Your body depends on a steady even blood sugar level.
When you master your blood sugar, you will feel full of energy, cravings will subside, your weight will be controlled, your mood will stabilize, your memory will be better and you will balance your hormones. Also, when you learn to balance your blood sugars you minimize your risk of blood sugar related diseases, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and heart disease.
When you eat fast-energy releasing foods – sweet or refined foods (namely HIGH GI FOODS) you will no doubt experience feelings of fatigue, hunger and irritation. Some of these foods include: cake, white bread, biscuits, soda, sweets, lollies and white pastries. These foods cause a spike in your blood sugars- they release their glucose in a sudden rush. Blood sugar spikes rapidly, oh yes but then… oh no…no…they fall again and then so does your energy!
Now, we have a lovely hormone that comes to the rescue, insulin. Insulin is the “key” that helps to “unlock” cells so that glucose can be properly used.
Without insulin, glucose may be present in the blood but the cells are unable to utilize it. Some of that glucose we ingest is used for energy (the body only needs a limited amount) but the excess is stored as fat! Now when this cycle happens over and over again our cells become tired and stop listening to insulin- they become fed up with having to listen to this message and this leads to ‘insulin resistance’ (they no longer respond to insulin to escort the glucose out of the blood)- this is the early warning signs of Diabetes.
Blood sugar imbalance is essentially a burst of energy with a very fast come down!
See your body is clever and wants to get the energy back up…so it begins to crave carbohydrates or something sweet to pick you back up! Hello to the nasty cravings!!
Are you moody, irritable, hungry, have cravings, experience poor concentration or gain weight?? You need to balance your blood sugars!
How to master your blood sugar:
- East LOW GI foods – these foods release energy SLOWLY into the blood. You can guess what they may be: Vegetables, legumes, some fruits (berries and stone fruits are best), whole grains, nuts and seeds. Everything that you can imagine is good for you.
- Include a snack in between main meals. This will allow you to stay nice and stable throughout the day. I always encourage a protein rich snack- see my favorite snack options here
- Eat protein with each meal. Especially with your carbohydrates. Protein is the most satiating macro nutrient- meaning it releases energy slowly which helps signal to the brain that you are full! See protein options here.
- Eat breakfast – that includes a protein and a healthy fat. These satiating macro nutrients are sure to keep your blood sugars stable. See my blog posts on my recommended breakfast options.
- Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates and choose wholefoods instead – they are the main culprits of spiking the blood sugar.
- Avoid soda’s and sweet drinks – they are filled with sugars, sugar alcohols, preservatives that will cause a rise in blood sugar.
- Avoid artificial sweeteners – studies are showing that even artificial sweeteners (although they contain no glucose) can have the same effect on the blood sugars that sugar does because the brain cannot tell the difference and creates the same biochemical message.
- Stress less- when your cortisol levels are high ( stress hormone) your body is in ‘survival mode’- it needs energy to run and survive- The body chooses glucose for energy first-so your body mobilizes sugar from storage so the brain and muscles can work extra hard, run fast, and survive!!
- Reduce stimulants- alcohol, caffeine, nicotine- they cause all cause our blood sugars to rise from the adrenaline rush.
- Have a spoonful of cinnamon (cinnamon cassia) a day. Studies show cinnamon can have positive effects on blood sugar. 1 tsp./day is optimal.
- Supplements to consider that support health blood sugar ( with the guidance from a nutritionist): Chromium, Magnesium, Cinnulin (cinnamon extract), Vitamin C , Multivitamin/ B complex.