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What to Eat, When to Eat and Why for Blood Sugar Balance | Ep. 470

Lose Weight, Lower Your Risk of Insulin Resistance + Look & Feel Your Best

Getting your blood sugar under control is THE single most important thing you can do to get healthy and avoid insulin resistance. In this episode, JJ shows you how by revealing what your ideal fasting blood sugar level should be, how sneaky sugars lurk in “healthy” foods, the #1 macronutrient to help balance blood sugar, and how to eat at every meal for insulin sensitivity. You’ll also learn about intermittent fasting (and a simple way to do it), the best way to break your overnight fast, the most important markers for insulin resistance, and why stress can impact your blood sugar. Whether you want to lose weight and keep it off, reduce your risk of diabetes and other diseases, and/ or look and feel your best, tune in to this informative, inspiring episode that helps you take control of your health… one bite at a time.

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ATHE_Transcript_Ep 470_YT 34
[00:00:00] Hey, this is JJ Virgin. Thanks so much for joining me. This is ask the health expert. In each episode, I put the power of health in your hands and share ways to get healthy, lose weight, heal your gut detox and lots more. So you can look and feel better fast if you'd rather watch the video. Hey, I did put on my makeup and do my hair.
So check it out on my YouTube channel.
It's so mission critical for your health to get your blood sugar under control, but how exactly do you do that? Well, no surprise. It starts with food and there's so much you can do when you put food first. So today we're launching a new series on what to eat, when to eat and why for a whole bunch of different conditions from gut [00:01:00] health to stress and anxiety to making sure your bones are strong.
And we're gonna start with one of the most important balancing your blood sugar. Hi, I'm JJ. This channel is all about how to get healthy and we all want that. So let's do this together. So blood sugar. getting your blood sugar under control is the single most important thing you can do to get healthy and it can help you lose weight and keep it off too.
So if that's your goal that usually happens as a bonus. So let's get into what to eat when to eat and why to balance your blood sugar. And I'm gonna help you feel better, fast just by improving what's at the end of your. Now first to drive the point home, you probably know that if your blood sugar is all over the place, it can have a serious impact on your risk of chronic disease, your weight, your mood, your stress and anxiety levels.
Really you name it pretty much everything. So you have to know what your levels are and connect the [00:02:00] dots to what happens to your blood sugar. When you eat certain things. Now, if you don't know what a normal level. Normal is having a fasting blood sugar level, less than a hundred mgs per DL, but normal's not ideal, right?
I really like you to be more in the 75 to 85 range. And to get there, you can use a CGM for a month or two to really dial in your blood sugar regulation. And if you just went CGM, what a continuous glucose monitor more on that in a minute. So the goal is using what you eat and what you don't to balance your blood sugar and to balance your blood sugar, you've gotta lower your sugar impact.
Now I wrote the sugar impact diet specifically for this it's a two week plan to help you lower the impact of sugar in your diet. By moving from high sugar impact foods to lower sugar impact foods by making simple, easy delicious healthy swaps. So all these good things happen and you don't [00:03:00] feel like you're missing out.
Foods are raised based on nutrient density and fiber, the good guys versus the impact these foods have on your blood sugar and insulin and how much fructose they have. Those would be called the bad guys, and you'll be able to identify which foods to choose and which to lose for the best blood sugar bounce.
So check out the sugar impact diet. If you'd like to get on my program to lower your sugar. now sugar is sneaky and food manufacturers use all different names for it on the label. So you really have to be careful. You have to be super aware when you're eating processed foods, the sugar and refined carbs in them spike your blood sugar.
And part of the problem is that a lot of the times, they don't have any fiber in them either. And that's what will slow down that sugar surge. So to lower your sugar impact, you not only have to manage your carbon intake, you also need to eat more fiber. And you also wanna focus on getting enough protein and healthy fats.
I mean, they're really key for blood sugar and [00:04:00] insulin control. So protein at every meal has got to be a priority. I like to say protein first and here's. Protein slows down digestion and prevents blood sugar spikes after you eat. And it helps you feel full it's critical for satiety studies show that a high protein diet improves overall blood sugar control and lowers post meal, blood sugar for people with type two diabetes.
Now the easiest way to make sure you get enough protein, fiber, and fat and control your carbs is to eat by the. or you can do a loaded smoothie and I'll explain what that is in a bit. But when you eat by the plate for blood sugar control, you'll get the right portions of what you need and you'll stay on the lower end with your carbs.
So portions matter. So here's how you fill your plate. So first of all, is clean, lean protein. You're gonna fill your plate with 30 to 50 grams of that. Remember I said protein first, and this is gonna be based on your ideal lean body mass. Here's the deal. Your body is fat [00:05:00] and lean body mass. Most of us, we think we're over fat, but we really just don't have enough muscle.
And muscle is our metabolic Spanx. This holds everything in tighter and helps us balance our blood sugar. It's super critical for that. So what you wanna do is figure out your lean body mass by stepping out a body composition scale, and then. You wanna have at least a gram of protein per lean body mass.
That's your floor for protein now, probably you're gonna need more like a gram per pound of ideal weight where you wanna be, but you might even need a little more than that. Like one and a half grams per ideal, per pound of ideal weight. If you're really trying to build muscle or if you're healing or if you're super stressed or recovering from an injury.
All right. So that's protein. Number one. And let me give you a little bit more. So you're clear on protein. That can be some of those clean protein powders, like my all in one shake from reignite wellness that can be grass fed and finish beef, [00:06:00] bison, lamb. It can be pastured pork and chicken wild seafood.
And if you are not intolerant, it can also be pastured eggs. And then of course, there's also the, the vegetarian options. Remember those will come with fat and carbohydrates too. So you gotta count those in. So if you're switching over to nuts and seeds and lentils and, and grains, make sure you're counting those in next, on your plate after you've put down.
all the good clean protein. Then the next thing that you're going to do is of course, count from that protein and see how much healthy fat you have. You're gonna want two to four servings of healthy fat in your meal, but most likely you've got some from your clean protein. Let's say that I had a, a piece of wild salmon while I got a fat serving there.
And then let's say I added in a big salad with some great greens, arugula and romaine. And maybe some radicchio and then I use some olive oil on that and some apple cider vinegar. Well, I got a fat serving there, maybe two. So quite [00:07:00] often those fat servings get taken up. In your clean protein and in your vegetables.
And you're gonna want two to three servings, maybe four of healthy fat. So two to three, if you are, if you're an average woman looking to lose some weight, if you're very athletic, bigger guy then you can go up to four servings. And again, what is a healthy fat, I'm glad you asked. It would be things like nuts and seeds.
I especially love chia and flax. It would be the healthier versions of oil. So coconut avocado, extra Virgin olive oil. And then of course, wild fish, grass fed and grass finish beef and lamb. And again, you are what you eat/ate. So make sure that you're getting the clean versions of these and then you'll get healthy fats from it.
Oh, one other one is ghee. All right, you've done that. The next thing that you're going to do is pile on the non-starchy vegetables. Here's the deal each day. I want you to get at least five servings of non-starchy vegetables and. Ideally it's [00:08:00] 10, ten's the goal post. And by the way, you can keep running past the goal post, but you wanna get at least five.
So what's a non-starchy vegetable look like a serving of that is either a cup, half a cup cooked or a cup raw. So these are things, you know, it's Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, onions, all the different deep green leafies. Okay. So there's that now here's, what's important. You gotta start with the protein.
I want you to get the five to 10 servings of non-starchy vegetables. You then add in fat where it's left. Like if you used a little bit of ghee on your broccoli, there's a fat serving. If you had through some nuts into your salad, there's a fat serving. Okay. So fat servings are two to three up to four. If you're very athletic, a bigger guy, then.
We've got slow, low carbs, slow, low carbs are things like my lower sugar impact fruits. They can be quinoa. So gluten free grains and, and grasses, wild rice [00:09:00] winter squashes root vegetables. Basically for that, it's a cup of fruit is a serving. And I say one to two servings of fruit a day. Max, if you've got really elevated triglycerides, I'm gonna tell you to cut it out for a while.
And then you get a half a cup of serving. The different tubers and grains and legumes, and you get three fourths of a cup of some of the winter squashes up to four servings of, I put zero to two servings at a meal. Now, if you've had two servings of fruit, you've got up to four servings of the other.
So when you really look at it, you've got zero to two servings of, of the slow, low carbs at each. I find for most people we're better at having one to two at night and really keeping it down to zero to one throughout the day. It's better for blood sugar balance. If you're looking to lose weight, that's where you're gonna be playing around with and really dropping those carbs lower and focusing the majority of them in your non-starchy vegetables.
And then a little bit, again, you can do a little bit of [00:10:00] fruit, one to two servings. That's a cup. And then the rest would be those other slow, low carbs. So that is the plate and eating by the plate gives you the right amount of protein. Remember, we went protein first, then it's gonna give you the fiber and the healthy healthy fat.
And why is that important when you eat that way? That fat fiber protein trifecta. It is gonna keep you feeling satisfied. It helps you feel full. It allows you to go four to six hours between meals. It helps you access stored body fat for fuel because your, in your blood, sugar's not spiking. And your insulin's able to return to resting levels faster.
So all of a sudden you get off that merry-go-round of spikes and crashes and that feeling that you're always hungry. It's like you just ate and you're hungry. That's because you didn't eat by the plate now. You have to put the right foods on your plate. Of course. So to eat, to balance your blood sugar and lower your sugar impact, you're going to swap foods that are hurting you for foods that can heal you.
And here are a few examples of what I mean. Now, [00:11:00] let me give you a few examples. Some, some high sugar impact foods, and I'll show you how easy it is to go to a low sugar impact food. So let's take a raisin. You can easily take a raisin. That's a high sugar impact food. Swap it for a blueberry that is a low sugar impact food, probably tastes even better.
Right? Easy peasy. You could take some pasta. That's a high sugar impact food. You could switch it out for some butternut or some of spaghetti squash noodles, or you can make noodles out of butternut squash. That's a low sugar impact. You can take a regular corn tortilla, switch it out for a coconut tortilla, see how easy these things are.
And here's, what's important. I'm not saying, Hey, you know, take a burger and swap it out for some sprouts. No, I'm giving you the similar food, just a healthier version of that. That's lower sugar impact and helps you heal. Now. How about for grains? You know what, if you're doing. white flour, something like a white [00:12:00] flower tortilla, and you switched it over to more of a cassava tortilla.
And you put some legumes in there, or if you're doing say white rice and you switched it over to quinoa. So some easy ways white rice to quinoa is a great example of how we're going to get more protein and more fiber with an easy swap like that. Now here's one more. And this is one that makes me nuts.
Can I just rant bit on the fruit on the bottom yogurts, cuz those fruit on the bottom yogurts that they'll say no sugar added that is such a blatant lie. You know what they do. They put in and look on the label and look at what it says for sugar and for carbohydrates. What happened was they sweeten sugar.
They sweeten fruit with apple juice concentrate. and then they can say no sugar added, but apple juice concentrate actually has more fructose than a soda. Right? Apple juice is more fructose than a soda. So beware of those fruit on the bottom, by the way, they're more expensive. Anyway, all you do is you get yourself some great plain almond Greek style yogurt.
I'm digging kite hill. [00:13:00] And then I actually stir in some of my all in one protein powder. I love stirring in the vanilla. So now I've got this vanilla. Higher protein, Greek yogurt, and then put berries on top and maybe put a couple nuts on top too. So see how easy that is. That was a simple swap. There you go.
I hope you're salivating. And speaking of that last swap, swap out anything that says no fat or low fat, because I can guarantee you that those foods you're eating have way more sugar than you think when it's low. Pretty much it's code for high sugar. I mean that fat free raspberry vinegarette that you just poured on your salad, thinking that you were doing good, that just turned your salad into a Sunday.
Now, if you need a little supplemental support, I highly recommend vitamin D3 now, vitamin D3, you wanna take it with K 1&2. It is super critical. Most of us are deficient in it. I rarely see someone who's actually where they need to be on a vitamin D test 25 or 25 hydroxy [00:14:00] vitamin D test.
You wanna be between 15 and 80 NGS per ML. And I rarely ever see someone there. There's so many reasons vitamin D is important, but for this area, blood sugar control, it's super key critical, cuz it helps with insulin sensitivity. Now the other one I love and I'm my new, my new supplement I'm obsessed with is burberine. Burberine has been shown to lower blood sugar levels in people who have type two diabetes.
And then of course, fish oil is super duper important. Omega-3 fish oil supplementation can help your insulin receptors hear insulin better. So it helps improve insulin sensitivity. It also of course helps lower inflammation. All right. We said it was the wet, and then we said, we'd talk when, so what about the, when, what does meal timing look like when you're trying to balance your blood sugar?
Well, one of the best tools ever for this is something I'm sure you've heard. It's intermittent fasting. It's amazing for controlling your blood sugar. [00:15:00] And the reason is, is that it creates. Food gap gives your body a break from digesting, cuz every time you eat, think about it, you eat what happens, your body's blood sugar comes up and your body raises insulin.
So we wanna give your body a break from that. Now there's different kinds of intermittent fasting, but they all focus on when you eat. So they limit meals to a specific windows of time. Now here's the first step. Because you're eating by the plate. This will now be easy. The first thing you wanna do is go 12 to 14 hours between meals with no snacking.
So when I have people eat by the plate, first thing I say is, all right, eat by the plate. Cut the snacks out. What are you doing in between snacking you're drinking? This is ice cream tea. So you're drinking water, sparkling water, coffee, ice cream tea tea in between meals. So first thing is no snacking.
Next stop. Eating. At least three hours before bed four is better. No, don't go to bed early or late. Do [00:16:00] not do that. So that's another thing we're doing then push your breakfast a little bit later. So let's think about it. You ate dinner at seven, you went to bed at 10, you woke up at six, you ate breakfast at seven that's, a 12 hour.
You ate breakfast at nine. That's 14 hour overnight fast. Then maybe you push breakfast to brunch at 10, and maybe you dropped your dinner to six. All of a sudden you've got a 16 hour fast. See how easy this is to do. But remember when you're fasting, you're not eating you're fasting, which means you can up water.
You can have black tea, you can have sparkling water, but you can't have like fruit juice squeezed in your water. That kind of stuff. That's not fasting. So in that 12 to 14 to 16 hour overnight fast, we're not eating, but we can be having fluids. In fact, you wanna be now when it's time to break your fast.
And whether it's morning, midday, I want you to do it [00:17:00] with a loaded smoothie. I am a huge fan of loaded smoothies, and here's why quite often I see that people, when they break their fast breakfast, they have dessert. So they're breaking their fast. They're sitting down, they're having a muffin, then a latte.
Well, put a muffin in a cupcake side by side, take the frosting off the cupcake. What do you. Low and behold it's a muffin. So just think of that muffin as a cupcake, without the icing, it's loaded with sugar, it's high sugar impact, and then you have that latte. Maybe you have the skinny latte cuz you're being good, but you had the non fat milk.
Remember we said about non fat more sugar. So you just started the day whenever you started the day. With a big sugar hit and that activates the second meal phenomenon. And now you're on a, a roller coaster all day long, where you're gonna be hungry, even though you just ate. So please let's not have that.
So we're gonna do a loaded smoothie instead, which means you're gonna use my reignite wine wellness, all in one protein powder to start. So you get a good hit of clean protein, whether it's plant based or paleo, [00:18:00] then you add in an unsweetened nut milks for some healthy fats. Then you're gonna throw in. Some fiber too, and I love avocado or set some seeds.
So I get both fiber and fat. And then you might throw in a little bit of a, of non-starchy vegetables, a little bit of fruit, but again, we're doing this. So we're getting a good protein, fat and fiber hit, right? Loaded smoothie. All right. Let's just kind of walk through what your fasting day can look like.
All right, you get up in the morning, you do a meditation, you do a little fasted workout. I'm talking, this is my ideal. This is my dream for you. You do a little fasted workout. You had some black coffee before that. So you're really burning fat. Then you have kind of a late breakfast brunchy thing, and maybe you're doing that and you have that around 10 and then around two, you have a big salad with some protein and 5 36.
You have some. Salad and some vegetables and some more proteins, like some [00:19:00] salmon, easy peasy. You know, let's say if you wake up at seven and you're on a 12 hour fast, you could have water, coffee, or tea in the morning, then eat breakfast at eight lunch at one 30 and dinner at seven. See how easy this is on a 14 hour fast.
Just like that. All you do is eat dinner an hour earlier and push breakfast an hour later. It's really. Easy. Now I will tell you, I like you to start first with eating by the plate. Then I want you to make sure you kick out the snacks, start kicking in the water and the ice cream tea and all of that.
Remember getting your fluid intake up proper hydration is key for metabolism and detox. Then make sure you stop eating three to four hours before bed, then let's start pushing breakfast and you can see how easy this is to get to that 12 to 14 hours. But 16 hours is really the biggest bang for your metabolic buck.
And it really helps restore insulin sensitivity and good blood sugar balance. It does something called autophagy. Autophagy is where your body [00:20:00] takes out the cellular trash. So it's like a deep cellular detox of getting rid of stuff that needs to go. So we ultimately wanna get into some of these 16 hour fast and I tend to do them like on the weekend, I'll sleep in a bit and then I'll have a brunch in an early dinner.
It works out really well. So you see how easy this is. I mean, that could be on the weekend. Maybe you. brunch say, you know, between 10 and 11 dinner is done by six super easy peasy. So how about giving that a shot? That would be my why? Cause we're talking what we're talking when we're talking. Why I don't like here's my why on this one?
Why not? Why not just give this a shot? I mean the health risk of having elevated blood sugar. So big, there are now an estimated 34.2 million people in the United States with diabetes and 88 million have prediabetics diabetes, but here's the thing. You don't get a diabetic [00:21:00] overnight. You don't become prediabetic overnight.
It happens over time and there's clues all along the way that this is where you're going. Poor blood sugar control that elevated fasting, blood sugar. Those are some of the very first clues, a fasting blood sugar. That's greater than 126 mgs per DL on more than one occasion. Well, that's an indicator of diabetes.
And then another clue is your triglyceride to HDL ratio. Now a raised triglyceride to HDL ratio is one of the markers for insulin resistance. And if you're insulin resistant, you will become diabetic over time. So if your triglyceride HHL ratio is greater than 3.75, you're likely at least prediabetic. So check your lab work and do that math.
Okay. Now when your blood sugar is constantly up, It leads to insulin resistance because you have to crank out insulin nonstop to deal with that steady stream of blood sugar. Insulin is trying to pull all that sugar out [00:22:00] of your blood, but eventually your cells are like, we are full. They have all they can handle.
And then their insulin receptors start to reject the message from insulin. So then your body pumps out more and more and more insulin to try to, Hey, get their attention. Now eventually, and no surprise, you become diabetic because your pancreas can no longer pump out those high levels of insulin. But prior to becoming a full blown diabetic, your body sends you clues all along the way.
So you have a chance to fix it. Here they are. If you have belly fat, if you're constantly hangry and have cravings for carbs and sugar, or if you're tired or irrit, These are just a few of those clues. So balancing your blood sugar through what you eat and when is critical, but you'll also wanna manage your stress because when your stress hormones are elevated, they shoot your blood sugar up too.
So get regular exercise and incorporate some other stress relievers like meditation or other soothing things you like to do, like maybe pet in your new puppy. [00:23:00] Thanks for joining me. I've done this a long time and literally helped hundreds of thousands of people get healthy with these strategies. But I gotta tell you it's what I love.
And it's always a privilege. Be sure to check out my website at jjvirgin.com. If you'd like more content like this and like, and subscribe here. So you can always get the latest and greatest info on ways to live your healthiest life. Hope to see you next time for my next video in this series, we'll be talking about what to eat when to eat and why for bone health.
See you.
For more info on this and other health topics I cover or to rate and review find me on Instagram, Facebook and my website, JJvirgin.com. And don't forget to subscribe to my show. So you won't miss a single episode. Go to subscribetojj.com. Thanks again for being with me this week.[00:24:00]

 

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