first ingredient is rice flour, and it has safflower oil instead of canola oil. Two slices are 110 calories.

There are other healthy choices, especially if you bake at home. Gluten-free flours from Bob’s Red Mill or Pamela’s, coconut flour and nut flours have less starch and higher protein generally. They will not mimic soft white bread, but they can be used for cookies, baked goods and crackers. Here is an easy recipe to try. http://theprettybee.com/2013/10/easy-gluten-free-cracker-recipe.html

If you are trying to lose weight, the best thing is to break the bread habit completely, and that can take some time. It really calls for some creative solutions to drop out the sandwich and toast habit. Bread and flour products are very filling, so your body may try to tell you that you are hungry, even if you have had plenty of calories. Add some more healthy fat to your diet, and that will help satisfy your appetite. You can also eat veggies in bulk, maybe with some healthy dip, like guacamole or hummus. Sliced jicama, celery, and cucumber can be used as dippers or carriers for things normally eaten with bread, such as tuna salad or nut butters.

How to know how much bread, pasta and starchy carbs you can eat? If you can eat starches without gaining inches or weight, your activity level and metabolism can handle the starch. If you are at all over-weight, you are eating beyond your body’s metabolic needs. Even if you are eating “whole grain” wheat and bread, you may be getting too much starch that turns to sugar. Ezekiel bread is still too high in carb content for many, if not most. Our activity levels just do not support high grain diets these days. The nutrition benefits are not balanced by any weight-gain that signifies a sugar metabolism problem.

If you are concerned about your gluten tolerance, come in for a blood spot test that will identify your true food sensitivities. You may be surprised by the foods that your body can’t tolerate that you may not have suspected.

For a detox or blood sugar program that helps break the bread/starch habit, come see us or call the office. 818-562-1400.

It has been said that man does not live by bread alone, and you can prove it to yourself by breaking the bread habit.

 

 

 

 

 

Need More Healthy Energy?

 

One of the number one reasons people visit their medical doctors is because they are tired or fatigued. When is being tired a risk to your health? When your fatigue makes it too difficult to carry on safely with the daily tasks of living or it causes too much of a strain on your organs or glands so that they are unable to function adequately. So, being tired can have consequences that go beyond falling asleep at your desk.

Fatigue can cause driving and operating machinery to be dangerous. An Australian study showed that going just eighteen hours without sleep caused a similar impairment to alcohol. Shift workers, parents of young children and young males are most at risk. http://drowsydriving.org/about/facts-and-stats/

Relationships can suffer because a tired person is not a patient, understanding person. When a person is sleep deprived, there are mood changes and memory impairment. Anxiety is more likely. These all put a burden on relationships with family and friends, and can even put jobs at risk. http://hr.uiowa.edu/uieap/10-reasons-well-rested

The physical stress puts more of a burden on the organs, especially adrenal glands, which compromises your immune system and may be a factor in the healthy function of your heart. Weight gain and difficulty losing weight is a common issue, and there is a higher cancer risk, as well.

There are many reasons why someone may be tired and unable to get sufficient restful sleep. If you are a high achiever, or in a demanding job situation, you may simply not be spending enough time in bed to get enough sleep. Emotional stress and worry may impact ability to fall sleep and/or stay asleep. Congested organs from toxins and processed foods, or a weakness in the hormonal system, can make it difficult for the body to relax enough to sleep. Eating a high sugar, high carbohydrate diet can play havoc with blood sugar, causing the body to wake up hungry when blood sugar drops too low after a sugar spike. Iron deficiency can cause tiredness and listlessness, because the red blood cells need the mineral iron.

Vitamin deficiencies may be a factor when fatigue becomes debilitating, as in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. As a syndrome, and not an actual disease that can be measured or viewed under a microscope, Chronic Fatigue may have different causes or be a combination of factors.

The best course of action is to identify the factors that are involved in any type of fatigue. Often people crave a diagnosis, particularly when they are suffering and having a difficult time with their symptoms. But so many diseases today are lifestyle issues, and they need to be sorted out by someone who can evaluate diet and other factors, rather than simply diagnose a disease, and give it a label. The important factor is to find a way to help the body get well, and that takes more than medication.  Lab work may only offer part of the answer, or none at all.

Don’t ignore fatigue, especially if it lasts for more than a few weeks. You can push yourself, but push when your body is rested, if you do not want to make the problem worse.

B vitamins deficiencies, Adrenal-hypothalamus-pituitary function, liver congestion and blood sugar imbalances can all wreak havoc on sleep, mood and general health. If you know someone who is tired, urge them to get an evaluation and find help. There is no reason to go through life too tired to enjoy the special moments.

With Spring around the corner, it is a perfect time to do a Cleanse/Purification program, or a Blood Sugar Balance program, or a Liver Detox Program. Any of these will help sleep, as well as energy and weight loss. The programs can be tailored for your specific needs. Call us and find out how to Stop Being Tired, no matter the underlying cause. Coffee won’t fix it. Natural and Nutritional Medicine will.

 

Fighting That Afternoon Slump?

You know, right around three or four p.m. when you can barely keep your eyes open. You just run out of juice. And you want coffee, sweets or a shot of Red Bull just to keep going.

Since coffee at that hour may interfere with nighttime rest, sweets are not a good solution, and you know that Red Bull is not healthy, what can you do to get through your day? And how can you avoid eating the wrong snacks, when you are tired and your willpower is low?

First of all, how much sleep are you getting? If you are running on empty in the sleep department, your body will give out when it needs more rest.  So, listen to the signals.  If you routinely burn the midnight oil and stay up until one-two a.m. you are doing yourself a serious disservice, unless you can sleep ‘til noon. For the vast majority of us the body needs at least seven hours of sleep per night, and some need more. The consequences of insufficient sleep go beyond the afternoon yawns. Weight gain, lowered metabolic rate and risk of more serious disease states are all possible. http://healthysleep.med.harvard.edu/healthy/matters/consequences

This varies from person to person, but sleep deprivation is not a good way to catch up on your work. You will most often find that you don’t perform as well, drive as smartly, or act pleasantly, when you are sleep deprived. So, hit the sack earlier on a gradient. Get your adrenals checked if you routinely stay up and get a second wind. If you cannot go to sleep earlier, seek help. Call the office and make an appointment so that we can get your body resting well.

Secondly, consider what you eat at lunchtime. A carb-ful lunch may spike and then crash your blood sugar. Instead of a sandwich, pasta or pizza, choose salad and protein. Food intolerances may be revealed by how you feel after you eat. If you feel speeded up, drowsy, or lethargic, or have indigestion, you may have an intolerance to a food. If you are eating the same foods every day, it may be a food you eat commonly. I will be writing more about this in upcoming blogs. I have seen some dramatic improvements in health and well-being when a food intolerance is identified and the offending food omitted.

Third, even if you are eating well, if you are even a bit over your ideal weight chances are your metabolism and blood sugar are out of synch. A blood sugar balance program can put you on the right path and help you find out how energetic you can feel when you are eating correctly for your metabolism. You always hear people talking about eating for health, such as veggies and whole foods. These days there is more to it than that. You have to eat so that you don’t release too much insulin, causing the cells of the body to become resistant to the constant high levels of insulin. Insulin is the door opener to the cells to allow fuel (sugar in the blood) to enter. How do you know if your blood sugar is out of balance? Afternoon slump is one sign. And if your waist is bigger than your hips, that is another sign. Get help. Estimates that up to 30% of the population has Diabetes.https://www.diabeteseducator.org/news/aade-blog/aade-blog-details/karen-kemmis-pt-dpt-ms-cde-faade/2017/07/26/the-2017-national-diabetes-statistics-report-is-here

And many more are pre-Diabetic. Many people can be helped so that their Diabetes is arrested and their pancreas repairs. Pre-Diabetics don’t have to progress to a disease state. Diabetes Type II is one of the most easily controlled diseases, but it does take a firm plan and changes in your eating.

Fourth is being significantly overweight. An overweight body is a body that is burdened by the excess pounds that require miles of extra blood vessels and a strain on the muscles and tendons to manage the extra pounds. A pick-up truck is not built to carry the load that an 18-wheeler can handle. And our bodies are supposed to be like small trucks, not the big rigs. It is the crapo-hydrates that pile on the pounds. No one gains weight on greens, broccoli and fish. And when your body needs the extra nutrients to make the miles of new blood vessels and support the tendons and joints you can get hungry. And the more crapo-hydrates eaten, instead of healthy foods, the more hungry a person can become. It is a Merry-go-round ride of hunger, junk food and fatigue. The only answer is to get off. But don’t jump. Stop the Merry-go-round first, by doing a Detox/cleanse. Not only do people lose weight but they report feeling better than they have in years during and after the cleanse. And there is plenty of food allowed, so no hunger.

Find out what your particular needs are and get a game plan to help your body feel energetic all day long. If you are fighting that afternoon slump, we can help. Ask yourself if you really think it will get better if you don’t change something you are doing. Call the office to book. And meanwhile try some of our herbal supplements to give you a natural boost that still allows you to sleep at night.