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Blood Sugar 101 _Final

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>> Hi. In this lecture, we're going to talk about that thing that we love to hate, but we also can't help to love, sugar. All living things eat sugar or glucose. It is simple, easy, and quick. From an evolutionary standpoint, all organisms, humans and bacteria included want to receive the most amount of nutrients while expending the least amount of energy. Makes sense, right? When it comes to digestion, simple sugars are the fastest, the easiest, and require the least amount of energy. It's no coincidence that this key nutrient is appealing to the palate, and this is the timeless battle for why we naturally crave sugar. Blood sugar or glucose is the fuel that keeps ourselves alive and functioning. It powers our bodies the same way that a car burns gas, we need it to survive. Glucose comes from all kinds of carbohydrates. It's in simple sugar, like table sugar. It's found in refined flour as well as complex carbs like barley. Glucose if found in fruit. Even a small amount of the protein and fats that we eat are converted into glucose, but the main source is carbohydrates. Anyone who has done a low-carb diet knows that the body can burn fat for fuel, but generally, most tissues prefer glucose as their fuel. This is especially true for the brain, heart, and skeletal muscles. The burning of glucose is tied to the production of a molecule called ATP. ATP is used to power cellular and bodily functions. You can imagine it like how water is the driving force that powers a waterwheel. Let's talk about how the body takes in sugar. In order for sugar to be able to enter the cells, the pancreas produces insulin, the hormone that trigger cells to take in the sugar. Insulin release can signal the body to use sugar or store it for future use. You can think of insulin as the gatekeeper. The point of insulin is to regulate the level of sugar that's circulating in the blood while keeping fuel on hand for daily activities and any fight or flight situations. Insulin acts like a key that opens the cellular door to let blood sugar in. When we have enough sugar in the blood to keep ourselves fueled, insulin triggers the liver and muscles to temporarily store sugar as glycogen. In between meals, when blood sugar starts to get low, the hormone glucagon triggers the conversion of glycogen back into blood sugar. This provides immediate energy to keep us going through the day. This release also happens when we need a burst of energy for emergencies. The body is smart and always prepared. Insulin is produced by the pancreas, an organ tucked behind the stomach between the liver and spleen. Beta cells in the pancreas are responsible for insulin production. As food is digested, glucose is released into the blood. This increase in blood sugar triggers insulin production. In contrast, when blood sugar levels become low, other cells in the pancreas called alpha cells make glucagon, which tells the liver to convert glycogen back to glucose. In this way blood sugar levels are tightly regulated. At least, this is true when things are working properly. When the pancreas cannot produce enough insulin, type 1 diabetes occurs. This happens because beta cells are destroyed by the immune system. Because insulin isn't being produced, there aren't enough open doors to let the blood sugar into the cells. In the case of type 2 diabetes, too much insulin is common. In this condition, the key hole that insulin uses to open the door is gone, preventing cells from getting the fuel they need, this is what's known as insulin resistance. In both cases, the amount of sugar in the blood becomes too high. This causes stickiness and blockages in the blood vessels from which the complications of diabetes arise. Now that we know how important blood sugar balance is, let's talk about the factors that affect blood sugar. Blood sugar levels can be affected by what we eat, our activity levels, our stress levels, the microbiome, and body fat. Let's take a look at how each of these factors plays a role. At the most basic level, blood sugar levels are influenced by diet. Simple carbohydrates, like table sugar or products made from refined flour are rapidly turned into blood sugar. Too much of these over time can derail healthy insulin and blood sugar regulation leading to issues like type 2 diabetes. When you eat too much sugar, it forces the body to work harder to find balance. Complex carbohydrates like whole grains, vegetables, and fruits are also sources of blood sugar, but they also provide fiber which slows down the digestion of carbohydrates and the subsequent release of blood sugar. Physical activity is also a major influence on blood sugar levels, more movement equals more fuel burned, simple math. Blood sugar levels can drop after exercise as a result of the sugar being used for energy. That makes sense, right? Stress is another factor that can directly impact blood sugar levels. Stress triggers the production of adrenaline and cortisol, both of which signal the liver to release sugar. This is done to help our bodies deal with an eminent threat. But the body can't distinguish an actual life threatening emergency like a tornado heading your way from your boss stressing you out, the effect is the same. Chronic stress over time can be problematic because of the chronic release of blood sugar that isn't necessarily being used to fight or run. Hence, how cortisol can cause belly fat. When blood sugar gets too low, this triggers a stress response. Basically, the body freaks out that it won't have the fuel that it needs. This is why it's important not to go too long without eating and why this can trigger binge eating for someone who struggles with emotional eating. A more recently recognized influence on blood sugar levels is the microbiome, the collection of bacteria that live in the gut. An exciting discovery to come from this is that you may not digest certain foods the same way as your neighbor. So for example, eating a banana may affect one person's blood sugar but not another. As an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, you know, bio-individuality explains that we all have unique nutritional needs, and now we're seeing that we each have a different gut microbiome which maybe a reason behind this phenomenon. The bacteria in your gut influence your appetite, your blood sugar production, and the rate of which you burn sugar. Remember, bacteria eat sugar too. Give them too much sugar and it may shift a healthy microbiome into dysbiosis. Too much sugar can turn opportunistic commensal bacteria into pathogenic bacteria. To recap what we've covered so far, blood sugar is regulated by a strict process, but it can't be influenced by the food that we eat, our physical activity, stress, and the microbiome. Now let's talk about the fifth way blood sugar can be influenced. This is a hot topic that many of your clients will want to know about, body fat affects blood sugar and the reverse is true as well. Blood sugar influences body fat and can play a role in obesity. The main principle to remember here is that blood sugar imbalances can cause weight gain, and gaining weight can cause blood sugar imbalances. It's a cycle that can't be difficult to break. The connection between diabetes and obesity is creating an epidemic in our modern society, now being referred to by some as diabesity. Blood sugar plays a significant role and how full we feel after we eat. The control of appetite and energy expenditure is a complex process. It allows crosstalk between the digestive, endocrine, and nervous systems. It also involves hormones, such as leptin and ghrelin, and nervous system sensors in the digestive tract and the brain. Leptin, which you can think of as the full hormone is produced by fat cells in response to insulin production. It signals to the brain that you're full. Insulin rises after eating a meal. Insulin stimulated glucose metabolism influences the release of leptin. This signals the hypothalamus to reduce appetite. Leptin also communicates with the hypothalamus and other nerve centers to control calorie burn. When leptin levels are high, it triggers a higher rate of burning, when low, it reduces calorie burning. Leptin's role in regulating appetite and calorie burning is also involved in the regulation of body fat content. Leptin resistance is common in people who are obese. This may sound counterintuitive, but with excess body fat, a person actually has higher levels of leptin. However, the brain no longer responds properly to the fullness signal from leptin. This is similar to insulin resistance in diabetics. Insulin resistance is even one of the triggers for leptin resistance. Another appetite regulator is ghrelin known as the hunger hormone. Ghrelin is secreted in the digestive tract. It tells the hypothalamus that the body is hungry. The production of ghrelin is triggered when the stomach is empty, When the stomach is full, this triggers a stop to ghrelin secretion. Ghrelin contributes to the regulation of blood sugar by halting the release of insulin from the pancreas. Ghrelin also triggers glucose production in the liver. Both of these processes translate to higher blood sugar levels. What may be a surprise is that ghrelin levels are reduced in obesity which should lead to reduce the appetite. We are quite sure why but insulin, leptin, and ghrelin functions are often disrupted in obesity. Now let's recap. Every living organism uses glucose for fuel. Our cravings for it are tied to our evolutionary need for a quick energy boost. Blood sugar is affected by five main factors, diet, activity level, stress, a person's microbiome, and body weight. Diabesity is a new term being used for when diabetes and obesity are both present. The two affect one another and often go hand in hand. The hormones that regulate our appetite affect and are affected by blood sugar. Cutting edge research is showing that blood sugar regulation differs from person to person, even in response to the same food. This may be due to a combination of lifestyle, dietary choices, and the bacteria in a person's microbiome. This finding supports bio-individuality. The idea that one size fits all doesn't work when it comes to diet. Are you aware of how blood sugar levels impact the way you feel? Do you struggle with issues around blood sugar in your own life? Head over to the Facebook group now and let us know your experience, and how the factors we discussed maybe influencing your blood sugar levels. I enjoyed sharing this information with you and I appreciate you watching. Good bye for now.

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Duration: 11 minutes and 7 seconds
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Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
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Views: 5
Posted by: ninaz on Mar 27, 2018

Blood Sugar 101 _Final

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