From Dr. Renu Mansukhani - medical advisor to our Nutreat team.
"Don't let perfect be the enemy of good."
I spend each day helping my patients achieve their weight-loss goals. Many of these patients live with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, which adds another wrinkle to their story. As an endocrinologist, one of the biggest things I see holding my patients back is a focus on trying to be perfect in their diet. This often leads them to pivot from one extreme diet to the next. The outcome is often the same. They enjoy a few weeks of disciplined progress and then life gets in the way. They have to work late one night or the kids ask for fast food on the way home from soccer practice. Soon enough, they are back to their old dietary habits and the progress evaporates. They feel like they have failed.
The Importance of Healthy Snacking
When it comes to having sit down meals, people generally know how to make the better choices. They focus on larger portions of protein, vegetables, and healthy fats while keeping the carbohydrate count down. They know to try and avoid starchy options like rice, potatoes, and pasta. However, lower carb snacks are harder to come by. There is an overwhelming array of choice to distract you when looking for healthy snack options at the grocery store or online. The snack industry’s superpower is loading calories, salt, bad fat, and sugar into a small package. Even worse than the nutrient profile for most of these snacks is the fact that they send our blood sugar on a roller coaster and don’t keep us feeling satiated for very long.
My number one principle in making lifestyle change is, “Be kind to yourself.” So, one does not need to eliminate snacks all together. However, I recommend that my patients look for options which include things like fiber, healthy fats, and little or no added sugar. These types of snacks fill you up without overeating and help keep blood sugar under control. The goal is to give yourself a healthy option that tides you over until your next meal. Nutreat is wonderful if you are looking for something that tastes great and meets these criteria!
Benefits of Nutreat Superfood Snacks
- Made with 100% natural, real, whole food ingredients
- Loaded with nutrient-dense superfoods
- Full of healthy fats to keep you satiated and energized
- 5-8g of dietary and prebiotic fiber per serving for healthy gut
- Very low carbs and no added sugar
- A glycemic load per serving of 2
Why Glycemic Load Matters
Many people in the diabetic community have been tracking glycemic index and glycemic load for years. It is a valuable tool to help control blood sugar and assist with weight loss. People may be more familiar with glycemic index than glycemic load. I believe glycemic load is a more useful, holistic metric.
In short, glycemic index is a measure of how quickly (and how much) the carbohydrates in a food will cause your blood sugar levels to rise. The glycemic index is scaled from 0-100 with 100 being the highest score. Glycemic load is similar, but it is normalized for the serving size. Ultimately, the serving size is what we are going to consume, so that’s why I tend to focus on glycemic load. A high glycemic load is anything over 20. Moderate glycemic load is between 10-20 and low glycemic load is anything below 10. Nutreat snacks have a glycemic load of 2!
Foods with a lower glycemic index are digested and absorbed more slowly, causing smaller and less rapid increases in your blood sugar. These foods will typically have more fiber, fat, and/or protein. Meanwhile, foods with higher glycemic indices are rapidly absorbed and have larger and more immediate impact on your blood sugar. These foods tend to have more carbohydrates (sugar) and are often more processed. How does our body react to these types of foods?
When you eat, your body produces insulin, a hormone that helps us regulate metabolism, blood sugar, and fat storage. As your blood sugar rises, your pancreas secretes insulin to help bring levels back down. When we eat foods with a high glycemic load, our blood sugar levels rapidly rise and our body produces more insulin. Too much insulin can spell trouble. As our bodies are exposed to larger amounts of insulin, our cells begin to develop a resistance to it. This causes the pancreas to produce even more insulin, and so begins a vicious cycle, which can eventually lead to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and many other issues. So, whether you already have diabetes or are at risk of developing it, keeping your blood sugar low and stable is the name of the game.
About Dr. Mansukhani
Dr. Mansukhani is a DC area native, and received her medical degree from the Brown University School of Medicine. She did her endocrinology fellowship and weight management training at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.