When we eat sweets and starches they are converted into blood sugar (glucose). This happens instantaneously, as soon as these types of foods hit our tongues they are converted into blood sugar. The body then wants to get rid of the blood sugar that is not immediately used.
So the pancreas releases insulin to control this blood sugar upsurge. This insulin is created from the protein we consume while consuming these sweets and starches. Insulin removes the excess blood sugar and stores it as fat.
Insulin looses its effectiveness however as we continue over consuming carbohydrates. We can readily witness over eating of carbohydrates by looking at the fat that collects around the abdomen.
If our sweet and starch consumption is not balanced with proper protein consumption, the pancreas will not be able to create insulin in the needed quantities. How many grams of protein are in a donut or pastry anyway? Practically zero.
But, before our body is overwhelmed by these blood sugar overloads, insulin is in overdrive working to remove and store the blood sugar.
Thus, we are left with a blood sugar level that is too low. Having the appropriate blood sugar level is critical to our survival. Remember that glucose (a form of sugar) is the principle food of the brain.
Even if the blood sugar level drops too low just for a moment, one could lapse into a coma because our brain is so dependent upon a certain amount of blood sugar.
So, to prevent the damage the low blood sugar levels can produce, the body’s two adrenal glands give the blood sugar level a boost with an emergency store of glycogen, a special sugar.
The adrenal glands are responsible for giving us extra energy in life threatening situations, for example when running from an attacker or when we need to lift a half-ton car to free a trapped person.
If we create this type of stress response every time we eat, obviously our adrenal glands will wear out. This is how one gets addicted to sugary foods.
We eat too much sugar, the blood sugar level soars and the insulin comes in to lower the blood sugar level. Then, because the principle brain food (sugar) is in short supply, we feel tired, forgetful, nervous, and unable to focus (among a list of other ailments).
Sense the over-worked adrenals do not kick in at this point, one may eat more sugary products or carbohydrates to raise the blood sugar level once again to feel energized.
Consequently, one may feel excessively hungry after having just eaten a high carbohydrate meal. This cycle can repeat itself day by day if you do not make a conscientious effort to change it.
To help keep your blood sugar balanced, ensure that you are getting the correct amount of protein. This does not mean that you should eat a steak everyday or stock up on chicken.
Recall, that excess protein gets stored as fat as well and dehydrates the skin. You want to be aware of how eating that donut or pastry affects your body. The key here is to find the right balance.
Nuts, whole grain breads, vegetable, poultry, fish and meat contain enough protein to help balance the blood sugar when eaten in the correct proportions. I like to call a Snickers bar the perfectly balanced treat because it contains sugar and protein rich peanuts.
Also, eating a sugared cereal with milk is another example of balancing sugar with protein. As you see, healthy eating is not about denial, but putting nutritional education in action.
Protein works to restore the blood sugar to normal levels by releasing glucagons, a hormone that helps bring balance to carbohydrate induced insulin overload. These glucagons stimulate fat burning as opposed to fat storage and inhibit water retention.