It’s important because these foods contain complex carbohydrates like starch, which break down slowly in the gut – they are ‘slow release’ foods, which is exactly what the body likes. They also come with a good amount of roughage which slows down the adsorption of glucose from the gut into the blood and body.
Contrast this with processed bread, breakfast cereals, biscuits, sugary drinks and desserts, where the carbohydrates have more simple ‘fast release’ sugars, that get into the blood stream quickly. This causes a spike in blood sugar, and then the poor pancreas has to produce lots of insulin to remove the sugar from the blood, and over time it becomes exhausted and unable to keep up.
Regular daily exercise is also very helpful as this takes the glucose out of the blood and into the muscles – this might be a sport but just as good is walking or cycling to the shops or to work, digging the garden and vacuuming the home!
And what if you have found that you already have high blood sugar levels or have been recently diagnosed with diabetes? I have seen a lot of clients at this stage, and have seen those that are willing to change to a balanced wholefoods diet and a healthier lifestyle nearly always get their blood sugar levels down to safe levels. If this is you, this is the time to take steps to improve your health, when you can almost certainly reverse the condition and have a long healthy life.
If you have had diabetes long-term, it is also beneficial to make all the above healthy changes to help control your blood sugar levels, and give you the extra control to enjoy better health and avoid the nasty complications. This approach frequently leads to being able to reduce insulin doses.