High blood sugar is killing you: Bread and tortilla alternatives

Keeping blood sugar levels consistently in the 80-89 mg/dL range is associated with all kinds of health benefits including lower risk of heart disease (lower triglycerides, fewer small LDL particles, improved HDL), diabetes, less belly fat, normal blood pressure ranges, and more.

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Some clinics have adjusted their “acceptable blood sugar ranges” to reflect the mounting research that blood sugar levels over 90 mg/dL is a biomarker for coronary heart disease risk.

Referring to a study on 47,000 Kaiser Permanente patients,

“The study, published in the American Journal of Medicine found that blood sugar, blood glucose (BG) levels in the 95-99 range more than doubled a person’s risk of becoming diabetic.  In fact, for every point over 85 mg/dL the risk of becoming diabetic increased 6%, even when they controlled for other factors.”

Whether you are eating wheat or a gluten-free alternative, virtually all bread has a significant increase on blood sugar levels. Amylopectin A, the starch in wheat, raises blood sugar more than table sugar. Gluten-free flours such as tapioca starch, potato starch, cornstarch, and/or rice starch are also awful for your health and jack blood sugar levels up.

Some grain alternatives for sandwiches and snacks

If you are still eating high-carb tortillas and/or bread, try some of these healthier alternatives instead:

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  • Lettuce: wrap up burgers, meat and/or cheese sandwiches in crispy, organic lettuce
  • Meat: roll it up and eat it by itself or use it to roll up cheese, bell pepper, tomato, etc.
  • Protein “bread”
  • Golden flax bread (click for recipe)

Test your blood sugar at home

The only way to ensure that your blood sugar levels stay within the awesome range of 80-89 is to test! A simple glucometer is inexpensive (under $20 usually). I recommend testing yourself upon waking and then again an hour after breakfast. If your levels rise above that 89 mark, you’ve got some adjusting of your carbs to do (protein and fat aren’t going to raise blood sugar or insulin levels much, if at all). Experiment with different breakfasts until your levels are within that awesome range and then proceed to testing your levels at lunchtime and dinner, following the same steps as you did for breakfast.

If you get overwhelmed, take a couple days off and take some deep breaths, but don’t give up. It is unfortunate that our food supply has gotten so unhealthily out of hand that it is making us sick or killing us–that’s not your body’s fault. Learning how you can eat delicious foods that don’t make you sick and spike your blood sugar is worthwhile and could very well save your life.

For plenty of blood sugar balancing recipes, click here.

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