What is the Glucose Goddess method?
The Glucose Goddess method is a book/ diet created by biochemist Jesse Inchauspe for controlling blood glucose. The book shares a 4-week programme, that involves different hacks for managing blood glucose such as having a savoury breakfast, drinking vinegar before eating, eating food in a certain order. Inchauspe states that “That the glucose method can support those with and without diabetes to improve – “cravings, constant hunger, fatigue, brain fog, hormonal and fertility issues, skin conditions, wrinkles, poor sleep, menopause symptoms, mental health symptoms, immune system”. This method has gained popularity and the book is a bestseller. In this blog we are going to look into the methods and identify if the health claims are valid.
The facts about blood glucose
In healthy people, our blood glucose is tightly controlled by our hormones and stays within a healthy range, this is supported by scientific evidence.
Currently, there is no conclusive evidence that the small fluctuations of blood glucose before and after eating can be detrimental to health.
Those with diabetes and other conditions impacting glucose control will need to modify their diet to manage their blood glucose. This is typically done by a multidisciplinary team of health professionals.
I run a clinic supporting people to improve their relationship with food and overcome eating disorders/ disordered eating. I have noticed an increase in anxiety around blood glucose spikes and an increased use of continuous glucose monitors in people who do not have diabetes. It is not recommended to use these devices if it has not been recommended by a health professional, if you don’t have a health condition impacting blood glucose control then it is unnecessary.
Are the claims supported by evidence?
There are a large number of claims made about this method on their website e.g. “it can improve, wrinkles, mental health symptoms, brain function, our immune system, fatigue, fertility issues”
The evidence used does not test the specific Glucose Goddess method, but instead looks at separate individual factors. Many studies cited on the website are misrepresented, this means that the result is exaggerated, or that it only applies to a certain group of people, or there is only one study with a small sample size. In nutrition, to be conclusive we need to test the specific intervention on many different populations over a long period of time.
An example of misrepresented data: The evidence used to support the claim that the Glucose Goddess method can improve brain function is a singular study with a sample size of 49 people, that found that consumption of pure glucose in a fasted state can slightly impact cognitive function (Ginies et al 2018). This is reaching, it does not test the Glucose Godess method and does not indicate that the Glucose Goddess method can improve brain function.
Other concerning messages from the Glucose Goddess
Statements on the Glucose Goddess social media that state ‘coke zero/ diet coke are much better for us than the regular version’ despite the fact that the WHO has announced that sweeteners and no better for us than sugar.
In the blood glucose graphs Inchauspe shares on Instagram, she uses her own blood glucose data. This means that the evidence is anecdotal as we all have individual glucose responses to different food.
On the Glucose Goddess website there are many repeated references, that makes it look like there are a large number of studies in cases where there are 1 or 2. As you can see in the picture, this is the same reference, only written to appear different.
On Instagram Inchauspe recommends people to avoid oats, even going as far to share messages that ‘oats are bad’ despite the overwhelming evidence of their benefit in blood glucose control for those with type 2 diabetes.
A Dietitian’s take:
One size fits all approaches to diet are never appropriate, as we all have individual needs and requirements.
Many claims are not supported by evidence and the language being used is often very alarmist. Carbohydrates do not need to be feared, oats are not bad.
If you do not have a health condition that impacts blood glucose control, then you do not need to monitor, or worry about your blood glucose.
The glycaemic index of a food does not equate to how healthy or unhealthy it is
Some of the ‘hacks’ may be helpful for those with type 2 diabetes, but the programme needs to be studied independently before it can be considered as an evidence-based intervention.
If you’re struggling with a disordered relationship with food and exercise, know that you don’t have to face it alone. Professional support is crucial for your journey towards recovery.
As a registered dietitian specialising in eating disorder recovery, I provide personalised guidance and support to help individuals like you establish a healthy relationship with food and exercise.
You can book a free call with me below or get in touch with me here.