Now let’s talk about sugar. Your blood sugar.
Did you know that sugar, particularly glucose, is the main energy source for the body?
In spite of the hype of the Keto Diet, burning fat is way too labor-intensive for your body. You have to go into starvation mode in order to burn fat. And if you stay there without supporting your hypothalamus, your metabolism will lower. And that means when you finally eat again, you’ll put weight on fast.
You can’t fool your hypothalamus. But you can support it so it does it’s best job at keeping your hormones in balance and you healthy.
Healthy glucose metabolism is key to staying energized and fit. It’s all about the perfect balance between the hormone partners – Insulin and Glucagon.
Your pancreas produces insulin in response to how much glucose (sugar) is floating around in your blood. The more sugar, the more insulin your pancreas has to make. If your blood sugar stays high as in the case of type two diabetics, your pancreas gets worn out and stops making enough insulin to lower your blood sugar.
If your pancreas makes too much insulin then your blood sugar becomes too low – called hypoglycemia.
The symptoms of hypoglycemia are more obvious than hyperglycemia (too high blood sugar). When your blood sugar is too low, you feel shaky, break out in a cold sweat, you may feel dizzy or light-headed, can’t focus or have brain fog, and become irritable. Eating sugar resolves the symptoms quickly but you better follow the rescue sugar with protein and fat or your blood sugar will bottom out again.
Chronic hypoglycemia can lead to a worn-out pancreas and type two diabetes.
Insulin’s job is to escort glucose into your cells. Your cells have little organelles called mitochondria that use glucose to make energy. Insulin locks into your cell’s insulin receptor sites which opens gateways for glucose to enter your cells. When insulin receptors are sensitive to insulin they not only unlock gateways for glucose but also for amino acids, fatty acids, and water.
What if you need energy fast but your blood sugar is low? That’s where Insulin’s partner Glucagon comes in.
Your pancreas makes a second hormone called Glucagon. Glucagon releases stored sugar from your muscles and liver. Remember in the fight or flight response, cortisol is produced to fuel your stress response. It does that by telling your pancreas to release Glucagon.
And then with the release of all that stored sugar, your pancreas must release enough insulin to escort the sugar into your cells. Your pancreas is constantly monitoring your blood sugar levels. If you keep them stable, your pancreas doesn’t have to work that hard and you’re less likely to develop insulin resistance and type two diabetes.
HORMONE HEALING TIP – BALANCE YOUR BLOOD SUGAR WITH THE THREE-PART RULE
One of the best ways to prevent your sugar from bottoming out is to be sure every meal is balanced.
One part complex carbohydrate. One part protein. One part fat.
Complex carbs are low glycemic foods high in fiber and low in sugar. Like whole grains, beans, and vegetables.
Protein can be animal or plant-based but must be equal in grams to your carbs.
Fat is twice as calorically dense as protein and carbs, so you only need half the grams of fat.
Even your snacks should be balanced. An apple with nut butter or string cheese is a good snack if your blood sugar is low.
Eating balanced low glycemic meals will help prevent insulin resistance too… which we will discuss in more detail tomorrow.