The steps are easy. We want to add fiber; we want to lose fructose. The relevance about fiber is that it slows how quickly our food gets into our bloodstream. When we swallow a meal, it mixes with liquid in our stomach. Then, it goes into our small intestine. From there, it goes across the little villi, directly into our bloodstream. This happens when we’re really assimilating it and making use out of it. Fiber makes all that happen more slowly – there’s a more gradual entry of food into the bloodstream. All throughout the day, the more fiber we have with our meals, the more stable and steady our blood sugar levels are. Therefore, we want to have this steady delivery of fuel coming into our bodies, like a real gentle touch on a gas pedal. We don’t want to have a big surge, like a puddle of gas that you drop a match on. When we get a big surge of fuel, we do not have healthy energy. We just have stimulation and then it drops.
Now, here is the tie-in: cravings are not psychological shortcomings. Cravings do not exist because of what your parents did or did not do or anything like that. Cravings exist because your blood sugar levels have abruptly changed; they were steady but started to come down quickly. So, your brain says, “I need fuel. I need fuel now.” That makes you like a puppet on strings. It feels like you’ve suddenly chosen to change your plans. You suddenly say, “Ha! You know, a cookie would really be nice about this time in the afternoon.” You think it’s a conscious decision, but it’s not. It’s just a chemical reaction.
Our first meal has the biggest impact throughout the entire day on how stable our blood sugar is. One of the biggest variables in that meal is the fiber content. We get fiber from a variety of foods and there are a couple different types of it. If you get good amounts in good variety, you will have good, stable blood sugar, fewer cravings and better energy. So, in your first meal, it’s good to include a mixture of soluble and insoluble fibers. The best version of soluble fibers are from fruits and vegetables. We get good amounts of fiber from both of those. My favorite dense source is blackberries. They’re actually one of the highest fruit sources of fiber. Blackberries are also superstars because they have very minimal amounts of fructose. Even a quarter cup is adequate to make a big difference.
The other big, helpful version of fiber is the insoluble fiber. A great source of insoluble fiber is chia seeds. Chia seeds are also rich in quality proteins, many good minerals and good plant-based calcium. So, when you get blackberries and chia seeds together in your first meal, that’s going to make the day’s blood sugar much steadier. An easy way to get those is with a shake, and that’s a great opportunity for protein. You can also drop some greens in the shake, which will raise the soluble fiber intake even further. As the day goes on, with each of your meals, you want to have some healthy version of carbohydrate, which will naturally contain that fiber.
You do also want some good fats. You want small amounts with each of your meals. The best fats are from fish and seafood. Another good source is raw nuts and seeds. This latter group will also be high in many of the good fibers. The best versions of starch to include healthy carbs are beans and legumes, intact whole grains and vegetable starches – especially those with the skins on them. The white beans and legumes are the most powerful – navy, northern and cannellini. They have the soluble, insoluble and resistant fiber, which is very powerful. When it comes to intact whole grains, I make a distinction between whole grains and their flours. For instance, brown rice flour acts differently than whole grain brown rice. It absorbs so much faster and acts so much differently in the body. Intact whole grains that have been steamed, chopped up or made into flour are very different.
Then, we’ve got the good vegetable carbs. These are awesome foods. Squashes, acorn squash, kibosh squash, spaghetti squash, turnips, parsnips, rutabagas (grandpa always loved those), sweet potatoes, yams, and regular potatoes are really wonderful. Potatoes are really good foods. They’ve gotten a bad rap about the night shade (solanaceae) thing. If you take green potatoes that are sprouting and concentrate on the green part, that’s bad. You don’t eat it in that stage. That’s where the toxins are. Apart from that, potatoes don’t have toxins. We thought for a while that tomatoes were poisonous, too, because they’re in the same family. We now know they are not and nor are potatoes. They are great options for healthy carbs.
While we want to add in nice amounts of fiber, we also want to limit the fructose. We get fructose from a lot of processed food. We hear about high fructose corn syrup, which is also sugar. Table sugar is equal parts of glucose and fructose. Fructose is unique in that our liver has to do extra work to process it. When our liver works harder, our blood sugar drops off at some point. When our blood sugar drops off, we crave cookies, raisins or even just more food than we planned on having. So, it’s all about keeping the blood sugar steady, and fructose has become our enemy for that.
Fruits are not bad foods. However, because of how the toxins and the environment are affecting our liver, and the high amount of processed fructose we consume, our bodies are less tolerant of good fructose than they were in the past. So, it is good to keep fruits at a low level if you’ve got cravings. This is true throughout the day but mostly true earlier in the day. You really want to minimize and avoid the fruit with your first couple meals. As I mentioned, a quarter cup of blackberries can really get you through for most of the day as far as your fruit content. I would even avoid apples, pears, cherries, blueberries and tropical fruits like bananas, papayas, mangoes, dried fruits and fruit juices. Of course, as we speak this, we’re already assuming that the sodas, candies, cakes, and cookies are not even part of the discussion. Those are foods that perpetuate the cravings. The less of these foods we have, the less we want. On the outside, it seems so counter-intuitive. We feel driven to have them because we feel they’re going to satisfy us, but they really do not. They end up making us want more. So, we want to really stay away from the fructose and the unhealthy starches – those that are made from flours and that come from processed foods.
So, when the fructose is low and the fiber high, it yields freedom and fewer cravings. There have been many papers written, showing this also benefits our cholesterol levels, our triglycerides, our blood pressure and our immune system. There are so many ways this fiber-fructose ratio is helpful.
Well, if that’s not enough, how about the health of our skin? That’s an attention-getter for a lot of us, as we hit our 40s and 50s. There are these things called AGEs – AGE for age, right? They’re advanced glycation end-products. They make our skin wrinkle and lose collagen. We make AGEs from fructose more than anything. The more fructose we eat, the more our skin ages prematurely. So, if you don’t want advanced glycosylated end-products (AGE), you want to keep the fructose low for healthier, glowing skin.
What are the benefits of all this? When cravings are lower, you now have autonomy; you’ve got control over your health. Oftentimes, the struggle for health is just a struggle for control – a struggle to be back in charge of what’s happening to your body. When you have that sense of control again, it spills over in so many other ways in your life. Your confidence goes up, you become naturally eager to do more or promote your health in other ways. It becomes a good, virtuous spiral. These benefits can be quite tangible. By really going high in fiber and low in fructose, you can see 2 – 4 inches drop off in the first month. This happens if you’re on a very structured, strategic regime. Losing inches, especially in the waist, can happen so quickly. The confidence and sense of control you feel also spills over into your relationships. You can communicate better, you feel more secure about who you are and express your own needs more effectively. These extra benefits are so real!
In conclusion, I want to issue a challenge to you all. Over these next 30 days, do two things: think about fructose and the fat clothes in your closet. I’ve had them. I’ve had the double wardrobe in the past. So, ditch them both. Take a close look through your pantry and look for all sources of food that have more than about three grams of fructose per serving. It is time to donate them. (There’s so much need for food at food banks. At some point, any food is better than none for those who are really at a point of lack.) Also, donate those clothes you keep around for the times when you’re feeling heavier or thicker. You don’t really need them; they will not serve you. Make your path more committed and yourself more intentional. Give yourself fewer outs and escapes. It’ll be more effective for you by far.
On the way home from making your donation, stock up on lots of good, intact whole grains, healthy low-fructose fruits, nuts and seeds, lots of veggies – some you’ve not tried before – and good, lean proteins.
Here’s another great challenge: reach out to a friend or a loved one and talk about the easy steps you’re taking toward this high fiber-low fructose way of eating. Share with him or her how to do that and get a buddy in place. This is someone to collaborate with, help you become accountable and give each other feedback on how this all works out.
So remember, we’re adding fiber, we’re losing fructose and regaining freedom. So what can be cooler than that?
I’ll be back with you really soon in this next video. I’m going to talk about how there may be toxins lurking in your kitchen that are short-circuiting your weight-loss efforts. We’re going to identify those and eliminate them.
I always love the great feedback I get. Please ask your questions in regard to this content. We’ll take a close look at them and give you feedback very promptly.
So, take wonderful care of yourselves and thank you for participating. I look forward to seeing you really soon.