Wellness Wednesdays: Why You Should Pay Attention to your Glucose Levels

Wellness Wednesdays: Why You Should Pay Attention to your Glucose Levels

Today for my Wellness Wednesday feature, we are going to talk about Glucose levels. Why should you care, you may be thinking? Well – in short, managing your glucose levels not only benefits you in the short term with energy levels, mood and more, but critically affects your long term health too. You want to minimise the number of blood sugar spikes that you experience throughout the day, as more spikes means more ‘roller coaster energy levels’ (you know what I mean if you’ve ever eaten a Mac n Cheese and instantly needed a nap right after) and eventually more chance of you developing chronic illness and diabetes, as well as other health problems AND aging more rapidly, internally and externally – yikes!

If you want to learn more, I’ve got a book recommendation for you; The fabulous ‘Glucose Revolution’, by Jessie Inchauspé. If you watch my YouTube channel, you will have heard me talk about this book, as I’ve been implementing Jessie’s health advice into my daily routine. Read on to discover a summary of Jessie’s advice, and the ways that I’m implementing it into my daily life.


The Background

Ok so, let’s start with the background that Jessie’s health advice is based on. Basically, Jessie came to realise that her breakfasts of Nutella pancakes and the other sweet treats she was having throughout the day were not doing any favours for her energy levels or for her health in general. She eventually got a blood glucose monitor (like the ones you can get through Zoe) so that she was able to keep track of the effects of what she consumed on her blood glucose level. This measure also gave her indirect insight into her blood fructose level, and her insulin level, as these three factors correlate with each other.


Through lots of self testing, she realised that any sweet foods, including chocolate, sweets, fruit juice and even whole pieces of fruit caused large glucose spikes in her blood. Savoury foods high in carbohydrates such as pasta, rice, and potatoes also caused large glucose spikes, but not as high as the sweet foods. Both sweet foods and carbohydrate heavy foods also cause large insulin spikes, while only sweet foods cause a corresponding fructose spike (as only sweet foods contain fructose).


I won’t go into all of the sciencey detail (you can read Jessie’s book for that!), but essentially, frequent glucose and fructose spikes over our lifetimes are terrible for our health – they are linked with many health concerns including Type-2 Diabetes, Heart Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease and more. Therefore, one of the most important dietary changes we can perform to benefit our overall health is to ‘flatten’ our glucose curves, meaning that instead of having lots of sharp glucose spikes (if you imagine it drawn out on a graph), we have more gentle glucose curves; imagine the shape of the undulating Cotswold hills!



Top Tips from The Glucose Goddess

1 – Think about the order in which you eat your food

To minimise your glucose spikes, start each meal by consuming your fibre first and your carbohydrates and sugars last where possible; the fibre will create a buffer, slowing down the rate of absorption of the glucose into your blood. Try eating your vegetables first, or have a veggie starter like a small salad, or even just snack on something green like Mangetout from the garden or Edamame beans for example before your main meal! Avoid bread at restaurants before your meal…. This is really awful for your blood sugar spikes!

2 – Try drinking diluted vinegar before your meal 

I know this sounds a bit odd, but mixing vinegar, such as apple cider vinegar with some water and drinking this before your meal is proven to reduce the ensuing glucose spike! If this doesn’t appeal to you, you can instead add vinegar to your meal, such as by adding a vinaigrette to your salads. I admit I’m yet to try this hack, but once I’m wearing a CGM (continual glucose monitor) I’ll definitely try this out to see how it affects my spikes.

3 – Get active after your meal

Going for a short walk after you eat is another way to flatten that glucose curve as the exercise will cause your muscles to use up some of the glucose in your bloodstream, which in turn reduces the amount of insulin released. A 10 minute walk around the garden or even just vacuum cleaning the house is a great way to get moving and improve those glucose levels.


How I’m Implementing Jessie’s Advice

1 – I’ve switched to savoury breakfasts

The days of starting my mornings with a sweet smoothie are long gone. Now, the first thing I consume in the morning is a frittata and seed crackers which causes a smaller glucose spike than a sweet breakfast and helps to reduce cravings for sugary foods throughout the day. The first thing you eat is the most important, even an oat milk latte is not ideal although I still can’t kick the habit – as oat milk sadly is pure starch – boohoo!

2 – I’ve changed the order in which I eat 

I now have my morning smoothie after my savoury breakfast which massively reduces the glucose spike that the smoothie would otherwise cause. For main meals, I try to eat veggies first, or snack on something green before my main meal.

3 – I go for a walk around the garden after dinner

Charlie and I love to go for an evening walk around the garden to see how everything is doing. This ritual has the added benefit of getting us moving after our evening meal which helps to flatten our glucose curves