Not too long ago, it was thought that people with diabetes were the only ones who should be watching their blood sugar levels. Today, in the depths of health literature, we are seeing the science that glucose spikes impact us all and can show up as exacerbated mental health issues, increased wrinkles on our skin, hormonal imbalances, and ultimately long-term chronic disease. To learn more about this topic, we spoke to Jessie Inchauspe, a biochemist, founder of the Glucose Goddess Movement, and author of the new book Glucose Revolution. Jessie talked to us about the importance of monitoring our glucose spikes, the health issues that are in connection with them, the relationship between our blood sugar levels and severe COVID infections along with giving us some tips on how we can easily regulate our glucose spikes to change the direction of our health.
Your book Glucose Revolution just came out! How did you become so involved in this field of health?
I became involved in this health field because when I was 19, I had a terrible accident. I broke my back jumping off a waterfall, and then I had intense surgery and a lot of physical and mental struggles for many years. So, it became evident to me that health is the number one most important thing in life and that we can't take it for granted, and I tried to go on a journey to figure out how to heal myself and feel better. This led me to study biochemistry, then to work in the field of genetics, and finally to discover glucose monitoring, which was the reason I was able to heal. This is why I became so passionate about it!
Why should we care about our blood sugar levels if we are not diabetic?
For a long time, The medical community thought that only diabetics should care about glucose levels. But as of approximately 5 years ago, there's really interesting and exciting data showing that 90% of the whole population experiences a glucose spike, or multiple glucose spikes every day. These glucose spikes affect us in lots of ways. For example, they lead to cravings, energy slumps, hunger pains, weight gain, hormonal issues, acne, wrinkles, and long-term development of chronic diseases. So now we know that every single one of us should avoid these spikes to be in optimal health.
What exactly is a glucose spike?
Every time we eat a food that is starchy or sweet, it breaks down into glucose in our body as we digest it. If the delivery of the glucose to our body is too intense and too quick, it creates a glucose spike in our bloodstream- so a very rapid increase and then a drop in concentration of blood sugar levels. These glucose spikes carry with them very harmful consequences.
What types of health issues are associated with spikes in blood sugar?
You have two categories- the short-term effects that we feel daily and the long-term consequences. So short-term effects, you have a lot of connections between glucose levels and how we feel at any moment. For example, a glucose spike creates hunger, cravings, energy dips and fatigue in the afternoon, and the desire to eat sweets between meals. For some people, it can create brain fog and anxiety and trigger mental health episodes, which was the case for me. I discovered that big glucose spikes could trigger my mental health issues, which was fundamental in my healing journey. And then long-term glucose spikes lead to generalized aging, which means wrinkles but also aging on the inside and eventually dying. Glucose spikes lead to inflammation that may appear on your face as acne, rosacea, and other inflammatory diseases. But then, inside the body, they slowly build-up to the diagnosis of fatty liver disease, heart disease, Alzheimer's, weight gain, and hormonal issues, especially in women of reproductive age; polycystic ovarian syndrome is a common symptom of too many glucose spikes. And then glucose spikes make menopause worse! They also affect sleep, so the more glucose spikes in the diet, the higher the incidence of insomnia. So,
the effect of glucose spikes on our health runs very far and wide.
What are the symptoms of uncontrolled blood sugar levels that we may be missing?
Interestingly, you use the word missing because I think one of the issues that we have is that many of us don't realize the symptoms we feel every day are actually coming from glucose spikes. So, we are missing the connection, I think. In each person, glucose spikes can manifest differently on your mood, how your body feels, how healthy you are, and on your energy levels. So, I think that what we are missing is the fact that many symptoms we feel every day are actually our body speaking to us and telling us, "Hey, there's a glucose spike happening inside, do something about it!". Instead, we tend to medicate and try to suppress the symptoms when we should be looking at the root cause and seeing them as information.
What is the relation between covid and glucose? There have been some studies put out that are really eye-opening!
The science is fascinating, so it turns out that elevated glucose levels are one of the main determinants of whether you may be infected, how intense your symptoms will be, and whether you may survive a covid infection. There's a post on my Instagram account called COVID and glucose, and the background is black, and there are some cool stats in there and some studies. I believe that the death rate from COVID is over double in people with high glucose levels.
What is the relation between glucose, wrinkles, and aging?
One of the mechanisms that happens in our body when we experience a glucose spike is this process called glycation. Glycation is aging, like the concept of 'cooking' - so when you put a toast in the toaster, and it browns, glycation is happening. And in humans-this toasting, this browning mechanism is happening all the time. And it's the reason why we age and why we eventually die. So every glucose spike accelerates this process. We can't stop the process, but we can slow it down or speed it up depending on how many glucose spikes we have had in our life. And a particular glucose spike from sweet food, which means food containing both glucose and fructose, ages us even faster. And so, wrinkles are one of the signs you will see externally on someone with many glucose spikes, and the organs are slowly deteriorating on the inside.
So, let's get into what we can do! What are some of your tips to avoid glucose spikes?
I would recommend number one to eat your food in the correct order. So, at every meal, when you sit down, start with your vegetables, then proteins, fats, starches, and sugars. By doing this, we can reduce the glucose spike of that meal by up to 75% even though we are not changing what we are eating; we are just changing how we are eating. My number two tip would always be to have a savory breakfast. So, in the morning, don't eat anything sweet except whole fruit. You must ensure your breakfast is centered around protein and fats; this is important for our glucose levels. And then the last one I will mention here, and there are many more I mention in my book, is vinegar. Vinegar has incredible properties and helps our body deal with glucose spikes well. The way to use vinegar is before meals; one tablespoon of vinegar in a tall glass of water and drink it with a straw if you can, which will help curb the glucose spike of that meal by 30%.
What are your thoughts on glucose monitors? Which ones do you recommend?
I think if you can try one, you definitely should. It's very interesting and helps you see in real-time how the hacks I share - as well as the food you are eating impacts your body.