While there are many causes of emotional distress the natural state of a human is to feel good. Of the five foundations of well being (eating well, moving the body, adequate rest and relaxation, close personal relationships, and having a life purpose) regulating blood sugar by knowing what to eat when can provide virtually instant benefit.
The Connection Between Carbs, Insulin, and Cortisol
Insulin and Cortisol are opposite sides of the same coin. When we eat a carb heavy meal like oatmeal it provides our bodies with lots of usable glucose and raises our blood sugar. Insulin is secreted by the pancreas in order to lower blood sugar and to pull the glucose into cells, store some as glycogen reserves and any excess as fat. Constant insulin spiking from a carb heavy diet may cause blood sugar instability or even a severe drop in blood sugar. When blood sugar drops too low cortisol is secreted by the adrenals in order to raise the blood sugar and maintain homeostasis. Cortisol is the fight or flight hormone, which is not so great to have coursing through you at that morning meeting. This creates a yo-yo effect between insulin and cortisol with a significant rise or drop in blood sugar creating fatigue and an excess of cortisol causing stress.
The Solution is to Eat More Quality Fats
Instead of playing the energy crash-high stress game, eating more fat can help maintain homeostasis with less stress on the body. Because of the way fat is metabolized, it does not cause blood sugar to spike and avoids the insulin-cortisol yo yo. Instead of a bowl of oatmeal or a pastry eat 2-3 eggs with some avocado in the morning. If you’re feeling snacky eat a small handful of nuts.
For lunch eat some fatty fish like salmon. Eat plenty of high quality olive oil on your salads. (Be careful to make sure you’re not eating an olive oil adulterant). Use butter, ghee and coconut oil copiously. Eat grass fed pasture raised meat. Take a fish oil supplement. Avoid highly refined and processed oils like canola, peanut, safflower, sunflower or margarine. These are dangerous pro-inflammatory oils and can be very harmful. If you eat like this for a week you will start to notice a much more even keel energy profile and your mood will stabilize.
Eating Fat Won’t Give You a Heart Attack or Make you Gain Weight
Eating healthy fats will not give you heart disease# and will not make you heavy. Traditional Inuit culture eats 50-75% of their calories from fat and their incidence of Ischemic Heart Disease is .11% or 63 times lower than the general US population. There is a plethora of research showing that the conventional view of cholesterol as the cause of heart disease is incorrect. Eating pro-inflammatory refined omega-6 (bad) fats and sugars are related to heart disease more than good quality fats.
Unless you are a high performance athlete training long and hard every day your demand for quick available sugars is quite low. Excess carbs lead to excess blood sugar and all of that extra blood sugar will be stored as fat. Eating mainly fat will not spike insulin and therefore any excess fat consumed will be flushed out of the body as waste. Eat more fat for a week and see how you feel. You won’t regret it.