April 02, 2016

Your Diet can determine how old you look!

Many people over the age of, shall we say, 50, would like to turn back the hands of time and not only feel younger but look younger as well.


But very few people appreciate the fact that making dietary changes -- specifically in relation to their sugar and grain consumption – is likely to be the closest formula for a 'fountain of youth' that's currently known.


It has been found that higher glucose levels in a body are associated with a higher perceived age, which was assessed using facial photographs. So in other words, the higher your glucose levels, the older you'll tend to look, which actually makes perfect sense when you realise that it is the manner in which your body handles glucose that is intimately connected to skin ageing.


While many people have become diligent about having their cholesterol levels tested, many overlook the importance of their fasting insulin levels. This vitally important measurement can give you a clue as to whether you're consuming a harmful amount of glucose, whether your body is capable of handling it, and by implication, the degree to which accelerating ageing may be going on in your body.


Why it's important to know your Insulin level


Insulin is absolutely essential to staying alive, but the sad fact is that many of you reading this right now may already have unsafe levels of it accumulating in your bloodstream, and it is pushing you toward accelerated ageing and the development of chronic degenerative illnesses, which sadly are prevalent in most Westernised societies.


On average an adult will have aproximately 5.6 litres of blood in their bodies and many would be surprised to learn that there is only one teaspoon of sugar contained in it! In other words, your body is designed to have just one teaspoon of sugar in your blood at all times -- if that. If your blood sugar level were to rise to one tablespoon of sugar you would run the risk of going into a hyperglycemic coma and even dying.


Luckily, your body works very hard to prevent this from happening by producing insulin to keep your blood sugar at the appropriate level. Any meal or snack high in grain and sugar carbohydrates typically generates a rapid rise in blood glucose. To compensate for this your pancreas secretes insulin into your bloodstream, which lowers your blood sugar to keep you from dying. Insulin, however, is also very efficient at lowering blood sugar by turning it into fat – so the more you secrete, the fatter you will become.


The fact is that if you consume a diet consistently high in sugar and grains, your blood glucose levels will be correspondingly high and over time your body becomes "desensitised" to insulin and requires more and more of it to get the job done. Eventually, you become insulin resistant, which leads to the potential to develop type II diabetes.


If you have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, or are overweight, it is quite likely that you are eating too many grains and sugars, as this is the most common cause of abnormal insulin levels. Fructose has been shown to be especially harmful, due to the way it disrupts the lock-and-key fit between insulin and its cellular receptor sites. Dozens of animal and human studies prove that fructose is a powerful endocrine disruptor, capable of rapidly inducing insulin resistance when consumed in, what by today's standards, is a relatively small amount (15 grams or more a day).


To find out your insulin levels, ask your MD for a fasting blood insulin test. It's one of the least expensive tests, yet it is one of the most empowering ones available to help you take back control of your health. A normal fasting blood insulin level is below 5, but ideally you'll want to be below 3.


You may also be able to use a simple glucose test to check your fasting glucose, however it's possible to have low fasting glucose yet have significantly elevated insulin levels.


If this is the case, you're essentially pre-diabetic and need to take urgent steps to improve your insulin sensitivity, and the most potent way is to reduce or eliminate sugar, particularly fructose, from your diet. Generally speaking, however, a fasting glucose under 100 mg/dl suggests that you're not insulin resistant, while a level between 100-125 suggests you're either mildly insulin resistant or have impaired glucose tolerance (this is sometimes referred to as pre-diabetes).


So you may ask, can eliminating sugar from your diet lengthen your lifespan?


Well as you probably know, your body does need, and uses, glucose for energy. Without it you wouldn't survive. But while glucose is certainly not toxic in and of itself, foods that raise and keep raised your blood sugar levels essentially are 'toxic' in that they set in motion a cascade of detrimental health effects, especially when consumed in excess or over a long period of time.


Soft fizzy drinks, sweets, pasta, bread, pastries and fruit juice are examples of foods that quickly break down into glucose once consumed, generating a spike in your blood glucose levels and a corresponding release of insulin. It is becoming very clear that your longevity is intimately tied to this cycle, and by modifying your diet to restrict your intake of sugars and grains, 'Moderation' as always is the key word! You can actually slow down the rate at which your biological clock is ticking – and maybe even turn back the dials a little.


The three cornerstones are:


#1 Moderate sugar/fructose intake
#2 Moderate grains (carbs) and replace them with healthy fats
#3 Exercise regularly and effectively


Don't forget #3 ! These three cornerstones have one important factor in common, and that is helping you improve your insulin sensitivity -- the key to longevity and a youthful appearance.