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Let them eat cake sticker designed to balance blood sugars in delicious ways.

10 Ways To Balance Blood Sugars

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“Let Them Eat Cake”, She Said…

This is Jessie Inchauspé, a French biochemist and author. She’s most known for her best-selling “Glucose Revolution: The Life-Changing Power Of Balancing Your Blood Sugar”.

It’s a great book (which we reviewed recently) and you absolutely should read it, but meanwhile, we’re going to distill at least the most critical core ideas, 10almonds style. In this case, her “ten hacks”:

Eat foods in the right order

The order is:

  1. Fiber first
  2. Protein and fat second
  3. Starches and sugars last

What happens here is… the fiber perks up the gut bacteria, the protein and fat will then be better-digested next, and the starches and sugars will try to jump the line, but they can’t because the fiber is a physical speedbump and the proteins and fats are taking the prime place for being digested. So instead, the starches and sugars—usually responsible for blood sugar spikes—get processed much more gradually, resulting in a nice even curve.

Add a green starter to all your meals

We know what you’re thinking: “that’s just the first one again”, but no. This is an extra starter, before you get to that. If you’re the cook of the household, this can absolutely simply mean snacking on green ingredients while cooking.

Stop counting calories

Especially, she advises: stop worrying about extra calories from fats, such as if doing an oil-and-vinegar dressing for salad—which she also recommends, because all three components (the oil, the vinegar, and the salad) help even out blood sugar levels.

Flatten your breakfast curve

For many, breakfast is the starchiest meal of the day, if not the sugariest. Inchauspé recommends flipping this (ideally) or softening it (if you really must have a carb-based breakfast):

  • Top choices include: a warm vegetable salad, fish, or eggs (or tofu if you don’t do animal products).
  • Next-best include: if you must have toast, make sure to have butter (and/or the aforementioned egg/tofu, for example) to give your digestion an extra thing to do.
  • Also: she recommends skipping the juice in favour of home-made breakfast smoothies. That way, instead of basically just sugar with some vitamins, you’re getting a range of nutrients that, if you stack it right, can constitute a balanced meal itself, with fiber + protein + fat + carbs.

As an extra note from the 10almonds team: come to think of it, today’s sponsor’s product would be a great choice for this “mixed nutrient breakfast” idea! But more on that later 😎

Have any type of sugar—they’re all the same

They’re technically not, but the point is that your body will immediately take them apart and then they will be just the same. Whether it’s the cheapest white sugar or the most expensive organic lovingly hand-reared free-range agave nectar, your body is going to immediately give it the chop-shop treatment (a process so quick as to be practically instantaneous) and say “this is now glucose”.

Pick a dessert over a sweet snack

Remember that about the right order for foods? A dessert, when your body is already digesting dinner, is going to make much less of a glucose spike than, say, a blueberry muffin when all you’ve had this morning is coffee and juice.

Reach for the vinegar before you eat

We recently did a whole main feature about this, so we’ll not double up today!

After you eat, move

The glucose you eat will be used to replace lost muscle glycogen, before any left over is stored as fat… and, while it’s waiting to be stored as fat, just sitting in your bloodstream being high blood sugars. So, this whole thing will go a lot better if you are actively using muscle glycogen (by moving your body).

Inchauspé gives a metaphor: imagine a steam train worker, shoveling coal into the furnace. Meanwhile, other workers are bringing more coal. If the train is moving quickly, the coal can be shoveled into the furnace and burned and won’t build up so quickly. But if the train is moving slowly or not at all, that coal is just going to build up and build up, until the worker can shovel no more because of being neck-deep in coal.

Same with your blood sugars!

If you want to snack, go low-sugar

In the category of advice that will shock nobody: sugary snacks aren’t good for avoiding blood sugar spikes! This one probably didn’t need a chapter devoted to it, but anyway: low sugar is indeed the way to go for snacks.

Put some clothes on your carbs

This is about olive oil on pasta, butter on potatoes, and so forth. Basically, anything starchy is going to be broken down quickly to sugar and sent straight into the bloodstream, if there’s nothing to slow it down. If you’re wondering what to do with rice: adding a tablespoon of chia seeds to the rice while cooking (so they’re cooked together) will add very healthy fats to your rice, and (because they’ve been cooked) will not seem like eating seeds, by the way. In terms of texture and appearance, it’ll be as though you threw some black pepper in*

*which you should also do for many reasons, but that’s beyond the scope of this “about blood sugars” feature!

Wanting to know more about the science of this?

We’ve done all we have room for here today, but Inchauspé is, as ever, happy to explain it herself:

Prefer text? Check out:

The Science Behind Glucose Goddess

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