Eight Steps To Get More Sex and A Longer Life by Supercharging Your Blood, Part 2

High blood sugar is a sneaky, chronic condition that impacts about 79 million Americans. Most don’t know they have this potentially debilitating health problem, which can negatively affect libido, vitality, how you age, and how long you live. Here’s what to do to ensure your blood is supercharged.

8 steps to lower your blood sugar{Source: Medical Multimedia Consultants}

LAST WEEK in Get More Sex and A Longer Life by Supercharging Your Blood, Part 1, we discovered just how critical good blood sugar levels are for our health. A whole bunch of referenced studies told us that sustained high blood sugar levels could:

  • Give you diabetes
  • Make you fat
  • Reduce your sex drive
  • Make you anxious
  • Make you age faster
  • Reduce your lifespan

And, in case you’re muttering, “That’s not my problem”, know that about 35% of U.S. adults age 20 years or older are pre-diabetic (50% of those aged 65 years or older) — a mind-boggling 79 million Americans! (1)

Chances are that someone you know is prediabetic, and will succumb to one or more health issues among the long list of them described in Part 1.

Perhaps that someone is you!

If you think exercise is walking from your house to your car, are overweight (particularly with belly fat), have low energy and eat a lot of foods rich in carbohydrates (such as processed foods and foods made with flour, such as pasta), then you have cause for concern for your very own self.

If you haven’t read Part 1, then do so now, or at least scan it so you can fathom the seriousness of this high blood sugar problem.  After that, come on back here to discover the eight steps to supercharge your blood.

Just by lowering your blood sugar, you can remarkably improve your health, how you look and how you feel.

 

OK, assuming you read Part 1, you know the problem. It would be mighty fine to have a solution, and we do!

The rest of this blog post will address the importance of a diet based on the proportions of the macronutrients best for you; uncover where sugar is often hidden on food and drink labels; name which sugar substitutes are best; list the foods, herbs and spices that reduce blood sugar; suggest when it’s best to eat carbohydrates; offer six supplements that can lower blood sugar; and suggest two ways to manage the stress that exacerbates blood sugar levels.

Yeah, that’s a lot of information, so let’s get cracking with our “eight steps to get more sex and a longer life by supercharging your blood”, sorta speak.

 

#1. Know Your Macronutrient Balance

If you read enough about diets, confusion quickly sets in. Smart people with nutritional and/or medical credentials promote diets with very different macronutrient caloric content. Some say that high protein diets are best; others that high fat/low carb diets, or the opposite — low carb/high fat — diets are best.

So, which is it?

The answer may depend on your Apolipoprotein E (“ApoE”) version. Yes, that’s a big mouthful of a word, befitting a rather complicated process; nonetheless, this is worth knowing about because it can be the key to understanding whether you’re genetically predisposed to being healthier with a high fat or high carbohydrate diet.

Apolipoprotein E is a protein and the ApoE gene provides instructions for making it. This protein combines with fats (lipids) in the body to form molecules called lipoproteins. Lipoproteins are responsible for packaging cholesterol and other fats and carrying them through the bloodstream. Apolipoprotein E is a major component of a specific type of lipoprotein called very low-density lipoproteins (VLDLs). (2)

You know that cholesterol basically consists of the so-called “good” HDL (High-density Lipoprotein) and the “bad” LDL (Low-density Lipoprotein). VLDL is “Very” Low-density Lipoprotein, and its purpose is to remove excess cholesterol from the blood and carry it to the liver for processing. (3)

Not everybody has the same version of ApoE. There are at least three different versions of the ApoE gene, called “alleles”. The major alleles are called e2, e3, and e4. The most common allele is e3, which is found in more than 60% of the general population. Since you inherent an allele from each of your parents, your version could be a combination of a 2 and a 3 (2/3 or e2/e3), or a 2 and a 4 (2/4 or e2/e4) , etc.

Now, the reason I’ve gotten deep into this ApoE stuff is that this genetic trait may be the key to determining how certain combinations of macronutrients (protein, fat, carbs) affect people. Consider this chart (4):

Apoe dietary effects

Note how fish oil, low, and moderate diets affect different ApoE genotypes differently:

  • Fish Oil. “ApoE2 Response” people do well on Fish Oil (lowers triglycerides and small particle LDL, raises HDL), but for “ApoE4 Response” people LDL goes up, even though the particle size diminishes.
  • A Low Fat Diet . For ApoE2 the overall LDL count declines, but at the expense of increased numbers of small particle, arteriosclerosis-promoting LDL, which make up the so-called undesirable “Pattern B”. For ApoE3 the Low Fat Diet is more beneficial than it is for ApoE2 because the small particle LDL is unaffected. For ApoE4 the results are the best — a dramatic decrease in LDL and a reduction in small particle size.
  • A Moderate Fat Diet. It has no effect on ApoE2. It works best for ApoE3, reducing both LDL and its particle size.  For ApoE4, a  Moderate Fat Diet is abysmal, decreasing the “good” HDL and increasing the “bad” LDL forms of cholesterol.

Pattern “A’ LDL particles is preferred, as they are large and “fluffy” and therefore do not damage arterial walls.

Pattern “B” LDL is comprised of small dense particles that can rupture arterial walls, thus enabling the formation of cholesterol plague that may lead to blood flow occlusion, and could — depending if the blood vessels lead to the heart or brain — result in either a heart attack or stroke.

Since you’re unlikely to know which ApoE allele you have, how can you use this information? You can work the odds, or get a blood test.

About 62 percent of the U.S. Population carry the ApoE3 genotype. (5) The odds are you do too, and thus may consider a moderate fat diet with ample servings of fish oil.

But, overall, the reason I’ve presented this material on ApoE is to get you to think about which mix of macronturients, particularly fats and carbohydrates, work best for your diet. If you’re not maintaining the body composition and energy you desire, you may want to change the amounts of calories consumed from high quality fats and carbs.

If you think you have a risk of cardiovascular disease, or Alzheimer’s, then getting an ApoE blood test may be a good idea.

 

#2. Recognize Where Sugar Is Hidden

Many prepared, prepackaged foods contain lots of sugar listed on the ingredients label under various aliases, such as barley malt, corn syrup, dextrose, fruit juice concentrate, maltose, maple syrup, molasses, turbinado and high fructose corn syrup. If you eat such food, it’s important to figure out how many teaspoons of sugar each serving contains.

Do this: Check the label for sugar, which is listed in grams under total carbohydrates, and then divide that number by four (each teaspoon of sugar is equal to 4g) to convert it to teaspoons. For example, if sugars are listed as 12g, you’re getting three teaspoons of sugar per serving.

How much is too much, you ask?

If the sugar is already in the product, you can’t take it out and substitute a healthy sugar mentioned above, but you can reduce your consumption of the product. Make sure that your total sugar consumption is not over 10% of total calories. If you’re a 45-year-old woman of average height (5-foot-4), that’s 160 calories (or 10 teaspoons) from added sugar—about the number in one 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola or six Hershey’s Kisses. By comparison, the average American consumes 31 teaspoons per day of added sugar, or the equivalent of 465 calories. If you’re a 6-foot-4 man, gut it out and just follow the woman’s example!

Among all the sugars, the most nefarious may be high fructose corn syrup (“HFCS”). It’s made by changing the sugar in cornstarch to fructose (another form of sugar), and creates more advanced glycation end-products than other sugar types.

Known as “AGEs”, advanced glycation end-products substances are harmful compounds that affect nearly every type of cell and molecule in the body, and are thought to be significant contributed in age-related chronic diseases, such as diabetes, atherosclerosis, chronic renal failure and Alzheimer’s disease. But there’s more! AGEs are also believed to play a causative role in the blood vessel complications of diabetes mellitus and speeds up the oxidative damage to cells. (6)

Do not eat high fructose corn syrup!

 

High Frutose corn syrup

(Source)

That said, if you eat processed foods, it may be hard to avoid. HFCS extends the shelf life of foods, is sweeter and cheaper than other sugars; therefore, it’s a popular ingredient in soda, fruit-flavored drinks, and packaged foods such as breads, crackers, and other snacks. Look for it in ingredient lists on nutrition labels, and if you spot it, promptly return the item to the shelf.

 

#3. Reduce and Substitute Added Sugar

Eliminating sugar is not the objective, because every carbohydrate — even those with a low gylcemic index — converts to glucose when digested. The aim is to eat less prepackaged foods that contain lots of sugar, as described in #2 above, and to eliminate added sugar in its conventional forms. If you must have it, use healthy sugar substitutes, such as Stevia, Yacon, Xylitol and Trehalose (7).

 

#4. Consume Foods, Herbs and Spices that Lower Blood Sugar

A University of Georgia study co-authored by associate professor James Hargrove found that herbs and spices rich in antioxidants are potent inhibitors of tissue damage and inflammation caused by high levels of blood sugar. The study found a direct connection between the phenol content in herbs and spices and their capacity to retard the production of AGE compounds inflammation and damage to tissue connected with diabetes and aging. (8)

You’ll notice when examining the table below that these are among the same foods, herbs and spices recommended inDr. Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammation diet and pyramid. Too much blood sugar can eventually lead to insulin resistance which causes inflammation, so it’s unsurprising that foods that help to reduce inflammation are also helpful to lower blood sugar as well. (9)

Another point to make about the list of foods in the table is that, mostly, they’re rich in fiber. A study at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center found that people who increased their fiber intake from 24 to 50 g (of which 25 g was soluble fiber) daily had dramatic improvements in blood sugar levels. In fact, the high-fiber diet was as effective as some diabetes medications. (10)

 

Foods, Herbs and Spices that Reduce Blood Sugar
Foods Herbs and Spices
Salmon, other cold water fishAvocadoKaleCollard GreensBroccoliSpinach

Green Beans

Legumes

Oatmeal (not instant)

Almonds

Chia Seeds

Spirulina

Oranges

Blueberries

Red Cherries

Green Tea

Apple Cider Vinegar

FenugreekGingerTurmericBlack PepperCinnamon, esp. CelylonRosemary

Basil, esp. holy basil

Cardamon

Chives

Cilantro

Cloves

Garlic

Oregano

Sage

One trick to moderate the blood sugar spike from eating a high glycemic, sugary foods is to eat them with foods, herbs or spices that have the opposite effect. Pair ice cream or fruit juices with cinnamon, and sugary cereals with psyllium husk powder or inulin. You can also hold your nose and swig down a small mouthful of apple cider vinegar right after eating a high glycemic meal.

 

#5. Carb Back-load After Exercise

Carb back-loading simply means to eat most of your day’s carbohydrates after exercising when the body can best use the blood sugar produced by the digested carbs to shuttle protein, nutrients and the carbs themselves into the cells where the mitochondria can produce energy.

But this technique is not for everybody, even if you exercise. Mostly, it’s effective for people who work out with weights, for about an hour with poundages of 70% or more of their maximum lifts, or for those who do high intensity interval training, such as sprinting.

If that does not describe you, go on to #6 below, because doing carb back-loading will simply make you fat, particularly since this method allows for any carb to be eaten, even the four that Dr. Al Sears says should always be avoided: breakfast cereals, french fries, bagels and breads. (11)

If you meet the weightlifting and/or high intensity interval training criteria then you might want to try carb back-loading. As conceived by nutrition consultant John Keifer, this is the carb back-load approach (12):

  • Limit your daily carb intake to 30 grams for ten days.
  • On the evening of the tenth day, splurge by eating as many high glycemic carbs as you want, even to the point of gluttony.
  • Continue with the back-loading on training days; it works best if you workout in the late afternoon to early evening, and do the carb feast afterwards.

I use this technique in a limited, less extreme manner. I do eat most of my carbohydrates after exercise, but mainly choose those that are of the healthy, low glycemic variety. However, when I know I’m going to eat some crappy carbs, I almost always try to plan an intense workout before they’re consumed.

 

#6. Blood Sugar Reducing Supplements

Now that we know how eating sugary, simple carbohydrate-rich foods and drinks creates insulin desensitivity leading to diabesity (diabetes and obesity), wrinkled skin and a long list of chronic, age-related diseases, let’s take a look at six supplements that can help.

Yes, it’s true that smart people with medical degrees debate the effectiveness of supplements, like they do with many other topics relevant to health. My view is that even if you ate a perfect diet of foods and drinks created by perfect soil containing the perfect assortment of minerals, there’s still room for specific supplements targeting specific conditions. The key is to know the science behind any supplement recommendation, and then test it to see if it works for you. (Check out Examine.com’s Supplement Reference Guide.)

 

Six Supplements that Support Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
Supplement Form Quick Facts
Indian Gooseberry (Amla) Powder or Capsule It can work better than prescribed medicine at less cost and with no side-effects.
Berberine Capsule Studies present compelling data that show Berberine to substantially reduce blood sugar, triglycerides and cholesterol.
Fenugreek Powder, Liquid, Cream or Capsule Reduces blood sugar spikes by providing fiber and other chemicals that slow digestion.
Wellbetx PGX Plus Mulberry Capsule A specific brand consisting of a water-absorbing fiber and mulberry extract, which reduces after-meal rises in both glucose and insulin levels.
Chromium Capsule Many people are deficient of this metallic element that serves to regulate blood sugar, and help insulin transport glucose into cells where it can be used for energy.
Carnosine Capsule, Lotion One of the best “longevity supplements” with a long list of health attributes, including reducing AGEs.

{Note: Do not take these if on diabetic medicine and/or insulin unless recommended by your doctor.}

I wouldn’t submit these supplements for your consideration if they did not all have convincing science supporting their effectiveness; however, taking all six might be overkill, particularly if you select Indian Gooseberries and Berberin, two supplements that together should substantially reduce your blood sugar level. That said, also pay attention to Chromium, because you need a basic amount of that to be healthy, irrespective of blood sugar, and to Carnosine due to its multiple health benefits.

 a) Indian Gooseberry

Also called “Amla”, Indian Gooseberry just might be the biggest bang for your blood sugar lowering buck. In fact, as Dr. Michael Greger of NutritionFacts.org says:

Am I recommending people treat their diabetes with gooseberry powder? No, I recommend curing your diabetes… Why treat anything when you get at the root cause and reverse it in the first place.

Take a look at the graph below. It depicts the results of a study measuring the effect of Amla fruit on blood glucose and lipid (fat) profiles of Type-2 diabetic and non-diabetic participants. (13, 14)

The blue line depicts the fasting blood sugar levels of the participants on diabetic medication, glyburide (sold as Diabeta or Micronase), and the red line shows those taking Amla.

At the beginning of the study, participants in each group (glyburide and Amla) have very high blood sugar levels, above 125 mg/dL, which by definition is a diabetic level. (100 to 125 is pre-diabetic; normal is below 100, but ideally should be below 90.) (15)

 

Effect of Diabetic Medication and Amla on Fasting Blood Sugar

Amla is better than diabetic medicine

 

Note that both the medication and Alma were very effective at quickly reducing fasting blood sugar to acceptable levels (under 100 mg/dL) within the first week, and then dropped it further over the subsequent two weeks, with Alma outperforming the drug.

You can use diabetes medication, most of which are now generic, and spend about $18 per month and face side effects such as weight gain, vomiting, liver disease or bone marrow poisoning. Or you can use gooseberries, which cost less than $5 for a month’s supply (powdered form) and has the side effect of sourness. (16)

b) Berberine

This is another exciting supplement that studies show has a dramatically positive effect on blood sugar. Berberine is a plant alkaloid of goldenseal, Oregon grape, and of several other less well-known botanicals. It’s best known for its antibiotic properties, does a fine job of reliving fever, and stimulates bile excretion. But the most amazing thing about berberine is that it’s just as effective, yet much safer, than metformin, the medicine most commonly prescribed to help re-regulate blood sugar in Type-2 diabetics.

Consider two studies done on Berberine in 2008. (17)

In one study, newly diagnosed Type-2 diabetics were divided into two groups: berberine and metformin users. Each group consumed 500 milligrams three times a day. These were the results after three months:

  • Average fasting blood sugar in the berberine group dropped from 191 to 124 mg/dL.
  • Average post-prandial blood sugar dropped from 356 to 199 mg/dL.
  • Average hemoglobin A1c dropped from 9.5 percent to 7.5 percent.
  • Fasting triglycerides dropped from an average 99 to 78 mg/dL.
  • Insulin resistance dropped by 45 percent!

The researchers wrote:

Compared with metformin, berberine exhibited an identical effect in the regulation of glucose metabolism, such as HbA1c, FBG [fasting blood glucose], PBG [blood sugar after eating], fasting insulin and postprandial insulin [insulin level after eating]. In the regulation of lipid metabolism, berberine activity is better than metformin. By week 13, triglycerides and total cholesterol in the berberine group had decreased and were significantly lower than in the metformin group (P<0.05).(Source)

The other study compared two groups of diabetics over a three month period, one group taking 500 milligrams of berberine taken twice daily, and the other group taking a placebo twice daily.

These were the results of the berberine group:

  • Average hemoglobin A1c decreased from 7.5 to 6.6%.
  • Average triglycerides decreased from 221 to 141 mg/dL.
  • Average total cholesterol decreased from 205 to 168 mg/dL.
  • Average LDL-cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol) decreased from 125 to 97 mg/dL.

There were also positive but modest secondary outcomes (18):

  • Body weight decreased by an average of five pounds in the berberine group; whereas the placebo group lost three pounds.
  • Systolic blood pressure decreased from an average of 124 to 117 and diastolic blood pressure decreased from an average of 81 to 77 in those treated with berberine, exceeding the fall from 126 to 123 systolic and from 83 to 80 diastolic in those who took the placebo.

If you have high blood sugar, how could you not add Berberine along with Amla? Don’t be to shy to present the data to your doctor and ask his/her opinion.

c) Fenugreek

Fenugreek is a plant that grows in parts of Europe and western Asia. The leaves are edible, but it’s the small brown seeds that are used as medicine. The seeds are high in mucilage content, and is one of the best herbs for soothing the colon due to its properties as a natural lubricant for the digestive track mucosa. In addition, Fenugreek is a popular herb for nursing mothers since it promotes milk production.

And, as the marketers like to bark, “That’s not all!”. Fenugreek seeds are also helpful to people with high blood sugar and diabetes, because they contain fiber and other chemicals that are thought to slow digestion and the body’s absorption of carbohydrates and sugar. The seeds may also help to improve the way the body uses sugar and increase the amount of insulin released. For example, a daily dose of 10 grams of fenugreek seeds soaked in hot water may be helpful in controlling Type-2 diabetes(19), and eating baked goods, such as bread, made with fenugreek flour may help to reduce insulin resistance in people with this disease. (20)

Fenugreek can be bought as a spice (in whole or powdered form), a supplement (in concentrated pill and liquid form), as a tea, or as a skin cream. The seeds have a slightly bitter, nutty taste, so they’re often used in spice blends rather than alone. Indian recipes use them in curries, pickles, and other sauces. You can also drink fenugreek tea or sprinkle powdered fenugreek over yogurt.

d) Wellbetx PGX Plus Mulberry

The two primary ingredients in Wellbetx PGX Plus Mulberry is Amorphophallus konjac, a large plant native to warm subtropical to tropical eastern Asia, and mulberry, a small, berry-like, dark purple or black fruit cultivated on farms or growing wild worldwide.

PGX absorbs hundreds of times its weight in water over one to two hours, and it expands in the digestive tract into a highly viscous (thick) gelatinous material. Mulberry leaf extract blocks the enzyme alpha-glucosidase, and thereby diminishes after-meal rises in both glucose and insulin levels. It has been found to significantly reduce the increase in fasting blood glucose in people with Type-2 diabetes. (21)

Once hydrated, PBX creates a lasting sense of fullness, and stabilizes blood sugar and appetite hormones. Use it before meals with at least eight ounces of water.

e) Chromium

Chromium is a metallic element essential for the metabolic processes that regulate blood sugar, and help insulin transport glucose into cells where it can be used for energy. Inadequate intake of chromium has been linked to the development of glucose intolerance, a condition seen in Type-2 diabetics. Chromium can also help raise HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels, and may play a role in preventing heart disease.

Unfortunately, an estimated 25-50% of the U.S. population is mildly deficient in Chromium, a greater incidence of deficiency than is found in almost any other developed country, and one that can contribute to the development of diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Even mild deficiencies of Chromium can produce problems in blood sugar metabolism, and contribute to other symptoms such as anxiety or fatigue.

You can get Chromium from food. Brewer’s yeast, broccoli, grape juice, meat and whole-grain products are all good sources, as are romaine lettuce, raw onions and ripe tomatoes. Of course, if you want to be sure you’re getting an adequate supply, you could a Chromium supplement. Dr. Andrew Weil makes the following recommendations per the National Institutes of Health (22):

  • Males 19-50, 35 mcg per day
  • Men over 50, 30 mcg per day
  • Females 19-50, 25 mcg per day
  • Females over 50, 20 mcg per day
  • Pregnant females over 19, 30 mcg per day
  • Lactating females over 18, 45 mcg per day

Dr. Weil recommends 200 mcg a day as part of a multi-vitamin multi-mineral, and recommends 1,000 mcg of GTF Chromium a day for those with Type-2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome. GTF (“glucose-tolerance factor”) is one of two forms of Chromium; the other is Chromium Picolinate.

g) Carnosine

When young, the Carnosine in our bodies protects us from the onslaught of oxidation, glycation, DNA damage, and other reactions that injure tissues and cripple organs. As we get older, Carnosine levels decline.

The Life Extension Foundation reports that Carnosine is a proven longevity supplements with these attributes:

  • Fights such age-inducing processes as oxidation, glycation, protein cross-linking, mitochondrial dysfunction, telomere shortening, and heavy metal metal accumulation.
  • Can restore youthful Carnosine levels in blood and tissues, and it extends the life spans of experimental animals of many species.
  • May protect against neurodegenerative diseases and stroke.
  • Enhances exercise performance.
  • Ameliorates diabetes and its complications.
  • Protects heart muscle and blood vessels from atherosclerosis.

Yes, Carnosine seems to be a multi-dimensional supplement, but our focus here is on how it protects us from AGEs, “advanced glycation end-products”.

You may recall that glucose based cross-linking degrades proteins and creates AGEs, which are responsible for leading to many age-related illnesses like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, blindness/deafness, Alzheimers, and is the primary evil behind deep wrinkling, the thinning of skin and the mottled appearance of age spots.

Horrible, I know.

But experiments indicate that Carnosine may be an effective anti-glycation agent. Test tube experiments have shown it to effectively protect proteins from cross-linking, to protect cells from AGEs and to rejuvenate aging skin tissue, most likely due to its ability to fight against – not just oxidative damage done by free radicals – but also damage done by sugar-related glycation.

Carnosine can be used orally in capsules, but it is available in the form of a lotion or cream for use topically. Some cosmetic manufacturers have already begun to incorporate this ingredient into products like facial moisturizer, sunscreen, anti-itch ointment, anti-aging treatment, body firming lotion, lip gloss and cleanser. (See Your Battleplan to Combat Aging Skin.)

 

#7. Manage Your Stress

Chronic stress can push you toward Type-2 diabetes if it’s not properly managed. Work pressure, marriage/relationships, parenting, health problems, financial insecurity and something even as mundane as traffic can make us feel “stressed out”. The body’s response to an event or condition that’s perceived as stressful is to release stress hormones such as cortisol that increases the amount of blood sugar in our blood; in fact, if levels of cortisol are persistently high, it can lead to Cushing’s syndrome, a lesser know cause of diabetes.

If you regularly measure your blood sugar, rate and record the level of stress at that time (say, on a scale of 1 to 10), you can see if there’s a correlation between high blood sugar levels and high stress. If so, you will know that stress may be part of the reason for your high blood sugar.

If you’re stressed and have high blood sugar you need to change your state of mind. How you perceive and “digest” the people, places, things, times and events of your life sets up what your life experience will be. You must get your mind working for, not against you, and that’s true for how you perceive and react to potentially stressful situations.

You may feel down or downright depressed. You may be a bit emotional. You might be angry, or overtired. Whatever it is, if any of this is going on, both your state of mind and body are out of sorts, your cortisol may be surging, and you may be seeking the comfort of some belly-expanding, blood sugar spiking food and drink.

This is when you need to have a well-practiced, mind altering technique ready to use. There are two to consider. Extra points to those who practice both.

a) Breath work

This was examined in detail in Create Your Day in 5 Minutes with Biohack #1, where I wrote that some groups in the military use a four second count breathing method to remain calm under very stressful situations.  You can imagine a scenario where bullets are flying, smoke is everywhere, bombs exploding, people screaming. The soldier’s entire being is flooded with cortisol and adrenaline, and both of these hormones are pushing him/her to fight or flee. But what the soldier needs to do his get calm, and carry out the mission.

It’s unlikely that your stressful situation compares to that of soldiers in combat, so if it works for them, it will for you. Slow down your breathing. To a four second count, breathe in through your nose, expanding your entire torso, ribs, chest, back. Hold for four seconds and then to a count of four let the breath out. Pause for four seconds and continue. Once you’re practiced at it, won’t take but two minutes to calm down.  Once calm, the decisions you make will be better, less reactive, more controlled. As a result, your body will produce less cortisol and your blood sugar level will not spike.

b) Low-Intensity Exercise

If sitting and concentrating on your breath is not your style, how about moving? You can dramatically change your state of mind by doing some physical, rhythmic movement over a period of 20 minutes or more.

Although it’s true that strenuous exercise actually elevates cortisol, mild, aerobic exercise can lower it. Done regularly, aerobic exercise tends to decrease the usual amount of cortisol in your bloodstream, leading to a reduction in symptoms of stress. When you’re in a slump and ready to reach for the soda pop or cake, just open the door and start walking instead.  Reduce the cortisol. Soon you’ll be a in different, better place, and your blood sugar and belly will be thankful.

 

#8. Test Yourself

Remember that I said that high blood sugar is sneaky?  Unless you’re at diabetic levels, you’re unlikely to know that you’re heading for trouble.  Heck, even many people with diabetes don’t know they have it. So, it’s a really good idea to test yourself.

Going to a doctor regularly to measure your fasting blood sugar is not a good solution, given that it’s time prohibitive and expensive.  A much better solution is to buy yourself a blood glucose monitor and regularly measure your blood sugar.  This way you can get both the fasting number taken when you first wake up, and the post-pranadial reading taken an hour or two after eating.  (For more on this, read My Blood Sugar Numbers Dumbfound Me.)

 

Your Takeaway

We examined “eight steps to get more sex and a longer life by supercharging your life”, a titillating phrase perhaps, but what it infers is that you can have a much high quality life filled with the many things that make it important if you just do one thing: Reduce Your Blood Sugar!

If you don’t know what your blood sugar level is, and you’re unlikely to get it checked either by a doctor or with your own blood glucose monitor, then give yourself an honest assessment of your diet, physical activity level, body composition (how much fat vs muscle), stress, libido and energy.  If you score low on any of these, it might be indicative of high blood sugar.

To improve your blood sugar level, which means to lower it, you need to:

  • Move more — grab a friend and go do some exercise regularly;
  • Eat fewer carbs — dump the soda, fruit drink, pasta, packaged food;
  • Select two or more of the supplements recommended above; and
  • Test yourself regularly with a blood glucose monitor.

That’s it folks.

If you have any questions or comments, just scroll down and type away in Comments.

 

P.S. Get More Sex and A Longer Life by Supercharging Your Blood, Parts 1 and 2 have been adapted from Biohack #8 from the forthcoming ebook, “12 Ageproof Biohacks”.  Learn more about that here.

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Joe Garma
 

I help people live with more vitality and strength. I'm a big believer in sustainability, and am a bit nutty about optimizing my diet, supplements, hormones and exercise. To get exclusive Updates, tips and be on your way to a stronger, more youthful body, join my weekly Newsletter. You can also find me on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 4 comments
Monica - March 1, 2015

I’ve read that Fenugreek is an appetite stimulant. Back in the day when I was slender and looking to naturally increase bust size, I bought A Lot. Now, with weight to lose, I like the blood sugar benefits but am concerned about the increase in appetite.

Your thoughts?
Thanks

Reply
Joe Garma - March 1, 2015

Monica, had not heard about appetite stimulation properties of Fenugreek, so did some reading. Learned that it may be true for people who have trouble gaining weight. Examine.com said this: “Variable effects on appetite, but it seems the fenugreek fibers (not commonly in supplements) may reduce appetite similar to most dietary fibers while the saponins (commonly supplemented) have no significant effect or a possible increase”, which takes a contrary view. See http://examine.com/supplements/Fenugreek/ where there a links to various studies.

Reply
Monica - March 1, 2015

I’m game to try a trial. How would you take it? I’ve got the Fenugreek seeds. Is making a tea (1 tbsp seeds/32 oz boiling water) sufficient or is it advisable to ingest the seeds?

Reply
Joe Garma - March 1, 2015

Monica, I’ve only tried the tea, and not on a consistent basis. Have had more experience with Berberine and Amla, as they’re better blood sugar reducers, sorta speak.

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