It is February. The month of LOVE, right? Well…I can tell you one thing I hate to LOVE but LOVE nonetheless is SUGAR! I will be honest and say that I’m usually not a fan of this month for a few reasons but what I really want to focus on for this month’s blog posts are SUGAR because the crazy amount of SUGAR that many of us consume during this month for various reasons. Today’s blog post is the first part of a four-part series where we will START to talk about all things SUGAR related.
In this first blog, I’m gonna get a little geeky on you since I am a medical doctor, but before I do, I’d like to make an important point to start this blog series off. Sugar is a word that is thrown around a lot lately but the reality is, there are a ton of different names that sugar can be hidden under and this is why #takeaway #1 is that YOU HAVE TO START READING YOUR LABELS!! Repeat after me…”I PROMISE TO READ THE INGREDIENT LABEL OF EVERYTHING I BUY, LAUREN!” I will use one of the upcoming blog posts to break down the different kinds of sugars including artificial sweeteners later this month, but for now just start a new habit of reading labels of all of the food you are purchasing at the grocery store. OK…onto to the geekiness of this blog! 😉
Geeky point #1…learn HOW to test your blood sugar. This is something that I’ve done with the participants of my Beta Test groups that forced them to learn how different foods affect the body, it’s insulin response, and any undetected insulin resistance that might be present. Testing your own BG (blood glucose) is not hard, is not expensive, and is not just for people with the diagnosis of diabetes. A glucometer can be purchased at any local drugstore or online sites like Amazon (click my link to see the one I purchased: http://laurenfitz.com/products/dss-precision-xtra-blood-glucose-meter-kit-results-in-5-seconds-strips-not-included-1-kit/). Once you have your glucometer, it is a matter of cleaning your finger with soap & water or an alcohol pad, pricking it enough to squeeze out a small amount of blood and then transferring that small amount of blood to the test strip that has already been inserted into your glucometer. Once the blood hits the glucometer, it gives you a reading within a few seconds. Boom! Easy enough.
Geeky point #2…know WHEN to test your blood sugar. I typically recommend testing your BG a few different times in the day when a person is first learning how their body’s sugar/insulin response system is functioning. The point of this self experimentation is to possibly uncover early warning signs of prediabetes or undiagnosed diabetes and to learn how the different kinds of foods you are eating affect your insulin (your fat storing hormone that controls your BG). This hormone is highly underestimated in its power to control a person’s weight and waistline. Understanding how it controls your body’s ability to store fat can be vital in your battle of the bulge. I recommend you start out keeping a journal for one week where you log your BG levels, when you eat/drink, and what you ate/drank at different times of the day. Testing your BG first thing in the morning, right before you break your fast with your first meal of the day (for some of you that might mean when you wake up), two hours “postprandial” which is after you’re done eating/drinking anything, and I like to do that one more time before your last meal of the day and 2 hours after that (which forces you to eat at least two hours before going to bed). This data you will be collecting and recording for 7 days can be taken to your doctor, nutritionist, health coach, or whomever is guiding you along in your journey and gives that professional SO MUCH NEEDED helpful information!!!
Geeky point #3…know WHY you should consider testing your BG. Diabetes is like hypertension (high blood pressure) in the sense that neither of them have detectable symptoms until way late in the disease process. They are also both similar in regards to being able to be reverse partially or completely by just changing your daily habits into a healthy lifestyle with exercise, whole food nutrition and proper, high quality supplementation (I use Shakeology and take an Omega-3 fish oil, vitamin D & K and a probiotic daily). In my Beta Test groups I have witnessed hundreds (if not thousands by now) of people reverse their diabetes (and hypertension) by adopting a healthy lifestyle. The end stage of diabetes is ugly. It’s a fate I wouldn’t wish on even my worst enemy. It’s a slow, painful, agonizing way to die and it is something most people don’t ever talk about. This is WHY I want you to consider that testing your BG might be the first step in the right direction to not just losing that unwanted extra weight but might be the first step in reversing a NASTY DISEASE that you don’t even know you have.
All of this being said, I believe that KNOWLEDGE IS POTENTIAL POWER. If you know the HOW, WHEN & WHY of your blood glucose and apply it to your life, you have a powerful tool that will change your life and the lives of your loved ones forever. Thanks for taking the time to read this and I look forward to sharing this month of LOVE with you by educated you on all things SUGAR!! xoxo