I Read the Glucose Revolution by Jessie Inchauspe: Here are Five Big Reasons You Should Read It Too
I don’t have an Instagram account and would have missed the wonderful work of Jessie Inchauspe without a tip-off.
Jessie is the ‘Glucose Goddess,’ a popular Instagram Influencer – and a biochemist who worked as product lead at 23andMe.
She has built a giant following showing graphically how blood glucose spikes are influenced by foods, sleep, stress, and exercise.
This work is important because it makes the science accessible.
If you are already into cellular rejuvenation, longevity science or biotechnology, the subject matter will be ‘obvious.’ What Jessie does brilliantly is to bring this information to a wider audience. She provides that vital link between the hard science and popular culture in a fresh, invigorating, and accessible format.
The Glucose Revolution is exactly the kind of book to give to that friend or family member that would instantly reject science-forward material. Below you will find my top five take-aways.
From Instagram to Print: The Glucose Revolution Book
Jessie Inchauspe wastes no time in introducing the problem her book will solve – spikes in your blood glucose that are destroying your health in multiple ways.
While the writing style is fresh, easy to read and even friendly, but the message is hard hitting.
Graphs, personal stories, and science are woven together, and there is little doubt about the conclusion.
To gain control of your health, cravings, weight and energy levels, the starting point is managing the ‘Glucose Rollercoaster’ which all of us are on. The starting point is to understand how our bodies react to sugars, starches, and fibre. They are the three forms of food collectively known as carbohydrates.
While the graphics showing spikes in blood glucose are an excellent way to visualise the effects of different foods, you don’t need a continual glucose monitor to get the benefits.
The key take-aways dispel some popular myths about what healthy eating is – the introduces brand new angles.
Image credit: Jessie Inchauspe on Twitter @glucosegoddess
Glucose Revolution Take-Away #1 – Sugars are Sugars
Jessie digs into the common narrative that some sugars are healthy, giving it short shrift.
Brown sugar? That is sucrose with the colour coming from molasses. Demerara? Double dyed. Honey, that is fructose too. When you drill down into the molecules, there is glucose, fructose, and sucrose (which is a combination of glucose and fructose). Dress up sugar as healthy all you like, but chemically, this is what you get.
Common carbohydrates like wheat, potatoes and rice are made of glucose molecules joined together. These ‘starches’ are broken down into sugar in the stomach and intestines.
Glucose Revolution Review Take-Away #2 – Processing Removes Fibre
Claims that processed fruit juices are healthy make me angry and Jessie does an amazing job of breaking down why.
Hopefully, this spreads the message that removing the fibre (even when some pulp is included) and concentrating the sugars creates a dangerous drink, and not a healthy one.
Graphics showing blood sugar spikes and crashes after drinking orange juice show a steep spike and huge crash. That means cravings, snacking and further glucose variations throughout the day.
It is not only fruit that is made less healthy by processing. Finely ground wheat flour hits the blood stream rapidly. Digestion turns it into glucose, spiking your blood sugar.
Breakfast cereal and fruit juice is the opposite of the healthy breakfast big-business claims. It is a double whammy of sugar that sets your metabolism for the day in the worst possible way.
Sure, some breakfast cereals are ‘fortified’ with vitamins. Adding vitamins to food that actively damages your cells? Each to their own, I guess!
Glucose Revolution Take-Away #3 – Switching the Order of Food
Eating the parts of a meal in a different order to lower glucose spikes was a new one for me.
The results via CGMs clearly show a benefit. Normally, when you eat a meal, combining a little protein, fibrous vegetables, and carbohydrates as you go is standard.
If instead you eat the vegetables, fats, and protein first – followed by the carbohydrates – your blood sugar graph is lower and smoother.
The fibre gets your digestion started. Which means quickly broken-down carbs are not hitting an empty stomach, hitting the blood stream all at once.
Of course, eating the vegetables first can take away from your enjoyment. It might also get curious looks. A side salad, vegetable-based starter or even a sneaky vegetable snack before you sit down will have big benefits.
Using the same logic, eating desert after a meal, rather than as a stand-alone snack will keep your blood glucose levels down.
Glucose Revolution Take-Away #4 – Movement After Eating
I eat after my evening exercise – though after reading the Glucose Revolution, I might need to rethink.
Even a gentle 10-minute walk after a meal significantly flattens your blood sugar spike. Sure, a full workout might be uncomfortable on a full stomach. That said, there is nothing to stop you gently warming up while the bulk of your food goes down.
While the effects on your blood sugar are marked, combining movement with other ideas is where the benefits really accrue. Switching to a savoury breakfast, switching the order of food, adding fat or butter to a sweeter / carb-heavy plate – then walking off the worst of the effects.
Glucose Revolution Take-Away #5: Don’t Underestimate the Damage Potential of Blood Sugar Spikes
I left this take-away until last to better emphasise the positive tone of the Glucose Revolution.
But there is little doubt just how destructive the daily swings in blood sugar are to your health.
Beyond the ‘obvious’ things like weight gain (and all the negatives for longevity that come with that), sugar consumption is linked to a long list of chronic conditions.
Insulin resistance is a direct result of constant sugar spikes. The power of your bodies defence reduces over time. A huge swath of the population is now pre-diabetic as a result. Complications from diabetes are a leading cause of death.
We can add to this liver disease, links to Alzheimer’s / dementia, heart disease, compromised immune function and auto-immune issues like eczema and psoriasis. Complications during pregnancy, insomnia, impaired cognitive function, and mood swings are also discussed by Jessie.
This site covers longevity and ageing. I would be remiss without mentioning glycation, DNA methylation and inflammation as direct factors in accelerating your biological age.
Wrapping Up: We Need More People Like Jessie Inchauspe
Longevity and ageing science have an academia problem.
The brilliant minds moving our area forward are not the people likely to catch the imagination of the public.
For that we need people just like the Glucose Goddess. Communicators that can touch regular people, explain complex topics in their language and inspire behaviour change with touching stories and practical tips.
I’ll be buying copies of this book for family members – though as a man of a certain age, I’ll draw the line at setting up an Instagram account.
You will find the Glucose Revolution at Amazon (no commercial links, I want my reviews to stay honest).
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