Almost everyone knows or has heard the phrase “spike in blood sugar levels” and knows that it has a bad connotation, and rightfully so. So how can we avoid a spike in blood sugar levels? We can avoid a quick and dramatic spike in blood sugar levels by pairing good quality fats and proteins (i.e. grass fed meat, unrefined and cold pressed oils) with carbohydrates.

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Carbohydrates are very easily broken down and absorbed by our digestive system. This means that when we eat carbohydrates alone, especially refined carbohydrates or simple carbohydrates, sugar being the worst, a spike in blood sugar levels occurs. Over time this will over burden the three organs involved in blood sugar regulation, the pancreas, liver, and adrenal glands. Fats and proteins are more complex and therefore take more time to break down and absorb. To digest fats for example, you need to have a good functioning liver to make bile, a healthy gallbladder to store the bile and then release the bile when you eat fat. Bile is necessary for fat digestion as it emulsifies the fat so that it can be properly broken down and absorbed.

When you pair fats or proteins, which take longer to digest, with a carbohydrates or sugars, which are more quickly absorbed, the overall rate of digestion is slower than if you ate the carbohydrates or sugars alone. So pairing your sweet treats or starchy snacks with good quality fats and proteins will help avoid spikes in blood sugar levels.

Sadly, the Standard American Diet (SAD) tends to be high in carbohydrates and low in fat and proteins.

-Brenda Baran, NTP