The Blood Sugar Roller Coaster – Are you on this ride?

Imagine going to a fairground and going on a Big Dipper. Great for a ride or two, fantastic thrill, adrenaline rushing, the world a blur as it flashes by. Now imagine you can’t get off, hour after hour, trapped on an endless roller coaster, you would at the very least be irritable, aggressive, tired and hungry. All the symptoms that people find themselves suffering from when they gradually become victims of the nightmare blood sugar ride that is so easily thrust upon us due to the horrendous levels of refined sugar found in many processed foods, fizzy drinks, cakes and sweets that surround us every day.

Here at Portland Nutrition we want to help you get off this unhealthy roller coaster ride before its too late. Continually eating sugar rich foods will give you fluctuating blood sugar levels that initially may just make you feel moody, tired with increased weight. As the sugar ride progresses, it can kick off inflammatory reactions all around the body before leading to metabolic chaos in the body linked with high blood pressure, reduced brain function, ageing skin, liver, kidney disease and is behind the well documented rise in Type 2 diabetes.

So what is sugar and do we need it? Although sugar has a fascinating history, it really only came into prominence in England from the late 18th century and with increased processing and refining has led to the white granulated substance found in those 1 kilo bags commonly found in supermarkets. Well, yes we can live without that sugar! Table sugar is composed of glucose (gives the immediate sugar rush) and fructose which is metabolised via the liver and continual excess is implicated with liver disease. However, it is the carbohydrates that quickly breakdown into glucose that are the most fattening. These come from refined flour such as that found in bread, pasta and cereal, starch from potato and rice, as well as liquid carbs found in fizzy drinks or fruit juice.

So what happens when we eat refined sugar foods? Well the glucose is liberated into the bloodstream with amazing rapidity, rising levels cause the pancreas to secrete insulin which takes the glucose to our cells. However, continual inappropriate food choices will set the blood sugar roller coaster ride in motion. More sugar, more insulin, working the pancreatic cells harder.

Eventually when the body is continually flooded with insulin all the time – a bit like continual junk mail through the letterbox, its gets ignored and the body’s cells take less glucose in as they become unresponsive to the effects of insulin. Net result, higher blood sugar levels and more insulin secreted to try and reduce the current levels, setting the scene for the metabolic disturbances described above.

The blood sugar roller coaster ride is a health crash waiting to happen. So for specific advice contact Portland Nutrition where, following consultation, individual Health Improvement Plans can be formulated to help you balance blood sugar levels and reduce the chances of ill health such as diabetes.



Bill Taylor
Bsc (Hons), Dip ION, MBANT

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