About 30 million people in the U.S. have type 2 diabetes. We know that diabetes is a disease marked by blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels being too high.
Glucose is our main source of energy. It comes from the foods you eat. A hormone called insulin helps the glucose get into your cells to provide energy.
If you have diabetes, your body doesn't make enough insulin or doesn't use insulin well enough. The glucose then stays in your blood and not enough gets into your cells.
If you’re one of the 88 million adults who are estimated to have pre-diabetes; you may have elevated blood glucose but not high enough to be classified as diabetes.
But what if I don’t have any of these conditions but I’m just concerned about sugar?
In its natural state, sugar is a not-so-bad simple carbohydrate that our bodies need to function.
We Need Carbs (And Some Natural Sugar)
In fact, the three main nutrients that the human body needs for energy are carbohydrates, protein and fat.
Truth is, carbohydrate’s main function is to provide energy for the body. That being said, all carbs are not created equal.
Biochemists usually classify carbs in one of two categories, simple carbohydrates (known as sugars) and complex carbohydrates (known as fibers and starches).
To measure the impact of sugars and carbs on our body, scientists and nutritionists developed the glycemic index (GI), which assigns a number to each food depending on its ability to increase blood glucose levels. The lower the GI value of a carbohydrate, the less of an impact it has on blood sugar levels.
Foods with no carbs — such as beef, chicken, fish, eggs, herbs, and spices — and specific food components (like protein and fat) aren’t listed on the glycemic index because they don’t have any carbohydrates.
Sugar — It’s Fine When It’s Naturally Occurring
We find it in fruits, vegetables, and dairy as a compound called fructose or lactose. The concerns begin when refined, processed sugar is added to foods during processing.
Consuming too much added sugar causes a number of problems, the most obvious being weight gain. Added sugar jacks up your insulin levels, harms your metabolism, and causes those calories to turn into belly fat.
Weight loss is just one of the many potential benefits of cutting back on the sweet stuff.
Almased, in particular, is free of artificial sugars and colors as well as fillers and preservatives.
Aside from the product’s “clean” ingredient list, Almased’s diet plan recommends foods that are among the very best and healthiest choices.
Low-Glycemic High-Protein Eating Is Best
A big advantage to low-carb high-protein eating is that it dramatically restricts carbohydrates and sugars and basically forces the body to burn fat since the body has very little of the sugary stuff that evolution has programmed it to burn through first.
Science tells us that choosing low-glycemic, fiber-rich foods — peas, lentils, legumes, whole grains — for one meal, as an example, can prevent blood sugar levels from spiking upward after eating the next meal.
Fiber-rich complex carbs are the very best carbs to include in your carb-friendly diet, along with a protein source and good fats.
Simple carbs are the carbohydrates we have to be careful with, however, and being cautious about sugars is especially important for people with diabetes.
Examples of naturally occurring simple carbs include fructose (found in fruits and honey) and lactose (found in milk).
Added sugars are in the carb danger zone, however, and include glucose, maltose and sucrose.
They can be “hidden” in such sweeteners as rice malt syrup, high-fructose corn syrup and fruit-juice nectars, and they’re added to thousands of products, including candies, baked goods and soda.
Considering that carbohydrates should make up approximately 45% of our daily diet, we just need to be carb conscious and aim to include more of the healthiest carbs onto our plates.
All-natural Almased contains a small number of carbs from raw honey and natural yogurt, with the combination of high-protein, Almased is low-glycemic and supports energy and healthy blood sugar levels.
Looking for an Energy Rush? Sugar Is Not the Answer
A European review of 31 studies found that sugar does not provide an energy boost. In point of fact, participants felt even more tired and less alert after sugar-laden foods and drinks.
Consider starches. Most of the carbohydrates in your diet are made up of starches.
Starches are long chains of glucose that found in grains, potatoes and various foods. But not all of the starch you eat is digested.
Occasionally a small part of it passes through your digestive tract unchanged. In other words, it is resistant to digestion.
This type of starch, called resistant starch, works like soluble fiber. Many studies in humans show that resistant starch can have powerful health benefits, including insulin sensitivity, lower blood sugar levels, reduced appetite and various benefits for digestion.
Examples of foods rich in resistant starch are: oats, brown rice (after it is cooked and cooled), sorghum, barley, pinto beans, black beans, soy beans, garden peas, potato starch, potatoes (after they are cooked and cooled) and green bananas.
If you’ve already avoided crushing on Halloween candy and don’t want to feel stuffed like a turkey this Thanksgiving, Almased offers you many ways to navigate these meal minefields and boost our health this holiday season.