It Important To Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar
We are all used to seeing that sugar is bad for us and we must not eat it! While sugar isn’t entirely evil, it is important that we understand how sugar and all food, for that matter, affect our ability to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Healthy blood sugar affects our overall health and long term health in more ways than can be listed here. A few of the symptoms of blood sugar that is out of balance are: fatigue, sugar or carb cravings, weight gain, mood swings or anxiety, vision problems, and the list goes on. None of these symptoms are things that anyone wants to live with or accept. This is particularly true when they are largely preventable.
Here is a quick look at how food affects our bodies and blood sugar so we can better understand how to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Managing your levels of blood glucose, which is the measurement of how much of a certain sugar is dissolved in the blood, is important to good health. Glucose, which comes from the foods we eat, is a major source of energy to cells throughout the body. However, blood glucose levels that remain consistently high can lead to a variety of health problems, including prediabetes, a condition that frequently leads to Type 2 diabetes.
Blood glucose starts its journey in the form of carbohydrates, which are the main nutrients in foods like bread, pasta, rice, fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains and some dairy products. When we eat these foods, the digestive process frees the sugars within the food and makes them easily available to the body.
Glucose, the smallest sugar molecule, moves from your small intestine into your blood. There, it is distributed throughout the body to provide energy to the cells. To get from the blood into the cells, glucose needs the help of insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, a long, flattened gland that sits behind the stomach.
As your question notes, not all foods release glucose in the same amounts or at the same rate. Foods like sugary breakfast cereals, pastries and candy are basically glucose bombs. But naturally sweet foods like apples, strawberries or yams, which contain carbohydrates but are also high in fiber, release glucose more slowly. – UEXPRESS
Tips To Help You Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar
After seeing the process that our body goes through when we eat food particularly those high in glucose let’s look at some solid tips to help you maintain healthy blood sugar.
None of these are really hard to do but most important to note is that every step you take toward healthier blood sugar helps you. So if they look overwhelming just start with one tip and try to make it a part of your day.
If you aren’t perfect with it, no worries, just keep trying. This really is a situation where making some effort does help and the more effort you make the bigger improvement you will see in your health and your blood sugar.
Let’s look at some of the best ways to help get you on the right track to reaching and maintaining normal blood sugar levels for life.
Eat a Low-Processed, Anti-Inflammatory Diet
A healthy diet is key to blood sugar management and preventing or treating diabetes. It’s not that you must avoid consuming any carbohydrates or sugar when trying to maintain normal blood sugar — just that you need to balance them out with protein/fats, and focus on getting them from real, whole foods. Eating a source of protein, fiber and healthy fat with all of your meals can help stabilize blood sugar, especially when you consume carbs/sugar (such as starchy veggies like potatoes, fruit or whole grains). These slow down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, help manage your appetite, and are also important for your metabolism and digestion.
Some of the best protein foods for managing blood sugar include: wild fish such as salmon, free-range eggs, grass-fed beef or lamb, raw dairy products (including yogurt, kefir or raw cheeses), and pasture-raised poultry
Healthy fats include: virgin coconut oil, MCT oil, extra virgin olive oil, nuts and seeds (like almonds, chia, hemp and flax), and avocado. Coconut oil, ghee and grass-fed butter are all some of my favorite fat-burning foods for managing blood glucose levels while also improving the taste and filling quality of your meals.
High-fiber foods include: fresh veggies, whole pieces of fruit (not juice), sprouted beans or peas, and ancient grains. Some of my favorite foods especially high in fiber are artichokes, green leafy vegetables, chia seeds, flaxseeds, apples, pumpkin seeds, almonds, avocado and sweet potatoes…
…Switch Up Your Carbs & Sweeteners
While all types of added sugars are capable of raising blood sugar levels, some sources of sugar/carbs affect blood glucose levels more so than others. When you use appropriate amounts sparingly, natural/unrefined, ideally organic sugar sources (such as those from fruit or raw honey) are less likely to contribute to poor blood sugar management than refined sugars (such as white cane sugar or refined products made with white/bleached wheat flour)…
…Get Regular Exercise
You’re probably already aware that there are literally dozens of benefits associated with exercise. According to the National Diabetes Association, exercise manages blood sugar in more than one way. Short-term exercise helps cells in your muscles to take up more glucose in order to use it for energy and tissue repair, therefore lowering blood sugar in the process. Long-term exercise also makes cells more responsive to insulin and helps prevent resistance.
Doing about 30–60 minutes of exercise most days of the week (such as running, cycling, swimming and lifting weights) is also a simple, beneficial way to lower inflammation, manage stress, improve immunity and balance hormones. Insulin sensitivity is increased, so your cells are better able to use any available insulin to take up glucose during and after activity…
Excessive stress can actually cause blood sugar levels to rise due to an increased release of the “stress hormone” cortisol. Stress kicks off a vicious hormonal cycle for many people. It not only contributes to high blood sugar by raising cortisol, but also tends to increase cravings for “comfort foods” (many of which are refined and filled with sugar or other inflammatory ingredients) and often interferes with getting good sleep…
…Get Enough Rest
Being well-rested is crucial for maintaining a healthy outlook on life, sticking with healthy habits and even managing hormone levels. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 35 percent of Americans report getting less than the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night, raising their risk for numerous health problems, including type 2 diabetes. A lack of sleep can raise stress and appetite hormones (like cortisol and ghrelin, which make you hungry), making it harder to void sugary snacks, refined grain products and caffeine overdose.
Sleep and metabolic processes are linked in several key ways, and research shows our natural circadian rhythms can trigger high blood glucose or raise the risk for diabetes when they’re disturbed. Sleeping too little, getting poor quality sleep or sleeping at the wrong times can impair insulin secretion even if you don’t change your diet. – Dr. Axe