Obesity, Diabetes, and Chromium
It’s time to wake up and take responsibility for your health. Healthy weight management is no longer a question of just looking good in your summer swimsuit. Healthy weight management has become a matter of life and death. According to the CDC, more than a third of Americans are now classified as obese, and just under ten percent of the population is struggling with diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. Obesity and diabetes are some of the leading underlying factors, in terms of life-threatening conditions. Top complications due to diabetes that can land you in the hospital and which threaten your survival include: 1. Hypoglycemia 2. High blood pressure 3. Cardiovascular disease 4. Heart attack 5. Blindness 6. Stroke 7. Kidney disease 8. Amputation Top complications due to obesity include: 1. Coronary heart disease 2. High blood pressure 3. Stroke 4. Gallstones 5. Osteoarthritis 6. Diabetes 7. Sleep apnea 8. Cancer Blood sugar levels, sugar regulation, and insulin regulation are most likely the important underlying processes for diabetes and obesity. If we don’t learn to reduce our sugar intake, eat a healthy diet, and regulate these levels, then the number of people who will die from these diseases will soar. Blood sugar regulation and insulin sensitivity are key concepts in the prevention of obesity and diabetes. Blood Sugar Regulation Blood sugar regulation is the key to reducing your risks of developing obesity and diabetes. Your body needs glucose to survive. Every cell relies on glucose to provide energy for you and for the body. The glucose you need comes from the food you eat that is transformed into glucose via the digestive tract. Once glucose is absorbed into the blood stream, the glucose needs to attach to an insulin molecule in order to be allowed to enter the cells. Insulin is produced by the pancreas. Your pancreas receives signals from the brain to produce and release insulin when glucose enters the bloodstream, because glucose in the blood has to remain within healthy limits. Too high or too low, and you could go into a coma and die. Sadly, the pancreas does not always know how much insulin to produce. When you eat foods high in refined sugars and carbohydrates, blood glucose levels soar. The pancreas has to regulate these levels, so it releases large amounts insulin. As insulin attaches to the glucose molecules, blood sugar levels begin to fall. Due to the large insulin response that results from large amounts of refined sugar, blood glucose levels begin to fall too quickly. As blood sugar levels drop to the lower limit of healthy, the brain signals the body to crave carbohydrates, to ensure blood glucose levels do not fall too low. This repetition of sugar consumption, followed by spiking blood sugar levels, followed by insulin production and falling blood sugar levels, can become a vicious cycle that fuels overeating and weight gain. This cycle is ultimately what fuels the development of type II diabetes. Blood sugar spikes and the over-consumption of sugar is possibly what fuels insulin resistance and fat storage. Insulin Resistance As mentioned above, every cell needs glucose to function and to produce energy, and every glucose molecule needs to be attached to an insulin molecule in order to enter the cell. Sadly, the precise mechanism that underlies insulin resistance has yet to be identified, but scientists have confirmed that excess glucose in the blood stream and consistently high blood glucose levels result in insulin resistance, and insulin resistance is the underlying cause of metabolic disorder and obesity. In insulin resistance, cells no longer accept glucose. Glucose must be removed from the bloodstream so the body has no choice but to store the glucose as fat; this results in the body storing fat around the waist. This is called adipose tissue, and it is a common sign of obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Chromium Picolinate Chromium picolinate may help you to regulate blood sugar levels, and it may play a role in reducing insulin resistance. Chromium is an essential trace mineral. This means you need to ensure that your diet contains sufficient chromium to support and promote health. Although scientific studies are divided on the issues of chromium picolinate, there is some evidence that chromium picolinate regulates insulin function, improves insulin sensitivity in the muscles, and helps to regulate blood glucose levels in animal studies. What You Can Do to Help Reduce Your Risk One of the biggest factors in the development of diabetes and obesity is weight gain. If you are overweight, take action now. Refined sugars and carbohydrates fuel the cycle. Severely reduce these nutrients in your diet. A chromium supplement can also be helpful for regulating blood sugar and supporting insulin sensitivity.