Hidden Sugars, do they matter?Read Now
HelIt has been an interesting year for me so far. Back in March this year I was diagnosed as a diet controlled diabetic! It was quite a shock!
My doctor diagnosed me 30 days before he retired and left me without a doctor. He started me off with everything he could….a blood monitor and rough guidelines to follow, like don’t drive under 5! And referred me to the local Diabetes Program saying they would look after me.
Unfortunately the local Diabetes Program rejected the referral because I wasn’t ‘bad enough’. So I was on my own. I found a Diabetes Research Study online funded by public health and the Diabetes Association and applied thinking they would be able to help me sort it all out. I was accepted. They started me off learning about exercise and diet, but I was already a diet controlled diabetic so…I found the information not as much help as I was anticipating.
Still no doctor to guide me and help me understand what was happening in my body.
Being who I am, I decided to jump in and dive deep. I learned so much as I went along questioning what I was eating and what it was doing inside my body. I learned from reading research studies about diabetes related topics, but I am one of the lucky ones that has access, the knowledge to interpret what they were actually studying and what the results meant and how they related to me. Even though I am a Culinary Nutritionist, it was still a steep learning curve.
In the first 3 months after my diagnosis, I took my blood glucose as recommended and honestly only had 1 reading in the ‘high range’. It happened one morning before eating anything. How did that happen….I thought sugar spikes were caused by the food you ate? So I did a deep dive to see why that might happen.
Did you know that your body produces glucose to make you wake up every morning? I have to say that morning I was feeling very groggy and had trouble waking up…interesting. So was this a rebound reaction of having a sugar low during the night as I slept, or a result of what I had to eat the previous day, or something else.
As many of you know, as a Certified Culinary Nutritionist, and have a pretty good daily diet, normally. Covid was a whole different story for many of us. Too much wine, too many deserts, too many lattes, too much comfort food and not enough of exercise. Luckily my diagnosis shocked me back into my normal eating habits, but were they an issue???
Generally, I don’t consume much sugar. I use coconut sugar, which has a lower glycemic index number than other sugars. It does have the same number of sugars but with that lower number it takes longer to get into your blood stream through the digestion process, and therefore gives your body longer to produce the insulin to deal with getting it out of your blood stream to where it can be used as energy or stored as fat for future energy needs.
I only use about 2 tsp of coconut sugar a day, so I had to look elsewhere in my diet to get my AIC back to normal.
Of course I looked to cut out most other Covid high sugar items like wine and desserts. I have had to watch my food for a very long time and know that depriving myself of all of those things was not the route to go for me, so I still had a glass of wine or small servings of dessert when I wanted and enjoyed every sip and bite. It was a start.
Then, I looked at all those foods that are converted to sugar in the digestion process, like white rice, white potatoes etc. and went to lower glycemic index foods in the same category, like brown rice and potatoes with the skins on, for starters.
I also I learned to look at eating foods differently to minimize any sugar spike that might happen after I would eat those foods high glycemic foods.
It has been a process but I have learned to make other changes like eating whole fruit instead of drinking fruit juice. As well, when I eat a dessert or have a glass of wine, I only do it on a full stomach. When the stomach is full it takes longer for the sugars to be digested and taken up by the block, which gives your body longer to produce the insulin needed to get the glucose not needed for immediate energy out of your blood stream.
In my deep dive, I stumbled on an author named Jessie Inchauspe, who is a biochemist and wrote a book called the Glucose Revolution. Being me, I always look for the proof that something works, and scientific proof is always the best. Jessie Inchauspe is also know as the Glucose Goddess on Social Media.
She has some really interesting ideas that I have implemented like consuming wine and desserts only after a meal that included fibre, fat and protein to lower the resulting sugar spike, and one of my favourite is to have a glass of water with 1 tbsp of apple cider or balsamic vinegar 30 minutes before eating which not only gets your digestive juices flowing, the vinegar also lowers any sugar spike resulting from the meal. I have known this last idea for a long time but never really understood how it affects blood sugar.
I am pleased to say, that since with going back to my regular diet and all the changes I have put in place, my AIC is now in the normal range instead of the diet controlled diabetic range. I feel I am still a diet controlled diabetic, but that is OK I can live with this.
Controlling sugar spikes is not just for Diabetics, it is for everyone. Having excess glucose in your blood can damage the vessels that supply blood to vital organs, which in turn increases the risks for other health issues like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, vision problems and nerve damage. Hidden sugars matter just as much as regular sugars!
The statistics are out there….many people today consume too much sugar and hidden sugars which puts their health at risk.
If you had an opportunity to make a difference in your future by looking at how and what you eat and making changes today, would you take advantage of that opportunity or would you care?
I care about my future!
If you need help, I am here to help you look at the possibilities.
If you find this blog of interest you may be interested in reading my other blogs concerning sugar:
What do you Crave?
What you learned from your parents?
Helping you Explore the World of Food
Certified Culinary Nutritionist,
The Food Sensitivity Coach
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The Food Sensitivity Coach
I am passionate about exploring the world with a view to food allergies and sensitivities. I look forward to sharing with you what I find, from books, blogs and websites to recipes, hacks, inspirations and opinions, join me in a journey to live your best life.