Blood sugar balance may seem like a difficult thing to achieve, but there are actually three easy things you can do right now to make balancing your blood sugars a lot easier than you’d think.
But before we dive into those three tips, let’s look at WHY we should be concerned about balancing our blood sugars.
Why maintaining balanced blood sugar levels matters…
Your body’s blood sugar level changes quite frequently throughout the day in response to a number of different things:
- What you eat
- How you move your body
- What your stress levels are
- Your body’s hormone levels.
And it can change pretty quickly too. Blood sugars that are too high or too low can lead to low energy levels, reduced sex drive, brain fog, sugar cravings, and many other unwanted side effects. So, it’s safe to say, it’s worth the time to make sure we’re eating in a way that promotes blood sugar balance.
My 3 Tips for Balancing Blood Sugar
These are my top 3 tips for balanced blood sugars and sustained energy levels…
Tip 1: Try to eat a combination of carbohydrates, fat, and protein each time you eat. And try not to eat carbohydrates by themselves.
Carbohydrates, fat, and protein are what we call our macronutrients. They are the only things that supply calories to our bodies. (Technically, alcohol also supplies calories, but it is not considered a nutrient.)
Of these macronutrients, our bodies process carbohydrates the quickest. Carbohydrates are great for a quick energy boost, but if you are not eating anything else with them you may see a rapid rise in blood sugar level and then a rapid fall (aka, a sugar crash). You also will most likely not be as satisfied and get hungry again quicker because the food is digested pretty quickly. For example, an apple with peanut butter will most likely keep you more satisfied than an apple by itself. Plus, eating foods that are rich in soluble fiber has been shown to improve blood glucose levels, insulin resistance and metabolic profile!
It takes our bodies longer to digest fat and protein than carbohydrates. So if you are eating fat and protein along with carbohydrates, your body takes a bit longer to digest your food. This means you will have a more steady supply of nutrients to your bloodstream, and your food will stay in your stomach longer. Aka, you will feel satisfied for longer and have more stable energy levels. So how do you put this into practice? Here’s an example… Let’s say you want to enjoy a piece of toast or a bagel, or maybe a muffin of some sort. By themselves, these things likely don’t have a lot of fat, fiber, and protein. They’re all carbs.
BUT, if you took that piece of toast (or the bagel, or the muffin) and added some avocado (for fat and fiber) and an egg (for fat and protein) … you’d have a much more blood sugar friendly meal in front of you.
Tip 2: Try not to go more than 4-5 hours without eating while you are awake. Stable blood sugar levels are dependent on a steady supply of energy from food. Anyone who has ever experienced a low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, knows just how true this is.
Tip 3: You do you. Or rather, pay attention to what works for YOUR body, and your lifestyle, and try not to get caught up in the comparison game.
We are inundated every day with information via social media, internet blogs, and magazines that tell us the supposed one best way to eat or the best diet to follow. But the truth of the matter is, nutrition (and subsequently eating for blood sugar balance) is going to depend on your body and your lifestyle. We are all unique and all respond to food in different ways.
Pay attention to how you feel after you eat. And know that you are the expert when it comes to your body. What works for you may look different than what works for the next woman… and that’s completely ok!
If you find yourself struggling to really balance your blood sugars, even after my tips, I highly recommend working with a professional. Click here to set up a quick call with me, a Registered Dietitian who specializes in Diabetes.