I love that we are addressing natural ways to manage blood sugar today. I was someone that always struggled with low blood sugar, fatigue, “hanger” cues and the shakes. Then if I ate something high in carbs or sugar, I felt shakier, sick to my stomach and ended up with a headache! It was honestly a never ending battle. I also felt anxious and stressed if I had to go more than three hours without being near food. All because of my wacked out blood sugar.
If this is also you, you’re not alone. You also don’t have to feel like this! I was able to break this cycle and prevent the harmful effects that the swings in blood sugar and insulin could have had on my body down the road. I did this just through nutrition and lifestyle changes!
Swings in Blood Sugar
Swings in blood sugar and especially high blood sugar can be harmful. Particularly if it goes unattended to for quite some time. Glucose or sugar enters the body through the consumption of foods rich in carbohydrates like grains, dairy products, processed snack foods, fruit and starchy vegetables.
When you overload your system with glucose, it signals the pancreas to release insulin into the bloodstream. Insulin helps carry the glucose into the cells so that you can use it as energy.
What you don’t want is extremely high levels of blood sugar for a long period of time. It can lead to various complications pertaining to your health. Some things that can result from high blood sugar levels are weight gain, diabetes, stroke, eyesight issues, fatigue and intense sugar cravings.
Naturally Managing Blood Sugar
There are many natural approaches to managing your blood sugar and even get things back in check! The idea is to eat a healing diet with foods that are low in natural sugar, good healthy fats and protein. I always talk to patients about a balanced plate. This will contain plenty of non-starchy leafy greens, a high quality protein source, olive oil/avocado or some other healthy fat and a small amount of a carbohydrate. Such as a starchy winter squash, gluten-free whole grain or legume.
Protein and healthy fats will help to stabilize blood sugar throughout the day. Trying to stick to 2-3 meals daily can also be beneficial. Quick tip, letting your blood sugar get too low can be very stressful to the body. If you’re someone who typically skips a meal and is ravenous a few hours later, try something different! Carry a protein rich snack for an on-the-go option like nuts or make a quick meal ahead of time to have on hand. The key is to avoid these roller coasters throughout the day.
Sleep and Exercise
A combination of daily exercise and a proper sleep schedule is the recipe for success when it comes to managing your blood sugar levels. When you workout it increases your ability to metabolize glucose and rid the blood stream of all that excess sugar that is hanging out in there. In fact, a fasted walk before breakfast or walking after meals can balance blood sugar and insulin levels.
Likewise, adequate sleep will boost your tolerance of glucose and essentially increase glucose metabolism as well. Did you know that when you are tired you tend to eat more because your body is desperate for energy that it is deprived of? So strive to get at least 8 hours of sleep a night!
An hour before bedtime, hit the switch! Shut off the computer and dim the lights. Recent studies show that blood light can increase insulin resistance.
Check out some of these blood sugar friendly snacks below. For more information or to personally start your healing journey, reach out to me. I’d love to hear how I can help you!
Blood Sugar Friendly Snacks