Life Hacks: How to Lower Blood Sugar Spikes after a Meal
Standard American diet meals filled with sugar, animal fat, salt, and dairy can cause blood sugar spikes immediately after a meal within 3 to 4 hours. These blood sugar spikes cause inflammation, a flight or fight nerve response, and thickens our blood - not so fun! This can happen after just one meal so even before lunch you could have increased inflammation, sugar levels, and potential for heart disease as the higher the blood sugar spike the higher number of free radicals are produced - imagine 3 whole meals of this effect. Doctors usually measure blood levels before breakfast so it is difficult for them to detect accurate blood sugar spike levels.
What can we do about preventing this damage? Eating a diet filled with high fiber, high in antioxidants, minimally processed plant based foods such as legumes, whole grains, nuts, fruits, and vegetables blunts the increase in sugar, fat, and inflammation.
But what if we really want to eat a tasty treat or reach for the white bread in the bread basket?
Studies show that smearing a slice of white wonder bread with almond butter significantly blunts the sugar spike. Plant based foods have the antioxidants to wipe out free radicals, oxidative damage, and lowers insulin levels so pairing white high sugar foods with low-carb foods such as nuts not only calms blood sugar levels but also calms insulin levels.
However, this doesn’t work with low-carb animal foods - one study showed a meal with steamed chicken and white rice spiked the insulin higher than the white rice alone. Same study was done with mashed potato with butter and cheese - the butter and cheese doubled the insulin than eating the mashed potato alone. However, adding half an avocado to a meal - the insulin response improved as it did with nut butter. So we can conclude that by adding a healthy, plant-based low-carb fat food can help diminish blood sugar spikes and reduce inflammation in the body. Yay for avocados!