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Podcast: 7 Easy Tips to Reduce Glucose Spikes



Transcription of Podcast

Hello, hello, hello. Welcome to Fit and Fabulous with me, Dr. Orlena. Today, we are talking about glucose and glucose spikes. So I'm just going to dive in and give you a whole load of information bombshell that you are going to be blown away by and think, oh my goodness, I can do some really easy things to minimize my glucose spikes.

So number one, let's have a think about why glucose spikes are important and why we might want to reduce them in the first place. So, I am sure that you have all heard of diabetes and how it is a horrible, horrible illness that nobody would wish upon their worst enemy. And I'm sure that you have also seen that people with diabetes get a whole host of horrible, horrible complications.

It can affect many, many parts of your body. It can affect your eyes. It can affect your nerves. You can have your leg amputated. It affects your heart. It basically affects Next, what we call the end organs. Now, the reason why this happens is because if you have diabetes, your blood sugar levels are not controlled in the same way as if you don't have diabetes.

And what this means is for a long period of time, you may have high levels of sugar in your blood. And that is a problem. It is that that does the damage. So taking a step back and having a think about, well, what is glucose and why do we need it? And why is it so damaging for our body? Well, glucose is the main energy source of our body.

And all of the billions and billions of cells that we have use glucose. So we are using. Billions of molecules of glucose every single minute. And in our cells, it is being burnt down to provide us with energy to do all the things that we want to do. So every single function in our body is being driven by glucose.

So, obviously, we need glucose. But, it is a bit like diesel. Diesel, petrol, whatever you put in your car, is fabulous when it is in your car's engine, so think of your engine as a cell. It's great when it's there, but It has to get there. Now, ideally, you just put the petrol into your petrol pump and it doesn't overflow.

But if it were to overflow and dribble all over your car, all over your beautiful seats, all over your town, if you were to drive round with the petrol tank off, the, the cap off and drive around and just leave a trail of diesel around, your town is quite quickly going to look quite horrible. Now imagine if everybody is doing this.

So every single car in your city or town is basically leaving a trail of diesel behind. And suddenly, your town just looks horrible. Disgusting. And that's kind of the thing that is happening inside your body. So when we eat, we eat carbohydrates. We eat different things, but they get broken down. and then they travel via our blood to our cells where they are used as energy.

Now, if your, if your cells are full up, your body stores glucose and it stores it in your muscles, it stores it in your liver, and then later on it will store it as fat. So your glucose has to travel to those cells. But if as it travels there's too much of it and you reach a threshold, which is too much, it is that which is doing damage to your body.

So, when we look at blood glucose levels, we're looking at the amount of glucose that is in our blood. And we want that to be constantly below a certain level. We want our blood glucose levels to look like rolling hills and not like a mountain range. We don't want it to have a high here, and then a low, and then a high, and then a low.

So, you might be saying, Okay, diabetes aside, why is it important for me to avoid these high Well, for so many reasons, my friend. Number one, it is definitely gonna help you lose weight. If you can have slower release. Lower not the mountain range. If you can have the rolling hills as your glucose levels, that is going to help you lose weight.

Now if you are somebody who has sugar cravings or you might get like huge great hunger pangs, that can often be as a result of you've had a high spike of glucose and then after a while all you've had is glucose. Your glucose level actually drops and that is what drives. That hunger, that craving, so you can reduce cravings, you can get rid of that hunger.

And then there's lots of other side effects too. Most people feel that when they reduce the amount of like high peaks that they have, that their energy levels go up, that their brain fog goes down, and that essentially not having these glucose, high glucose levels. It has loads and loads of benefits for your body.

So you think about, like, a diabetic person, and you can see the end result of all the damage that glucose is doing to your body, and we can see all the disasters that happen. But even if you don't have diabetes, on a much smaller scale, that damage is still being done to your body. Yes, it doesn't mean your legs are going to be amputated, but it's still, still damaging your body in a small way, and it's much better if we can avoid that.

So, among the lists of reasons to not have high Glucose levels is things like quality of skin and your skin not aging so not having so much acne and Not having wrinkles so the aging process slows if we can reduce our glucose levels so all in all it is worth Thinking about your glucose levels Now, having said all of that, I hope that you are eating a Mediterranean style diet.

And if you don't understand what a Mediterranean style diet is, not to be confused with Mediterranean cuisine, which is not necessarily always Mediterranean style diet. Mediterranean style diet is a particular way of eating. In a nutshell, it is lots of fruit, lots of vegetables, lots of lentils, lots of nuts and seeds, a little bit of protein, extra virgin olive oil as your source of fat.

And clearly, less packaged foods. What I call white refined carbohydrates. And it is the white refined carbohydrates, which are things like flour, anything made out of flour, so bread and pasta and cakes, and yes, sugar, obviously. That white powdery stuff. Now that really does more damage to our bodies, because it spikes our glucose levels much more quickly.

It is absorbed by our body quickly, because it is mostly broken down. So, if you want to know more about the Mediterranean style diet, podcast episode number one is all about the Mediterranean style diet. And again, there is another podcast episode, episode called The Truth About Carbohydrates and Weight Loss, which really unravels this confusion that people have about, oh my goodness, I have to go low carb to lose weight.

Now, fruits and vegetables are good for you, but they are also carbohydrates. So, they give you glucose, carbohydrates. break down into glucose. Glucose is a carbohydrate. So your fruit and vegetables are carbohydrates, but because they are wrapped up in fiber, and there may be some protein, there may be a little bit of fat if you're looking at avocados, then that, number one, they have lots of good things, so they have things called phytonutrients, which, mop up the damage that is done by all that inflammation.

So that's a good thing. And they also release their, their glucose much more slowly because the body has to break down that fiber in order to get to the glucose. So instead of hitting your stomach and suddenly your blood sugar level go wee, super high, it's a much slower process. And this is one of the reasons why.

Anything that you whiz up, so anything that you process, even if it's a small amount is going to mean that your blood sugar levels go up more. So people talk a lot about wholemeal bread. So wholemeal bread is bread which has got the husk on it, it's still got a bit of fibre and that's great, you're getting the fibre, but it's still going to push your sugar levels up because You don't have to break that down to get the fibre.

The fibre is already broken down and the sugar is immediately available to your body. So, in a nutshell, high glucose spikes are not good for us and we want to avoid them at all costs. So, how are we going to do this? Well, number one, the most important thing is to think about when you eat carbohydrates.

Well, actually, let me backtrack. Number one, thinking about if you are eating a Mediterranean style diet, Actually, and you're avoiding the white refined carbohydrates, actually you're already doing a lot of good things to reduce your glucose spikes. Why is the Mediterranean style diet a good way of eating?

Well, if you eat like that all the time, actually you aren't spiking your glucose levels so much. So if you're eating a plate of vegetables and lentils and healthy things for dinner, you're going to have slow release glucose and you're not going to spike your glucose levels up. Obviously, glucose, and whether your levels go up, is a combination of how much you eat and the types of foods that you eat.

So, for example, confusion about watermelon, everybody goes, oh my goodness, watermelon spikes your glucose levels really, really quickly. Well, yes, it does, but there's so little carbohydrates in watermelon that actually you're eating mostly water, so you have to eat a lot of watermelon. in order to get a glucose spike because it's just a small amount.

So, how are you going to reduce your glucose spikes and what things can you become aware of that are really going to help you have a big impact on your glucose spikes? And the first thing is thinking about when you're eating foods that are carbohydrates, particularly the white refined carbohydrates, which hopefully you're not eating loads and loads of, but from time to time, reality happens and you know, we live in the real world.

So. So, when you're eating white refined carbohydrates, number one, it's really important to eat them with other things, so eat them with fibre, eat them with protein, eat them with fat. And actually, the order in which you eat them also can have an impact on your blood sugar levels. So, for example, if you eat a bowl of rice followed by a bowl of miso soup, the bowl of rice is going to push up your glucose levels.

And then you're going to have some miso soup. Whereas if you do it the other way around, if you eat the miso soup, and then you eat a bowl of rice, your blood sugar level is going to not go so high. Because the miso soup has entered your stomach first, and slowed down the release of that carbohydrate. So thinking about Eating things together and the order in which you eat them.

And you want to be eating the thing that releases the carbohydrate last. So, depending on what you're eating. If you're eating vegetables and lentils for lunch and you have some fruit, then you want to be eating the fruit afterwards. Not at the beginning of the meal. If you're eating For example a cake or chocolate or anything like that You want to be eating it at the end of a meal not eating it by itself as a snack Not eating it at the beginning of a meal.

So be aware of eating the most sugary thing Later on. And the most sugary thing may be bread, it may be pasta, it may be anything. So some hacks that you can do for this is to have a veggie starter. So thinking about how people eat in the Mediterranean world, in Italy and France and Spain, it is traditional really to have your vegetables first.

And often they have vegetables with olive oil on them so that fat is going to help slow down the release of the carbohydrates. The fiber is going to slow down the release of the carbohydrates. And it brings me on to an important point, vinegar. So quite often you will have a veggie starter with a vinaigrette which has obviously got vinegar in it.

Now vinegar is also another thing that is really going to reduce your glucose levels. So. So, vinegar is amazing. It contains something called acetic acid. And acetic acid has lots of fabulous qualities that help us reduce our glucose levels. So number one, it slows the release of glucose in your stomach.

And number two, it makes the glucose enter your bloodstream more quickly. So, having vinegar regularly. It is an amazing thing. Apparently, if you have vinegar, if you eat vinegar every single day for three months before your main meal, it actually affects your visceral fat, so it helps you burn visceral fat as well.

And that is an amazing thing. So, my challenge for you today is to say, go and start drinking more vinegar, I'll explain how in a second, for three months, and see if you notice the difference. Okay, so how do you drink vinegar and make it not totally disgusting? Well, you can just eat it with your food. You can have it as a vegetable starter.

Or you could have, for example, some, like, easy pickles. You know, when you chop up some cucumber or you chop up, excuse me, chop up some radish and put some vinegar in it. And you're aiming to have around a tablespoon of vinegar. before your big meal. Now, you can drink it in water and turn it into a vinegar cocktail or mocktail and actually, it's surprisingly not unpleasant.

So it's actually not disgusting. Well, I find it not disgusting. You want to water it down. You don't want to You don't want to be neat drinking it neat. And ideally I would suggest having it with a straw as well. But you can play around with it. You can put a little bit of ginger in it or some cinnamon or whatever kind of flavours you want.

So actually having it as a drink, as a sort of relaxation time in your day and think, okay, I'm going to drink this before I have my big meal. Super fun. And you want to be drinking it, you can drink it immediately before the meal or up to 90, 90 minutes is like the cut off time really. You don't want to be drinking it much more than 90 minutes.

So, so many super things. So, so far we have gone thinking about the way in which you eat carbohydrates and eating them with different things. So fiber, fat, which could be yogurt, it could be extra virgin olive oil, it could be nuts. Or protein. And number two, vinegar. What else? What other simple things can you do to reduce your glucose spikes?

Now you can think about movement and exercise and if you do like a little walk, there was research that so showed that you just need to walk for two minutes, will reduce your insulin levels. Now, insulin levels are connected to glucose. I'm not gonna explain right now how, but. Just going for a quick walk after your main meal will help you reduce your glucose levels.

So, you can do it for two minutes. Research shows that even two minutes will help. Longer, 10 minutes, is even better, but if you can't manage 10 minutes, 2 minutes is great. And why does this work? Because basically you're getting your muscles moving and then the sugar is entering into your muscles. So it doesn't have to be working walking.

It could be doing some hoovering, it could be some other kind of moderate exercise. On a side note, I don't recommend doing vigorous exercise, I actually tried that last week and I felt super sick. I did my workout. I thought, I know, I'm going to try doing my workout after breakfast. Total disaster, don't do that, just keep it to moderate exercise, a little bit of gentle movement.

So a little bit of movement is a really good tip to help you reduce your blood sugar levels and one that you can really just build into a habit. And the other thing is thinking about your mornings and how you start your day. So whatever time you eat breakfast, and breakfast maybe at lunchtime, breakfast being the first meal of the day.

Okay? And. In the morning, we are more susceptible to glucose spikes. So if you can start your day right with a healthy, non spike breakfast, you're much more likely to set your day up for good. So for example, if you have a sugary breakfast, you might find yourself Getting hungry a few hours later not feeling satisfied and then you're on that rollercoaster to oh my goodness I'm gonna eat some more sugar because I don't know it just works like that Doesn't it and then it keeps on going throughout the day, but if you can give yourself a non spike breakfast Then actually that breakfast should keep you going feeling Satisfied and then you're more likely to have other healthy things along the way So what does a non spike breakfast look like well?

It looks like something that has protein fat or fiber in it Yes, you can eat vegetables at breakfast if you want to and it looks like something that has less carbohydrate in it. So it could be It could have oatmeal oatmeal or porridge will spike your glucose levels. But if you are going to have Oatmeal.

Porridge. Then make sure you have a small amount of oatmeal and make sure that it is full of lots of other goodies. So think about putting in some fat. Either some Greek yogurt or some oil. And some nuts and some seeds. Generous portions of nuts and seeds. And think about having the less sweet fruits if you're going to have fruits.

So some apples rather than bananas and other sugary bits and pieces. And you don't have to have fruit, you don't have to have a sweet breakfast, you can have a savoury breakfast. So eggs is a really good example of savoury breakfast. Eggs with tomatoes and some cheese is a really good example of a savoury breakfast.

Now, you know what I say, it needs to work for you. So finding something that works for you is always the key. So thinking, okay, what is it that I like for breakfast? Having said that, it is sometimes worth experimenting too. I have recently changed my breakfast and for ease, I have porridge, oatmeal in the morning, and I normally have fruit.

I've started to cut out the banana that I have with it and replace it with full fat Greek yogurt, and I eat the Greek yogurt and the nuts first, and then a little bit of oatmeal and my apple or whatever fruit it is mixed together. So you can experiment and try something new, but it is about what works for you, but you don't have to get stuck in a rut.

So. So, just recapping. Oh, one more thing. If you're thinking about, going back to the first point I made, and thinking about how you eat things, any sweet treats that you have, so chocolates or candies, or cookies, or whatever it is that you're going to have, instead of having them as snacks, really try and tag those on to the end of a meal as a dessert, which leaves you with the question of okay, so what am I going to have for snacks and thinking about healthier options for snacks.

So nuts, nuts are a fabulous snack. You want non salted, non flavored nuts but savory things for snacks if you can have savory things. So I love having celery and peanut butter or apple and peanut butter is, you know, a great snack or an apple and a handful of nuts. But really and truly, you shouldn't need to be snacking throughout the day if you're having good quality, healthy food that is filling you up.

And yes, I know, I know people often eat snacks not because they're hungry but for other reasons. And if that's the case, go and listen to all of the podcasts that I've done on emotional eating and how to manage emotional eating. And what I would say is Managing emotional eating is part what you eat and part the mindset about it.

So you need to pay attention to both of those pieces. The what are you eating, and it getting to the joy of healthy eating and feeling so much better because you're nourishing your body. But also that mindset piece about it's not about depriving yourself. It's not about beating yourself up. And you do need to pay attention to your emotions and what is going on and that emotional need but quite often you can find something that isn't food to fulfill that emotional need.

As I say, I have done loads and loads of podcasts on emotional eating and how to combat emotional eating. So, my friends, super easy, I hope that you find this helpful, I'd really love you to come into the Facebook group and tell me what one What tip are you going to implement this week? If you're not in the Facebook group, oh my goodness, come and join the Facebook group.

It's fun. We have so much fun in the Facebook group. If you're in the Facebook group, underneath this video, come and let me know what tip are you implementing this week and let me know how it goes. Have a fabulous week. Goodbye. Ooh, ooh, ooh, and quick postscript. I have got a handout called Seven Easy Tips to Reduce Your Glucose Level.

So if you'd like the handout, I will put the sign up link in the show notes and you can have the seven tips on a PDF.



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