‘Tis the season to break all the rules. We know we shouldn’t be eating sweets, baked goods, and snacks! We know we shouldn’t be eating late and having wine and dessert with that meal. But as the holidays wax, our willpower wanes!
The holiday food binge does wreak havoc on the blood sugar. Here are the top five risks that increase with blood sugar levels that are even just a little high:
- High Cholesterol
- Belly and hip fat
- Cardiovascular disease
Luckily, we can add as much cinnamon as we like to these holiday treats! According to a study led by the US Department of Agriculture, cinnamon helped reduce risk factors associated with diabetes and heart disease. (1)
In this study, 22 obese individuals with pre-diabetes were split into two groups. One group got 250 mg of cinnamon extract twice a day with meals and the other group received a placebo.
Pre-diabetes is determined by morning fasting blood sugars over 100mg/dL (your blood sugar tested first thing in the morning on an empty stomach) and insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is when the cells require higher and higher levels of insulin to drive the sugar into the cells.
At six and twelve weeks after the start of the study, the group that got the cinnamon showed an increase in antioxidant levels. Increased antioxidant activity supports healthy blood sugar levels. In this study, antioxidant levels increased as much as 23%, which resulted in lower fasting blood sugar levels.
While you can take a cinnamon pill, you can also sprinkle cinnamon on just about anything. You can put it in your tea or coffee, on desserts, in soups or even take it straight if you are getting ready to binge on some holiday treats.
These days are also a good time to test your morning blood sugar. The more we are aware of which foods or activities affect blood sugar in a negative way, the closer we come to the dietary changes needed to prevent the number one cause (high blood sugar) of the number one killer in America – cardiovascular disease!