TAG | Pbs Stations
Brenda Watson’s acclaimed Heart of Perfect Health PBS health exposé is airing throughout March on PBS stations nationwide and in it she talks sugar. Most of us don’t link heart and cardiovascular disease risk to our sugar intake, but it turns out that blood sugar levels affect far more than just your risk of diabetes.
High blood sugar is a major sign of the underlying cause of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other conditions. This risk factor is silent, causes no pain, and most people have no idea if it’s happening to them or not. It’s called silent inflammation and it starts in the gut.
The two types of inflammation:
- Acute inflammation happens when you smash your finger and blood flow rushes to the site, healing the injury.
- Silent inflammation happens internally and often originates in the gut as a result of a leaky gut, or intestines that have become too permeable due to a poor diet, lack of gut-healing nutrients, stress, and other factors. Silent inflammation does not heal itself. You can’t feel silent inflammation or see it.
The signs of silent inflammation include high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar. High blood sugar makes blood vessels stiff and weak, increases blood pressure and harmful cholesterol, weakens immunity and digestion, and causes weight gain. Most importantly high blood sugar is a major preventable risk factor for heart disease, yet very few of us are checking our fasting blood sugar levels regularly.
How Much Sugar Should I Eat?
The best way to begin lowering your fasting blood sugar/glucose levels is to monitor your daily sugar intake. Your fasting blood sugar should be no higher than 85 and you should be consuming no more than 10 teaspoon of sugar each day. That’s total sugars, including the pastas and breads you eat that are converted to sugar. You may be surprised to learn that many of us are consuming over 37 teaspoons of sugar daily!
Packaged foods are labeled according to grams of sugar and carbohydrates, not teaspoons. Use this quick sugar conversion formula to find out exactly how much true sugar is in your food:
Total grams of carbs – Total grams of fiber ------------------------------------------------ = Total teaspoons of sugar 5
That’s the total grams of carbs minus the total grams of fiber listed in the nutrition facts, all divided by 5. This will give you the total teaspoons of sugar in a serving of that food. It’s important to take the total grams of carbs, not total grams of sugar when you are doing your conversion. That way, you are taking into account the sugars that break down from carbohydrates in addition to sugars themselves.
How many numbers do we remember each day? Phone numbers, alarm codes, passwords, bank account balances, birthdays. None of these is as important as knowing your health numbers. An up-to-date knowledge of your health numbers can literally save your life.
Brenda Watson discusses knowing your numbers and how you can test them at home in her revolutionary Heart of Perfect Health PBS special airing nationwide on PBS stations throughout March. The show covers the myths about cholesterol, the nutrients you need to get your health back on track and reduce your risk of heart disease, how to check your health numbers, and the simple, transformative steps you can take every day to reverse America’s #1 killer, heart disease.
The 3 Numbers You Must Know
The three top signs of heart disease risk are also the three top signs of silent inflammation, a chronic pre-disease state in the body that many of us have without knowing it. Research is linking silent inflammation to the root of heart and cardiovascular disease, not to mention conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, and even certain cancers.
The good news is you can reverse your silent inflammation by knowing your health numbers and taking the necessary steps to get these numbers within a healthy range. The 3 health numbers you need to know are:
- Cholesterol, which should be no higher than 200mg
- Blood pressure, which should be no higher than 120 over 80
- Blood sugar (fasting blood glucose), which should be no higher than 85
High cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar are the top 3 signs your body is in a state of silent inflammation, and they are major heart health risk markers. Together these high numbers double your risk of cardiovascular disease by causing the arteries to harden and thicken, by stimulating plaque build-up along blood vessels, and by increasing bad LDL cholesterol.
You should be testing yourself more often than once a year to see where your numbers are and you can perform these tests at home. You can get your cholesterol checked at lab sites online, buy your own blood pressure cuff for at-home use, and find a do-it-yourself glucose meter at your local drugstore to monitor your blood sugar levels. There is no need to wait for your annual doctor’s visit when you should know these numbers throughout the year to see how well you are doing in keeping them within a healthy range.
Check back in the next couple of days to learn more about the #1 nutrient that helps reduce your risk of heart disease and helps keep your cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar healthy!