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Some of you will have different blood sugar reactions to the same foods. In fact normal people can vary tenfold in their blood sugar reactions to the identical food. This can be measured using something called a continuous blood glucose monitor (CBGM) that is available from most pharmacies.

Here is an example. Two Doctors measured their blood sugar (glucose level) following the same breakfast oats, plant milk, and a coffee. The husband saw his blood sugar levels rise from 5.5 (steady) to 9.1 mmol with a high surge of insulin and it took an hour before his levels returned to normal. The wife had a lower blood sugar level of 4 mmol before eating which rose to only 5.7 mmol after breakfast (still normal). However the wife had much higher increases when eating pasta or basmati rice than her husband did. Orange juice has been seen to create higher spikes than alcohol. The differences in their responses may be due to difference in sex, liver/pancreatic health, but also possibly the health of the gut microbiome.

This is further evidence that everyone is different and that there is never a “one sized fits all plan”. We must learn to work out our own personal nutrition response. When reading any articles, or posts from glamourous instagram gurus and even government guidelines, don´t assume this is gospel. This you learn by listening to your body and the symptoms you have.

A 2018 study found that fructose, a simple sugar found naturally in fruits and juices and also found in processed sweeteners including table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, causes changes to the microbial make up of the gut.

Sugar damages the intestinal barrier
High sugar consumption appears to disrupt the balance of the microbiome by altering the ratio of pathogenic and beneficial bacteria, leading to increased inflammation and decreased immune supporting functions. Researchers observed that diets high in glucose or fructose led to negative changes in the gut microbiome and increased intestinal inflammation as simple sugars increase small intestinal permeability, or small bowel permeability, in healthy humans.

Those with blood sugar issues such as diabetes present with a different gut microbiome compared to healthy individuals and also changes to the gut lining, as illustrated below.

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