uh-oh, your energy is expiring!
Posted by Andrea Nakayama
Long after I stopped eating refined sugar, and that afternoon walk to the nearby bakery was a distant memory, I still suffered the 4pm risk of an energy outage.
You know the one I’m talking about, right?
Your body feels heavier.
There’s still a stretch of the day in front of you.
The tasks ahead become foggier as you struggle to keep your head off your folded arms or attempt to convince your kids that it’s “quiet time” so you can lay down.
The idea of making dinner seems as monumental as climbing Kilimanjaro.
Back then, my solution to restore energy was peanut butter.
That’s right, peanut butter.
(Now a substance that’s gone by the wayside right alongside the refined sugar!)
My structured work day ended at 4 o’clock and with spoonful after spoonful (after spoonful), of peanut butter, right from the glass jar where I can scooped the organic creamy mixture from the co-op bin.
It wasn’t until I was faced with the rude awakening that I had adrenal fatigue (and thyroid issues), that I realized the importance of the energy expiration.
Even though I hadn’t eaten refined sugar in years my blood sugar still mattered.
It’s been a long journey to climb my way out of the jar of peanut butter. But I hear from thousands of clients and customers every year that are still stuck there.
Either they quit the afternoon sweet binge only to find themselves slip-sliding back into old patterns. (Repeat. Repeat.)
Or they feel confident that they’re doing their diet perfectly yet can’t find the missing piece to restore energy.
The missing piece is right inside you. It’s your blood sugar!
Join me next Wednesday for a free online seminar where I’ll be diving into the beauty of balancing blood sugar & getting clear on carbs (the good, the bad and the ugly!).
Mark Your Calendar Now!
Grab your BONUS Handout!
Get the Carbohydrate Continuum (the good, the bad and the ugly) when you sign up for my free, Even Keel class!
(Do it now so you don’t forget!)
You likely know that blood sugar imbalance plays a role in diabetes.
Do you know that it’s also a major trigger in heart disease, cancer, candida, adrenal fatigue, and autoimmunity?
Personally, I keep a keen eye on my blood sugar.
It’s one thing in my health routine that I am always tending to fuel my busy life and to help me to manage my autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimoto’s).
Blood sugar balance is a key step to sustainable health for all of us!
Last week I shared why managing blood sugar is such a big deal and why you need to start tuning in today!
It affects your mood, your weight, your mechanisms of hunger, your hormone balance and your immune system. (yes, it’s pretty much at the root of everything!)
Blood sugar affects every single chronic condition you’re looking for help with, from migraines to irritable bowel troubles to brain fog.
When blood sugar is out of whack for too long it can lead to disease states like hypertension, Candida and persistent internal inflammation (all underlying factors for the things that ail us).
Managing blood sugar is a BIG DEAL!
It’s one of the core basics for good health.
But just what is blood sugar?
Let’s take a moment to discuss some blood sugar basics. . .
Blood sugar is basically the sugar ~ or glucose ~ in the blood. And glucose is the elemental factor of every single carbohydrate you eat.
Once the carbohydrate has worked its way through your digestive system, been reduced to a simple sugar such as glucose, and reached the bloodstream through the process of absorption, it’s taken to the liver where it’s either distributed to the cells for energy, or stored for later use.
Because of the liver’s limited storage capacity, any excess carbohydrates are converted to and stored as fat. (Yeah, no thank you!)
It’s your sweet liver that helps regulate your blood sugar levels.
The more complex the carbohydrate, the slower the food moves into the bloodstream, allowing the liver to take up its sugar-load without becoming overwhelmed.
And this brings me to the Glycemic Quotient that you may have heard about.
The Glycemic Index is a ranking of carbohydrates according to how quickly glucose ~ that simple sugar molecule ~ is absorbed into the bloodstream. (As you’ll see, slower is better.)
The Glycemic Index (GI) compares the rise in blood glucose caused by 50 grams of carbohydrates in any particular food to the rise in blood glucose caused by 50 grams of pure glucose.
As an example: pure glucose has a GI of 100 (our baseline). Here are the GI for some other foods we think of as starches:
- white bread has a GI ranging from 70 to 90
- a baked potato has a GI of 85
- a yam has a GI of 42
According to the Glycemic Index model:
Low GI = 55 and under
Medium GI = 56 to 69
High GI = 70 and above
Unfortunately, this ranking system was found faulty because something like carrots have a high GI, and we know they have many other health benefits.
Carrots are packed with fiber and nutrients. These slow the breakdown of the sugars in the digestive system. This allows the liver ample time to do its thing. Take away that fiber, as you do in a glass of carrot juice, and you are indeed left with mere sugars.
In response to concerns with the GI rating system, a revised ranking system was developed to speak to how quickly sugars are absorbed physiologically ~ not just looking at the sugars in the food, but instead the sugars in relation to all of the food’s constituents, as well as the ways in which it moves through the processes of digestion.
This revised system is essentially distinguishing between the carrot and the carrot juice (both have the same sugars, but one contains fiber and the other does not).
This improved system is called the Glycemic Load (GL).
The load considers the total amount of rapidly absorbable carbohydrate (starch or sugar) as well as the GI.
Glycemic Load = GI x grams of carb per serving / 100
According to the Glycemic Load (GL) model:
Low GL = 1 – 10
Medium GL = 11 – 19
High GL = 20 and over.
Let’s examine the Glycemic Load (GL) of some common foods:
- Almonds 0
- Carrots 3
- Blueberries 6
- Honey 10
- Quinoa 13
- Sweet potato 17
- Dates (dried) 18
- Bagel (white) 23
- White rice 26
- Raisins 28
A food like a whole grain or a carrot may have a relatively lower GL because the amount of starch or sugar in that food is mitigated internally by the fiber and nutrients that will slow its delivery into the bloodstream.
The bottom line is that if a food has a high GI but is packed with fiber it will have a lower impact on blood sugar and well-functioning insulin levels.
In the everyday regulation of health, what is it that we want?
One of my core principles is to eat fat, fiber & protein at every meal or snack to ensure the slower delivery of nutrients into the bloodstream for sustained energy and blood sugar control.
On top of that, we want to choose foods that are slower to digest. These are better assimilated into the body’s tissues. They have an inverse effect on blood glucose and corresponding inverse relationship to diabetes, heart disease, weight issues and cancer.
They also have the sweet ability to help us thwart those sweet tooth CRAVINGS!
The Glycemic Index of a green plantain = 39
The Glycemic Load of a green plantain = 12.15
The Glycemic Load of raw honey = 14
The Glycemic Load of an apple = 11.4
The Glycemic Load of agave (not a fan) = 9.6
The Glycemic Load of coconut sugar = 1
Now let’s figure out what all this means for you!
Join me next Wednesday, on April 22 for Even Keel and let’s find out why blood sugar balance (and balance in general), can sometimes seem so elusive.
Together we’ll tune in to what it takes for you to find smooth sailing all day long (sans the afternoon cookie, coffee or spoonfuls of peanut butter!
P.S. Your simple To-Do list this week includes:
- consider the glycemic quotient of your favorite foods
- sign up for the free Even Keel seminar!
- print out The Carbohydrate Continuum and put an end to your carb confusion
Don’t Forget: Mark Your Calendar & Register!
Even Keel: The Three Keys to Sustainable Blood Sugar Balance
Wednesday, April 22 @ 5:30pm PT / 8:30pm ET
EXPERIENCE A FREE TRAINING SERIES WITH ANDREA NAKAYAMA TO HELP YOU
Begin practicing functionally today!
MORE TO EXPLORE
You Might Also Like
Crohn’s Through a Functional Lens
Crohn’s Disease is classified as autoimmune. As you know, autoimmunity is a condition in which the body produces an immune response against its own tissue constituents. Before we talk more about Crohn’s, let’s put autoimmunity into a bit more context so you and I can both grasp how profoundly this is impacting not just our […]Read More
Functional Nutrition in Practice
In a recent discussion with some Full Body Systems graduates, I asked them to describe what nutrition means to them. Some answers identified the bioindividual approach to care that I teach in Full Body Systems—to go slow and meet patients where they are with their needs for dietary change. And some others discussed nutrients directly—like […]Read More
The Chemistry of Coffee
Although caffeine is found in over 100 plants worldwide, its effects are most potent in coffee. This potency stems from coffee’s high concentration of two other stimulants–theophylline and theobromine. Like caffeine, these two other stimulants are classified as alkaloid compounds that naturally occur in both plants and animals. Coffee is primarily consumed for its mood […]Read More
How to Discuss Essential Fats
When it comes to nutrition, we know that one size does not fit all. Your keto diet may wreak havoc on your partner’s body, and their vegan diet may lead to depletions for their sister. It’s just the truth about nutrition… different bodies have different needs for myriad reasons. But what about food itself? Are […]Read More