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  • Published: 29 March 2022
  • ISBN: 9781761043864
  • Imprint: Penguin Life
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $34.99

Glucose Revolution

The life-changing power of balancing your blood sugar

Extract

What was the last thing you ate? Go on, think about it for a second. Did you like it? What did it look like? What did it smell like? What did it taste like? Where were you when you ate it? Who were you with? And why did you pick it? 

Now for the harder questions: do you know how many grams of fat were added to your belly after eating that thing? Do you know if it will cause you to wake up with a pimple tomorrow? Do you know how much plaque it built up in your arteries, or how many wrinkles it deepened on your face? Do you know if it’s the reason you’ll be hungry again in two hours, sleep poorly tonight, or feel sluggish tomorrow?

In short – do you know what the last thing you ate did to your body and mind?

Many of us don’t. I certainly didn’t before I started learning about a molecule called glucose.

For most of us, our body is a black box: we know its function, but not exactly how it works. We chew thousands of times a day, with little knowledge of what each mouthful is doing to us.

We often decide what to have for lunch based on what we think, read, or hear, rather than based on what our bodies truly need. “The animal tends to eat with his stomach, and the man with his brain,” wrote the wise philosopher Alan Watts. If only our bodies could speak to us, it would be a different story. We’d know exactly why we were hungry again in two hours, why we slept poorly last night, and why we felt sluggish the next day. We would make better decisions about what we ate. Our health would improve. Our lives would improve.

Well, I’ve got a scoop for you.

As it turns out, our bodies speak to us all the time.

We just don’t know how to listen.

Everything we put in our mouth creates a reaction. What we eat affects the 30 trillion cells and 30 trillion bacteria[1] within us. Take your pick: cravings, pimples, migraines, brain fog, mood swings, weight gain, sleepiness, infertility, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, heart disease… are all messages from our bodies that there are problems within.

This is where I blame our environment. Our nutritional choices are influenced by billion-dollar marketing campaigns aimed at making money for the food industry – campaigns for soda, fast food, candy and unhealthy snacks.[2] These are usually justified under the guise of “what matters is how much you eat – processed foods aren’t inherently bad.”[3] But science is demonstrating the opposite: processed foods are inherently bad for us, even if we don’t eat them in caloric excess.[4]

And it’s because of this misleading marketing that we believe lies like:

“Weight loss is just about calories in and calories out.”

“You should never skip breakfast.”

“Rice cakes and fruit juice are healthy.”

“Fatty foods are bad for you.”

“You need to eat sugar to have energy.”

“Type 2 diabetes is a genetic disease that you can’t do anything about.”

“If you aren’t losing weight it’s because you don’t have enough will power.”

“Feeling sleepy at 3pm is normal – drink some coffee.”

And as a result, a lot of the food we choose to eat isn't actually good for us. Those choices influence our physical and mental wellbeing – and stop us from waking up every morning feeling amazing. It may not seem like much that we don’t feel amazing every morning, but if you could…wouldn’t you? I think we deserve to look back on our lives knowing that we were as healthy and happy as we could have been. And there’s a way we can.

Scientists have been studying how food affects us for a long time. But powerful lobbies were swinging the conversation towards fat and calories and away from the real trouble maker…sugar. Nevertheless, scientists have continued their research, and we now know more than we ever have on this topic. The most exciting discoveries have happened in the past five years, in labs across the world: research is showing us what happens after we eat in real time – and has revealed that while what we eat matters, how we eat it, in which order, combination, and grouping, matters too.

What the science reveals is that in the black box that is our body, there is one metric that affects all systems. If we understand this one metric, and make choices to optimize it, we can greatly improve our physical and mental well-being. This metric is the amount of blood sugar, or glucose, in our blood.

Glucose is our body’s main source of energy. We get most of it from the food we eat, and it’s then carried in our blood stream to our cells. Its concentration can fluctuate greatly throughout the day, and sharp increases in concentration – I call them glucose spikes – affect everything from our mood, our sleep, our weight, and our skin, to the health of our immune system, our risk for heart disease, and our chance of conception.

You will rarely hear glucose discussed unless you have diabetes, but glucose affects each and every one of us. In the last few years, the tools to monitor this molecule have become more readily available. That, in combination with the advancements in science I mentioned above, means that we have access to more data than ever before – and we can use that data to gain insight into our bodies. 

This book is organized into three parts: 1) what is glucose, and what we mean when we talk about glucose spikes, 2) why glucose spikes are harmful, and 3) what we can do to avoid spikes while still eating the food we love.

In Part 1, I explain what glucose is and where it comes from, and why it’s so important. The science is out there, but the news isn’t spreading nearly fast enough. Regulating glucose is important for everyone, diabetes or no diabetes: for our parents, our children, our neighbors, and the people we see on TV. 88% of Americans are likely to have dysregulated glucose levels, even if they are not overweight according to medical guidelines, and most don’t know it.[5]  When our glucose levels are dysregulated, we experience glucose spikes. During a spike, glucose floods into our body quickly, increasing its concentration in our blood stream by more than 30 mg/dL in the span of about an hour (or less) then decreasing just as quickly. The spikes lead to harmful consequences.

In Part 2, I describe how glucose spikes affect us in the short-term: hunger, cravings, fatigue, worse menopause symptoms, migraine, poor sleep, difficulty managing type 1 diabetes and gestational diabetes, weakened immune system, worsened cognitive function… and in the long term. Dysregulated glucose levels contribute to aging and to the development of chronic diseases such as acne, eczema, psoriasis, arthritis, cataracts, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, depression, gut problems, heart disease, infertility and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and fatty liver disease.

If you were to plot your glucose level every minute of every day on a graph, the line between those points would have peaks and valleys. That graph would show your glucose curve. When we make lifestyle changes to avoid spikes, we flatten our glucose curves. The flatter our glucose curves, the better. With flatter glucose curves, we reduce the amount of insulin in our body – a hormone released in response to glucose – and this is beneficial as too much insulin is one of the main drivers of insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and PCOS.[6] With flatter glucose curves, we also naturally flatten our fructose curves – fructose is found alongside glucose in sugary foods – which is also beneficial, as too much fructose increases the likelihood of obesity, heart disease, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.[7]

In Part 3, I’ll show you how we can flatten our glucose curves with 10 simple food hacks that you can easily incorporate into your life. I studied Mathematics, then Biochemistry, and this training has allowed me to analyze and distill a vast amount of nutritional science. In addition, I have run many experiments on myself wearing a device called a continuous glucose monitor, which allows me to observe my glucose levels in real time. These 10 hacks I will share are simple and surprising. None ask you to never eat dessert again, or count calories, or to exercise for hours and hours a day. Instead, they ask you to use what you’ve learned about your physiology in Parts 1 and 2 – really listening to your body – to make better decisions about how you eat. (And that often means putting more food on our plate than usual). In this final section, I will arm you with all the information you’ll need to avoid glucose spikes without wearing a monitor yourself.

Throughout this book, I draw on cutting-edge science to explain why these hacks work and tell real-life stories that show them in action. You will see data taken from my own experiments and experiments from the Glucose Goddess community, an online community I have built and grown. And you’ll read testimonials from members who have shed weight, curbed cravings, improved their energy, cleared their skin, rid themselves of PCOS symptoms, reversed type 2 diabetes, done away with guilt and gained immense confidence based on the insights here.

By the end of this book, you’ll be able to listen to the messages coming from your body – and understand what to do next. You’ll make empowered food decisions, no longer prey to marketing messages. Your health will improve, and so will your life.

I know this for a fact because it happened to me.

[1] https://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.1002533

[2] https://media.ruddcenter.uconn.edu/PDFs/TargetedMarketingReport2019.pdf

[3] Book: Rob Lustig, Metabolical, 2021

[4] Book: Rob Lustig, Metabolical, 2021

[5] https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/met.2018.0105

[6] Book: Ben Bikman, Why We Get Sick, 2020

[7] Book: Rob Lustig, Metabolical, 2021

 


Glucose Revolution Jessie Inchauspe

Improve all areas of your health from your weight, sleep and cravings to your mood, energy and skin – and even slow down ageing – with easy-to-implement, science-based hacks to manage your blood sugar levels while still eating the foods you love.

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