Diabetes and Sugar Addiction - dummies

By Dan DeFigio

Several types of diabetes exist, but 90 percent of all cases in the United States are type 2 diabetes, which is caused by a diet that keeps insulin levels high. Eating too many carbohydrates (especially sugar) leads to excess insulin production and increased body fat. Large amounts of body fat and frequent high insulin levels decrease your ability to respond to your own insulin.

This inability of your cells to respond to insulin is termed insulin resistance, and it causes your cells to “refuse” the glucose from the blood. When glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into cells, it can lead to serious problems like organ damage, nerve damage (neuropathy), blindness, hearing loss, heart disease, and stroke.

High insulin levels suppress the production of two important hormones: glucagon and growth hormone. Your body secretes glucagon when your blood sugar levels are low because its job is to trigger the release of fat to be burned for energy. High insulin levels shut down glucagon production, so you can’t burn fat.

Your body uses growth hormone for muscle repair and building new muscle tissue. Insulin resistance reduces muscle development, which keeps your metabolism slow.

Type 2 diabetes leads to a vicious Catch-22 that makes weight loss more difficult and blood sugar control less reliable. High levels of insulin can send the wrong signals to the brain — by assuming that your cells are starving for glucose, your brain creates cravings for carbohydrates, signals your body to store fat, and orders carbs to be burned for energy rather than body fat.

Type 2 diabetes goes hand in hand with other lifestyle diseases like elevated cholesterol and triglycerides, obesity, and chronic stress issues.

The good news is that you can reverse insulin resistance relatively quickly by lowering your carbohydrate intake and doing some basic exercise.

Cinnamon contains substances (methylhydroxy chalcone polymers, if you’re a chemistry nerd) that may make insulin receptors more sensitive. Using cinnamon instead of sugar gives you two bonuses in the fight against type 2 diabetes.

Although chronic excess insulin production from a poor diet causes the vast majority of insulin resistance cases, insulin resistance can result from several different problems, including the shape of your insulin (preventing receptor binding), lack of an adequate number of insulin receptors, signaling problems, or glucose transporters not working properly.

Whatever the specific cause, the function of insulin becomes impaired, and the same health problems occur. Reducing your carbohydrate intake helps reduce the harmful effects of insulin resistance, regardless of the genesis of your condition.