Every time we make a food choice it can have a positive, calming effect on our glucose levels and our insulin requirements whether you produce your own or inject it. Unfortunately, most Americans don’t take advantage of this. We eat and drink food-like products that only wreak internal havoc making more work for the pancreas and liver.
If you overeat, regardless of the food (excluding dark leafy vegetables and most cruciferous vegetables) it will cause excessive insulin production, fat storing, and an inevitable blood sugar crash that leaves us lethargic and craving the same calorie dense foods that caused this all too common cycle to begin in the first place!
Breaking the cycle
Carbohydrates affect blood glucose levels much differently depending on where they came from and their rate of consumption. The plant-based carbohydrate enters the bloodstream at a much calmer / steady rate than the man made carbohydrate.
The glycemic index can be very misleading because nutrient density is not taken into account. It's hard to compare a candy bar or a 12 oz soda to even a starchy, high-calorie vegetable, like sweet potatoes which have naturally occurring fiber, vitamins, and minerals, even if they contain the same amount of calories/carbohydrates. Glycemic load chart based on serving size gives a much better system for measuring where a food sits on the spectrum of blood sugar stability.
Since we don’t walk around with these charts, index’s, and nutrient density scores, here are a few principals to help steer you in the right direction and eventually make up a majority of the diet:
Consume in abundance
Dark green leafy and cruciferous vegetables.
Kale, spinach, broccoli, collard greens and swiss chard all go great in smoothies and salads.They have the most nutrients per calorie ratio of all foods and are too low in calories to ever cause a profound insulin spike.
Consume in moderation
Whole fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grain products, legumes, starchy vegetables.
Still being whole plant foods, these diet staples provide more energy (calories) but tons of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, just like nutrient dense vegetables.
Consuming at a consciously slower rate will ensure a slow, steady rise and fall in blood sugar and lasting energy.
Consume sparingly or avoid
Animal and dairy products, oils, refined grains (pastries, crackers, cookies, soft drinks).
These foods have 1 to 3 of the following qualities: severely lacking in fiber/vitamin minerals, wear out insulin producing beta cells, and/or high in calories and fat.