President's Prescription: high glycemic foods - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

President's Prescription: high glycemic foods

Food high in tryptophan tend to make people sleepy (Source: KCBD video) Food high in tryptophan tend to make people sleepy (Source: KCBD video)
Dr. Tedd Mitchell advises that spikes in blood sugar can be avoided by filling your plate up with more fiber and less processed foods (Source: KCBD video) Dr. Tedd Mitchell advises that spikes in blood sugar can be avoided by filling your plate up with more fiber and less processed foods (Source: KCBD video)
(KCBD) -

With the holiday season upon us, a lot of folks will take the annual turkey nap as part of the highlight of their day.

While they might try to stay awake for the big game, many times they can’t help but to fall asleep after such a big dinner. Most of the time, sugar spikes are to blame, but there’s also a substance called tryptophan that may be part of the equation. 

Foods high in tryptophan tend to make people sleepy. Since tryptophan is not synthesized in the body, we get it from our diet. Turkey, tuna, dairy products, bananas, oats and nuts are all common sources of tryptophan. In fact, if you are having difficulty falling asleep, drinking a glass of milk or eating some carved turkey may decrease the time it takes you to fall asleep. 

Turkey in conjunction with mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie is definitely enough to have you settle in for a nap. Carbohydrates are digested into glucose, which enters the bloodstream. Spikes in blood sugar can be avoided in filling up your plate with more fiber and less processed foods. Foods high in fat and acid are converted more slowly into sugar than highly processed foods. The spike associated with high-carbohydrate foods comes with an increase in energy, but ultimately ends in a crash. It is best to avoid these spikes if possible, as they can be highly inflammatory to the body and lead to diabetes.

High glycemic foods are particularly to blame when it comes to blood sugar spikes. Starchy foods such as pasta and potatoes, products with white flour and high-fructose corn syrup raise the blood sugar significantly only to drop that sugar back down. Constant blood sugar spikes after meals and snacks can increase the risk for insulin resistance. 

And while it is ok to over indulge every now and then, especially during the holiday season, make sure you know what it is that you’re eating.

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