How Dining Out can affect your Blood Sugar and Blood Pressure

We tend to think that having a meal at home or having a meal out is one in the same. They aren’t. Meals eaten out are generally cooked with more table salt (sodium chloride) added for taste, instead of natural sea salt. There is a huge difference in mineral content with table salt containing only sodium chloride and sea salt that is balanced with trace minerals and elements. In many cases switching to sea salt while cooking at home will help improve blood pressure readings alone.

Dining out, you will eat more sugar, added for taste by the restaurants. Sugar is hidden in most sauces, dressings and soups, not to mention the refined carbohydrates in the bread and muffins, pancakes, and bread sticks served at popular restaurants. The type of sugar is often refined because it is cheap and can include high fructose corn syrup. These sugars will cause a spike in blood sugar for up to 10 hours after the meal! Spikes in blood sugar can elevate blood pressure, fuel candida and subclinical low grade infections in gums and gut and joint tissue, elevate your cortisol and insulin production (causing you to gain weight easier, among other things), cause the cross-linking of collagen contributing to accelerated aging of the skin (wrinkles, sagging skin) and add to water retention and cause hypertension.

A lessor known fact is that sugars can cause hypertension. Immune Matrix’s computerized testing cross screens their hypertension patients to determine if salt or sugar is a contributing factor to their hypertension. Their patients are told to eliminate dining out until their health issues have been addressed and what has been found is that a huge source of the complications to health have been derived from the salt, sugar, food additives, preservatives, and chemical contaminants that their daily lifestyle habit of where they get their food from contributes to. When patients began to restrict their meals to cooking them at home, weight loss, blood pressure and inflammatory symptoms resolved quicker than when they continued to dine out regularly.

Your dinner out can result in a spike of blood sugar that lasts well into the night causing the obvious symptoms of insomnia, restless sleep, and lack of morning hunger from sustained elevated blood sugar levels well into the morning even before you have had breakfast. Hidden damage occurs while you sleep from the sugar circulating in your blood feeding bacteria, yeast, candida, parasites, lyme pathogens and co-infectants and various types of chronic fatigue viruses such as:

  • Epstein Bar
  • echo virus
  • coxsackie virus

and even leading to more frequent herpes outbreaks. While you sleep instead of your skin repairing itself, the sugars cross-link with your collagen and the structure of your skin suffers, with sagging and wrinkles becoming more common.

Add coffee (you now have more because you woke up tired) and a refined carbohydrate toast or muffin and your blood sugar spikes even more than had you not gone out to dinner the night before, leaving your body in a state of elevated blood sugar well into the day. The elevation of blood sugar causes insulin resistance, meaning that the surface of your cells begin to resist taking in glucose. The predominate symptom is fatigue. You may begin to feel tired or draggy after such a meal that has too much sugar, and you wake tired and you continue to fee tired while your blood sugar and insulin levels remain elevated. You begin to gain weight faster and you might feel you have more brain fog, all detrimental effects of excessive sugars in the body, all from dining out regularly.

Dining out regularly exposes you to meals where organic herbs and spices are not used. Ethnic restaurants often use imported spices. These spices when imported have to be fumigated for customs. Immune Matrix has found that these fumigants contribute to inflammatory food sensitivities that cause:

  • migraine
  • skin rashes
  • headache

and digestive and irritable bowel. When the patient was told to make the same dish at home but with organic spices, the symptoms disappeared. Therefore, contaminants in the seasonings can affect your health.

Dining out also regularly exposes you to dishes with food preservatives for color, or to thicken a sauce, or brighten the taste as with msg. Many restaurants use pre-mixed bulk sauce mixes. These mixes contain preservatives for shelf life, stabilizers and additives to enhance flavor chemically. They are quick and easy for a restaurant to use, are not nutritious but are detrimental to one’s health. Children with ADD, autism, allergies, and adults with irritable bowel, OCD, headaches, and migraines can notice symptom within an hour or two of eating such a meal but the lack of obvious symptoms does not mean that your body is not being detrimentally affected.

Dining out exposes you to more hidden fats or the wrong fats high in omega 6 which turns into arachidonic acid. These fats are cheap for restaurants to use in bulk but are not good for the body when eaten regularly. Safflower, sunflower, soybean oil, vegetable oil, cottonseed oil, corn and peanut oil (also bad for the mold sensitive) are some examples. But the problem also lies in eating grain fed beef high in omega 6 as opposed to grass-fed beef. Grain fed beef is the staple in most restaurants. So you might be watching your cholesterol and cutting back on the frequency of those fast food burgers but when you do eat them you have the double detriment of tipping your diet in terms of the omega 6 side. Diets high in omega 6 deplete your glutathione levels, our bodies natural anti-cancer, anti-oxidant, which is directly linked to longevity. When dining out leads to your having more omega 6 than 3 in your diet, there will be elevations in free radicals and aggravation of inflammation from elevations in arachidonic acid.

Individuals wishing to lose weight are well advised to avoid dining out because the hidden sugars, food additives and chemicals (pesticides) contribute to cellular retention of fluids as your cells try to dilute the toxic waste, frustrating efforts to drop weight on the scale. It is not just the calories that determine weight loss it’s the level of toxins, how your body metabolizes your carbohydrates and its effect upon your hormones that determines how your body maintains its weight. Additional sugar, pesticides, food additives, like msg, and table salt all contribute to retention of cellular fluid which will elevate blood pressure and throw off your metabolism.

If you are trying to:

  • lower your blood pressure
  • detoxify
  • lose weight
  • balance your cortisol
  • feel less bloated
  • more energetic
  •  have a clear head

and more energy, then for at least 30 days avoid eating out and prepare all your meals at home before you try to say that your lifestyle habit of dining out has not detrimentally affected you. Immune Matrix patients have been surprised to find they lost more weight, and lowered their blood pressure, and improve their sleep and energy levels by making this one significant lifestyle change.

How often is it safe to indulge and dine out? If the restaurant is not organic then we would suggest no more than one meal a week. Even salad bars soak their vegetables in preservatives to prevent yellowing as the food sits in bins at the salad bar.  Avoid salad bars and ask that sauces be deleted or put on the side to minimize the amount you will eat. Do not use the salt provided as it is most likely table salt (sodium chloride) and not sea salt. Choose broiled food (avoid farm raised fish) and ask whenever possible that they use olive oil instead of butter, and ask that the bread basket not be delivered to the table to avoid temptation. Order steamed vegetables and avoid all fried food (high in omega 6, free radical, arachidonic acid producing food). Avoid sodas, choose sparking mineral water or unsweetened tea. If you want to watch your carbs, ask that the potato or rice be replaced with more steamed vegetables. This means you can still enjoy a broiled steak or fish, baked potato and steamed vegetables with a glass of wine and be much healthier than had you had a dish laden with sauce and high refined carbohydrates.

If you feel a sense of frustration that there are simply no restaurants serving meals cooked without packaged mixes, using organic herbs and grass fed beef and no gluten alternatives, then use your dollar to influence them. There are a few cities in California now that have more wholesome gluten free restaurants because the people demand it. You will see wholesome restaurants in Marin, Berkeley and Alameda with organic coffee, gluten free, no msg, grass fed beef, and all organic produce being served exclusively. Encourage the change you want to see and vote with your dollar to support those establishments willing to make the change to serve food that serves our bodies. Remember the habits we do daily add up to health or dis-ease over the course of our lives. There is a lot we can do to optimize our health by making healthy lifestyle choices and this can mean all the difference to being able to avoid taking hypertension medication, cholesterol medication and minimizing a host of chronic inflammatory disorders.

Please note:
Information on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.


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Anna Manayan

Anna Manayan