Let's start by explaining refined foods. What exactly is involved in the refining process? The refining process takes a whole food such as a grain and breaks it down.
The purpose of the fibre and the protein is to slow down the release of insulin that is needed in the body. Most foods found in their whole form will have the fibre or protein needed to avoid blood sugar fluctuations. When we make a choice of refined and processed foods our bodies are expecting to get all of the important nutrients that work in balance together, and when we don't provide the fibre, protein, vitamins, and minerals our bodies are still craving them so we are hungry shortly after since we didn't get the nutrients our bodies needed to start with. Does that make sense? A perfect example is when you have a meal that is lacking nutrients, let's say for example some french fries with ketchup and a soda. This meal/ snack is lacking protein, fibre and nutrients and full of carbohydrates and sugar. Not long after consuming this snack your body would be craving more since it wasn't satisfied from the start and the carbohydrates are used up so quickly.
Also, We need to watch out for those mis leading labels that read “Fortified in B Vitamins”, “All Natural”, or “Real Fruit”. Companies know exactly how to market their products for consumers to buy them and think that they are making healthy choices.
- Make sure to have PROTEIN and FIBRE with every meal and snack. (Ex. an apple with almond butter or raw almonds, veggies with tahini or hummus, mixed nuts and seeds and fruit, yogurt and kefir with berries and almonds, etc)
- Adding healthy fats to a meal or snack will also slow down the insulin release (Ex. coconut oil, olive oil, flax seed oil, avocado oil, nuts and seeds, nut and seed butters, avocados, etc.)
- Choose Foods in their Whole, Natural Form.
- AVOID SUGAR- white sugar, brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup, pasteurized honey, jam, chocolate, spreads, etc. It's ALL SUGAR! Choose natural sweeteners instead and try to include both protein and fibre to slow the insulin release.
- Choose WHOLE Grains in their WHOLE form: Homemade Oatmeal, Steel Cut Oats, Quinoa, Brown Rice, Millet, Amaranth, Kamut, Buckwheat, Spelt, etc.
- EAT SMALLER MEALS MORE OFTEN: Snacks such as cut up fruit and veggies, nuts and seeds, dips that have veggies added to them, bean dips, smoothies, whole grain or gluten free cereals, crackers, cookies, and breads.
- CHOOSE GOOD QUALITY PROTEINS: ethically raised meats without hormones, etc, beans, legumes, cold water wild fish, nuts and seeds, quinoa, eggs, etc.
- ADD FOODS HIGH IN FIBRE! Vegetables and Fruit (leave skin on when you can as most of the fibre and nutrients are in the skin), whole grains, flax seeds, chia seeds, leafy greens, psyllium husks, etc. REMINDER: when adding Fibre always add WATER to help cleanse and flush all of the fibre through.
This is just a small explanation of how to balance blood sugars but once you are eating a balanced diet from real foods you will get all of the nutrients, fibre, protein, and healthy fats you need. Removing refined sugar from your diet if even for 3 weeks, you would notice a huge difference in how often you "crave" or even "want" sugar. Likely it will be much less if not at all!
Looking forward to hearing some comments and feedback from you! How are the challenges going?!! Please comment on the Blog or Facebook Page!!