I received the results of my fasting glucose and A1C tests the other day. Prior to receiving the results, I had been listening to Dr. Mark Hyman’s podcast the Doctor’s Farmacy where he was interviewing Jessie Inchauspé, a French biochemist and author of Glucose Revolution and The Glucose Goddess Method.
One of the things that Jessie and Mark talked about was how even though the medical standard for our fasting glucose levels might be 65-99mg/dL, 99 is way too high to be a norm. They both agreed that 85 or lower was a better marker and Mark Hyman was more comfortable with the numbers at around 50(ish)!
You don’t really have to be a numbers person when it comes to understanding the ramifications of too much glucose in the body. If you’ve ever eaten and were hungry a half hour later, that’s because the glucose in what you ate went straight into your bloodstream, creating a glucose spike and then a crash. It’s the crash that we tend to notice by way of extreme hunger, headaches, mood swings. We’re all familiar with the ‘hangry’ candy bar commercial.
What’s so sad to me about that commercial is the suggestion that eating a candy bar to pull yourself out of a slump is a good idea. How often do we reach for something sweet for energy? In reality, it’s the worst thing we can do. Once the candy bar is eaten, the glucose goes immediately into the blood stream and glucose levels spike, then come crashing down to a point lower than they were. As a result, our body is way worse off than before we ate the sweet.
There's a lot of new research that supports Jessie’s primary recommendation of balancing blood sugar by eating a meal with fiber in the form of vegetables first, then protein, then starches (and then sweets if you still want them). It makes sense because the fiber keeps the glucose (from the starches and sweets) from blasting into the blood stream and creating insulin havoc. The bonus is that you won’t feel hungry for an extended period of time which helps cut down on the need to snack.
Our bodies work so hard to take care of us, but we have to do our part.
Even though my levels were in range, and seemed good to my doctor, it makes sense to bring those levels down a bit. Our bodies aren't designed to handle spike after spike after spike - something's gonna give and honestly, I don't think any of us want to push our body that far.
The best way to keep our bodies healthy is to be in relationship with them. While glucose levels aren’t the only way, they’re definitely one way our body can let us know how we’re doing.
I'D LOVE YOUR INPUT: I'm currently preparing a workshop to assist in understanding our relationship with sugar and cravings. If you have an interest in learning more about this topic, I'd love to hear from you. What are your concerns? What areas confuse you? What information would be helpful to you in your quest to understand the role of carbohydrates, sugars, and starches in your diet?