Day To Day, Glycemia, Tips

Blood sugar control: eat your greens

When carbs will feature in a meal, we know that our blood sugar will spike badly shortly after. There are several ways to manage and minimise that spike. One is exercise. Another is to eat green vegetables.

Green vegetables are nearly free from carbohydrates. So in themselves they won’t raise your glycemia and they’ll fill you up with a minimum amount of calories (so yay diet!). I’m vegetarian, so I eat a lot of vegetables anyway, no hardship there.

Another advantage is that it feels like if you eat green vegetables before carbs, they keep your digestive system busy as other food comes in and needs to be digested. Your body therefore doesn’t jump on the carbs and make your blood sugar explode instantly (delayed gastric emptying). It is probably at least in part due to fiber contents of vegetables. So one way to minimist a sugar spike is to start the meal with green vegetables, then have the carbs.

In fact, it would work too, though in a less appetising way, with a protein or fat pre-load.

It won’t avoid the spike, but will manage the increase over a longer period of time. After a few months of diet, we re-introduced bread in my diet once a week, and I always have it with a bowl of vegetables first.

Veg and bread and cheese

The result is usually a spike at about 130mg/dl. With the addition of some exercise after the meal, it can easily be reduced to 100mg/dl.

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