The ‘why’ behind the book
‘’Glucose revolution” it’s a book by Jessie Inchauspé – a biochemist (@glucosegoddess) whose health issues prompted her to research glucose spikes and to focus on preventing them.
In this post, I will focus on reviewing the book as well as sharing some other helpful views from the doctors/papers I came across.
I started intermittent fasting (at least 12 hours of night fasting, sometimes 14-16 or even 18 hours outside of my final week of cycle), fiber-protein & fat rich breakfasts as opposed to simple carbohydrates, so I am definitely closer to the low-carb model than a diet with a higher carbohydrate content.
Therefore, Jessies’s book confirmed my choices and expanded my views on glucose. The book uses simple language and explains all the science well with references from various research papers. I have learned a few tricks from it and that is what I would like to share with everyone.
Main takeaways from ‘Glucose Revolution ‘
• The order of macronutrients in the meal significantly impacts one’s blood sugar spikes and drops. The best is to start your meal when consuming – fiber (vegetables), then protein/fat and finally at the end carbohydrates (if possible, decompose your plate as per this example- eat a salad as your no 1, then fish/ meat and finally rice/potatoes)
• Sugar is sugar – no matter if it’s white or brown! The best sugar replacement to sweeten the dishes/desserts is erythritol or stevia! Neither of them raises the glucose levels in the blood (sugar of course does)
• The higher the sugar content in meals the higher their glycaemic index and therefore the more rapid the release of insulin (associated with the production of free radicals and inflammation) and subsequently its decrease (leading to a feeling of lack of energy, drowsiness, brain fog the ‘sudden’ urge for a nap etc.)
• A meal rich in protein and fat eaten in the morning offers the best glycaemic control, it also causes smaller fluctuations in blood sugar, and provides greater satiety (effect on leptin and ghrelin, satiety, and hunger hormone). Protein-fat breakfasts ensure a greater / long-term energy supply during the day, they also ensure dopamine secretion
• Intermittent fasting done through the night (12-16h) is a great tool to stabilize carbohydrate-insulin metabolism/improve metabolism, reduce inflammation, and offer great benefits to the nervous system. Intermittent fasting / its length needs to be adjusted to your body conditions, you need to be also mindful of maintaining the right number of calories and minerals, and vitamins. Furthermore, women are advised not to do intermittent fasting in the last phase of their cycle – a week ahead of the period. More on the benefits of intermittent fasting and metabolic health in this paper.
•Drink (apple) wine vinegar before a meal rich in carbohydrates – a tablespoon for about 1/2 cup of water drunk preferably through a straw to protect your teeth’ enamel. It regulates glucose synthesis in the liver and skeletal muscles. It slows down the breakdown of carbohydrates, so the blood sugar levels become more stable.
The acetic acid contained in vinegar reduces the activity of alpha-amylase, which breaks down sugars already in the mouth (the breakdown of sugars to glucose is slower, and the increase in its level in the blood is also lower), and it also reduces insulin release. Acetic acid influences also faster synthesis of glycogen from slow-circulating glucose, and greater efficiency of the use of fatty acids by mitochondria: Vinegar (acetic acid) intake on glucose metabolism: A narrative review – PubMed (nih.gov)
• Physical activity after a meal (even a walk) for a minimum of 10 minutes significantly reduces the level of sugar and insulin in the blood after a meal. Insulin sensitivity gets increased due to our muscle activity. The best option will be exercise or a walk outside because exposure to light also has a positive effect on our metabolism, insulin sensitivity, and generally – on mood, when done earlier in the day it also helps to manage our circadian rhythm.
• It is worth eating 1 gram of fiber for every 5g of carbohydrates (if you choose ready-made products). The more fiber in the diet, the better (if we do not have contraindications due to intestinal dysfunctions) as it helps with less insulin ejection, and more stable glucose levels.
• Dessert (assuming that it is something sweet) is best eaten always after a meal, never on an empty stomach or solo! Thanks to this we get smaller glycemic fluctuations, less pro-inflammatory effects of glucose and fructose, and smaller mood swings.
• If you need to eat something sweet as a solo meal, not a dessert – combine it with some fatty product (a handful of nuts, add some peanut butter, seeds, etc.). Use so-called ‘coated carbs’ (carbs covered with fat/protein). This will ensure much smaller peaks and glucose drops after a meal.
• Dried fruits contain much more sugar than fresh water-containing fruits – therefore they cause a greater increase and decrease in insulin. Furthermore, because they contain less water and have a smaller volume, we tend to eat more of them. Beware of all of that!
• The more shredded fruits or vegetables – the greater the glycaemic index. Fruit juices contain almost only fructose, they cause a much greater release of glucose and insulin than when we eat the whole fruit. In addition, a glass of juice is 2-3 oranges, 1 orange eaten gives much greater satiety (+ fiber content, biting – important for the nervous system).
JUICE WILL NOT REPLACE A PORTION OF FRUIT/VEGETABLE PER DAY.
• Fructose does not block the secretion of ghrelin – the hunger hormone, so it does not lead to a feeling of satiety. It does not stimulate the secretion of leptin. The lack of leptin causes disruption and lack of appetite suppression – the brain allows us to want to eat more. The metabolism of fructose is completely different from glucose – it is metabolized in 80% in the liver, while glucose is in 20%.
• Fructose excess is converted entirely into fat, not into glycogen-like glucose. Fructose is a stronger compound leading to glycation (and the so-called AGE’s), it also has a negative effect on fat metabolism, hinders weight regulation, as well as causing greater oxidative stress (Oxidative stress can damage cells, proteins, and DNA, which can contribute to many illnesses and aging), which can accelerate the diabetic complications. Fructose significantly contributes to the formation of NFLD, the so-called non-alcoholic fatty liver. Dr Robert Lusting was the first person I heard saying so…
• Fructose intake increases the level of triglycerides in the body, which is disadvantageous if we aim to prevent cardiovascular or metabolic diseases.
• Sugar (glucose, fructose) has an addictive effect on us as it activates the reward center in the brain. Sugar affects the secretion of dopamine by the nuclei accumbens. The more sugar we eat, the greater the craving for this macronutrient and the harder it is to settle for a small dose. The sweeter the products, the more dopamine gets produced…
• Cooling products rich in carbohydrates- such as rice, pasta, and potatoes – after cooking causes changes in the structure of their starch. It helps the formation of the so-called resistant starch, which acts in our intestines as a probiotic and additionally reduces insulin ejection. This affects the reduction of inflammation and helps mood stabilization.
• The process of storing carbohydrate-rich foods or dishes, keeping them in the refrigerator, and eating green skin unripe bananas (a fruit with a greenish skin contains over 4 g of resistant starch per 100 g) reduces the amount of gelatinized starch digested to glucose.
• This is because some of this starch has been converted into resistant starch during storage. This starch is resistant to digestive enzymes and is converted into a fraction of insoluble dietary fiber. Such a transformation of starch causes a slight decrease in the caloric value, but a decrease in the glycemic index of the dish (postprandial glycemia after eating products containing resistant starch is lower).
• The prebiotic effect of resistant starch is reflected in the nutrition of the health-promoting intestinal microbiota. Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus lead to the fermentation of resistant starch in the large intestine & produce extremely valuable for intestinal health short-chain fatty acids – SCFA (acetic, propionic and butyric).
Butyric acid is an amazing compound with extraordinary pro-health potential, it’s affecting the condition of the brain and the expression of many genes – furthermore, it directly inhibits the activity of histone deacetylase (HDAC). It also regulates the cell cycle and induces apoptosis, stimulates cellular differentiation, has immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties, regulates the intestinal barrier, reduces oxidative stress, and modulates visceral sensation and intestinal motility.
• Mindset, thinking about food in a certain way, fear of gaining weight, and caloric content of the product affects our physiology and metabolism significantly – in one study, it was shown that a specific thought about drinking a sweet shake affects the level of the hunger hormone (ghrelin) and insulin levels.
• Besides, if you want badly a sweet snack and it’s not a healthy bar- eat it, do not regret it – you can go for a walk later or drink some water with wine vinegar. However, you do not have to – a healthy approach to food allows for flexibility. In everyday healthy eating habits are far more important and build our well-being, so focus on creating positive and healthy habits with occasional treats 😊
Constant resignation from some foods may lead to the development of eating disorders, or chronic dissatisfaction affecting our mental health. No regrets only memories! What has happened, won’t come back, focus on now!
Would I recommend ‘Glucose revolution’ as a worthwhile read?