The Truth About Sugar
From Dr Mark Hyman, Physician and Author.
In the more than 30 years I’ve been practicing medicine, I’ve seen that the root cause of many of our chronic health challenges is imbalanced blood sugar.
Think about it: How often are you waking up in the morning, guzzling a big cup of coffee, and maybe eating a piece of toast or a pastry? Then you run to the office, and later on if you do eat lunch, it’s a slice of greasy pizza. Sometimes we work so hard we skip meals and then we gorge on whatever is quick and easy for dinner before heading to bed (and then we wonder why we don’t sleep well).
You might not think this cycle is affecting you, but over time, it’s a health disaster.
The habit of skipping meals and eating foods lacking in nutrients but high in refined carbs can create systemic damage all the way from mild insulin resistance to full-blown diabetes.
I call this spectrum diabesity.
Diabesity and all of its complications–diabetes, elevated blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol–are simply downstream symptoms of poor diet and lifestyle choices that clash with our unique genetic susceptibilities.
Food is information; it can tell our cells to work their energetic magic or it can tell them to give up and age faster.
When your diet consists of fast-burning carbs that immediately turn to sugar (think bread, pasta, potatoes) your cells get desensitized to insulin; they need more and more to do the same job of keeping your blood sugar in check.
These foods that I just mentioned have what is called a high glycemic index and trigger a special region in the brain called the nucleus accumbens, our pleasure center. This means that foods that spike blood sugar are biologically addictive.
Here’s the good news: we all have the tools to break free of this addictive cycle and feel vibrant and energized. It’s simpler than you might think.
It starts with focusing on real nutrition. If you fuel your body with enough of the right foods and nutrients, you won’t want the stuff that makes you feel like crap.
So what does real food look like? Despite the media hype and the seeming confusion amongst doctors, the basics of nutrition are extremely straight forward. Eliminate sugar and processed carbohydrates, include whole real foods like clean protein, tons of non-starchy veggies, some low-glycemic fruits, healthy fats such as nuts and seeds, and small amounts of beans and whole grains.
The winning combination for EVERY MEAL is plant foods + healthy fats + clean protein.
If you use this combination, you’ll create blood sugar balancing meals that will keep you nourished and satiated.
What does this look like for me?
For breakfast, I have a big shake with spinach, avocado, berries, nuts and seeds, my favorite protein powder, and nut milk. For lunch, I’ll have a huge salad with canned wild salmon, macadamia nuts, tomatoes, cucumbers, and whatever other veggies I have in my fridge. For dinner, I make grass-fed meat, with at least 2 to 3 vegetable side dishes like Brussels sprouts and roasted carrots.
I just know what works for me—what keeps me energized and my body feeling good—and I stick to it and honor it daily.
I encourage you to do the same.
I believe that balancing blood sugar and ending our addiction to processed carbohydrates and sugar is one of the most important steps to take when it comes to reclaiming our health.
Broken Chain Newsletter 09 December 2019