Sugar. It’s the root of all evil in the U.S.
It causes weight gain, metabolic syndromes, liver damage, high cholesterol and heart disease — and it may also be behind headaches and migraines.
Sugar consumption causes rapid blood sugar fluctuations including headaches that can be the result of high blood sugar. Conversely, excessively low blood sugar that arises about an hour or so after eating sugar can also spawn a headache or migraine.
People who have insulin resistance or diabetes are especially at risk of headaches.
What is Insulin Resistance?
Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body stops responding to the blood sugar lowering effects of insulin and is often considered a precursor to diabetes. Diabetes arises when a person is unable to produce sufficient insulin or use the hormone insulin effectively, which can cause blood sugar levels to rise.
Should You Switch to Splenda Instead?
Does that mean you should switch to Splenda or another synthetic sugar substitute? Absolutely not. Splenda (sucralose) has been found to be a contributor to migraines in research published in Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain. Stevia, a natural herbal sweetener is the only sugar substitute that does not impact blood sugar levels.
Tips For Eating Less Sugar
You can balance your blood sugar and nix cravings to get off the blood sugar roller coaster for good and stop experiencing its many harmful effects.
Here are some simple strategies:
Reach for Fruit
Before you completely cave into dessert, eat a piece of fruit. While fruit contains sugar, it is in a form that requires the body to metabolize it, along with beneficial fiber and plant nutrients that help slow its absorption or improve its use.
Eat Fiber at Every Meal
Fiber helps to slow the absorption of sugar into the blood stream thereby reducing the likelihood of blood sugar highs and lows.
Snack on Healthy Foods
By eating small amounts periodically we help to prevent our blood sugar from dropping to low levels, which in turn causes cravings for unhealthy foods like sweets.
Eat High Protein Plant Foods
Like fiber, protein in foods slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. Some good plant-based sources of protein include: nuts, seeds, legumes, coconut and avocado.
Sprinkle Some Cinnamon
Research in the journal Lipids in Health and Disease found that cinnamon improved all markers of the condition known as metabolic syndrome, the symptoms of which include high blood sugar levels, abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels and excessive abdominal fat.
Switch to Stevia
When sweetening coffee, tea or other foods and beverages, choose stevia since it does not impact blood sugar levels.
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