(NAPSI)—How sweet it isn’t: One of the least healthful parts of the American diet, nutritionists say, is refined sugar, and avoiding it is nearly impossible—but there are steps you can take.
Refined sugar, in a variety of forms, is all over the food supply. That’s why it’s important to block most of that sugar from getting into your body.
Here are three ways:
1. Avoid Sugar Surges. Hundreds of studies document the importance of protecting against blood glucose surges. What many people don’t know is that a huge source of blood sugar emanates from dietary starch such as bread, pasta, potatoes and rice. Even whole-grain bread and brown rice can induce undesirable glucose spikes. Every gram of starch you eat could represent one gram of free glucose in your blood, according to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Fortunately, in a breakthrough development, scientists have shown that an enzyme called transglucosidase converts starches into prebiotic fiber within the digestive tract. Consuming this enzyme with starchy meals helps avoid the flood of glucose into the bloodstream that results from eating carbohydrates.
Transglucosidase can reduce the level of rapidly digested starch in a carbohydrate food item by 31 percent. This helps maintain healthy blood glucose, cholesterol and insulin levels for those whose levels are already in the normal range, reports the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry and Nutrition.
Consider this: Most anti-diabetic drugs are made to drive down blood sugar levels. They have no effect on insulin. Some even increase insulin levels in an attempt to reduce blood sugar. Transglucosidase, however, works in part by lowering insulin levels as blood sugar normalizes.
2. Inhibit Enzymes. Researchers also found that extracts from grape seeds and teas (both white and green) successfully dampened a sugary meal’s effect on blood sugar levels.
Explains Michael A. Smith, M.D., senior health scientist with Life Extension in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and host of “Healthy Talk” on www.RadioMD.com, the extracts keep sugar from being available for absorption, so there’s less risk of blood sugar spikes after eating.
“This is very important because experts agree that a dramatic rise in blood sugar leads to a parallel rise in insulin. The end result is insulin resistance and possibly type 2 diabetes,” adds Dr. Smith.
Supplementing with grape seed or tea extracts minimizes the rise in blood sugar by blocking the intestinal enzymes responsible for digesting complex sugars.
Researchers calculated the concentrations required to inhibit most of the activity of the digestive enzymes amylase and glucosidase. They found that grape seed extract strongly inhibited both of the enzymes while tea extracts showed strong inhibition of the glucosidase enzyme.
The scientists concluded “Because these plant extracts are well tolerated, relatively inexpensive and readily available, they have the potential to be used in many applications for glycemic (sugar) control.”
3. Understand Sugar Absorption. Blood sugar spikes are dangerous. Every time sugar rises in your blood, insulin follows suit because it’s necessary to transport the sugar to the cells to be used for energy.
The problem is, the insulin receptors inside the cell are very sensitive to insulin and if it constantly spikes, they become desensitized. Doctors call this insulin resistance and say it leads to diabetes. Chronically elevated insulin levels can also put you at increased risk for cancer, obesity, heart attacks and strokes.
For further facts about transglucosidase and other ways to slow your sugar absorption, visit www.LifeExtension.com/gpt or call toll-free at 1-866-631-8923.