HealthNutrition

Tips to Help Balance Your Blood Sugar

Being healthy means staying balanced….

This is especially true when it comes to blood sugar! Balanced blood sugar plays a role in our energy, weight loss, weight maintenance and overall health, not just for diabetics, but for EVERYONE, and we all need to pay closer attention to controlling our blood sugar levels.

Here’s what you should know:

Blood sugar is regulated by two key hormones: Insulin and Glucagon. When blood sugar is high, insulin is released, which helps to bring glucose (sugar) out of the blood and into the tissues for use and storage; likewise, when blood sugar is low, glucagon is released, causing blood sugar to rise.

What happens with persistent elevated blood sugar:

The body must release a consistent stream of insulin into the bloodstream to maintain healthy sugar levels. Over time the tissues become what is known as insulin resistant due to the constant exposure to insulin, which causes more and more insulin to be released to remove sugar to the tissues.

After time, this process can lead to persistent high blood sugar. Besides potentially contributing to diabetes, heart disease and many other chronic diseases, long term blood sugar imbalance may contribute to other conditions like increased fat storage in the abdomen, poor energy, tiredness, and overall fatigue.

How can you help balance your blood sugar?

Chromium: A trace mineral that research suggests may help to promote balanced sugar can be found in unprocessed foods including broccoli (the best source), potatoes, green beans, bananas, nuts, lean meat, mushrooms and whole grains.

Cinnamon: A spice that has also been suggested to play a role in promoting balanced blood sugar can be added to tea, yogurt, hot or cold cereals, or as an ingredient in soup.

Healthy Fat: Healthy fat acts to slow digestion, which can help to prevent blood sugar spikes and through slowing digestion may also help to promote satiety. Good sources of healthy fat include: unsalted nuts and seeds, nut butter, avocado, flax and chia seeds, cold pressed and unrefined oils such as olive, coconut, avocado, macadamia; wild or organic fish including salmon.

Protein: Protein works in a similar way to fat when it comes to promoting satiety and slowing digestion; both key factors when it comes to promoting blood sugar regulation. Good sources of healthy and lean protein: Lean organic and wild animal meats- turkey, chicken and grass-fed beef, whole soy protein from edamame and tofu, and pea-based proteins such as hemp, sprouted rice and pea- can be a great addition to a juice or smoothie.

Fiber Fiber also works similarly to protein and healthy fat in that it can help to promote satiety and slow digestion therefore acting to blunt blood sugar spikes, and also may help promote weight loss. Another great benefit of fiber is that it’s usually accompanied by many other healthful plant-based nutrients given that fiber comes from plant-based sources. Good sources of healthy fiber: whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains- quinoa, teff and brown rice; nuts and seeds.

Drink Plenty of Fluids: Too much can be just as bad as not enough, but it’s key to drink about 64 oz. of water and fluids daily to help promote balanced blood sugar. Not drinking enough fluid can cause elevated blood sugar on its own. 

A few other things…

  1. Regular eating: Every 2-3 hours
  2. Move your body
  3. Sleep is key!

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