Many people are aware of the problem of high blood sugar and low blood sugar. Neither one is good; when blood sugar levels fluctuate it can really make a mess of our energy and how we feel in general. That tired, grumpy feeling after a blast of energy is really unattractive in others and we certainly want to avoid it in ourselves. What happens to cause that? Most of us are aware that eating sugary foods will give you immediate energy and then your crash – we’ve all experienced that. The crash makes us reach for the sugar again. Well, that sounds like a maddening cycle to me… what a mess.
It seems that fiber has a lot to do with this process. When we eat foods that have been processed and refined – discarding the fiber – blood sugar can drop. Believe it or not eating an apple is not the same as eating applesauce which not the same as drinking apple juice. You would think that an apple is an apple since you haven’t added anything to it or heated it. But here’s the surprise… our pancreas produces more insulin for the applesauce and even more for the apple juice because not only are the fibers processed in the applesauce, they are removed in the apple juice. This is what happens when we grind up grain as well. Consuming flour products is different from consuming whole grains like brown rice, wheat berries, oat groats and so on.
Fiber is amazing stuff. It is actually a carbohydrate but fiber is indigestible and as it turns out that is a very good thing for us. In our intestines the fiber mixes with water and forms bulk (the fiber expands). Substances that we really don’t want in our body like cholesterol, excess hormones and toxins are taken out by the fiber. They are literally “taken out”, if you know what I mean. Wow! Fiber is a great thing but if you have not been eating much you want to start slowly and work up to between 40 and 50 grams of fiber a day. Whew! Now there’s a challenge.
It is helpful to eat as much as possible of your diet in unrefined foods… really eliminating the processed stuff and watching out for excess fat and too many simple sugars, even if they are in the form of fruit. Fruits are great foods but too many may not be the best idea. Those with lots of blood sugar swings may want to consider eating frequent, small meals. I know I know… what a chore… personally I get too busy to eat frequently but I think its time for me to put forth some effort in that direction. When I am away from home I’ll just eat my lunch (the one I packed) at three different times. For you… the choice is yours and I know you will make better ones than ever before. An added benefit that we might experience is a drop in weight and if you do not need to lose weight you most likely will not. Now there’s a good deal!