I’ll admit when I heard about the ‘Sugar Blocker’s Diet” where you can eat carbs like pasta and dessert and still have good sugar levels I was intrigued. So I read about it and am convinced that it’s quite sound ! This diet was developed by Rob Thompson, MD, a preventive cardiologist who used it to obtain control over his own diabetes. I like the principles so much I want to follow it myself. I am not diabetic yet, but have a strong family history ( both parents and grandparents) and had gestational diabetes with both my kids. As a result I do monitor my sugars and try to keep my weight under control. This is actually a great diet for anyone who’s diabetic, borderline diabetic, has a strong history or just want to prevent sugar spikes. It has 7 principles which I am going to describe very briefly, but if you want more details and recipes, you may want to buy the book. If you are already diabetic and on a plan , I would recommend you check with your physician. You can however follow the principles of the diet. They’re super easy and simple to follow.
Step 1 : Have a fatty snack 10 -20 minutes before your meal:
When you have a healthy fat snack before a meal you reduce after meal blood sugar spikes. You also remain full longer. Fat slows the digestion of any food ingested, so it will cause a steady spike in your blood glucose levels similar to fiber. Amt – a handful of nuts or 1/2 an avocado, 1 tbsp of peanut butter, 1 tbsp of flax oil, 1 tbsp of coconut oil or 1 tbsp of nut butter. Any of these should do the trick. A piece of cheese is alright too, but it cannot be low-fat cheese.
Step 2 : Start your meal with a salad:
The fiber in salad soaks up starch and sugar and carries it out of your system with minimum absorption. The trick is to get some high fiber vegs in your salad like beans, peas, vegetables with skin etc. If you cannot eat a salad eat some peas, beans or raw veggies. Fiber is an effective sugar blocker. As it passes through your intestines, it swells like a sponge and traps sugars from food and pulls it through the intestine.
Step 3 : Dress your salad with vinegar:
Vinegar is a magic ingredient which slows the breakdown of starch into sugar and lowers the Glycemic Index (GI) of a meal. The reason for this is the high acetic acid content which deactivates the enzyme amylase which turns starch into sugar. You can use vinegar in your salad as dressing, or add it to olive oil and use it as bread dip. You can just squirt it over veggies or any dish. It adds flavor to food. You can also just add a tsp to glass of water and drink it. Any kind of vinegar would have the same effect, but Apple cider vinegar actually tasted quite good with water and has some other benefits as well.
Step 4 : Eat vegetables that are lightly cooked or steamed:
When you eat partially cooked vegetables you digest them more slowly thus helping to block sugar. Eating raw is even better, but lightly cooked or lightly steamed veggies with a crunch to them are good too. A good tip is to roast or grill veggies.
Step 5 : Include protein with your meal:
When you eat protein with a meal you will not secrete as much insulin. A serving of protein eaten with a carbohydrate can reduce the subsequent blood sugar spike by 50 %. I experienced this myself when I had gestational diabetes and I was monitoring my sugars. I went to a veggie buffet and ate to my heart’s content ( healthy veggie food) and checked my sugars. They were quite high. Another time I had desert as part of the meal, but I had a nice piece of salmon in the meal and my sugars were fine. I always tell my clients if there ‘s one thing you must do as a diabetic, please eat protein with every meal. If you’re a vegan, it can be challenging. Read my post on getting optimum protein power from veggie sources.
Step 6 : Have a glass of wine with every meal:
The reason is that your liver will not produce as much glucose. This is one of the principles of the diet and while the reason for it seems quite sound, personally I would recommend a resveratrol supplement on a regular basis and the glass of wine as a dinner drink . If you’re alcohol sensitive, you could just take the resevertol supplement. Be mindful of cocktails made with sweetened mixers etc. Wine should always be taken with the meal and never alone for diabetics and check with your physician before you try this.
Step 7 : Eat Sweets as dessert only ( after the meal)
When sweets are eaten on an empty stomach, the sugars race directly into your bloodstream , but when eaten at the end of the meal they do not get absorbed as much and cause more steady spikes in blood sugar levels. If the dessert had some protein and fat in it, it will cause even less spikes. Cheesecake, milk based puddings and frozen yogurt are good choices.
Please note : These principles are a guide and are not in any way to replace the diet you may have been placed on as a diabetic. If on a regular diet you may want to check with your physician before making any changes. You can however follow these steps , esp Steps 1, 2 , 3, 4 and 5 to help keep your sugars steady while following your regular diet. Everyone basically will benefit from most of the steps in the sugar blocker’s diet !