Blood sugar (glucose) is the fuel for every single cell in your body. Eating balanced meals at regular intervals throughout the day is the most important thing we can do to keep our fuel supply stable. In order to know how to balance a meal, it is necessary to understand how different foods burn. I like to use a simple campfire analogy to explain this to clients. Food burns a lot like a nice campfire.
Fats are like the big log in the fire that burns for a long time. Fats are slow-burning fuels that help to stabilize blood sugar and allow you to go between meals without feeling so hungry. Fats also send a signal to your brain to tell you when you’re satisfied, so you know when to stop eating. This explains why people on low-fat diets are so hungry all the time.
Eating fats at every meal helps to control your appetite. The best fats for consumption are butter, lard, tallow, coconut oil, palm oil or olive oil. Good fats should be included with every meal.
Protein is like the teepee which provides the support and structure for the campfire. Protein is the building block for every single cell in the body. It’s what the body uses to heal and repair. Protein also supplies the body with amino acids which help to stabilize blood sugar and reduce cravings for carbohydrates. Complete protein comes from animal sources and should be part of every meal.
Carbohydrates are quick burning fuels which are like the kindling in the campfire. Carbohydrates that are high in fiber burn a little slower, like little twigs. The processed carbohydrates like white bread, sugared cereals, candy, cakes, cookies, crackers, pasta, and bagels burn up more quickly, like leaves and paper.
And what would happen if you threw a bunch of twigs, leaves, and paper in a pile and lit them on fire? You’d get a huge blaze and then it would burn out quickly. The same thing happens when you eat a meal of nothing but carbohydrates, even the natural ones like fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
So to keep your blood sugar stable, think of building a nice campfire at each meal. Start with your protein teepee, add some natural carbohydrate kindling, and be sure to include your big fat log to keep your fire burning strong!