Cholesterol, body weight and blood sugar levels, let`s find out about these three health risks and how you can manage them.
Balancing Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
So what does blood sugar balance actually mean? When you eat, the carbohydrates in your food get converted to sugars which are transported through your circulatory system (blood). Your body responds by releasing hormones that help get the sugar into cells for energy, or store it away to access later. If your body is not metabolising carbohydrates effectively, then more sugar gets stored into your cells, which turns into fat.
Blood Sugar and Weight Loss
If healthy blood sugar levels aren’t maintained, then over time this may contribute to an increased risk of various health issues including weight gain, which can in turn be associated with unhealthy cholesterol risks. So, healthy blood sugar balance is a good step toward good health and healthy weight loss.
What is Cholesterol and why should I care?
Cholesterol isn’t all bad, in fact you actually need it, which is why your body makes this fat-like substance. Cholesterol is important for hormone production and cell structure, but it can cause problems too.
There are two types of cholesterol; LDL-cholesterol (‘bad’) and HDL-cholesterol (‘good’). LDL cholesterol is thought of as ‘bad’ because it can oxidise and build up inside arteries. You want good levels of HDL cholesterol because it carries cholesterol to your liver for processing and removing from your body.
Why are antioxidants important?
Imbalances in blood sugar levels are bad news for weight loss but they also affect the body at a cellular level too. High blood sugar levels can be associated with high amounts of oxidative tissue damage (which is why people with diabetes need to monitor their eye health), and inflammation.
Antioxidants are also important when it comes to cholesterol. Oxidised cholesterol causes problems, by becoming sticky and damaging to the artery walls. By topping up your antioxidant levels you can add to your body’s defence against all oxidative damage, including cholesterol.
Herbs and Minerals you should know about
According to Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), maintaining healthy blood sugar is not just an outcome of what you eat but is associated with energetic imbalances in the body; disordered Kidney Yin energy and deficient Heat. The herb Huang Bai (Phellodendron amurense) has traditionally been used to help harmonise these energetic imbalances.
Ayurvedic (traditional Indian) wisdom suggests two herbs can help. Amla (also known as Indian Gooseberry or Phyllanthus emblica), has been shown to help healthy people maintain normal blood sugar levels, can help to lower LDL-cholesterol (‘bad’ cholesterol) and triglycerides, and help to increase HDL-cholesterol (‘good’ cholesterol). Amla may also help protect against oxidative damage and inflammation.
Scientific studies suggest the Ayurvedic herb Bitter Melon (Momordica charantia) supports healthy glycaemic control.
People with low levels of chromium, known for its importance in blood sugar maintenance, may be at increased risk of becoming overweight, developing blood sugar imbalance or high cholesterol or triglyceride levels.
There are several blood sugar balancing products available for you to use, one is Fusion Health Blood Sugar, which combines Traditional Chinese Medicine with modern Western herbal medicine.
Written by Peita Handel
Herbalist, yoga teacher and health writer Peita writes to inspire and inform. Her personal passion is women’s health, specialising in prenatal and postnatal natural health in the Blue Mountains, NSW
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