Blood sugar spikes are like suntans.
It’s good to spend some time in the sun every day. Since our ancestors evolved doing it, it’s a natural activity for humans. Vitamin D, which our bodies make from cholesterol, is the sunshine vitamin. It’s an important vitamin that regulates calcium and phosphorus metabolism.
However, it’s not a good idea to spend too much time in the sun every day. For some people in some conditions, fifteen minutes daily is a maximum duration without protection. For others, an hour or even more is beneficial. Too much sun damages the skin and can cause skin cancer.
How much is too much?
It is not easy to tell during exposure. If, afterwards, your skin turns reddish or brownish, your exposure was too long. Some people think that a suntan looks healthy. In fact, a suntan demonstrates too much exposure to the sun.
Jean Martin Charcot: “Theories, no matter how pertinent, cannot eradicate the existence of facts.”
The dietary sources of blood sugar spikes are the consumption of carbohydrates and proteins. Since dietary protein has a much smaller and slower effect with respect to blood sugar spikes, it’s the consumption of carbohydrates that is the chief dietary cause of blood sugar spikes. (This does not entail that you can eat unlimited quantities of proteins.)
Since our ancestors evolved doing it, it’s natural, normal, and healthy for humans to consume some carbohydrates. Notice the word “some.” Our ancestors did not need to consume carbohydrates at all to be healthy. Neither do we. This makes sense, when you think about it for a moment, because carbohydrates were not always available to them (and under-nutrition is a disease multiplier). It explains why the minimum daily requirement in grams for carbohydrates is zero.
When we eat, it is not easy to tell if we are consuming too many carbohydrates. The only real way to tell is to take readings after meals to see if we’ve produced blood sugar surges.
Just as suntans do not indicate good health, neither do blood sugar spikes.
Being healthy is enjoying a kind of physical, dynamic equilibrium. Our bodies are constantly under assault in many ways; we suffer from exposure to parasites, viruses, bacteria, stress, extreme temperatures, predators, insufficient nutrients, improper nutrition, insufficient exercise, and so on.
Being healthy doesn’t mean that nothing is ever out of balance. Being healthy means having a robust ability to bounce back after an assault.
Your body has evolved marvelous autonomic (self regulating) mechanisms. Ill health is the result when those mechanisms break down.
If you get too much exposure to the sun, your skin will react. You should behave so that you never get a suntan.
Similarly, blood sugar spikes primarily result from eating too many carbohydrates.
In theory, you should eat so that your body never has to endure blood sugar spikes. In practice, you should eat so that your body only has to endure very mild blood sugar spikes.
The way to do that is to avoid consuming all foods except those that are very low in carbohydrates such as some (preferably organic) vegetables, including asparagus, bell peppers, broccoli, cabbage, celery, mushrooms, okra, pumpkin, scallions, snow peas, spinach, string beans, turnips, water chestnuts, and zucchini. All these, and others, have important phytonutrients.
So, to eat well and avoid blood sugar spikes, get nearly all of your calories from fats and proteins.
In particular, avoid all those sources of carbohydrates that are unnatural for humans in the sense that our ancestors did not evolve consuming then. This means avoiding such ubiquitous foods as grains (including everything made from rice, wheat, and corn such as pastries, breads, pasta, crackers, cookies, pretzels, potato chips, taco shells, and popcorn), desserts, candy, milk, cottage cheese, fruit juice, beets, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, commercially prepared soups, and beans. It’s even a good idea to minimize or eliminate the consumption of all fruits.
Are you shocked? If so, I strongly encourage you to update your own research about what constitutes excellent human nutrition. [A free list of books that I recommend is available at: http://www.lasting-weight-loss.com/best-self-help-books.html .] Understanding what to eat and what not to eat and applying that understanding can add years of good health to your life.
The chief topic of this blog is living well, well-being. It’s difficult to live well if you are unhealthy. It’s impossible to live well if you are dead.