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Tuesday. Get ready to swipe, tap, enter, or do whatever you do with credit cards these days. Apple is having its “Wonderlust” event today and is expected to launch the new iPhone 15 and updates to the Apple Watch and AirPods. Just put me on a payment plan for all three. How will I optimize my health effectively if I don’t have all the latest gadgets to track my health data and new Airpods to listen to my breathwork App?
Speaking of gadgets and data, what can a continuous glucose monitor tell us about the foods we should eat and what we should avoid? Let’s dive in.
Together with Inside Hotels
Hotels We Love: Carpenter Hotel
It doesn’t get more Austin than an old pecan grove on the edge of Zilker Park, the home base of the Carpenter Hotel.
Here, you’ll find a beyond-cool spot where days are full of sunshine, hours are spent lazing by the water with a book, and meals are comprised of thoughtful American food with a Texan twist. Each room has its own terrace, making it perfect for privacy, and there are plenty of public spaces to relax onsite. When you’re not exploring the cooling waters of Barton Springs, the meandering Green Belt, or the entertainment in Downtown Austin, fuel up at the on-site restaurant Carpenters Hall, or take your food poolside. This design-forward hotel is fairly affordable, making it great for couples, families, groups, and solo travelers who want to feel like locals.
Quit Spiking Your Blood Sugar
Whether someone without diabetes would need or benefit from a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) is up for debate. That said, CGM data does offer an insightful look into how most people respond to the foods we consume. Combined with CGM apps, these devices measure our blood sugar and help us understand which foods are particularly problematic for our metabolic health.
So, what does CGM data tell us about the foods we should avoid so that our blood sugar doesn’t spike and crash? Some foods might be obvious red flags. However, others, like sushi or grapes, might be more surprising.
While fish is a protein that doesn’t typically spike blood sugar, sushi often contains a decent serving of white rice — a processed starch that can cause many people’s glucose to rise. Grapes, even though they’re a fruit, are another culprit. They have more sugar than other fruits, which can trigger a significant glucose response in many individuals.
But there’s also an important point to keep in mind: the data from these CGM apps is based on individual food entries. So, while pizza and desserts are frequently eaten on their own, it’s a bit harder to determine a food’s exact impact when combined with others in a meal. Additionally, this isn’t a definitive list of all foods that can cause a glucose spike, but it’s a start based on the CGM data available from our friends at Levels.
Some of the unexpected foods that were found to affect blood sugar include:
Grapes: We already talked about these, but even though they’re natural and have a low glycemic index, they can sharply raise some people’s glucose levels. To make them healthier, try eating fewer grapes and combining them with fats or proteins, or consider swapping them for berries that have less sugar.
Oatmeal: This is a shocker for many since oatmeal is seen as a wholesome breakfast. But some types of oatmeal, especially the instant or flavored varieties, can result in blood sugar spikes. Steel-cut oats are a better option. Alternatively, try grain-free granolas or warm chia pudding.
Sushi: The culprit here is typically the white rice. To enjoy sushi without the glucose spike, consider ordering sashimi or opting for sushi made with cauliflower rice.
Acai Bowl: While acai berries are low in sugar, commercial acai bowls are often packed with added sugars from other fruits or sweeteners. It’s basically just a frozen dessert masked as a healthy snack option. To make them healthier, make your own bowl at home with low-sugar fruits and unsweetened milk. Incorporating veggies and healthy fats can also be beneficial.
Pho and Ramen: These dishes usually have noodles made from refined grains, causing a blood sugar rise for many people. To make these meals healthier, look for noodle-free options or swap traditional noodles with those made from konjac root, veggies, or tofu.
There are also foods that, while not surprising, are still worth mentioning. Fast-food items from places like Chik-Fil-A and McDonald’s, donuts, pizza, pancakes, and cereals, are all known to cause glucose spikes. To counteract this, consider opting for healthier versions. For example, use nut flours for baking, choose cauliflower pizza crust and explore grain-free granola instead of processed cereals.
The key takeaway? While CGM data offers an intriguing glimpse into how our bodies respond to food, it’s important to remember that individual reactions can vary. It’s always a good idea to listen to your body and consult a healthcare professional when making significant dietary changes. And always keep in mind that there are always healthier alternatives available, even for your favorite foods.
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2. No Blood Sugar Spike Here!
This omelette has everything you need to start your day and nothing that will spike your blood sugar. Win-win! Enjoy!
3. A Delicious Salad For Any Occasion
This salad goes great as a big side for family dinner or as a lunch option you add a little protein to! Enjoy.
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