Skip to content

New Year, New Habits

by Beth on January 11th, 2024

Over the years, I’ve been adding well-being habits to my daily routine. Discovering the science of positive psychology led me to practice gratitude and start meditating to boost my happiness. After reading more about the negative impact of eating meat on my health and on the planet, I stopped eating meat. Learning about hormesis, that small amounts of stress enhance health and slow aging, led me to add habits like intermittent fasting, HIIT workouts, and cold showers to my routine.

This year I’m adding new habits to flatten my glucose curves. Reading the Glucose Revolution helped me understand the negative impact glucose spikes have on my health.

Eating carbs floods our bodies with glucose. Some of it is stored in the liver and muscles and the rest is stored as fat. When we eat more glucose than our cells need for energy, the result is a glucose spike. Spikes cause our cells to release free radicals. Too many free radicals lead to a state of oxidative stress, which causes heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, cognitive decline, and aging. Bottom line, glucose spikes are not good for us!

But there is good news! You don’t have to give up carbs to avoid glucose spikes. There are several hacks you can use when eating starch or sugar to slow down the amount of and the speed at which glucose is absorbed. And that will flatten your curves.

Here are some things you can do:

  • Eat fiber first, then protein and fat, then carbs – There are three ways fiber reduces glucose absorption: 1) it slows gastric emptying, 2) it reduces the action of the enzyme that breaks starch down, and 3) it creates a mesh that makes it harder for glucose to enter the blood stream. Fat also slows gastric emptying.
  • Start with something green – Because fiber reduces glucose spikes, a good hack is to eat your veggie first. If are going to a restaurant or party and don’t plan to eat veggies, have a few baby carrots or something green before heading out.
  • Eat a savory breakfast – In a fasted state carbs are digested more quickly, so breakfast is the worst time to eat sugars and starches. A glucose spike from a sweet food is worse than from a starchy food because it also creates a fructose spike, so it’s better to have a savory breakfast.
  • Eat dessert, not a sweet snack – If you are craving something sweet, don’t have it alone as a snack. Wait until after a meal so the food you’ve eaten will minimize the glucose spike.
  • Don’t eat carbs alone – Just like eating sugar alone causes a much bigger spike, so does eating any carb alone. If you are going to eat a carb, add some fiber, protein, or fat. Put some butter or olive oil on your bread, add veggies to your pasta, eat some peanut butter with your apple or cheese with those crackers, have some nuts with your beer.
  • Move after you eat – Every muscle contraction burns up glucose, so moving after meals reduces spikes. Glucose goes to muscles instead of fat reserves. Go for a 10-to-20-minute walk after eating or do some push-ups, squats, or planks.
  • Add vinegar – Consuming vinegar flattens glucose spikes. The acetic acid in vinegar temporarily inactivates the enzyme that transforms sugar and starch into glucose, so it is absorbed more slowly. Choose vinaigrette for your salad. Drinking a tablespoon of vinegar with water or tea up to 20 minutes before or after your meal will also do the trick.

Flattening your glucose curves will not only make you healthier but you will experience fewer cravings, less hunger, and increased energy. Why not give it a try with some of these hacks?

From → Goals, Health, Well-being

Comments are closed.