Understanding Healthy Fats, How to Take Supplements While Fasting, How to Control Blood Sugar and Insulin, and How to Choose Healthy Nut Butters

In this episode, JJ touches on four topics. First, how do you choose fats that are good for you? JJ explains why you might already be getting healthy fat in your diet, and how to choose the healthiest sources. She also gives guidance on taking supplements while doing a clean fast, answers a community member’s question about controlling blood sugar and insulin, and shares how to choose a healthy nut butter (or how to easily make your own!).

Mentioned in this episode:

How to Build A Balanced Meal: Eat by the Plate

Support your body’s natural ability to sleep better with Sleep Candy™

Monitor your blood sugar with the continuous glucose monitor JJ recommends: Nutrisense 

How to Use A Continuous Glucose Monitor

Measure your body composition accurately with this Tanita® scale 

Get all your foundational nutrients with Daily Essentials Multi + Omegas

What to Eat and When for Muscle Mass

Track your sleep and other health factors with an Oura Ring

Apple Watch


Recipe: Berries with Cacao-Nut Butter Spread

Recipe: Fresh Fruit with Cinnamon Almond Butter

Click Here To Read Transcript

ATHE_Transcript_Ep 516_Weekly Q&A
JJ Virgin: [00:00:00] Hey, this is JJ Virgin four time, New York Times bestselling author, celebrity nutrition expert, and fitness hall of famer. I've been on a lifelong quest for answers to the toughest health questions, and now, I'm sharing what I've found with you. Welcome to Ask the Health Expert. Each week I answer big questions directly from the folks in my community, and chances are they're topics you've been wondering about too.
If you'd like to submit a question for me to answer on a future episode, send it to jjvirgin.com/question.
Jamie from Facebook asks, what are good fat sources? All I know is oils and avocados. Not sure what else to add in. Okay, so I talk about eating by plate, and my [00:01:00] plate is protein, fat, and fiber. That is my trifecta for good blood sugar balance, and for satiety. Now, here's the. You can live without carbohydrates, might not be fun.
You might get crabby, but you cannot live without protein and fat. So we wanna make sure that the fat you are eating is super healthy. In fact, one of the things here nowadays is we are eating way more pro-inflammatory fats and oxidized damaged fats than we used to do back tens of thousands of years ago.
Even. 500 years ago, and that leads to more inflammation. So we really want to focus on making that oil change, making that fat, fat change, and eating healthy fats. Fats help tell us, tell our brain that we're full fats, help lower inflammation, fats help thin the blood if they're the right types of fats. So what are the right types of fats?
Well, first of all, if you're eating clean animal protein and, and seafood protein. , if you're eating seafood, you will be getting healthy omega-3 fats. And same with grass-fed [00:02:00] and finished beef. Lamb. You'll get some omega-3 S in there as well, and you'll also get something called CLA. Next thing is, and I like to get fat.
My first choice with fat is to get fattens close to the whole form as possible. So an avocado as opposed to olive oil, olives as opposed to olive oil, nuts and seeds as opposed to nut or seed oils. However, . Nuts and seeds are great. Peanuts are not a nut, they're a legume. So I'm talking about nuts and seeds, those flax seed chia seeds, almonds, walnuts, et cetera.
And same way you can have nut butter. What do we wanna avoid? Are some of these damaged seed oils that can easily oxidize things like canola, soybean. corn oil. So let's stay away from those. If you are using oils, extra virgin olive oil and also avocado oil, and this is where do not buy cheap. You've gotta make sure that you're getting pure avocado oil.
Pure extra virgin olive oil. These have been cold pressed so they're [00:03:00] not heat damaged or heavily processed right in small bottles. Darker bottles. for here and not plastic. Okay? You do not wanna leach the plastic into the oil. . Next up. Olives are great. Avocados are great. I throw avocados into our smoothies.
That's another great one. And of course wild fish cuz you're gonna get all those omega-3 s. Now the other one that's fantastic is ghee and I use a grass-fed grass finish ghee. You'll notice a difference. It's like this bright yellow color. And the reason I like ghee over butter is that it takes out any of those allergenic, potentially food sensitivity.
Particles in the butter are out when you do the ghee. So there are a lot of different choices for you of great healthy fats. Super easy to add to your diet. But again, first thing you do is you're building your plate. Put protein first. See what you got in terms of fat grams there. Cause if you're doing wild salmon and grassfed beef, you'll get some there.
Then add in your non-starchy vegetable. And if you're doing some like extra virgin olive oil or throwing [00:04:00] some nuts or seeds into that, or maybe using a little ghee, count that in and then you'll see If you actually need to even add anything else, you might be golden right there. , these questions are coming from Jill, from Facebook, and Juanita from Facebook.
I've been getting a lot of questions around clean fasting, like what are people supposed to do if they're supposed to take their supplements on an empty stomach, but they're fasting and , what do you recommend for intermittent fasting? Is clean fasting important? So, all right, so let's unpack this. We have, when are people supposed to take their supplements that go on an empty stomach if you're on a clean fast.
And the next question, that was Juanita from Facebook. And the next question is, What do you recommend for intermittent fasting? Is clean fasting important? If so, do you suggest waiting to drink lemon water after you're ready to eat and taking sleep candy right after your last meal today? And this is Jill from Facebook.
Okay, so here's the important thing with all of these different dietary approaches. Remember, I like [00:05:00] to use diet short-term therapeutically to create a result or to cross train it in for specific things. Now, time-restricted eating, one of the big ways that it can help. is that it can help get your blood sugar balance more quickly, help you get more insulin sensitive and drop a meal and help you lose weight if you are doing a longer real intermittent fast.
Like time-restricted eating is really eating sometime between at least giving yourself a 12 hour overnight fast, but ideally more like 14 to 16 hours where you're eating within an eight hour window, maybe a six to eight hour window. True intermittent fasting is more like one meal a day or eating every other day.
really we get more fasting and we're really triggering autophagy, that takes a little longer. That's that cellular cleaning that
it takes a little longer to activate. So clean versus dirty all depends on what your goals are and what the priority is. Like if you say, I've got some supplements that I need to take on an [00:06:00] empty stomach to heal my gut.
And I've got a lot of gut issues right now. I'd probably prioritize that. But if you're saying, Hey, I've got some real issues with blood sugar and insulin sensitivity, I really need to focus on that, I'd prioritize that. So it really depends on why you're taking these things and, you know, focusing that way.
And what I would tell you is most of the time if you're taking some supplements on an empty stomach, it's like an hour before you eat. So easy enough to do that an hour before you eat. So let's say you're eating within an eight hour window. Have your supplements at that ninth. Pre hour, right? So if you're eating between 10 and six, have the supplements at nine.
And same with the sleep candy. I'd have it, you know, within an hour after eating. I wouldn't worry too much. And ideally, You are not doing in between your meals, you're keeping it pretty clean, too. Green tea, black coffee, water, you're keeping the calories out to give time for your migrating motor complex to come in and you're really doing [00:07:00] the other stuff at your meals.
So I hope that helps. Really the biggest takeaway here is think about why you're doing something specifically so that you can design that therapeutic approach for what you're looking to accomplish and prioritize. To make sure that happens. Regina from Instagram asks, what can I do to control my blood sugar and insulin?
Holy smokes. There is a lot you can do. I love that you asked this question, Regina, because really when you look at what's going on with metabolic health, pre-diabetes and diabetes, this is really, you've heard it. This is a lifestyle disease which is great news cause it means there's so much that you can do to make the shift.
Now, first thing that you're gonna want to do, is make sure that you're eating from this blood sugar stabilizing trifecta, which is protein, fat, and fiber in your. and protein being things like grass fed beef and grass-fed, lamb grass fed and finished pastured chicken wild seafood. Now [00:08:00] here's what's important.
You wanna make sure that you either start your meal with protein or non-starchy vegetables. What the research shows, and you can do this by wearing a continuous glucose monitor, is that if you start your. With protein or non-starchy vegetables, you'll have a lower blood sugar, in fact, than if you started with a bunch of starchy carbs.
Okay? So that's step one. But then if you're eating protein, fat and fiber, fiber would be from non-starchy vegetables, maybe legumes, nuts, and seeds. That also helps not only with satiety, but lowering the blood sugar response to the meal. So that's step one. Step two, you wanna make sure that you are eating, that you are building.
So you wanna have a body composition scale that tells you not just what you weigh, but what that weight's made up of. Your fat-free mass and fat mass, it's, it is not gonna be a hundred percent accurate like a DEXA scan is, but it's gonna give you good trends to watch, and you wanna make sure that you're holding onto a building muscle.
Muscle is [00:09:00] your metabolic spanks. It holds everything in. Tighter supports a good healthy metabolism, but what it really does is help you have better glucose tolerance. It's the first place we can start to become more sensitive to the message of insulin, and we can suck carbohydrates into the muscles where they get stored for future energy as glycogen, and so it lowers the blood sugar response to the meal.
So that's another great one that you wanna do, is you wanna make sure that you've got good muscle mass relative to your. . Next up before your meal, try having some apple cider vinegar or some lemon juice, a tablespoon or two of lemon juice, or do at your salad. Add in some apple cider vinegar, some red wine vinegar.
Because vinegar or lemon juice can lower your blood sugar response to meal vinegar. Acts can act like metformin to improve insulin sensitivity. After you eat, try walking. Walking lowers your blood sugar response to. . And then also another super helpful [00:10:00] supplement you've heard of Chromium, vanadium, magnesium, zinc.
These are really the four horsemen for blood sugar bounce and should be in your good high quality multi, like my daily essential packets. Another thing I love is burberine. Oh my goodness. Burberine is an amazing nutrient that helps lower the blood sugar response and helps improve in insulin sensitivity.
Super great nutrient. Next thing here, weight. Really important again to, to improve that muscle mass. So eating optimal protein and weight training. You don't eat protein and build muscle. You have to go to the gym, right, and then eat protein. You need the two together. and you need to do lift heavy weights, do resistance training, and then getting good sleep.
One poor night of sleep, you're more insulin resistant. So sleep is super key critical for improving insulin sensitivity, which is going to improve blood sugar balance. And one way that you can see all of this, of course, use either an Oura ring, a Fitbit, a Garmin, an Apple watch to [00:11:00] help track your sleep.
And then also a continuous glucose monitor will help you see the impact of all of these lifestyle habits on your blood sugar. So you can. Changes in real time. All right, there you go. Lots of things that you can do. Each one will have an impact, but of course the effect when you do all of them is exponential.
Belinda from Facebook asks suggestions on where to find the cleanest nut butters. So first of all, when we're talking nut butters, let's clarify that we are not talking. Peanut butter because peanuts are not a nut, they're a legume. So we are talking about walnuts or cashews or almonds or pecans or macadamia nuts, right?
So all the different types of nuts. And you might go, I go to the store, I don't see all that stuff. Now here's what you wanna really realize is that a nut butter is only as good as the nut it starts out with. So ideally, you are starting out with organic, Clean nuts. That's step [00:12:00] one. Start organic with the nuts.
Okay, now next, you wanna make sure that when the nut butter's made that all they do is. Grind up the nuts and add little sea salt. They don't need to add anything else than that, and that's why you always wanna turn it over and look at it because it should say organic nuts and sea salt. What you'll find is some of these nut butters will put in added oils so that it won't separate because nut butter will separate right after you open it.
You wanna keep it in the fridge or they'll add in sugar to make it yummier. . So this is the thing we wanna avoid. We wanna make sure you're starting out with organic nuts and adding little sea salt. Now here's a trick. If you go to some of the stores, like gosh, there's a couple different markets. I don't wanna name names, but look at your local market and see if they actually have a grinder.
Looks like a coffee grinder where you can throw the nuts in and the, the oil, the peanut butter [00:13:00] comes, I'm sorry, the peanut butter, the almond butter or the walnut butter, whichever comes out. . So another important thing, you can do this at home, like you could do this at home with your own Cuisinart or coffee grinder, or any of these types of things where you just take, take raw nuts and grind them and add little sea salt.
Now to make it even more palatable, here's what I'd recommend. Throw your nuts. And I have this menu on my, this little recipe on my website. So super simple nuts. and pure spring water and some sea salt. Let it sit overnight. Drain the nuts, throw them in the oven, 200 degrees, eight hours then, or you can use a dehydrator that you can get on Amazon inexpensive.
Then use that to make your nut butter. , really easy to do. Add a little more sea salt if you want, and super delicious. And now you know what's in it and you've got it controlled and it's more digestible. So that's [00:14:00] my top one, because otherwise this stuff can get super expensive. But next up, just make sure that it should be organic nuts, sea salt.
That's it. Read those labels because otherwise you can get duped pretty easily.
This is JJ with Ask the Health Expert. I answer your questions weekly. Plus I interview the top experts in health and wellness. So make sure you never miss a show by going to subscribetojj.com. Yep. It's that easy. I'll see you next time.


Hide Transcript