6 years ago, I didn’t realize that the body treats simple carbs, such as white rice, processed bread and pasta the same way it treats sugar! When I figured that out, I realized that my body was getting a lot more “sugar” than I had thought. You see I’m not one much for candy, but I do enjoy a good pie for dessert, and I had thought my home cooked meals of pasta were “healthy”, until I realized that my pesto pasta + apple pie dessert was causing a blood sugar imbalance.
So what do I do now? I eat a lot less simple carbs and choose a lot more nutrient dense meals. Don’t get me wrong, I still eat pasta, but probably once every few weeks, not several times / week and I choose brown rice over white rice. If I’m going to eat simple carbs, I balance them with veggies high in fiber, some protein and or fat. As by doing this, it slows down the insulin spike, or flattens the curve – a term we’ve all come to know well. It’s a term that is important in relation to insulin, as we don’t want big spikes and crashes in our blood sugar levels, as this plays havoc on our emotions and energy levels. We want a steadier controlled level of blood sugar, after meals that include good protein, fiber and or fats to help control our insulin levels. That’s not all I do though, there’s more ways to lower your sugar intake and it’s easier than you think!
What else do I do? I’ve changed what I drink. I no longer bother with fruit juices, that are FULL of sugar – yes, even the ones that say “no added sugar!”. When we take the juice out of the fruit, we are leaving behind the fiber, but getting all the natural sugars. This results in 1 cup of fruit juice possibly having 28g of sugar! 1 tsp = 4g of sugar, so that is 7 tsp of sugar? Would you eat 7 tsp of sugar to start your day? I don’t think so! Don’t drink it either. Energy drinks are also loaded with sugar, and of course you know that pop is as well. For many people these are your go to drinks….but now that you know how much sugar is in them, and that it’s spiking your insulin levels and sucking your energy, playing havoc with your mood, you might like to cut back and quit them. Replace them with lemon or lime flavoured water and herbal teas. There are also some great vegetable juice drinks out now, but again read the label before buying! I don’t want to be a party pooper either – but what alcoholic beverages are you consuming? Guess what – most of them contain sugar too. Perhaps you can enjoy a nice glass of wine a couple of nights / week, but not every night? Find other ways to relax, a lovely bath, a good book, a walk in a local park, meditation, yoga, there are so many options.
The amazing thing about our body is that when we create the environment for it to heal, it starts to heal very quickly. When we choose to lower our sugar intake, our taste buds re-set themselves. This way the next time you eat a piece of pineapple or have a raspberry, it will taste deliciously sweet! When our tastebuds are desensitized, fruit doesn’t taste as good! We do have to honor our sweet taste buds, and we can do so with natural fruits and even some veggies, such as carrots and sweet potatoes, as well as spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves! If you like to bake at home, my favourite alternative sweetener is Monk Fruit or Lo Han Guo. It comes in a powder or a liquid, and you can look up conversion charts online to accommodate your recipe. It is about 300 times sweeter than processed sugar, so you don’t need much! What I like about it, is that it doesn’t trigger an insulin spike, so it’s a great choice for diabetics!