Oh, The Words "Blood Sugar..."
Blood sugar is the measure of the amount of sugar in our blood. We need the right balance of sugar in our blood to fuel our brains and muscles.
The thing is, it can fluctuate. A lot.
This fluctuation is the natural balance between the things that increase it, and the things that decrease it. When we eat food with sugars or starches, carbs, then our digestive systems absorb sugar into our blood. When carbs are ingested and broken down into simple sugars, our bodies keep blood sugar levels stable by secreting insulin. Insulin allows excess sugar to get out of our bloodstream and into our muscle cells and other tissues for energy.
Why Keep Our Blood Sugar Stable?
When blood sugar is too low, this is referred to as hypoglycemia.
When blood sugar is too high, it is referred to as hyperglycemia. Prolonged periods of elevated blood sugar levels, chronic hyperglycemia, can lead to insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance is when our cells are just so bored of the excess insulin that they start ignoring, or resisting, it. That keeps our blood sugar levels too high.
Insulin resistance and chronic hyperglycemia can eventually lead to diabetes.
So, let’s look at how we can optimize our food and lifestyle to keep our blood sugar stable.
Foods For Stable Blood Sugar
Eating more fiber is helpful too. Fiber helps to slow down the amount of sugar absorbed from our meals and reduces the spike in our blood sugar levels. Fiber is found in plant-based foods, as long as they are eaten in their natural state, as processing foods removes fiber. Eating nuts, seeds, and whole fruits and veggies (not juiced) is a great way to increase our fiber intake.
FUN FACT: Cinnamon has been shown to help cells increase insulin sensitivity. Not to mention it’s a delicious spice that can be used in place of sugar. Hint, it’s in the recipe below, so keep reading.
Lifestyle For Stable Blood Sugar
Would you believe that stress affects our blood sugar levels? Yup! Stress hormones increase our blood sugar levels. Thinking about the fight or flight stress response, what fuel do our brains and muscles need to fight or flee? Sugar! When we are stressed, signals are sent to release stored forms of sugar back into the bloodstream, increasing blood sugar levels. So, we should try to reduce the stress we're under and manage it more effectively. Simple tips are meditation, deep breathing, or gentle movement.
Sleep goes hand-in-hand with stress. When we don't get enough quality sleep, we tend to release stress hormones, have a higher appetite, and even get sugar cravings. Sleep is a crucial, often overlooked, factor when it comes to keeping our blood sugar stable. Making sleep more of a priority will do our blood sugar, and the rest of our physical and mental health, good.
Summing It All Up
There are many nutrition and lifestyle approaches we can take to help keep our blood sugar stable. Minimizing excessive carbs, eating more fiber, exercising, reducing stress, and improving sleep are all key to having stable blood sugar, and overall good health.
Recipe: Cinnamon Apples
- 2 apples, chopped
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- Place chopped apples into a small saucepan with 2 tbsp water. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally. After about 5 minutes the apples will become slightly soft, and water will be absorbed.
- Add 1 tbsp coconut oil. Stir apples and oil together.
- Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring every minute or so.
- Add cinnamon, salt, and vanilla. Stir well.
- Cook for another few minutes, stirring until the apples reach your desired softness!
- Serve and enjoy!
Pro Tip: Keeping the peel on increases the fiber, which is even better for stabilizing our blood sugar.
Keeping Our Blood Sugar Under Control
Wondering how you can implement nutrition and lifestyle tips in order to keep your blood sugar regulated?
I'd love for you to book a free health coaching call. I want to find out what you are struggling with and give you my best tips to start you on a journey toward a lean and healthy body for life.
My clients often tell me after their first week in the Simple Swaps program, their cravings for sweets settle down and they are able to make better food choices naturally. They love the new freedom they find with regards to food!
Click on the button below to book your free call now.