Balance your blood sugar with these dietary actions.
Do you spend your day feeling like you are riding an erratic energy rollercoaster? Bursting with vitality after you eat something carby, sugary, or caffeinated only to crash an hour later feeling more lethargic than you did before you ate? If so, you can join the millions of Americans who need to address inconsistent blood sugar levels, a major cause of pre-diabetes, metabolic syndrome and ultimately type II diabetes.
Fortunately, the formula for keeping your energy stable throughout the day can be adopted quickly and easily by following a few key rules:
1.) Forget simple and go for complex. We’re talking about carbohydrates here. Simple carbs such as those found in refined and sugary foods (cookies, chocolate, cakes, soda, white pasta/rice/bread are the regular culprits) break down quickly and cause an abnormally quick & high spike in your blood sugar. This spike is followed by a dramatic drop in blood sugar that can make you feel depleted, spacey, and moody. This may be one of the causes of insulin dysregulation as insulin needs to come out and respond to all the excess blood sugar, ultimately needing to do A LOT of work quickly.
>>Try this instead: Incorporate a variety of complex carbohydrates into your diet. Choose fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains over simple carb counterparts. Check out: blood sugar balancing greens & onions recipe.
2.) Don’t skip meals. Running too late to prepare breakfast? Got meetings that run through lunch? These lifestyle factors take a toll on your health. Waiting too long to eat can cause your blood sugar levels to dip uncomfortably. What happens? You grab for the quickest “food” around you which often amounts to a sugary carb, candy bar, or worse, a cup of coffee. In addition (listen up here)– those who eat breakfast actually maintain a healthier weight. So for those of you wanting to shed a few extra pounds, breakfast should be top priority.
>>Try this instead: Throughout the day, eat balanced snacks and meals, spaced no more than 2-3 hours apart. Preparing these in advance go a LONG way toward keeping blood sugar levels stable.
3.) Pay attention to protein. A snack or meal that’s heavy with carbs and lacking adequate protein can send your blood sugar soaring. Protein (from vegetable or animal sources) helps slow the release of glucose into your blood. Listen up here– protein also helps to release glucagon- insulin’s counterpart- which helps break down fat cells (adipocytes): bonus!
>>Try this instead: Use a 2:1 ratio of complex carbs to protein each time you eat. In addition, make sure each meal includes some form of fiber (found in fruit and vegetables) and heart-healthy fats (found in flaxseed, olive oil, avocado, coconut, butter and nuts). Remember the best complex carbs are from vegetables, followed by beans, nuts and grains.
4.) Put a moratorium on packaged foods. No matter what kind of health claims you’ll find on the box, almost ALL contribute to the blood sugar havoc.
>>Try this instead: Have healthful alternatives such as almonds with apples, hummus with cut-up vegetables, avocado with cucumber, and walnuts and non sulphured dry fruit on hand for snacks. Get rid of most boxed products!
Once you get in the habit of eating regularly, balancing your meals, and incorporating more slow-burning carbohydrates into your menu rotation, you’ll see your energy and mood level out and the blood sugar wild ride will quickly become a thing of the past.
How do you balance your blood sugar? Leave a comment below!
Your Wellness Expert,