Balancing your blood sugar is essential for your energy levels, skin, weight, hormones, and more. We break down the science behind glucose and five healthy and simple ways to support your levels from the Glucose Goddess, Jessie Inchauspé.
In this post you’ll learn:
- Why glucose levels are important
- How glucose impacts the body
- The science of cravings
- Five ways to hack your glucose levels with diet, exercise, and lifestyle shifts
- The best order to eat foods to balance your blood sugar
- Foods that will flatten glucose curves
Let’s talk about glucose — yes, glucose. It might not sound like the sexiest topic, but getting your blood sugar levels balanced is key because it affects your skin, weight, energy levels, hormones, and overall holistic health. It really all comes down to blood sugar. Honestly, the conversation around glucose is long overdue, and we’re excited to have it!
In the episode, we dive deep into the science of cravings, skin health and hormones, healthy blood sugar ranges, lifestyle factors like caffeine, exercise, and stress, and why glucose levels are important — even if you’re not diabetic.
Let’s break it all down, shall we?
Who is the Glucose Goddess?
First, thing’s first — we want to introduce you to Jessie Inchauspé, the Glucose Goddess. Jessie is a biochemist, founder of the Glucose Goddess movement, and a bestselling author. Her new book, Glucose Revolution is out now.
Jessie is a new friend of ours, and we think you’ll love her just as much as we do! She is so knowledgeable and full of science-backed info that has been life changing for so many people.
Personally, we’ve noticed a big difference following her tips. We feel more energized and hunger doesn’t come as quickly after eating carbs. Also, it’s incredibly empowering knowing the science behind not only what you eat — but also how and when you eat. Having that knowledge at your fingertips is huge — and the first step toward supporting your wellness journey.
What Is Glucose?
Glucose — also known as blood sugar — is the main sugar found in your blood. It comes from the foods you eat, and it’s a subcategory of carbohydrates. According to Jessie, “Glucose is your body’s preferred energy. So every cell in your body uses glucose for energy.” In fact, your eye cells are using glucose to see this article right now!
“Glucose is in every single nook and cranny of your body, and the main way we get glucose to our body is by eating starchy and sweet foods,” Jessie says.
Why Is Glucose Important?
You might be asking, ‘Why do I need to know about glucose? I’m not diabetic.’ So, why should you care?
You want to be mindful of your glucose levels for your energy, hormones, mood, skin, heart health, and for the reduced risk of diabetes.
According to Jessie’s website, “80% of non-diabetics are likely to experience glucose spikes, with everyday foods such as breakfast cereal. Flattening our glucose curves is the most powerful place to start for better health. With flatter glucose curves, we enjoy fewer cravings, better energy, more restful sleep, slower aging, improved fertility and sex hormones, better skin, fewer wrinkles, healthier heart, less cognitive decline, fewer menopause symptoms, easier management of gestational diabetes and type 1 diabetes, and less risk of type 2 diabetes.”
Sounds good, right? Let’s dive into the science behind it.
What Happens To Your Body When You Have Glucose Spikes and Crashes?
We all know that feeling of getting a rush of energy after we eat a sugary food followed by an intense crash where you feel tired and cranky. That is all thanks to blood sugar.
The energy rush is actually not what you think. “I think it’s interesting for people to know that when you feel that energy surge, it’s actually not energy, it’s dopamine in your brain,” Jessie says. “It makes you feel awake. And that’s actually a pleasure. It’s like when you have sex, it’s the same molecule that gets triggered from a glucose spike.”
She continues, “Then the crash is obviously very well known. So the more glucose spikes you have in your life, the more you’re gonna have these crashes.”
These glucose crashes impact:
Cravings and hunger
There’s a reason that the more sugar you eat the more you crave it. “Glucose crashes activate the craving center in your brain, so they make you want to eat more glucose-heavy foods,” Jessie explains. “And that starts what most people call sugar addiction.”
Similarly, glucose impacts hunger levels. Jessie says, “In the same way that these glucose spikes and drops create cravings, they also create hunger. So you will just be hungry always.”
Another sign of glucose spikes and crashes is energy instability. Jessie says, “Instead of feeling at 3:00 PM just like you felt at 10:00 AM, you might have huge crashes throughout the day, feel exhausted 90 minutes after your meals, feel super tired in the afternoon, and need caffeine all the time. That’s a very common symptom.”
Another surprising symptom is how glucose impacts skin.
“Every glucose spike makes you age,” Jessie says. Here’s how it works: When glucose runs into other molecules in your body, it damages the other molecule, and that’s called glycation. This glycation process shows on your skin as wrinkles, and it also damages your organs slowly.
More glucose spikes equals more glycation, then more glucose spikes equals more inflammation. That also very prominently shows on your skin, whether it be with acne or rosacea.
“Fixing the glucose thing makes the cravings go away, makes the acne go away. And then it’s like a whole new world where your body is now your friend.”
5 Ways To Support Your Glucose Levels
Now that we know how glucose impacts our bodies and why it’s so important, let’s talk about healthy ways to hack your glucose.
1. Get the best nutrients at breakfast
Breakfast sets the tone for the rest of your day. “Your breakfast is the queen,” Jessie says. “If she doesn’t have a good time, your whole day is just down the drain. If you have a big glucose spike for breakfast by eating a lot of sweet and starchy foods, you’re just on a rollercoaster of cravings, hunger, and fatigue.”
That’s why Jessie recommends having a savory breakfast filled with protein, fiber, and veggies.
2. Add clothes to your starches
We love the concept of dressing your carbs! Here’s how it works: “You have to put clothing on your carbs,” explains Jessie. “Clothing is fiber, protein, or fat. When you combine carbs with something else, you slow down the speed at which the glucose passes from stomach to intestine. You put some breaks on it all.”
The most common way to put clothing on your carbs is to add avocado or peanut butter on bread. Or instead of having a cookie on its own, have it with a handful of almonds or some Greek yogurt.
Says Jessie, “It actually makes it much more satisfying and you’re not starting that sugar addiction that so many of us are suffering from.”
3. Movement after meals
Jessie suggests going for a walk and using your muscles 10 minutes after eating. Activating your muscles will soak up glucose. “The more we can use them, the more we can become allies to our body.”
Going for a walk will use your leg muscles, so you can use glucose for energy instead of sitting there and causing inflammation.
4. Eat your food in the right order
“If you eat the components of a meal in a specific order, you can reduce the spike of the meal by up to 75% without changing the quantity or what you’re eating,” Jessie says. Amazing, right? The best order is veggies first, proteins and fats second, and starches and sugars last.
“Vegetables first is very, very powerful because vegetables contain fiber,” Jessie explains. “When fiber is the first thing that lands in your stomach and then in your upper intestine, it does this magical like transformers vibe thing and it deploys itself onto the walls of your upper intestine and makes this protective mesh and it just stays there. It’s like a shield. And then any food that comes down afterwards will not be absorbed as much and as quickly into your bloodstream.”
Proteins and fats are up next. These nutrients “slow down the speed at which food moves from stomach to intestine,” Jesse says “You’re creating an environment in which glucose from the starches and sugars afterwards is coming down more slowly into your intestine and is absorbed less thanks to this shield.”
This is all working to help you enjoy your food even more. Jessie says,
“You’re eating the exact same meal, still the same pleasure, you’re enjoying the meal with your friends. It doesn’t change anything for your conscious self, but on the inside, you’re helping your body so much.”
5. Add vinegar to your diet
“Vinegar seems to win the prize for magical ingredients in the world of glucose,” Jessie says. She recommends having a tablespoon of vinegar before a meal in either a tall glass of water or incorporating it into a dressing.
“You can reduce the glucose spike of the meal by up to 30% without changing what you’re eating at all,” she says. This is because of a molecule called acetic acid, which slows down how quickly starches get broken down into glucose.
According to Jessie, vinegar is just one of many things in your tool belt you can use to improve your physical and mental health.