Introduction: Coming up on this episode of the Doctor’s Farmacy.
Jessie Inchauspé: The scientists showed that if you eat the elements of a meal in a specific order, you can reduce the glucose spike of that meal by up to 75%. Okay, eating the same meal, which is mind-boggling.
Dr. Mark Hyman: Welcome to Doctor’s Farmacy Podcast. I’m Dr. Hyman and that’s pharmacy with enough place for conversations that matter. And if you’ve ever had blood sugar issues or felt swings in your energy and blood sugar, you’re going to love this podcast because it’s about how to fix your blood sugar. Which is basically something I’ve been talking about for decades with Blood Sugar Solution, Ultra Metabolism back in 2005 and the 10-day detox diet. And really, how we actually have to get to the root cause of so much of what’s wrong with us today in the world, which is insulin resistance, prediabetes, poor metabolic health. Which by the way affects now 93.2% of the population, which is a lot of people in America and increasingly around the world. So we have to get to the bottom of how to create good metabolic health. And we have somebody who knows exactly how to do that today on our podcast.
Jessie Inchauspe, who’s a… I don’t know if I pronounced that right, but it’s French. Biochemist and author, you might have heard about her, her sort of handle is the Glucose Goddess. She’s on a mission to translate cutting edge science into easy, practical tips to help people improve their physical mental health. In her first book, which we talked about on the podcast before, Glucose Revolution, she talked all about how blood sugar regulates every aspect of our lives and how we can hack our biology to balance our blood sugar and feel good and prevent so many of their chronic diseases. Her book was translated into 41 languages. It’s been a huge success and she’s created something called the Glucose Goddess Method.
And using the insights she’s garnered from her own research on herself and from doing research that we’ll talk about with a larger population, she helps put all these ideas into a practical four-week plan, which we’re going to talk about. She’s a founder of the wildly popular Instagram account @glucosegoddess, where she teaches over 1 million people about transformative food habits. She holds a Bachelor’s in Science and Math from Kings College in London, and a Master’s in Science and Biochemistry from Georgetown University. Welcome, Jessie.
Jessie Inchauspé: Thank you, Mark, for having me back. It’s a joy. And what you said is so true, you’ve been pioneering this topic for such a long time. And thank you for all your amazing work. You were such a big inspiration of mine when I first got into this. I was like, wow, the Blood Sugar Solution was really the beginning. So thank you for that.
Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah, amazing. Well, before I even had gray hair, I was talking about this. So it’s been a while.
Jessie Inchauspé: But we still need to talk about it clearly. Clearly, it’s still an issue.
Dr. Mark Hyman: It’s quite amazing to me. 90% of people who have pre-diabetes, which is probably about one out of two Americans. According to the conventional criteria, which I think are not strict enough, have pre-diabetes, one in two Americans and 90% don’t know they have it. And I would say the real data is probably more around the 93% who have it, both people who are overweight, which is 75% of the population, but also those who are thin. But we call them metabolically unhealthy or metabolically obese, normal weight or skinny fat or tophi, thin on the outside, fat on the inside. So you can be thin, but metabolically unhealthy. And all what we’re talking about today matters to every single person listening because the biggest killers on the planet, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia, all are regulated by or caused by or worsened by problems with your blood sugar and with your insulin levels.
So we’re going to get deep into that today. I’m very curious about what happened once you wrote this book and what you discovered and what the reception was and what people found as they started to track their own blood sugars. Because you did this as self experiment on yourself where you tracked your blood sugar, everything you ate, you tracked what happened. No, you’re not an obese unhealthy person, but you still learned so much about yourself. What was it you learned so much from writing this book and from getting the feedback that you got for it?
Jessie Inchauspé: Well, Mark, the reason I got into this was simply because my mental health was super out of whack, and balancing my glucose levels helped me create a baseline of health in my own body and my own brain. And then I started realizing all these studies showing as you said, that this matters for everybody, for cravings, for sleep, for hormonal health, for long-term prevention of Alzheimer’s. I mean, it’s really important. And so, when I wrote Glucose Revolution last year, I was trying to give everybody everything I had seen in the scientific studies on the topic of glucose levels. And so, it contained in these 10 hacks about simple tools you can put in place in your daily food habits to balance your glucose levels and feel better. And so, the reception was very good, but I started getting a message from people, Mark, in my Instagram, in my DMs, a lot of my readers sent me this very peculiar message asking me to move in with them.
They were like Jessie, “I understand this science, I think I’m having glucose spikes.” Because they were recognizing all the symptoms in themselves and they wanted to do the hacks. But they wanted me to move in with them and actually help them do it. Because a lot of us know Mark, that we have to eat better, exercise more, but really what’s difficult sometimes is just actually getting started. And so, I pondered, can I move in with all these million people? No, I can’t. So what can I do to address this issue? And so, that’s where this new concept for this new book came out. So the Glucose Goddess Method, I took the four most important principles in my opinion to start steady glucose levels. And I turned it into a very simple four week plan.
And again, I really want to help people just start because that is often the big friction point. People have bought my first book and they wanted to do everything, but they didn’t know how to start. They didn’t have the recipes, they didn’t have the step-by-step guide. And so, this method really is me moving in with you and guiding you for four weeks to study blood sugar and to incorporate four fundamental principles to help your body and help your mind.
Dr. Mark Hyman: Amazing, that’s so great. I want to sort of get deep into the method and what you learned and what can practically help people. But before we do, I want to dive a little bit into how would if your blood sugar’s out of balance, if you’re having spikes, what are the symptoms? You alluded to that with a person who wanted you to move in with them, but what is actually going on in the body and what are the symptoms people experience that can give them a clue that, oh, maybe this is me and I should pay more attention.
Jessie Inchauspé: Okay, anybody listening, I’m going to ask you a few questions. Do you ever experience cravings throughout the day?
Dr. Mark Hyman: Never.
Jessie Inchauspé: Now, most people are going to answer yes in their head, never. Are you ever more tired than you wish you were? Do you need coffee mid-morning, mid-afternoon? Do you go to sleep or you wake up and you’re just lethargic? Those two are, to me, the most obvious symptoms that you might have blood sugar imbalances. And that’s just the beginning, Mark, because then studies are showing us the links between glucose spikes and brain fog. So when your glucose is on a rollercoaster, the inflammation between the neurons in your brain goes more slowly and that can be felt as brain fog. Blood sugar spikes increase inflammation in the body and that can lead to psoriasis, eczema, rosacea, inflammation in your joints. It can impact your hormones.
So maybe you’re going through the menopause and your symptoms are quite difficult, maybe you’re younger than that, but your period is all over the place. Maybe you are trying to have a baby and you can’t because you’re not ovulating anymore. So I mean, those symptoms often point to the fact that you should probably figure out if your glucose levels are steady or not. And then long term, as you said cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, those are very clear signs that there’s something going on in your glucose levels. And to me, Mark, balancing your glucose level is laying the foundation in your house. It is without a doubt the number one place to start. Without steady glucose levels, you can’t really do much.
And in conclusion, I would say if you’re listening to this and you think you could feel better than you currently do, than 100% figure out if your glucose levels are unbalanced and start there and then you can start layering on more stuff. For me, I started with glucose, but then I added so many more things, exercise, sleeping in a dark, cool room, going to therapy, emotional processing. But if I didn’t have that baseline of steady glucose, I didn’t even have the energy or the brain clarity to go after those next steps.
Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah. That’s very beautiful. I think people think, oh, well, I don’t have diabetes or I don’t have pre-diabetes. Like why should I pay attention? Why does it matter and why is it important for everybody?
Jessie Inchauspé: Well, because even if you don’t have diabetes or pre-diabetes, don’t you want to prevent it? That argument kind of upsets me because I even hear medical professionals say, “Well, they don’t have pre-diabetes, shouldn’t care.” I’m like, “Yeah, but how do you think you get pre-diabetes?” So whether you’re in the 1 billion people in the world who have type 2 or pre-diabetes or if you want to put it into remission or if you just want to avoid getting it, it’s very important to learn these principles. To me, these are things that everybody needs to know because today our food landscape is very difficult to navigate. It’s full of starches and sugars everywhere. We’re pretty lost as to how to eat and what to do. And so, we need these principles to guide us, to make sure we don’t end up with metabolic syndrome, with full blown type 2 diabetes. So everybody should care. Everybody, whether you want to feel better today or tomorrow.
Dr. Mark Hyman: Well, I agree, and I would argue that most people are on the spectrum. It’s not just like one day you get diabetes or one day you get pre-diabetes. There’s a whole continuum of changes that happen over decades, starting even when you’re a little kid that actually put you in poor metabolic health. And so, catching that earlier than later is really important because the changes that we see, we see fatty streaks in the arteries of kids from cholesterol deposits that are often related to blood sugar imbalances. Because kids are eating all this sugar and processed food. So it’s not something you have to wait till you have a problem.
The other thing I kind of want to dive in with you a little bit about is what’s normal. Because when you go to the doctor, you get your blood test, you check your blood sugar, and your A1C may be, you’re lucky they usually don’t check that, never check your insulin, which is probably the most important blood test to check on your levels of blood sugar balance. What should the normal level be? What should the optimal level be? Because normal is up to 126, but that’s not normal or optimal. What’s the optimal levels of sugar before and after eating?
Jessie Inchauspé: Well, listen, fasting wise, it appears that you should be under 85 milligrams per deciliter fasting. I don’t know what your opinion on that is, but definitely the 100 cutoff is way too high. And if you’re at 99, you’re not okay. You should be like, “Okay, I’m like one point away from pre-diabetes.” You should be having a look. But the studies point to the fact that after 85, problems start happening and some symptoms start worsening. Do you agree with that number, 85?
Dr. Mark Hyman: Absolutely. Based on a large Israeli study, they looked at glucose levels and cardiovascular risk and they looked at after about 85, it was a linear progression to increasing risk of heart attacks and death. So it didn’t start when you were a 100 or 110 or a 126, it started at 85. So that means at a fasting level, you probably should be between 70 and 85. I think that’s probably the range that I would agree with. What about after you eat?
Jessie Inchauspé: Well, so the guidelines say that you’re normal if after eating your glucose levels, doesn’t spike above 140 milligrams per deciliter. But again, that’s really high. And studies in people without diabetes are showing that actually, you should probably be striving for an increase of less than 30 milligrams per deciliter after eating. And that cutoff of the 30 milligrams is what I call a spike. So if you look at my Instagram graphs, you’ll see that’s the line at which I say, okay, you’re going into the red. Now, obviously, the objective is not to just try to flatten your glucose curve at all costs and have a perfectly flat glucose curve because that could be achieved by drinking a lot of wine, eating a lot of butter. There’s things that keeps your glucose levels steady that are not necessarily good. So the concept is how do we reduce the variability wherever you are, even if you have type 2 diabetes and you’re spiking super high after eating, how do you get that down? How do you just reduce the spike height and the drop height and the drop depth of your glucose rollercoaster? That’s really the point.
Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah. Well, I think obviously we know in medicine if you’re over 140 after a glucose tolerance test, that’s considered type 2 diabetes or 126 after two hours of drinking like two Coca-Colas. But what’s really striking as a doctor and I’ve seen this, and I don’t know if you’ve come up with this in your work, but people are going to have perfect blood sugars and still be wildly metabolic and healthy.
Jessie Inchauspé: Yeah, me.
Dr. Mark Hyman: And they can have perfect, even never high, never over 85 fasting, never over 110 after a glucose load, even drinking two Coca-Colas equivalent of glucose. They going to have perfect sugar and be really almost ready for having a heart attack. And that’s because insulin will keep blood sugar normal until it can’t. So by the time you actually see your blood sugar start to go to 90, a 100, 110, your insulin has been working overtime to try to keep your sugar normal. And that insulin is not benign. That insulin makes you store fat, it makes you hungry, it causes inflammation. By secondary mechanisms, it’s just got a whole cascade of horrible effects.
And this phenomenon of hyperemia or high insulin levels is an epidemic. It’s completely undiagnosed for the most part in America, except for a few doctors like me who are doing functional medicine or looking at insulin levels. It’s quite striking. So I wonder what your perspective is on that. Because if we’re just measuring continuous glucose measurements with the glucose monitor and we’re not measuring in insulin, could we be falsely assured that there’s no problem when in fact we’re in big trouble?
Jessie Inchauspé: 100%. I mean, the day that somebody comes out with an insulin monitor, glucose monitors are dead, right? We’re just using glucose because it’s a good proxy for insulin.
Dr. Mark Hyman: I agree.
Jessie Inchauspé: Yeah. It’s not, again, because your glucose levels could be going up. I mean, there’s so many confounding variables. What I mean is that your glucose levels could be perfectly fine, but your insulin is going totally crazy. And we know from the science that your insulin levels start to rise 10 years before your glucose levels start to rise. So glucose monitors and looking at your glucose spikes is very imperfect. That being said, that’s what I base my work on because that’s what we have right now. And I think people really want to be able to see something visually. But yes, it’s just a really bad proxy.
Dr. Mark Hyman: Exactly. So when you start seeing already these wild swings change, your sugar high after eating or high fasting, you already know you’re in trouble.
Jessie Inchauspé: Yeah. It’s been 10 years that your insulin has been high.
Dr. Mark Hyman: It’s not the first stage. It’s like a later stage.
Jessie Inchauspé: Exactly.
Dr. Mark Hyman: So how do you know how far you are along the insulin resistant spectrum based on your work?
Jessie Inchauspé: I mean, listen, really the best test to do is to do fasting insulin. As you said, the HOMA-IR ratio is also really good. But to me, I think people also should strive to check in with themselves and just be like, okay, am I having cravings? Am I chronically fatigued? Do I have brain fog? Am I hungry all the time or two hours after eating? Do I have any sort of symptom that I wish wasn’t there? And more often than not, you can link things back to this blood sugar or insulin level imbalance. So really to me, it even comes down to just how happy you feel. If you think you could feel better than you currently do, if you think you could wake up with a little bit more joy and feeling a bit better in your body, balancing your glucose levels is a non-negotiable.
And I like using the image, Mark, of a plane. So imagine your body is a plane and you are in charge of flying the plane, so keeping it healthy, but you have no idea how the plane works. So you’re in the cockpits and you’re clueless. You’re like, oh my God, how do I fly this thing? How do I keep my body and my brain healthy? Well, learning to balance your glucose levels is learning about the most important lever in the cockpit. If you know how to use this lever, you can more or less keep the plane in the air and not crash, that’s how I see glucose management. Because once you balance your glucose levels, so many things fall into place. Of course, it’s not everything, but it’s a damn important place to start.
Dr. Mark Hyman: That’s great. So one of the things you talked about and I think is really important, I think there’s a lot of research on this. It’s not your experience or what you gleaned from your study that you did, but what you eat when matters. So food sequencing has a big impact on your blood sugar. So if you eat certain things first or second, even if it’s the same food you swap out, let’s say eating red first versus your chicken first, it’s going to have a profound difference on your blood sugar. Can you talk about food sequencing, what it is and how it impacts blood sugar levels?
Jessie Inchauspé: Oh yeah, absolutely. So the first study that came out on this topic was quite fascinating. The scientists showed that if you eat the elements of a meal in a specific order, you can reduce the glucose spike of that meal by up to 75%.
Dr. Mark Hyman: Wow.
Jessie Inchauspé: Eating the same meal, which is mind-boggling. And so, the correct order is veggies first, then proteins and fats, then starches and sugars. And in my opinion, because I’m here to try to make things as easy as possible for people to start and pick up on, the most important thing to remember is try to have your veggies first and your carbs last. If you mix the proteins in the fats in the middle, it’s not a huge deal. But the veggies first thing is incredibly powerful. It really impacts your hunger levels. It makes you feel so much fuller for longer, reduces cravings after a meal.
And the reason this works, Mark, is because the veggies contain fiber. And fiber when it lands first in your stomach, has time to create that protective mesh onto the walls of your intestine and prevent essentially too many glucose molecules from then coming through into your bloodstream. It just makes that gut lining healthier and less porous. So that’s a really wonderful hack to start with. It doesn’t require you to change what you’re eating, which is very cool. And you can start seeing the benefits. And so, then the next hack or the next principle is going to be easier to apply because you’re going to feel better. And it becomes this virtuous cycle.
Dr. Mark Hyman: And so, food sequencing is so important, and I think protein, fat, veggies, fiber are all basically antidote to sugar and starch to remember that. And when you’re having any sugar starch, for example, you have an apple, have it with a spoon of almond butter or peanut butter, that actually slows the glucose surge in your body.
Jessie Inchauspé: Let’s talk about fruit quickly, Mark, I want to say something interesting that I learned about fruit. So the fruit that we see today, people often think, oh, I bought this piece of whole fruit at the supermarket, therefore it’s natural, therefore it’s good for me. Well, it turns out that a lot of the fruit that we eat today is actually the consequence of thousands of years of human intervention in breeding to make them extra sweet, extra juicy, extra easy to eat and contain less fiber. So if you compare a banana today to an ancestral banana, the ancestral banana is tiny. It’s full of seeds, full of fiber, not very sweet.
Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah, a little tiny thing, right?
Jessie Inchauspé: Yeah. So the fruit today is super extra sweet. So we have to remember that, that it’s been bred to be almost like a piece of dessert. But because of the fiber, it’s still fine. The problem happens when you get rid of the fiber and you juice it all.
Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah, that’s right. It’s like food has its own matrix, plus also fruit has a lot of fructose, which doesn’t actually raise your blood sugar. So that’s another tricky thing. You could be having agave syrup and other kinds of pure fructose, and actually your blood sugar won’t go up, but you’ll be driving fat into your liver causing fatty liver and some resistance formation.
Jessie Inchauspé: That’s another limitation of focusing only on glucose because you forget that piece. But what’s cool about fructose is that because it’s always hand in hand in food with glucose because it makes sucrose, when you learn to balance your glucose levels naturally, also the fructose reduces as a consequence because it’s always bound to the glucose in sweet foods.
Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah, very true. So when you wrote your first book, the Glucose Revolution, what were the things you learned from your readers about how they could impact their blood sugar and keep it in balance?
Jessie Inchauspé: Well, what people told me the most was that changing their breakfast changed their entire life. So going from a sweet, starchy breakfast, granola, muesli, cereal that they thought was healthy to what I call a savory breakfast, which is essentially just a breakfast that’s not dessert, right? Because that-
Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah, dessert for breakfast, basically what we have overall, mostly.
Jessie Inchauspé: Which is a complete fabrication invention, we didn’t used to have dessert for breakfast. We used to have whatever meats and potatoes or whatever we ate the rest of the time. The concept that breakfast should be sweet is an invention of the food industry. And it’s very smart because sugary breakfast foods are very cheap and they’re very addictive. So switching back to what we used to do, which is a savory breakfast, changed people’s experience of themselves and of their lives so deeply. So if you’re somebody who’s had a sweet breakfast your whole life, you don’t even know what it feels like to feel more like yourself and to not be controlled by the swings of glucose. So people really reported to me that the savory breakfast was a cornerstone of them starting to feel better.
Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah, that’s huge. I used to go to this hotel all the time in New York that had a lot of Japanese business folks in there, and they had a Japanese breakfast laid out, and it was amazing. Basically, you get grilled salmon, miso soup, pickle vegetables, brown rice. It was the best breakfast. It was a savory breakfast. And many other countries in the Middle East, they have shashuka and all kinds of things, which are more savory breakfast. And I think those are way better for us because they don’t cause this huge spike in the morning, which is the worst thing we can possibly do for our health.
In fact, in terms of longevity, on a fasted state, having sugar is the worst thing you can do. Or anything that turns to sugar like a muffin or a bagel or French toast or pancakes. And having protein and fat, which is often in a savory breakfast is the opposite. It actually helps you build muscle and actually improve the process of refeeding, which is when you activate all these secondary pathways for muscle protein synthesis and reducing inflammation and for actually increasing stem cell production and all kinds of amazing stuff that happens just as a result of having the right breakfast.
Jessie Inchauspé: And on that topic, when you’re having breakfast, when you’re fasted and your system is really empty, actually, if you have sugar, then you’re going to create a very big spike because of the emptiness of your system. And so, when people ask, “Is it intimate and fasting good for glucose levels?” It’s like, “Yes, but how you break your fast is going to be very important.”
Dr. Mark Hyman: Absolutely.
Jessie Inchauspé: So it’s not just a matter of-
Dr. Mark Hyman: I think nobody talks about that.
Jessie Inchauspé: Yeah, because it’s all this stuff about, oh, just fast a bunch and you’ll be fine. It’s like, okay, fasting is fine, but if then you break your fast with a fruit smoothie, you’re in trouble because your body’s going to be suffering all the consequences of the big spike. So fasting is fine, but breaking your fast is very important to be doing it in a savory fashion protein and fat, as you said.
Dr. Mark Hyman: It’s so important. And I think people don’t understand the importance of actually breaking the fast or the refeeding process when it comes to fasting. Fasting is only part of the story. The refeeding is what activates all these secondary mechanisms that help you actually stand your life. So actually kind of a mistake to think it’s intermittent fasting. It’s both the intermittent fasting or timer restrict eating and what you eat right after.
Jessie Inchauspé: Interesting. So the refeeding process is what activates the pathways.
Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah, absolutely. For muscle protein synthesis, for stem cell production, for repair and healing. It’s quite interesting. So refeeding is such a key part, and then you’ve kind of come upon that naturally just by doing the work you’ve done. So I wanted to talk to you about what happened when you wrote your new book, that Glucose Goddess Method, which is out now, you should definitely get a copy. You did some research when writing that book. You conducted a four-week study with about 2,700 people from 110 countries, which is impressive to, I don’t even know if I can name 110 countries to test your method in a pilot experiment. So what’s the Glucose Goddess Method, and what were the results from that pilot experiment that you did?
Jessie Inchauspé: So as I was writing it, Mark, and the reason I wrote it is because my community and my readers were asking for it. And being a scientist, I couldn’t resist the idea of actually getting some survey data from people, some self-reported survey data to see how the method impacted them. So I put together an early version of the Glucose Goddess Method, which at that point was just a PDF. Your black and white PDF with some wonky pictures of the recipes from my kitchen. It was not pretty, but it was the method. And I recruited almost 3000 people from my Instagram, people who wanted to apply the hacks, people who really wanted to see change in their lives, but who had not been able to start before because they were lacking the guidance and the motivation. So I sent them the PDF and we went through the four weeks together.
And so, week one, we looked at savory breakfasts. So everybody in the experiment started having a savory breakfast instead of a sweet one in most cases. Then in week two, we continued the savory breakfast and we added in a new hack, which is a vinegar drink before you have something starchy or sweet, ah-huh. Week three, we continued the breakfast, the vinegar drink once a day, and we added a veggie starter to one of our meals a day. So that’s just a big plate of veggies at the beginning of your meal. And then finally in week four, we layered in movement. So 10 minutes of movement once a day after a meal.
And this could be just walking, it could be cleaning your home, it could be ice skating or whatever you wanted. And the rest of the time, apart from these four hacks, people could do whatever they wanted. They went about their day normally, they ate what they usually ate, they drank what they usually drank. So that’s really important. And so, at the end, I sent everybody a survey of how they did, how their symptoms improved. And here are the results I got, and I’ll read out the numbers because they’re really quite remarkable. And it was very easy for people to do this. It was not super highly restrictive. To me, it’s like the on ramp to steady glucose.
So after the four weeks, here are the results. 90% of participants were less hungry, 89% reduced their cravings, 77% had more energy, 67% said they were happier, 58% were sleeping better. 58% of people who were struggling with their mental health said they saw improvements. 46% of people with skin problems saw improvements. 41% of people with diabetes improved it. And finally, 35% of people who had hormonal issues, PCOS, etc, improved their hormonal health. And my favorite stat of them all, I think, is that 99% of people said they would continue doing these hacks as part of their daily lives. So it was quite remarkable. And to me, really encouraging because that means you can start and doesn’t have to be super hard.
Dr. Mark Hyman: These are just four simple things. Eat a savory breakfast, have a little vinegar, eat veggies before your meal, and walk for 10 minutes after you eat.
Jessie Inchauspé: I know.
Dr. Mark Hyman: It’s pretty powerful.
Jessie Inchauspé: It’s simple. But if you’re able to actually do it, then it can change things so much. And it sounds simple. It’s like, oh, that’s too simple, whatever. No, actually doing that for four weeks consistently can transform how you feel and put you on a new path for your health. And I want to touch on weight loss because to me, this is not a diet. The Glucose Goddess Method is not a diet. The number one point is not losing weight. But throughout this method, 38% of people lost weight without even trying, without counting calories, without doing any of that kind of stuff. And so, that’s key because as you mentioned at the beginning of the episode, people with type 2 diabetes, sure, they could have a lot of fat in their body, but also they could not, right? So weight and health, there’s a correlation there. But losing weight is not the number one thing you need to do for health. You need to fix some underlying issues. That’s really the important thing
Dr. Mark Hyman: That’s so powerful. When people think it’s complicated to fix this, it’s really not. I mean, I think people…
Jessie Inchauspé: Overcomplicate.
Dr. Mark Hyman: … are so overcomplicated and I talked about the same principles for years, and people follow them and they see amazing results. And the data you showed was really staggering, obviously it wasn’t a double-blind randomized controlled trial.
Jessie Inchauspé: No, it was just a survey.
Dr. Mark Hyman: It was self reporting data. But it’s pretty impressive data as we call an observational trial. And when you implement these behaviors, it changes your biology very quickly. It doesn’t take a long time, it’s only four weeks. So let’s break it down a little bit on each step. So savory breakfast, what does that mean? Why this so important? What are your favorite savory breakfast recipes? Tell us actually how we do this.
Jessie Inchauspé: So the principles for your savory breakfast are very easy. It’s number one, base it around protein. And when people think breakfast protein, they’re like, oh my God, do you have to eat eggs every day? What a hassle. No, you can eat eggs. I love eggs, but you can have any type of protein. So maybe you have some leftover grilled salmon from your dinner last night. Maybe you have some Turkey. Maybe you have some eggs. Maybe you have a nice yogurt. Maybe you have protein powder in a smoothie. Actually, there’s a recipe in the bookmark that’s inspired by one of your old school smoothie recipes from back in the Blood Sugar Solution days.
Dr. Mark Hyman: Oh, really?
Jessie Inchauspé: Yeah, because that was one of my favorite ones. So that’s really one of my favorite recipes in the book. And there are 30 recipes per week to inspire you to actually get started. But my other favorite breakfast recipe, I think is called Happy Halloumi. So it’s just spinach and grilled halloumi, some chili, super easy. And I’m quite a lazy person when it comes to cooking. And I understand that in order to actually make these changes, it needs to be really simple. So all the recipes are six ingredients or less. They take 10 to 15 minutes to make maximum. Really, it’s not like a complicated cookbook where you have to grocery shop for six hours and do a whole feast. These are recipes that you’re only going to have to look at once and then you’ll know how to do them. They’re so simple, that’s the point. I want to teach people really easy steps. So that’s week one. That’s savory breakfast. What’s your favorite savory breakfast, Mark?
Dr. Mark Hyman: I mean, love shashuka. One of my favorite breakfast, which is essentially a kind of Middle Eastern dish with tomatoes and spices and so yummy. And then you put the eggs in, can poach them and put them in the oven, and it comes out all hot and steamy. I love that. I also love an avocado, tomato, fresh tomatoes and avocados cut up with olive oil on them and a bunch of eggs. Sometimes I’ll do a whole kernel rye bread with tomato, a little mayo and kind of cooked eggs, like fried eggs on top, salt pepper, or maybe a little spice sauce. Just really yummy stuff. So I typically have that. I also have a shake often, which is a protein-based shake using goat whey, which I find really effective for getting the amount of protein I need to create muscle protein synthesis. As you get older, you get anabolic resistance where it’s hard to build muscle.
So I make sure I get a good dose there, but that’s my favorite stuff. And it changes everything. When you on a fastest state have a savory your protein breakfast with fat and veggies, your whole day is different. Your energy’s different. Your cravings are different. You want different stuff. Your brain is clear. You don’t go through these crashes in the morning where around 10, 11 o’clock you’re looking for something sweet or your energy crashes. So you’re kind of in this virtuous cycle when you do that. And it’s such an easy thing to do. And it’s also biologically so sound. I mean, it’s actually how to optimize our biological system. So that’s my favorite.
Jessie Inchauspé: And to your point about your favorite recipes, I hope that people open the method and they find these recipes that become their staples. Because that’s the best outcome that you find three, four recipes that you love, that you can just keep coming back to that are really easy. It’s about creating those habits and just making sure that becomes part of your life. And so, savory breakfast is protein, fat, fiber, if you can. And then importantly, you can have starches for taste, but they shouldn’t be the center of your breakfast. And then finally, and probably most importantly, nothing sweet except whole fruit if you want for taste. That is the equation for the savory breakfast that’s going to really change how you feel, and that’s week one.
Dr. Mark Hyman: And eating the fruit at the end, not at the beginning.
Jessie Inchauspé: Yep. If you can, that’s great. That’s even better.
Dr. Mark Hyman: You start with fruit, you will not get in trouble. So tell us about the vinegar, because there’s so much talk about vinegar and apple cider vinegar and why it’s great for you. And what is the science about this? Is there any science? Is it just a kind of folklore or natural medicine kind of recommendation? When should you consume it? What kind should you have? How do you incorporate vinegar? So talk about vinegar. Because it’s sort of a weird one. It’s like, what do we need vinegar? I get savory breakfast, I get the veggies, I get the exercise. But vinegar is kind of a weird one.
Jessie Inchauspé: I know, it is kind of a weird one. And when I first came across the studies, I also was quite surprised. Because even though vinegar has been culturally around for a very long time, it was like, does it really have this deep of an impact on our glucose levels? Well, interestingly, there are good amount of clinical trials on adding just one tablespoon of vinegar once a day, either in the morning or before a meal. And we see significant impact on glucose spike and insulin release. And so, scientists were like, how is this happening? Why is this just this common food? What is it actually doing? Well, it turns out that vinegar contains acetic acid. And acetic acid does two really cool things.
One, it acts on our alpha amylase enzyme, which is the one that’s in charge of breaking down starches into glucose. And it slows down the action of alpha amylase, therefore, slows down how quickly glucose molecules are arriving in your bloodstream. And second, yes, acetic acid goes to your muscles and tells your muscles to make glycogen faster and more abundantly than usual. So soaking up glucose from the bloodstream and turning it to glycogen. And so, those two very simple things mean that if you have a vinegar drink before your meal of the day that’s highest in starches and sugars, maybe you’re having pasta for dinner, maybe you’re having a cookie in the afternoon. If you have this, you’re going to be able to still get all the pleasure from the carbs with less of an impact and less creation of that cravings rollercoaster.
Because the problem when we eat something sweet, we do it because it gives us pleasure, it gives us dopamine in the brain. But then inadvertently, we often then kick off that blood sugar rollercoaster for the rest of the day. And so, vinegar is one small tip that you can add that can help you counteract that. And so, in week two of the method, I teach people lots of different ways of having it in water, in tea, in mocktails, as dressings, to try to add that ingredient in. So you have that tool in your toolbox for when you need it.
Dr. Mark Hyman: So the vinegar basically inhibits the ability of the mouth, digest the sugars and starches a little bit slower.
Jessie Inchauspé: Alpha amylase is an inhibited. Yes.
Dr. Mark Hyman: Right. So in the mouth of enzymes as well as your gut. And it inhibits that alpha amylase, which is very fascinating. So you kind of have to take it before you eat?
Jessie Inchauspé: Yes, before you eat ideally. In the studies, it’s about 20 minutes before you eat. But also, it seems that acidic acid might actually just slow down gastric emptying. So just slow down how quickly food goes from stomach to intestine. So it has all these different pathways that it activates. And overall in the studies, it shows a reduction in glucose spikes of up to 30% and a reduction in insulin secretion of up to 20%. So it’s pretty powerful for just one tablespoon of this cheap thing most of us have in our kitchen. And it doesn’t have to be just apple cider.
Dr. Mark Hyman: Yeah, it can be what kind like, red wine vinegar, white vinegar, balsamic vinegar.
Jessie Inchauspé: It can be any type. Actually, I’m really liking white vinegar these days. I love ACV and apple cider vinegar, but the white vinegar is kind of like, it has a different texture to it, which I am quite enjoying today. But any vinegar works, and you can also have it as a dressing on your food.
Dr. Mark Hyman: And white vinegar is great. Because white vinegar, actually, you can use it to clean a burnt pot. My mother taught me this. She put white vinegar in the pot and you boil it on the stove and the vinegar just gets all the burnt stuff off the pot.
Jessie Inchauspé: Oh, cool. That’s amazing. I’ll have to try that.
Dr. Mark Hyman: It’s used for cleaning great, it’s great.
Jessie Inchauspé: Yeah, and it’s been used for centuries. In the the 18th century, Mark, they used to give vinegar teas to people with type 1 diabetes. So we’ve known culturally that vinegar is something that can be used for-
Dr. Mark Hyman: Really?
Jessie Inchauspé: … yeah, for diabetes. And in countries like Iran, apple cider vinegar has been made for just generations and generations, and people know it as a health promoting ingredient. But only now today do we actually understand the mechanism. And that’s what I love so much about these hacks too, is that yes, today we have the modern science evidence for explaining how they work, but actually culturally, they’ve been around for a very long time.
Dr. Mark Hyman: Incredible. Vinegar been around for a while and should you take it like a tablespoon before every meal or just having a carbohydrate meal, or…
Jessie Inchauspé: You do it once a day. The most effective time to take it would be before a high carb meal. So that’s the best time to take it. But otherwise, even if you take it, for example, first thing in the morning, some studies show that just taking it in the morning also has a long-term impact. So any time is fine. And in the method, as long as you have one tablespoon a day, you do it whenever. But the most effective time is before a high carb meal. So if I want to have my favorite chocolate cake, that’s a good time to have it.
Dr. Mark Hyman: So I’m in Italy right now, so if I wanted to have a little pasta, I would just have a tablespoon of vinegar, in terms of eating beforehand.
Jessie Inchauspé: Absolutely. And some water, you could even have… So in Italy, they have antipasti, which is again culturally the veggies first kind of tradition. And so, put some vinegar on there. And you’re taking off two hacks in one, and you’re doing the Glucose Goddess Method perfectly from Italy.
Dr. Mark Hyman: There you go. Your veggie starter is the next fourth one. So it’s really the fiber that has the biggest impact on the veggie. That’s why you use that, right?
Jessie Inchauspé: Yeah. So fiber is remarkable and we don’t get nearly as much fiber as we need to get. And so, in week three of the method, we do something very simple. We add a plate of vegetables to the beginning of one of our meals. So most people do that before lunch or before dinner instead of before breakfast, because that’s a lot of veggies in the morning. And so, by doing this, you’re really harnessing the power of the fiber in the veggies. And fiber is, she’s a superwoman. She’s so wonderful, amazing, and we need more of her in our lives. And she does a few amazing things. First of all, she is going to coat the upper part of your intestine. And as I said, prevent too many glucose molecules from coming through to your bloodstream too quickly. And second, fiber feeds your gut bacteria, which is also very important and healthy.
And by having the veggies at the beginning of the meal, that’s when you’re going to be able to get the most power out of them. And the antipasti is a really good example of that being already culturally something we’ve been doing for a long time. And I’m French, and in France we have crudité, which is raw veggies at the beginning of a meal. Again, we’ve been doing this, people have known this for a long time. But we’ve lost touch with these very key, straightforward principles that are really important to helping our health. So week three, a veggie starter once a day. And there are no studies on exactly the right amount to have. From my experience, it seems that if your veggie starter makes up about 30% of your meal, that’s a really good thing to aim for. And the veggies can be raw, they can be cooked, they can be dressed, for example, with a vinegar dressing as well, to tick off two hacks in one.
I have lots of wonderful recipes in the book, like my favorite French asparagus recipe. My mom’s slow cooked leeks, we have crispy kale, we have tomatoes with yogurt dressing, like lots of simple six ingredient or less kind of thing. And so, that’s week three. And at that point, you’re doing the savory breakfast, the vinegar, the veggie starter. This is where most of the participants in this study told me that everything started to change really profoundly. When you get to the end of that second week and you start the veggie starter, you feel like a completely new person. And again, it wasn’t hard because you could do whatever you wanted the rest of the time. You just added these principles like gentle giants and your glucose slowly studied, inflammation goes down, hormones rebalance, you’re less hungry, you sleep better. It’s really transformative and I’m so excited that it’s been so well received.
Dr. Mark Hyman: Well, it’s great. You make such complicated science into these practical hacks and tips that everybody can use that are not that complicated, and people can understand them and make them as regular habits, which I really love.
Jessie Inchauspé: Thanks, Mark.
Dr. Mark Hyman: The last bit was moving after you eat. And this is really interesting because people often eat dinner and then they go sit on the couch and watch TV. It’s absolutely the worst thing you could do. And my grandfather was from a family who had lots of heart attacks in their 50s, bypasses, heart attacks, all kinds of stuff. He didn’t really get it until he was in his 80s. And he got some angina then. And what was fascinating was that he was deaf. So he was a physical laborer most of his life, throwing newspapers on the New York Times truck. But at night after dinner, he always liked to feed the alley cats who were in New York City. And he would go out with a scrap of food and he would find the alley cats and he would just walk the streets of New York after dinner. And he was super thin and healthy and was doing handstands at 80 years old.
Jessie Inchauspé: Oh, wow.
Dr. Mark Hyman: I think that moving thing is a thing, and now we have the science behind it. So can you talk about the science behind why moving after eating is such a critical thing to do?
Jessie Inchauspé: Yes. And again, I love that story and I love cats. So I was thinking maybe I should do that when I’m 80 and go feed all the alley cats. I’m probably going to end up that way to be perfectly honest. So listen, movement, we all know we should exercise more. We all know that exercise is good for us, but when is the best time to do it? And what is the best way to start? So from the studies, just 10 minutes of walking or of light movement after a meal can help reduce the glucose spike of your meal significantly. And why is that? Because every cell in your body uses glucose for energy. And that also goes for your muscles. Your muscles, when they contract, they need energy to do so. And the first place they will look is in your bloodstream for extra glucose they can use and burn and contract.
And so, we can use this to our advantage. And so, here’s the hack. 10 minutes of movement after one meal a day within about 90 minutes of the end of your meal. So you don’t have to get up and immediately do a bunch of pushups, you can wait a little bit. 90 minutes is when the glucose spike will reach its maximum. And so, you want to move and use your muscles before that so you can capture some of that extra glucose and lower the spike. Now, what can you do? Okay, so you can walk, feed the alley cats. We love that. You can also do even simpler stuff to get started. For example, if you’re in the habit of sitting on your couch after dinner, you can still do that.
But as you’re sitting on the couch, how about you start doing some calf raises? So you push up onto the balls of your feet up and down. You do that for 10 minutes. That activates a muscle in your calf called the soleus muscle, which is surprisingly good at soaking up glucose from your bloodstream. And that’s a muscle we use for walking. So again, this walking connection. You can also grab a big bottle of water, do some bicep curls while you’re watching Netflix. Of course, you can like clean your apartment, do the dishes, do the laundry. You can also do intense stuff. You can go ice skating, whatever floats your boats. But those 10 minutes are going to be so powerful to help your body use some of that fuel you just ate.
And most of us give our body too much fuel, and that’s where the problems start happening. And so, your muscles really become your greatest allies in your journey to steady glucose. So that’s the hack. Week four, 10 minutes of movement, whatever you want. And by the end of it all, you have these four very simple, yet profoundly transformative new habits in your day-to-day. And then you’re a new person and you can go and go after your dreams and follow your passion and do things you’ve always wanted to do and be really proud of yourself.
Dr. Mark Hyman: I love that. And that’s such a simple set of things that I think people should follow just from listening this, they should definitely get your book, which is out now. It’s called The Glucose Goddess Method: The 4-Week Guide to Cutting Cravings, Getting Your Energy Back, and Feeling Amazing. Is there anything else you want people to know that you’ve learned in this process of being the Glucose Goddess before we go?
Jessie Inchauspé: Yes. I think I want to say something and I want to share this because for me, it was just the beginning of my healing. So after I broke my back and I had all these mental health issues for almost a decade, I was super lost and I was confused about what I needed to do to feel good in the morning. I felt like my body was this black box. I felt like my body was almost like an enemy. Because I couldn’t understand it. I didn’t know how to fix it, and I felt like it was working against me. And I was getting all this brain fog, and I was just like, why are you doing this to me body? And then as I learned about glucose in the science, I got an insight, which is that the symptoms that I had been feeling for all these years, they were actually messages.
They were actually my body trying so hard to communicate with me. That brain fog, that exhaustion, those pimples, that was my body’s language trying to be like Jessie, SOS, glucose spikes, help. So next time, and even the fat gain on our body, often your body puts on fat because it’s trying to protect you and it’s trying to keep you alive. The more fat you’re able to put on, the longer you’ll be protected against type 2 diabetes. So we just have to switch a little bit how we think about it all. Your body is trying to save you, your body’s trying to keep you alive. Symptoms are messages, and I hope that on this journey of steady glucose, you can get to where I got, which is realizing my body is my partner and creating a connection, again, a friendship between me and my body. And I have a cookie, but I go for a walk afterwards. So we have an agreement.
Dr. Mark Hyman: I think you have to walk four miles-
Jessie Inchauspé: Symptoms are messages.
Dr. Mark Hyman: … to work off one chocolate chip cookie though.
Jessie Inchauspé: For sure.
Dr. Mark Hyman: Not 10 minutes.
Jessie Inchauspé: No, not 10 minutes. But we can put in place these easy principles that help us reconnect with our body and create more of a partnership instead of this black box thing.
Dr. Mark Hyman: Thank you for what you do, Jessie. This is such important work, and you make it so simple and clear for people. You kind of learned the hard way yourself. You’ve translated that into your life’s work. It’s just beautiful to see. Thank you for being on the podcast. All of you who are listening, if you love this podcast, please share with your friends and family on social media. Leave comments, have you learned to regulate your blood sugar? Subscribe wherever you get your podcast and we’ll see you next week on The Doctor’s Farmacy.
Closing: Hi, everyone. I hope you enjoyed this week’s episode. Just a reminder that this podcast is for educational purposes only. This podcast is not a substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This podcast is provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services. If you’re looking for help in your journey, seek out a qualified medical practitioner. If you’re looking for a functional medicine practitioner, you can visit ifm.org and search their find a practitioner database. It’s important that you have someone in your corner who’s trained, who’s a licensed healthcare practitioner, and can help you make changes, especially when it comes to your health.