v8well Book Club: The Glucose Revolution
The life-changing power of balancing your blood sugar
Welcome to the v8well Book Club! Every month (and sometimes more than once) I will recommend a book for you to read. Topics will largely center around food and health, but I reserve the right to meander in search of an interesting book. I hope the bookworms amongst you enjoy this series of posts, and that some of my recommendations find a place on your bookshelf.
My fascination with the science of metabolic health is always leading me to interesting reads. A couple of months ago I discovered the wildly popular Glucose Goddess - who has perfected the art of simple and effective messaging on this topic. Jessie Inchauspé is a biochemist who after a life or death situation in her teens, made it her mission in life to feel her best, every day.
After experimenting on herself with a continuous glucose monitor (CGM), she started to notice patterns of blood sugar spikes after certain meals, and even on certain days. She did her research, and when it became clear she had to avoid big spikes and dips in order to feel her best, she started to share her results in the form of simple comparison charts (take a look at her Instagram). Her new book - Glucose Revolution is an engaging read, full of useful hacks that I am already putting into practice.
What is glucose?
The book starts with what is possibly the most charming description of photosynthesis (the process by which plants produce glucose) that I’ve ever seen. From there on we learn how glucose enters the bloodstream - via starchy and sugary foods - and why today we eat more glucose than ever.
Why are glucose spikes harmful?
Too much glucose leads to inflammation in the body - oxidative stress caused by free radicals and glycation caused by glucose and fructose molecules damaging other molecules (‘your body is browning, like a piece of toast’). Excess insulin is pumped out to clear the glucose away and over time, eventually results in insulin resistance, that has been deeply linked to most chronic diseases of our time - including type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease, hormonal issues such as acne and PCOS and even Alzheimer’s. It is incredibly important not just for diabetics but every one of us to keep our glucose steady.
So how do you flatten these spikes, while still eating the foods that you love?
Jessie has a number of hacks that are easy to put into practice. Here are my top 3 favorites! Read the book for more and to find out why!
Eat foods in the right order - veggies first, fats and protein next, and carbs last. This might be in the form of a salad as an appetizer. Or, just eat a plate of roasted veggies before you go out to dinner!
Choose dessert instead of a sweet snack - on an empty stomach, a sweet snack will spike your blood sugar heavily. But eating dessert after a nutrient-dense meal less so!
Put clothes on your carbs! Protein, fat and fiber added to naked carbs will satiate you and lower the glucose spike. So put parmesan on that pasta, olive oil on those grains and ghee on that paratha. (My advice though is to be careful with portion sizes here - carbs and fat together make an addictive combination and it’s very easy to overeat!)
While I largely adhere to a moderately low-carb lifestyle, these tips have helped me handle my meals better when I’m eating out, or when I eat rice or pasta at home. They are easy to incorporate and don’t feel like a sacrifice.
Jessie is gifted at breaking down complex topics into bite-sized pieces of information and the book is an easy and likeable read. If you are someone that doesn’t like to follow a ‘diet’, this is the ‘health’ book for you!
If you would like to know more about my journey and why I think the topic of blood sugar and insulin resistance is hugely important, read this.
Have you read this book? Leave a comment to spark a discussion!
What part(s) struck a chord with you?
Do you agree with the book’s message?
Do you enjoy the author’s writing style? Would you want to read another book by them?