There are two very powerful, yet simple and easy to use “hacks” anyone can use to reduce blood sugar spikes, get excess sugar out of the blood and help with weight loss. This will not only benefit anyone with type 2 or pre-diabetes but is helpful for everyone as these spikes are damaging.
Obviously, as this client learned, adopting a low-carb lifestyle is very effective in normalizing blood sugar and for losing weight as well. So that would be the foundational step to take. But our bodies are created for variety, so eating very low carb indefinitely isn’t always best.
One of the things I suggest to people who finish the first 7 weeks of the Today’s the Day plan is to try carb cycling where on days when they do a lot of cardio, they bump up the healthy carbs a bit and on days when they will strength train, they boost protein by a bit.
That being said, there is also something called resistant starch (RS) that many are unaware of. Resistant starch is a carb that is resistant to digestion. Where most starches convert to glucose in the small intestine as other carbohydrates do, RS resists digestion and passes through to the large intestine where it acts much like dietary fiber and is fermented by gut bacteria. So it acts as a prebiotic, feeding the good bacteria in your gut.
This alone is a wonderful thing! Those good bacteria make it more difficult for the bad bacteria to thrive and improve absorption of minerals. RS seems to decrease after meal glucose and insulin response, improve insulin sensitivity, cholesterol, metabolism, increase satiety and reduce fat storage. All great things!
Some sources of RS are oats, cooked and cooled rice or potatoes, beans and legumes, particularly adzuki beans, 1-2 tablespoons of raw potato starch* daily added into yogurt or a smoothie and green bananas as well as green banana flour. *Start slowly! Use ¼ teaspoon and work your way up as it can constipate you.
What I learned about is how to include this RS with a low carb diet to accomplish the “subsequent meal” effect. It’s fascinating. RS blunts insulin and glucose spikes and helps escort the excess sugar out of your body. Well if you plan a higher carb dinner – maybe a birthday party or dinner out – whatever, research shows if you have resistant starch at the low carb meal before that one, your after meal (or postprandial glycemic response or PPGR) is improved at the next meal!
So if you have a low carb dinner tonight, it helps you at that meal and your PPGR will be improved at breakfast tomorrow, especially if it is a higher carb meal, since it is the subsequent meal. It seems to lower the glycemic effect. The low carb meal makes you more carb tolerant at the next meal. A handy thing to know.
You can use these hacks whenever you know you’ll be having a higher carb meal and include resistant starch with a low carb diet to accomplish the same thing. Bottom line: if you’re planning on going higher carb for a meal — for whatever reason — low carb the meal prior to it and/or include RS.
By stabilizing insulin and glucose levels you not only protect yourself from their damaging effects, you also help your body to protect you from illness by boosting immune function and increasing nutrient absorption, particularly minerals.
Would you consider using resistant starch along with a low carb diet and using the subsequent meal strategy?
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Fascinating! I had no clue about resistant starches, but eat most of those foods already. I read something else recently about carb cycling and thought it was interesting that he suggested eating carbs after. Endurance athletes naturally eat more carbs on their high cardio days, but I always tried to squeeze them in before my workouts! Thanks for the great info!
Holly I always appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.
Great article! I’ve been meaning to look more into resistant starch and you did a great job breaking it down.
Thank you Rossella. Glad the information was helpful!