Life is made sweeter by sugar. A piece of luscious chocolate or a sumptuous dessert makes a moment special. Enjoyed in moderation, such nutritionally deficient treats comfort you, especially when you’re having a bad day.
You may say, “I don’t eat a lot of chocolate” or “I rarely eat desserts.” Even so, it’s likely that your diet contains far too much hidden sugar. The average American consumes around 160 pounds of sugar a year. How is this possible? The answer is in the kind of food that you eat.
Sugar is present in most foods. The problem lies in the excess of highly refined sugars used in so many common foods – bread, cereal, ketchup, and peanut butter just to name a few – along with the all-too-numerous processed and packaged food items that line supermarket shelves. And don’t forget the popularity of specialty coffees, soft drinks, and fruit juices, all of which contain large amounts of sugar. On top of this, if you eat out a lot, you can never be sure of how much sugar ends up in your meals.
Not So Sweet Inflammation
The rapid increase of sugar (glucose) levels in your blood can create inflammation. Sucrose (table sugar), dextrose (corn sugar), and high-fructose corn syrup are examples of pro-inflammatory sugars found in common, processed foods (high glycemic). Such foods have the greatest impact on your blood sugar levels, giving you short bursts of energy and frequent hunger pangs.
The sugar in most healthy food (low–mid glycemic), such as whole-grain bread, whole oatmeal, and most vegetables, is released slowly into the bloodstream with little impact on your sugar levels. Such foods provide sustained energy and make you want to eat less often.
If you are eating a diet of primarily high-glycemic foods (see chart), then you are subjecting your body to continual inflammation. A steady diet of modern, pro-inflammatory foods has led to most of the leading health issues, such as high blood pressure, allergies, arthritis, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
The U.S. sugar industry claims that there is absolutely no evidence that sugar consumption is related to diseases such as obesity or diabetes. The truth is that diabetes is a chronic illness caused in part by high blood sugar levels. Body fat, inactivity, stress, and genetics are additional factors.
Not So Sweet Diabetes
World Health Organization (WHO) statistics show that over 220 million people worldwide have diabetes. In 2005, an estimated 1.1 million people died from diabetes, but this number is likely higher because diabetes damages organs such as the heart and kidneys. Reported deaths by heart disease and kidney failure may have been the result of diabetes.
The sugar in food becomes stored energy through the effective action of the hormone insulin. If your body does not make or use insulin as required, blood sugar levels remain high. The result may be the onset of diabetes.
You may have a family history of diabetes, which only means you have an increased risk of being a diabetic as opposed to a guarantee of becoming one. Still, with the ever-increasing number of cases, the likelihood is that more and more people are becoming diabetics primarily because of obesity, poor diet, and inactivity.
For over 28 years, The AIM Companies™ has promoted the importance of regular exercise and a healthy diet while offering supplementation through whole-food concentrates and natural health products.
The Sweetness of Exercise
One of the best things that you can do for your health is to exercise. Walking, working out, swimming, and doing aerobics are just a few examples. Choose something that you enjoy and stay committed because exercise reduces the stress factors in your life, helps you to manage your weight, boosts your energy, and perhaps most importantly, combats chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes.
The Sweetness of a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is all about healthy choices and quantities. Eat five to seven small meals a day instead of three big meals. Choose roasted chicken and stay away from deep fried. Choose a side salad instead of a side of French fries. Eat daily servings of vegetables. When it comes to snacks, choose fresh fruit or nuts instead of a sweet dessert or a processed snack such as potato chips. As for beverages, choose the vitality that water provides and avoid sugar-laced drinks such as soda. A diet that provides good nutrition and reduces your daily intake of high-glycemic foods is important to overall good health and absolutely essential for diabetics.
The Sweetness of Supplementation
Modern sources of food make it difficult to give your body all of the daily nutrition required for sustained good health, so supplementation is the answer.
AIM GlucoChrom™ is a unique combination of two trace minerals – chromium and vanadium – and two herbs – gymnema leaf and bitter melon fruit. As much as 90 percent of the North American population may be chromium deficient. One symptom of chromium deficiency is glucose intolerance, which may lead to diabetes. Chromium improves the body’s response to efficiently use insulin. Vanadium, gymnema leaf, and bitter melon fruit help to promote a healthy reduction of blood sugar levels and work synergistically with chromium.
For maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, GlucoChrom increases the effective action of insulin and helps your body to metabolize carbohydrates and fats – actions that are essential for preventing and controlling type 2 diabetes. Along with diet and exercise, supplementing with GlucoChrom can help to reduce body fat and increase lean muscle mass.
AIM makes it simple to supplement your diet with nutritious greens. From the juice powder of young barley plants, AIM BarleyLife® provides a natural source of easily absorbed vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and chlorophyll. AIM LeafGreens® is a unique combination of four leaf-juice powders – spinach, field pea, faba bean, and barley – plus broccoli sprout powder. LeafGreens harnesses the potency of each green component to provide superior levels of iron, chromium, protein, chlorophyll, and vitamins A and K – ideal for diabetic diets. BarleyLife and LeafGreens are alkaline green drinks that neutralize an acidic body system.
AIM Herbal Fiberblend®, AIM fit ’n fiber®, and AIM FibreBalance® (CAN) supplement your diet with healthy sources of fiber, a key dietary factor in controlling blood sugar levels.
For a balanced 2:1 ratio of omega-3 to -6, AIMega® provides the essential fatty acids (EFAs) that your body needs on a daily basis for every one of your cells to function optimally. An EFA imbalance has been linked to diabetes.
Making the necessary lifestyle changes can make a dramatic difference to your health, and AIM provides the nutritional support to help make it happen.
The World Health Organization recommends that added sugars contribute no more than 10% of total calories. By that criterion, a person on a 2000-calorie diet should consume no more than 50 grams of carbohydrate in the form of sugar.
• 4 grams of sugar = 1 teaspoon
• 8 ounces of orange juice contains 21 g of sugar
• 21 g sugar = 5 teaspoons of sugar!