Sugar spikes caused by different events

I’ve talked a bit in the past of Gary Taub’s and others’ argument that much mainstream advice on nutrition is wrong. Fat and meat have been condemned, they say, when the real culprit is carbs. The reason being that digested carbs convert to sugar and cause a blood sugar spike, raised insulin levels and increased fat storage. This leads to diabetes, heart issues and obesity. The message is: avoid carbs and sugars.

However, a new study discussed over at ScienceDaily says it’s not that simple. Not everyone gets a blood sugar spike from the same foods. One person can eat a banana and get a sugar spike and eat cookies and not get one, and the reverse is true. And…

The scientists were able to show that lifestyle also mattered: The same food affected blood sugar levels differently in the same person, depending, for example, on whether its consumption had been preceded by exercise or sleep.

This rings a bell for me. For a long time a treat for breakfast was waffles and syrup—basically all carbs and sugars. It was a great tasting meal but often I would get what felt like a sugar crash (meaning, I think, that I’d had a spike and it had depleted) just before lunch—I would get really really hungry fast. I don’t experience this with my usual breakfast of beans, a bit of potatoes and protein (eggs or meat.) However, I’ve also noticed that even if I eat a high carb dinner it’s never followed by this sugar crash. There’s something about the evening meal that just feels different, less likely to lead to a sugar spike.

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