Preventing Sugar Spikes After Meals

Preventing sugar spikes and restoring insulin sensitivity is the first step in preventing diabetes.  If you're at risk for diabetes (middle age, family history, overweight, inactive) follow these suggestions:

1. Eat Soluble Fiber

Soluble fiber interferes with carbohydrate absorption from the intestines into your bloodstream.  By limiting absorption, less sugar enters the blood and prevents spikes.

I suggest supplementing with psyllium husk or beta-glucan 10 to 20 minutes before each major meal.  Both of these soluble fibers come in powder form and mix well with water.

2. Take Chromium Polynicotinate

Chromium polynicotinate is a trace mineral that enhances the effect of insulin.  With chromium, cells don't needs as much insulin to uptake glucose.  The more sensitive the cells are to insulin, the less is released into the blood.

Take 500 mcg of chromium polynicotinate with each major meal.

3. Try Coffee Berry & Cinnamon

Cinnamon is well known by naturopathic doctors for its positive effects on blood sugar.  The problem is that whole cinnamon contains oils that prevent it from working.  The best suggestion is to take 200 mg with each meal of a water-based cinnamon extract free from the oils.

Cinnamon works better with the herb coffee berry.  Coffee berry inhibits the conversion of glycogen (stored sugar) to blood glucose, thus helping to minimize spikes and the amount of insulin released.  About 50 mg of coffee berry with each meal should do the trick.

4. Take Lipoic Acid

Glucose (blood sugar) destroys the insulin receptors sticking out from the cell's membrane. Without these receptors, insulin won't work.  Lipoic acid is a naturally occurring antioxidant that protects insulin receptors.  I suggest taking 200 to 300 mg/day of R-lipoic acid (the "R" form is more potent).

5. Eat Complex Carbohydrates

Complex carbs have less effect on blood sugar spikes.  Foods like oatmeal, bran, wheatgerm, and whole grain breads take longer to breakdown to glucose.  The long it takes to breakdown carbs to glucose, the less insulin is released.

A word of warning: all carbohydrates, complex or not, eventually become glucose.  I suggest cutting the servings breads and cereals in half.

Summary

Preventing sugar spikes after meals restores insulin sensitivity and is the first step in diabetes prevention. To learn more, read the Life Extension Foundation's diabetes protocol at www.lef.org and use the search term "diabetes."

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