Are you eating food made out a laboratory … AKA lots of ultra-processed, refined and sugar-laden foods, or more whole, real foods designed by Mother Nature?
Because apart from the fact the body struggles to break down and digest these types of “foods”, according to a French study published in JAMA (2019), for every 10% portion of our diet that’s made up of processed foods, our risk of developing diabetes jumps up another 15% right along with it.
Now this might not sound earth-shattering, but if you are a shift worker, this percentage rises even more as sleep deprivation, alone, disrupts the regulation of blood sugar levels.
This is because if you’re awake when you’re not meant to be (AKA the life of EVERY shift worker on the planet!), it leads to an increase in the stress hormone cortisol, which raises blood sugar levels.
The body does this because when you’re sleep deprived, it senses that your life is in danger.
It places your body into the ‘fight or flight’ stress response, which triggers the release of glucose which can be used by your muscles to run away from an impending threat.
In reality, however, the only danger that you’re in is being late for work as a result of having to be up and awake at “stupid o’clock!”. A saying, lovingly coined by one of my shift working clients :-).
This rise in blood sugar, spurs your pancreas into action by secreting the hormone insulin, (even though it wishes you were still asleep too), because too much blood sugar in our blood stream is toxic.
Now … throw in a coffee, energy drink, store-bought muffin, breakfast-out-of-a-box, donut, bag of lollies, chips … or whatever else you’ve picked up from the supermarket or fast-food chain to “nourish” you – your blood sugar levels are destined for a steep rise.
Over time, this is going to lead to an expansion of your waistline, along with raising your risks for developing a condition known as insulin resistance, which can manifest into pre-diabetes, and ultimately Type 2 diabetes.
Conditions that are prevalent amongst the shift working population.
The harsh reality is that the Number One objective of big food companies is to make more MONEY.
Your health is NOT their priority.
Let that sink in.
So please be mindful about how much refined and processed food that you’re eating, and if it’s a lot right now, begin to make small changes by switching them out for more whole, real foods options.
Essentially, food that your body has evolved to eat since the test of time!
P.S: If you’re needing some inspiration on where to start, why not give this Mediterranean Breakfast Plate a go! It might sound a bit fancy, but you can can put any type of whole food on the plate, and of course, it doesn’t have to be on a platter.
For practicality you might want to pop the ingredients into a lunchbox that has lots of dividers. The good news is that it won’t spike your blood sugar, will keep you feeling fuller for longer, and you will be the envy of your workmates!