What is more important to you
1. how you look / your weight
2. how much energy you have?
3. feeling healthy & well?
If you answer yes to all 3 – then there is one thing that can affect your weight, your energy & your health.
**Blood sugar levels**
There’s more and more research into blood sugar spikes, glucose & insulin. If you take time to actually learn the basics, you will see how easy it is to change a few things to prevent the blood sugar spikes from the food we eat.
What are blood sugar spikes?
A quick biology lesson. Our body needs energy. Obviously, we need food to keep us alive, everything we put in our mouth will create a reaction in our body. This reaction is what scientists have been researching for years. They have found one metric that affects our body – that metric is the amount of GLUCOSE / blood sugar in our blood.
Glucose is the main source of energy in our body. Basically, we get glucose from the food – its carried in our bloodstream to our cells. However, I compare it to petrol – we can only store a set amount of glucose, like our petrol tank – it will overflow if we put too much in the body.
We store glucose in our muscles and liver. If we have too much glucose at once then we get the blood sugar spikes – this can affect our mood, our sleep, our weight, our mood and our health as a whole. The overflowing glucose will also turn into sugar in the body which turns into fat.
What is glucose?
Basically, if we eat a lot of sugar or starchy carbohydrate foods then we will get an immediate increase in energy – a sudden sharp rise of blood sugar levels. However, these quick feel good moments doesn’t last long, before you know it you have a sharper dip – may suddenly feel really tired or hungry again. This is a blood sugar spike.
Glucose comes in the form of starch, fibre & sugar/fructose. When we eat starch based foods (white rice, potatoes etc) it is turned into glucose very quickly in our body. Interestingly, when chewed these starchy foods will begin to taste sweet – when turned into glucose.
Fruit or sugar or fructose is obviously sweet from word go as it already has glucose molecules – hence the immediate spike/increase in blood sugars when eaten.
Fibre however, can not be broken down so though it doesn’t offer energy in the form of glucose it is an essential part of our diet & helps digestion and keeps our bowels healthy. It can also slow down the speed in which the glucose affects our blood sugar levels.
If we don’t eat fruit or vegetables then our bodies can make glucose from the fats & proteins we eat. Our liver does this. If there isn’t enough glucose in our stores – liver or muscles, then the body will cleverly switch to use fat for fuel instead
How does glucose change our health or energy & weight?
We are meant to eat fruit and vegetables, nature intended us to eat them – plants contain both starch and sugar but importantly fibre too. The fibre in the veggies or fruits help slow down the body’s absorption of glucose.
However, today foods have changed so much and now white bread, white rice, sweets, ice cream etc – they are all sugar and starch and don’t actually have any fibre in them to slow the glucose absorption down. These foods are not healthy for us – yes they may last longer & have a longer shelf life but they are the cause of these unhealthy spikes
When we eat a cake or bread – we feel good, get some energy, but then after a short while, especially after cake, we will become hungry again very quickly and hence eat more or crave more. It also gives us a dopamine kick – this feel good chemical floods our brain and it feels great – so yeahh lets have more of it!! We can gain weight!
This is a big topic and there is so much more than this basic explanation. However, if you want to b healthier and have more energy then start by doing these few things and it can really help prevent the roller coaster of energy & weight up & downs:
- Eat vegetables BEFORE you eat your carbs
- eat a piece of cheese/protein with your fruit
- try having nuts or olives with wine or an alcoholic drink
- go for a short walk after eating a meal
- add vinegar to your chips if you are eating chips!
- have a nut butter on your toast or start with it then have jam
- think again about having cereal for breakfast
The book to get to explain this thoroughly, which has these great diagrams is called ‘Glucose Revolution‘ by Jessie Inchauspe