Inside hours of consuming an unhealthy meal, we will get a spike in irritation, crippling our artery perform, thickening our blood, and inflicting a fight-or-flight nerve response. Fortunately, there are meals we will eat at each meal to counter this response.
Normal American meals wealthy in processed junk and meat and dairy lead to exaggerated spikes in sugar and fats within the blood, as you possibly can see at 0:13 in my video How to Prevent Blood Sugar and Triglyceride Spikes after Meals. This generates free radicals, and the oxidative stress triggers a biochemical cascade all through our circulation, damaging proteins in our physique, inducing irritation, crippling our artery perform, thickening our blood, and inflicting a fight-or-flight nerve response. This all occurs inside only one to 4 hours after consuming a meal. Frightened about irritation inside your physique? One awful breakfast might double your C-reactive protein ranges earlier than it’s even lunchtime.
Repeat that thrice a day, and you possibly can set your self up for coronary heart illness. You could not even pay attention to how dangerous off you’re as a result of your physician is measuring your blood sugar and fats ranges when you’re in a fasting state, usually drawing your blood earlier than you’ve eaten. What occurs after a meal might be a stronger predictor of coronary heart assaults and strokes, which is smart, since that is the place most of us dwell our lives—that’s, in a fed state. And it’s not simply in diabetics. As you possibly can see at 1:30 in my video, in case you follow non diabetic ladies with coronary heart illness however regular fasting blood sugar, how excessive their blood sugar spikes after chugging some sugar water seems to find out how briskly their arteries proceed to clog up, maybe as a result of the upper the blood sugars spike, the extra free radicals are produced.
So, what are some dietary methods to enhance the scenario? Fortunately, “enhancements in food plan exert profound and rapid favorable modifications…,” however what sort of enhancements? “Particularly, a food plan excessive in minimally processed, high-fiber, plant-based meals equivalent to greens and fruits, complete grains, legumes, and nuts,”—antioxidant, anti-inflammatory complete plant meals—“will markedly blunt the post-meal improve” in sugar, fats, and irritation.
However what in case you actually needed to eat some Marvel Bread? As you possibly can see at 2:23 in my video, you’d get a giant spike in blood sugar lower than an hour after consuming it. Wouldn’t it make a distinction in case you unfold the bread with almond butter? Including a few third of a cup of almonds to the identical quantity of Marvel Bread considerably blunts the blood sugar spike.
In that case, would any low-carb meals assist? Why add almond butter when you can also make a bologna sandwich? Effectively, to begin with, plant-based meals have the antioxidants to wipe out any extra free radicals. So, nuts cannot solely blunt blood sugar spikes, however oxidative harm as nicely. What’s extra, they will even blunt insulin spikes. Certainly, including nuts to a meal calms each blood sugar ranges and insulin ranges, as you possibly can see at 3:02 in my video. Now, you’re most likely considering, Effectively, duh, much less sugar means much less insulin, however that’s not what occurs with low-carb animal meals.
As you possibly can see at 3:23 in my video, in case you add steamed skinless hen breast to your white rice, you get a higher insulin spike than in case you had simply eaten the white rice alone. So, including the low-carb plant meals made issues higher, however including the low-carb animal meals made issues worse. It’s the identical with adding hen breast to mashed potatoes—a better insulin spike with the added animal protein. It is additionally the identical with animal fats: Add some butter to a meal, and get a dramatically greater insulin spike from some sugar, as you possibly can see at 3:45 in my video.
When you add butter and cheese to white bread, white potatoes, white spaghetti, or white rice, you possibly can typically even double the insulin response. When you add half an avocado to a meal, nevertheless, as a substitute of worsening, the insulin response improves, because it does with the principle complete plant meals supply of fats: nuts.
Along with the all-fruit jam query, I cowl The Effects of Avocados and Red Wine on Postprandial Inflammation.
Vinegar may assist. See Can Vinegar Help with Blood Sugar Control?.
Maybe this explains a part of the longevity profit to nut consumption, which I talk about in Nuts May Help Prevent Death.
I additionally discuss that rapid inflammatory response to unhealthy meals selections in Best Foods to Improve Sexual Function.
Stunned by the hen and butter response? The identical factor occurs with tuna fish and different meat, as I cowl in my video Paleo Diets May Negate Benefits of Exercise.
In well being,
Michael Greger, M.D.