Do you ever feel tired, lightheaded, or anxious between meals? If so, your blood sugar might be the culprit!
Let’s back it up and talk a little blood sugar 101. Our bodies get energy from glucose. We produce glucose when we eat carbohydrate-rich foods. And when we consume carbohydrates, the pancreas releases insulin, which is the hormone that regulates blood sugar.
So if you regularly consume too many carbohydrates, you’re at risk of hyperglycemia or high blood sugar. Hyperglycemia means your body isn’t producing enough insulin to manage your blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels then increase your risk of diabetes and can cause hormone imbalances.
On the other hand, hypoglycemia is when your blood sugar levels drop below an average level. For a non-diabetic person, the ideal blood sugar range is between 80 mg/ml and 120 mg/ml. Low blood sugar can make you feel shaky, hungry, and weak. Hypoglycemia can occur if you skip meals or drink alcohol on an empty stomach.
But is balancing your blood sugar really that important?
Yes! Because our weight, energy levels, and overall health and happiness depend on it! Our metabolism is higher when blood sugar levels are balanced and there are fewer insulin spikes. Also, fat storage turns on when we consume too much sugar. This resulting fat storage is why eating a balanced diet is essential for balanced blood sugar.
I’ve outlined some simple tips to keep my clients’ blood sugar in check, and I want you to benefit from them too!
Be picky at the grocery store.
I recommend avoiding processed and added sugars for optimal blood sugar and hormone health. It’s ok to stop and read the labels when shopping for groceries. In fact, it’s ideal! I always give myself enough time while shopping to inspect ingredient lists on condiments, snacks, and beverages.
Pass on products that contain enriched flour, high fructose corn syrup, and processed sugars like beet sugar. Instead, fill your cart with foods sweetened with raw honey or organic stevia. And leave room in your cart for whole fruits and vegetables!
Whole fruits and vegetables are the perfect snacks. They come in a fibrous package that slowly digests while keeping your blood sugar leveled. For a nutritious blood sugar-balancing treat, try a sliced apple with some nut butter and granola sprinkled on top.
Eat with this winning formula.
When I prepare a meal, I always run this formula through my head: protein, fat, fiber, and greens. That’s my winning formula for creating a meal that’s not only blood sugar friendly but also super satiating! By eating my meals with the right amount of protein, fat, fiber, and greens, I can naturally stabilize my blood sugar to burn excess fat and boost my energy. This way of eating can also improve digestion, according to Dr. Axe.
My recipe, salmon patties with coleslaw, is one of my go-to meals during the week. I pair the protein-rich salmon with olive oil for healthy fats, cabbage and green onions for greens and fiber, and many fresh herbs for flavor. Such a delicious and nutritious recipe!
There is no end to the benefits of exercise! Did you know that physical activity can lower your blood sugar for 24 hours? It’s true! When exercising, your body needs glucose for muscle repair, which lowers blood sugar levels. Additionally, regular movement can make your body more sensitive to insulin, making it easier for your body to combat excess glucose.
Get your beauty sleep.
You must get at least 7 hours of sleep per night. Not only is sleep crucial for managing blood sugar, but it’s also imperative for preventing unnecessary stress on the body. Without enough sleep, the hunger hormone ghrelin turns on, and we’re more likely to snack and overeat. Overeating, especially sugary foods, will spike your blood sugar which, as we’ve just learned, is a big no-no. I also put my phone away before bed and opt for a book to wind down before sleeping. I’ve found this has been phenomenal for my sleep schedule!
I have some great blood sugar-friendly recipes, including my vegan chia seed pudding and my tempeh and brown rice salad with fresh herbs, on my website. And if you’re interested in even more recipes for balanced blood sugar levels, I invite you to download my 7-Day RESET here.