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Miracle Foods to Tame That Sugar Spike

By Joe Wilkes
From the Million Dollar Body Club - Join Today and Workout to Win!

Sugar cubes

Something that has recently received a lot of media attention is how our bodies are affected by blood sugar levels. Blood sugar levels indicate the amount of glucose that is present in our blood. High levels of glucose (hyperglycemia) trigger the pancreas to produce the hormone insulin to help the body use the glucose for energy and store the excess as fat. Low glucose levels (hypoglycemia) cause us to feel hungry and tired and crave more sugar.

Your blood sugar spikes when you get a large, rapid dose of sugar which gives you a rush of energy, followed soon by a crash. This is the so-called "sugar coma" you get after a big meal or a sugary treat. Eating small, regularly spaced meals throughout the day can prevent the spiking, and keep your body burning fat at maximum capacity. Going on crash diets, or eating one big meal a day, can cause your body to enter starvation mode and begin storing calories as fat rather than burning them for energy.

PeachesDifferent foods burn differently in your body, and thus the Glycemic Index was created. Foods with high numbers, such as sugars and simple starches like white flour, potatoes, and white rice have high numbers and will cause your blood sugar levels to spike. Foods containing complex carbohydrates such as apples, beans, grapefruit, peaches, and peanuts will deliver sugar to your body more slowly and evenly, giving you energy over a longer period of time, without spiking. By keeping your diet on the low end of the Glycemic Index, you will burn fat more efficiently.

Recently, studies have been completed on two common ingredients that have been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels and even promote weight loss.

  • Vinegar

    VinegarStudies where participants were given two tablespoons of vinegar before a meal, showed that the people who drank the vinegar had much more stable blood sugar levels than those who didn't, and at the end of the study the vinegar drinkers also experienced more weight loss. Now the idea of drinking a shot of vinegar before each meal may not sound very appetizing, but you get the same benefits from including it on a salad, adding it to your soup, or drinking it diluted in water. Also, vegetables pickled in vinegar (not brine) are an effective means of getting your two tablespoons before a meal. By substituting a vinaigrette for a mayonnaise-based dressing, you're not only saving a ton of calories and fat, but you're also helping your body digest the rest of the meal without causing your blood sugar to spike.

    Unfortunately for those who don't care for vinegar, the jury's still out as to whether vinegar capsules are as effective, but there is some evidence that lemon juice has similar effects.

  • Cinnamon

    CinnamonThe effects of cinnamon have not been studied as extensively as vinegar, but there is some evidence to suggest it has properties that stabilize blood sugar levels and even lower "bad" cholesterol. A half a teaspoon sprinkled in your morning oatmeal or using a cinnamon stick to stir your coffee or tea is all it takes to give you the benefits.

While neither of these ingredients has been conclusively proven to be a magic bullet for weight loss or blood sugar–related illnesses like diabetes, there appears to be little downside to adding a little vinegar or cinnamon to your diet. This isn't a license to eat giant frosted cinnamon buns or salt-and-vinegar potato chips, though. That would be a bit like drinking a martini for the nutritional benefits of the olive.

Your best bet for keeping your blood sugar stable and your body running efficiently is still to eat several evenly-spaced, small-portion meals throughout the day, filled with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fat. But why not add a little vinegar and cinnamon to your diet? It's cheap, it's easy, and it might just work!

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RICHARD DAFTER

I am a full time Beachbody Coach. I motivate and guide close to 2,500 Club members and head a team of 11 Beachbody Coaches who are all committed to helping you reach your goals. Before joining BeachBody, I was a certified personal trainer for more than a dozen years and have been a running coach for over 20 years. Continued...

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