Our food choices have a powerful effect on our metabolic health. Some foods cause blood glucose levels to spike and raise cholesterol and inflammation. One of the best ways to understand what is going on inside our bodies is to measure glucose.
Glucose affects how we feel instantly because it influences our hunger and mood, and many things fall into place once we get it under control.
When glucose is out of balance, we put on weight, our hormones become disrupted, we feel tired, we crave sugar, our skin breaks out and our heart suffers.
We crave sugar when our glucose levels are low or when we're stressed. Sugar is also hidden in everything. The more sugar we consume, the more likely we'll have a blood glucose crash that releases hormones to break down muscle tissue and convert it into glucose. Then glucose spikes again, insulin is released and we store more fat and we're not able to access the fuel stored on our body (body fat).
For some, giving up sugar can feel hard, but once you understand how to balance your meals, it becomes much easier.
Research has shown that sugar increases inflammation in the body. It decreases insulin sensitivity and increases fat in the liver, eventually leading to insulin resistance and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
A high sugar diet has been linked to changes in the gut microbiome causing inflammation and leading to obesity.
Avoid or reduce ALL types of sugar: sweetened drinks, desserts, sweet snack food, and candy. It's also found in condiments, sauces, salad dressing, bread, pizza, yoghurt, and ‘health' bars.
Processed foods are often packaged foods – cereals, frozen food, muesli bars, soft drink, white bread and pasta, deli meats, etc.
They contain trans fats, have little nutritional value, and often have sugar added. All of these will cause a spike in blood glucose levels.
I love to snack on organic brown rice crackers sometimes, but since I've been monitoring my blood glucose I can see they are not good for my metabolic health (see below)
I've been using a glucose monitor with clients in my Peak Revival program, and the data and results have been very interesting. The ‘normal' range is so broad that it lands in the insulin resistance- pre-diabetes stage. With simple tweaks to the diet, glucose levels reduced (as well as insulin), along with cravings and body weight.
These oils are often high in omega 6 which has been linked to poor metabolic health, as some studies have shown that it can cause insulin resistance and inflammation and it stimulates the appetite – who can ever stop at one chip/crisp?!
Oils to watch out for: Sunflower, safflower, grapeseed, cottonseed oil, Soyabean, Walnut, Rice bran oil, canola, and peanut oil.
Cotton is one of the most heavily sprayed plants (with glyphosate), cottonseed oil is toxic. Many takeaway places use this for frying – hot chips/ fries.
Look for avocado, coconut, or olive oil instead.
As mentioned above, these foods have high amounts of vegetable oils and processed foods.
It's loaded with flour, sugar, fats, and salt which is super addictive.
I've been told that Mcdonald's is one of the worst foods for blood glucose spikes – I'm not that daring to try it.
Research has found that organic foods are linked to better metabolic health and BMI.
Bread, pasta, pastries, cake, biscuits etc are high in glycemic index not only due to the sugar content but because of the wheat flour.
Any milled grain is going to spike glucose levels, wheat is often GMO and heavily sprayed with pesticides.
Alternative option: almond or coconut flour.
Want to work with me to improve your metabolic health, energy, and metabolism? Check-out Peak Revival
I’m a Naturopath, Transformational Coach, Mind-body Medicine Specialist & Speaker, and I love supporting modern women who are overworked, busy & burnt out.
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