Blood sugar is the concentration of glucose in the blood and it can affect our hormones and influence stress and eating habits. Blood sugar levels can be altered by what we eat, stress, sleep, our microbiome, and body fat.
Here are a few simple ways to manage your blood sugar levels with diet:
1.Crowd Out Simple Sugars
Pass on the table sugar and trade it for more complex sugars like sweet root veggies. Artificial sweeteners and high fructose corn syrup have no nutritional value and can negatively impact your blood sugar.
2. Eat Protein and Veggies 15 Minutes Before Eating Simple Carbs
It’s best not to eat carbs and sugars alone. Glucose and insulin levels will generally be lower when you eat protein first or along with the carb/sugar. Also, eating protein first will fill you up so you should eat less of the sugar and carbs.
3. Eat Insoluble Fiber Before Meals to Stabilize Insulin Levels
Veggies are the best source of insoluble fiber! Eating carbs with insoluble fiber can significantly reduce glucose and insulin levels. Easy ways to add fiber include blending some kale into a smoothie and adding some broccoli to rice.
4. Get A Good Night’s Sleep
When you sleep blood sugar levels remain stable, but when a person is sleep deprived, their insulin response to blood sugar decreases. As a result, blood sugar isn't cleared from circulation as quickly and levels are higher than normal. After a poor night's sleep, breakfast will create higher spikes in blood sugar.
Less sleep translates to increase in appetite. It can also trigger cravings for foods rich in simple carbs because the body is looking for a quick energy burst.
Shorter sleep duration seems to increase the risk for obesity and diabetes. Lack of sleep can also contribute to an increase in visceral (the dangerous kind) fat buildup and cortisol levels.
Everyone is different but typically 7-8 hours of sleep per night is best.
5. Aim For A Healthy Weight By:
-Losing weight slowly and steadily
-Trying not to eat three hours before bed
-Stimulate metabolism by incorporating spices like cayenne, cinnamon, turmeric, and cardamom
-Exercising in intervals
6. Incorporate A Few Helpful Herbs and Minerals
Berberine was traditionally used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine and is a compound found in many plants. It can aid in weight loss and potentially lower blood sugar levels.
Resveratrol can help the body create beneficial short-chain fatty acids. Blueberries, dark chocolate, and red wine are great sources of resveratrol.
Chromium is a mineral that helps insulin formation. There are supplements available, but you can also find Chromium in whole grains and broccoli.
Remember to consult with your Health Care Professional before incorporating any new supplements into your routine.
7. Manage Your Stress
When you're stressed your blood sugar levels rise. Stress could also lead to unhealthy eating, less sleep, or no physical activity. Find ways to relieve stress like yoga, meditation, deep breathing, or relaxing hobbies.