Tag: diabetes

Don’t Be Fooled by Ozempic, Turn to Nature for Weight Loss Support, Invite Health Podcast, Episode 656

Don’t Be Fooled by Ozempic, Turn to Nature for Weight Loss Support, Invite Health Podcast, Episode 656

Subscribe Today! Please see below for a complete transcript of this episode. DON’T BE FOOLED BY OZEMPIC, TURN TO NATURE FOR WEIGHT LOSS SUPPORT, INVITE HEALTH PODCAST, EPISODE 656 Hosted by Amanda Williams, MD, MPH. *Intro Music* InViteⓇ Health Podcast Intro: [00:00:04] Welcome to the 

Sweet but not Sugar?

Sweet but not Sugar?

Written by: Claire Arcidiacono, ND For further questions or concerns email me at [email protected]† In our modern world we have many alternatives to sugar. These alternatives include artificial sweeteners and those that are considered natural sweeteners. In this blog I will be going over sugar substitute’s 



Written by: Dr.Claire Arcidiacono, ND

What exactly is sugar? Sugar is what we call sweet- tasting water soluble carbohydrates. Sugar comes in two forms, monosaccharides or “simple sugars” which include glucose, fructose and galactose. Disaccharides or “compound sugars” are made of 2 bonded monosaccharides. For example sucrose or table sugar is a combination of glucose + fructose. Lactose which is the sugar found in dairy is a combination of glucose and galactose. Maltose which is a sugar syrup obtained from grain consists of 2 molecules of glucose. While starch may consist of chains of monosaccharides since these chains of monosaccharides are greater than 2 molecules it is not regarded as sugar. Additionally while other molecules such as sugar alcohols may taste sweet they are not actually sugar because they have a different chemical structure.

Where do we get sugar (other than the grocery store lol)? Sucrose is found in sugarcane and sugar beets which is why they are the main sources for refined sugar. Honey and fruit are natural sources of simple sugars. Corn syrup is a man-made sugar where corn starch is converted in the lab to sugars such as maltose, fructose and glucose. As you can see most forms of sugar come from plants. Lactose however is found in any milk product including human breast milk. (1)

While sugar addiction is controversial we do know that sugar affects dopamine. This is the same chemical pathway that is released when a person intakes an addictive substance. Dopamine is basically what allows us to feel pleasure and happiness. When we intake sugar our body is programmed to release dopamine. One theory for why this occurs goes back to humanity’s early days as cave men. The theory is that in order to survive humans were drawn to high calorie foods and typically those with a higher sugar content provide that. Therefore by perceiving high sugar foods as “good” by giving the reward of dopamine the body is actively encouraging us to eat them. Unfortunately unlike in cave people time when these foods were not readily accessible modern technology has made them easy to access. And so while our brains want us to seek these foods it is very easy to overdo it. (2) An example is an apple. In cave man times you might be able to find apples for a few days. So you would likely ration them to last. In today’s society you can have 10 apples a day if you want. See the difference?


While this series has focused on the risks of developing high blood sugar and diabetes and its complications I would like to point out that a high sugar diet can increase the risk of other health concerns as well. High sugar intake can increase the risk of heart disease. It can also cause fat to build up in the organs and lead to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. High sugar intake can also increase the risk of kidney disease. It can of course lead to cavities and is associated with acne. Interestingly high sugar intake is also associated with increased uric acid, increasing the risk of gout. In my prior blog I mentioned the increasing risk of cognitive decline. High sugar diets have been found to lead to an overall decrease in energy. Additionally the damage to telomeres leads to an increase in cellular aging. High sugar has also been found to increase the risk of depression and anxiety. Studies show that increasing sugar can increase the risk of cancer both by increasing weight and increasing the risk of obesity and by increasing inflammation. Lastly a high sugar diet can make us literally look older than we are by damaging collagen and elastin thus increasing skin aging. (3)

How much sugar should we be consuming every day? According to the American heart association women should consume no more than 24 grams or 6 teaspoons a day. Men should have no more than 36 grams or 9 teaspoons a day. Now when we look at nutrition labels, the amount of sugar is already in grams. It is very important to add the amount of sugar you consume just by adding up the grams. You can convert the number to teaspoons however in general, most people find it easier to just add up the grams. (4)

Sugar goes by many names. Some examples are:

  • corn sweetener
  • corn syrup
  • fruit juice concentrates
  • high-fructose corn syrup
  • honey
  • invert sugar
  • malt sugar
  • molasses (4)
  • brown sugar

If you see the prefix “ose” at the end of a word you don’t recognize most likely it is a form of sugar. https://www.virtahealth.com/blog/names-for-sugar is a link for many different names of sugar.


Now I’m not going to lie sugar is tasty. I’ll confess I do like to indulge in a sweet treat. It’s all about a healthy balance. Next week we well talk about natural and synthetic alternatives to sugar. But I thought I’d leave you some yummy ideas in the meantime. Feel free to experiment!


  • Fill me up chocolate oatmeal
    • I start by cooking my oatmeal and setting it aside. This can be any oatmeal you like. Take Greek yogurt (unsweetened) and add 1 scoop of Invite whey protein, 1 scoop Cocoa Hx and mix. After mixing gently fold into your oatmeal. You can top with some sunflower seeds if you want a little crunch!
  • Blender muffins of health (lol)
    • With this recipe it’s not exact feel free to have fun! I usually take 2 eggs, 2 scoops of Invite Whey protein, 1 scoop Cocoa Hx, and 1 cup raw oats. As I blend I add enough water so that it is a muffin like consistency. Generally between 1/8 cup to 1/4 cup. Scoop into a muffin pan and cook at 350 for 20 min checking to see if they are done. Variations to this include using almond milk instead of water. As I said it is not exact and you can have fun changing things up!
  • Cranberry goodness
    • I’m going to be honest here. This came about because I wanted to make cranberry sauce and forgot to buy sweetener. What resulted was so good my family requested I make it that way every time! Take 1 average size package of cranberries and cook them in water that has 2 scoops Reds Hx and 1 scoop Ribose complex mixed in. (Basically mix the powders in water and use that water to cook the cranberries.). If it is not as sweet as you like you can add more Ribose complex. When it is done cooking as per the directions on the package blend or pulse to your desired consistency. If you want an added texture feel free to add a scoop or 2 of Organic flax seed powder.
  • Yogurt goodness! Don’t forget, any of our powders can be mixed into yogurt or avocado for a yummy treat!


  1.  “OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook 2020–2029” (PDF). FAO. 2019. Retrieved 15 February 2021.
  2. https://wellnessretreatrecovery.com/sugar-and-dopamine-link-sweets-addiction/
  3. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/liquid-sugar-calories#bottom-line
  4. https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/the-sweet-danger-of-sugar
  5. https://www.virtahealth.com/blog/names-for-sugar




  Written by: Dr. Claire Arcidiacono, ND For further questions or concerns email me at [email protected]† Last blog I wrote about diabetes type 1. Today we will be talking about the interesting topic of prediabetes. From a holistic point of view, prediabetes is very interesting. It 

Diabetes Type 1

Diabetes Type 1

Diabetes type 1 Written by: Dr. Claire Arcidiacono, ND For further questions or concerns email me at [email protected]† Diabetes type 1 is a type of diabetes that is commonly found in children. In fact it used to be called juvenile diabetes. But what is diabetes type 

The Physiology of Diabetes

The Physiology of Diabetes

The physiology of Diabetes

Written by: Dr. Claire Arcidiacono, ND

For further questions or concerns email me at [email protected]

One of the most common questions people call or ask about is regarding blood sugar. Statistics for diabetes are quite alarming. In the United States alone there is an estimated 26.9 million people diagnosed with diabetes. That would be approximately 8.2 percent of the population! There are also approximately an additional 7.3 million un-diagnosed diabetics in the United States. (1) Given the severe consequences of diabetes both controlled and uncontrolled this is very alarming. But what is diabetes? How is it diagnosed? What are the types of diabetes? In this series we will explore all these questions!†

The body controls the amount of sugar in the blood stream by either raising or lowering the amount found in the blood stream at any given time. Glucose or “sugar” is stored in both the skeletal muscles and the liver cells as a molecule called glycogen. This glucose storage or glycogen can be used to increase blood sugar if it gets too low or the body will add to this storage by changing glucose to glycogen. (2) Basically there are little islands of cells in the pancreas called the pancreatic islets or the islets of Langerhans. These regions are hormone producing cells. Please see picture! †(3)

There are 5 types of cells in these region and they are responsible for producing different types of hormones. The Alpha cells produce glucagon, the beta cells produce both insulin and amylin. Other cells called delta cells produce somatostatin, epsilon cells produce Ghrelin and last but not least PP cells produce pancreatic polypeptide. Other hormones that help to control blood sugar are cortisol and catecholamines. These 2 are not produced by the pancreas.† (4)

Hormones that regulate blood sugar are broken down into two categories. The catabolic hormones increase blood sugar. These hormones include glucagon, cortisol and catecholamines. Anabolic hormones decrease blood sugar and the main hormone in this category is called insulin.†(5)


Now these hormones all work together to control blood sugar. Basically when blood sugar gets too low the amylin which is normally high when there is a lot of glucose goes down with it. This decrease in amylin allows the alpha cells of the pancreas to start to release glucagon. This hormone will then increase the blood sugar in two ways. First it begins by promoting the formation of new glucose and then by releasing the stored glucose or glycogen stored in the liver and muscles. These process are called Gluconeogenesis and Glycogenolysis. As the glucagon works and the blood sugar becomes normal the body produces less glucagon so that the blood sugar doesn’t get too high. In other words when blood glucose is high amylin is high so the alpha cells don’t make glucagon so glucose isn’t triggered to be made or released. When the blood glucose does go low the amylin goes low as well allowing the glucagon to go to work to normalize blood sugar.† (6)

Now when blood sugar levels get too high the beta cells are signaled to release insulin which basically tells the cells to “vacuum” up or in scientific terms uptake the glucose thus lowering the amount of glucose in the blood stream. Once the glucose is in the cells it is converted to its storage form of glycogen and is available to be used once the blood sugar gets too low.†(7)


Cortisol comes into play because when you are under long term stress the body wants there to be more sugar available for energy. While you may know that the work assignment is work stress not a giant tiger about to eat you, the body doesn’t. All the body knows is that something is very stressful and it might be a tiger so it had best get enough sugar available so you can run away. Hence the reason cortisol or the stress hormones increase blood sugar. Catecholamines which can also be thought of as stress hormones also increase the production of glucose thus increasing the blood sugar.†(8)

Unfortunately this system can get out of balance and that is where health concerns such as diabetes come from. Dysregulation of the blood sugar control system can occur for different reasons. As we go through the different forms of diabetes and blood sugar control dysregulation we will talk more in depth as to the risk factors and how they occur.†

Have questions about diabetes, you can speak to one of Invite Health degreed professional or have questions for Dr.Claire, email her at  [email protected]



2.Wasserman DH (January 2009). Four grams of glucose”. American Journal of Physiology. Endocrinology and Metabolism.296(1):

E11–21. doi:10.1152/ajpendo.90563.2008PMC 2636990PMID 18840763.

3. https://www.sciencelearn.org.nz/images/1001-pancreas-and-islets-of-langerhans

4.Tortora G (December 2016). Principles Anatomy and Physiology (15 ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. pp. Chapter 18. ISBN 9781119343738.

5.Lehninger A, Nelson D, Cox M (2017). Lehininger Principles of Biochemistry. New York: W.H. Freedom. p. 934. ISBN 9781319117689.

6.Zhang, Xiao-Xi (2016). “Neuroendocrine Hormone Amylin in Diabetes”. World J Diabetes. 7 (9): 189–197. doi:10.4239/wjd.v7.i9.189PMC4856891PMID27162583.

7.Stryer L (1995). Biochemistry (Fourth ed.). New York: W.H. Freeman and Company. pp. 773–74. ISBN 0-7167-2009-4.

8.Laycock JF (2013). Integrated endocrinology. Meeran, Karim. Chichester, West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-1-118-45064-2OCLC 794973804.