A Guilty Pleasure Without The Guilt

You would not be alone if the dessert menu is your undoing, or treats commonly find their way into your mid-afternoon snack.

Whether you have just eaten a large meal or gone for a long stretch without food, both scenarios can create fluctuations in blood sugar levels, kicking up cravings. But for people who are most susceptible to blood sugar peaks and valleys, such as those with diabetes and pre-diabetes, giving in to sweet cravings can create consequences far worse than guilt.

“Diabetes is a disease where the body does not produce enough insulin to sustain it or cannot use the insulin which it produces. Insulin is needed to convert thesugar(glucose) consumed from food into the body’s cells to be used as energy. Insulin is a hormone that helps your body control the level of glucose in your blood. Lack of insulin will cause the sugar to remain in your blood stream resulting in high blood sugar levels and ultimately causecomplicationssuch as heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, nerve damages, blindness and amputation.” explains Maggie Laidlaw, PhD, from Nutrasource Diagnostics in Guelph , Ontario .

There are two types of Diabetes. Type I which is commonly diagnosed in childhood or teen years, is a disease where the pancreas does not produce enough insulin resulting in glucose (sugar) build up in the blood. Insulin injections, lifestyle and dietary recommendations are commonly prescribed to manage this condition for which there is no cure.

Type II diabetes is a degenerative disease, commonly seen in older adults but may also be seen in younger adults and teens with poor dietary and lifestyle habits. In this case either the pancreas does not produce enough insulin to move glucose from the blood into the cells to be used as energy or the cells become resistant to the action of insulin, resulting in a build up of glucose in the blood. ” Type 2 diabetes is a progressive, lifelong condition; over time, it may be more difficult to keep your blood glucose levels in your target range,” Laidlaw explains.

For the more than three million Canadians living with diabetes, the food choices they make every day have life and death consequences. Poor nutritional choices can have a negative impact on blood sugar regulation as well as diabetes related conditions, such as cardiovascular disease and obesity. One teaspoon of table sugar can actually shut down the immune system for up to 6 hours, leaving the body vulnerable to viruses and bacteria. Consider that one can of regular soda pop contains 10 teaspoons of sugar and it is easy to see how quickly and quietly refined sugar can creep into your day and wreak havoc!

If it seems that your sweet tooth is ruled by some powerful force beyond your control, you are not completely off track. Carbohydrates, including fruit, grains and vegetables are the body’s preferred source of energy and so humans are biologically programmed to enjoy the taste of sweet foods for historically these are where we derived our greatest sources of fuel. Unfortunately, in recent years the typical Canadian diet has turned away from nutritious whole foods and offers an abundance of over-processed, sugar enhanced and nutrient stripped food. These can create wild fluctuations in the blood sugar, unhealthy for anyone but particularly dangerous for diabetics. Excess sugars that are consumed from treats, sweet drinks or refined flours and not utilized as an immediate energy source are converted by the body into an energy source that can be stored for later – fat. Many studies have shown that maintaining a healthy body weight and healthy blood fat levels, including cholesterol and triglycerides is dependent on controlling sugar consumption as much restricting dietary fat intake.

As much as the “wrong foods” can be an obstacle to good health it is important to remember that there are many foods and herbs that can actually help nourish and heal your body. Good nutritional choices can have a substantial and positive impact on managing diabetes, heart health and body weight. The following recommendations can help you avoid the dangers of hidden sugar in processed food and provide alternatives to keep cravings at bay.

Limit or Avoid

Enjoy

Sweet and sugary beverages

Water with lemon or lime

Concentrated fruit beverage

Whole fruit, especially berries

Deep fried, fast-food

Healthy fats from oily fish, nuts and seeds

Refined white flour products

Whole grain, high fibre breads and cereals

Full-fat dairy and fatty meats

Olive oil, low-fat dairy, lean protein

Processed, pre-packaged foods

Whole, natural, homemade food

White or brown sugar, honey and jam

Low glycemic sweeteners like Stevia, Xylitol, Agave Nectar, Sucralose

Table salt

Fresh or dried herbs and spices

Over-sized portions

Moderate amounts of grains, lean protein and lots of veggies

Skipping meals

Eating at regular intervals

A sedentary lifestyle

Regular physical activity

So does a diagnosis of diabetes mean permanently ditching the dessert? Not at all. What it does mean is that you will need a whole new set of tools in your tool box. Nature offers us an amazing assortment of therapeutic foods and herbs that can satisfy that sweet tooth while promoting health in the body, rather than breaking it down. If you are used to making a regular stop at the local pastry shop, adding a bag of cookies to the grocery cart or grabbing a candy bar on your way out of the drug store then you will need to replace those old habits with something new.

This is where Heart Chocolate™ with CM-X™, an amazing new innovation in health promoting and diabetic friendly treats can help. Heart Chocolate™ with CM-X™ is a delicious dark chocolate bar infused with therapeutic extracts of bitter melon and cinnamon. “Both cinnamon and bitter melon have been used for centuries as natural folk remedies for the treatment of diabetes in Russia, China, Korea and India,” Laidlaw explains. “The health benefits of cinnamon and bitter melon and their blood glucose and cholesterol lowering abilities have been well-documented.” Innovative Life Sciences, the Canadian company behind CM-X™ chocolate completed a Health Canada approved double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial intended to test the safety and efficacy of CM-X™. The results showed that CM-X™ can lower blood cholesterol and blood glucose levels. In people with hypercholesterolemia, total serum cholesterol levels were reduced by an average of 10% over a 4-week period in laboratory testing. That translates into a 28% reduction in heart disease risk. In addition, blood glucose results were very promising during clinical trials. Over a 4-week period, fasting blood glucose levels did drop slightly in subjects consuming CM-X™ while those taking the placebo experienced a slight increase in fasting blood glucose levels.

With this tasty and therapeutic tool in your tool box, Heart Chocolate™ with CM-X™ can help you side step the pitfalls of a sugar-laden diet and offer a safe and healthy option for anyone looking to benefit from the food cravings that can take you off track. Heart Chocolate CM-X™ chocolate bar proves that even in cases of high cholesterol, diabetes and over-weight life can be sweet.

For more information please visit Heart Chocolate™ with CM-X™.

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