What is glucose?
Glucose is a sugar (carbohydrate), the body’s primary source of energy or fuel. Glucose enters the cells where it is used as fuel by the action of the hormone insulin produced by the pancreas, which is necessary for this.
What happens if the glucose level is high?
If blood glucose (blood glucose) levels rise too often, usually due to excessive carbohydrate intake along with a genetic predisposition:
- Cells become less sensitive to insulin, insulin resistance, and glucose builds up in the blood. It is hyperglycemia.
- The pancreas increases the production of insulin to get glucose to enter the cells and increases insulin levels in the blood. It is hyperinsulinemia.
If fasting blood sugar and insulin levels remain high (blood glucose greater than 100-125 mg/dl, insulin more significant than ten MCU/ml), the person is said to have pre-diabetes or diabetes. However, it is common to see people with high blood glucose spikes and levels within normal limits in fasting blood tests. It is also common to see high insulin levels without presenting established hyperglycemia.
In practice, the most helpful way to know whether or not you have hyperglycemia is to determine your blood glucose using a glucometer at the pharmacy or home, fasting in the morning, 2 hours after lunch, and before dinner—several days, including some that are not well.
What are the consequences of excess glucose?
Excess glucose, often due to refined carbohydrates, sweet foods, or drugs, is highly implicated in the lack of control of inflammation due to its effect on insulin and stimulating the production of glycation end products (AGEs). Glycation consists of sugar molecules joining any protein in the body, which loses its normal function. It is converted into AGE products, which cause inflammation, oxidation, cell damage, and tissue destruction.
Glycation, oxidation, and inflammation are interrelated and are a normal part of metabolism, but their excess is the basis of all chronic diseases and cognitive decline and aging. The more glycation, the more oxidation, more inflammation, and more loss of cellular functions and cell death. LDL cholesterol is a protein that damages blood vessels when it oxidizes, and oxidation is significantly increased by its glycation.
Frequent high blood glucose levels deplete necessary micronutrients and neurotransmitters such as dopamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine, and serotonin.
If the production of altered proteins is not stopped, it is impossible to stop the chronic disease.
Inadequate nutrition has been recognized as an essential source of AGEs. The production of AGEs, together with excess oxidation, is stopped by reducing the intake of carbohydrates, especially sugars: glucose and fructose.
What is insulin?
It is one of the hormones with the most influence on the body’s functions and the one that most influences all other hormones.
- Insulin is responsible for the glucose in the blood entering the cells, and they can use it to produce the energy they need.
- Its levels are directly influenced by carbohydrates, the more refined and processed. Its abuse leads to insulin resistance: the cells become less sensitive to its action.
- Insulin is a “director” of the body, and its imbalance affects the other hormones and all your organs.
Consequences of excess insulin
A persistent excess of insulin increases the formation and retention of fat and produces excess inflammation that affects the entire body (systemic inflammation).
The main consequence of insulin excess and resistance is uncontrolled inflammation, causing low-grade, silent (few symptoms) uncontrolled inflammation that gradually damages tissues. It is a type of inflammation related to the vast majority of diseases, including cancer and dementia, and the kind of disease that occurs depends on the genetic predisposition of the person and the organ that is most affected: heart disease, bronchitis, dermatitis, bowel disease
The symptoms of hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance are not specific. They can be very varied: abdominal obesity (love handles), overweight that is difficult to control through exercise, fatigue after eating, anxiety about eating after hours and at night, worry about sweet foods and comfort foods, caffeine cravings, sleep problems, mood swings, feeling sluggish and tired, high triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol.
Presenting several of these symptoms can be a warning to the doctor and the person of insulin resistance and systemic inflammation, precursors of the diseases to which said person presents a greater genetic risk: heart disease, dementia, cancer.
Glycemic and insulinemic indices of a food
- The glycemic index of a food is an indicator that shows us the amount of glucose in the blood after eating said food.
- The insulinemic index of a food is an indicator that shows the amount of insulin that is released into the blood after eating said food.
The glycemic index and the insulin index are generally correlated. Knowing both is helpful because some foods, such as meats and dairy, cause an insulin response out of proportion to the amount and type of carbohydrate they contain.
In this blog article Discover the Functional Classification of Foods CFA, in the category “Foods and chronic disease,” you can download a PDF that allows you to search for each food to know its: nutrient content, content in triggers of the disease, and favorable or unfavorable action.
Not-taking foods increase blood glucose and insulin in your regular meals: sweet-tasting foods and drinks, refined (white) cereals, processed foods. It helps control silent inflammation and stop chronic processes. The primary feeding guidelines in the Dr. Cardona Method contain foods with a low glycemic and insulinemic index.