How Do I Keep My Blood Sugar Stable?

Do the words “blood sugar” conjure up visions of restrictive eating, diabetes medications, or insulin injections?

Blood sugar is the measure of the amount of sugar in your blood. You need the right balance of sugar in your blood to fuel your brain and muscles.

The thing is, it can fluctuate. A lot.

This fluctuation is the natural balance between things that increase it; and things that decrease it. When you eat food with sugars or starches (“carbs”), then your digestive system absorbs sugar into your blood. When carbs are ingested and broken down into simple sugars, your body keeps blood sugar levels stable by secreting insulin. Insulin allows excess sugar to get it out of your bloodstream and into your muscle cells and other tissues for energy

 

WHY KEEP MY BLOOD SUGAR STABLE?

Your body wants your blood sugar to be at an optimal level. It should be high enough, so you’re not light-headed, fatigued, and irritable. It should be low enough that your body isn’t scrambling to remove excess from the blood.

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 your cells are just so over burdened by excess insulin that they start – literally – resisting it, and that keeps your blood sugar levels too high.

Insulin resistance and chronic hyperglycemia can eventually lead to diabetes.

So let’s look at how you can optimize your food and lifestyle to keep your blood sugar stable.

 

FOOD FOR STABLE BLOOD SUGAR

The simplest thing to do to balance your blood sugar is to reduce the number of refined sugars and starches you eat. To do this, you can start by dumping sweet drinks and having smaller portions of dessert.

Eating more fibre is helpful too. Fibre helps to slow down the amount of sugar absorbed from your meal; it reduces the “spike” in your blood sugar level. Fibre is found in plant-based foods (as long as they are eaten in their natural state, processing foods removes fibre). Eating nuts, seeds, and whole fruits and veggies (not juiced) is a great way to increase your fibre 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)

 

LIFESTYLE FOR STABLE BLOOD SUGAR

Exercise also helps to improve your insulin sensitivity; this means that your cells don’t ignore insulin’s call to get excess sugar out of the blood. Not to mention, when you exercise, your muscles are using up that sugar they absorbed from your blood. But you already knew that exercise is healthy, didn’t you?

Would you believe that stress affects your blood sugar levels? Yup! Stress hormones increase your blood sugar levels. If you think about the “fight or flight” stress response, what fuel do your brain and muscles need to “fight” or “flee”? Sugar! When you are stressed, signals are sent to release stored forms of sugar back into the bloodstream, increasing blood sugar levels. So, try to reduce the stress you’re under and manage it more effectively. Simple tips are meditation, deep breathing, or gentle movement. I personally enjoyed reading the book “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” for stress management and it was a game changer for me 😉

Sleep goes hand-in-hand with stress. When you don’t get enough quality sleep, you tend to release stress hormones, have a higher appetite, and even get sugar cravings. Sleep is crucial, often overlooked, factor when it comes to keeping your blood sugar stable. Make sleep more of a priority – it will do your blood sugar (and the rest of your physical and mental health) good.

PRO TIP: I like to use Passion Flower as a sleep and mental stress aid. It comes in tincture form or in a tea. 

 

CONCLUSION

Your body is on a constant 24-hour quest to keep your blood sugar stable. The body has mechanisms in place to do this, but those mechanisms can get tired (resistant). Long-term blood sugar issues can spell trouble.

There are many nutrition and lifestyle approaches you can take to help keep your blood sugar stable. Minimizing excessive carbs, and eating more fibre, exercising, reducing stress, and improving sleep are all key to having stable blood sugar (and overall good health).

 

RECIPE (BLOOD SUGAR BALANCING): CINNAMON APPLES
Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

2 apples, chopped
1 tbsp coconut oil
½ tsp ground cinnamon
⅛ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS

1. 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.
2. Add 1 tbsp coconut oil. Stir apples and oil together.
3. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring every minute or so.
4. Add cinnamon, salt, and vanilla. Stir well.
5. Cook for another few minutes, stirring until the apples reach your desired softness!

Serve and enjoy!

Tip: Keeping the peel on increases the fibre, which – you know by now – is great for stabilizing your blood sugar.

Cinnamon Apples
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 2 apples, chopped
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. Add 1 tbsp coconut oil. Stir apples and oil together.
  3. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring every minute or so.
  4. Add cinnamon, salt, and vanilla. Stir well.
  5. Cook for another few minutes, stirring until the apples reach your desired softness!
  6. Serve and enjoy!

 

References:

https://authoritynutrition.com/15-ways-to-lower-blood-sugar/

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/research-review-blood-sugar

About Me

Hi, I’m Tracy! I create food solutions to feed your life goals. I’m a Nutritionist, chocoholic + superhero fan. Mom to three, wife to one, crazy about all four, and food! When you work with me you’ll learn to savour life and nourish all that it has to offer.

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Ready for the truth no one wants you to know?

There actually IS a secret tool to getting healthier.

Here’s another secret:
It DOESN’T involve giving up treats and wine forever.

In fact, the way I’ve been able to keep my family and I healthy for the last decade has been largely thanks to the 80/20 rule.

This week’s blog (link below) is ALL about moderation. The word you hear SO MUCH, but never really know how to practically include in your life.

Also on the blog, 15 DELICIOUS (and I mean actually delicious) vegetable recipes.

No, I’m not going to tell you to make a plain salad with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

Let’s talk about VEGGIES that are delicious and taste like our favourite comfort food.

When we start to rekindle our flame with veggies, we remember how good they can taste and how they make us FEEL.

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If you have some nagging symptoms, it's possible that they're related to the foods you eat!

And we're not just talking digestive symptoms.

Even things like headaches, joint pain, or eczema can be related to food that you're sensitive to.

How would you find out if there is a food at the root of your issue?

Through an elimination diet!

Elimination diets are just that - eliminating certain foods. Then you reintroduce them back one at a time to see if you are sensitive to those foods.

It’s a strategic process that can be great… but also not so great.

In this weeks blog - link below - I share the pros and cons of elimination diets and my latest recipe - you'll never know that it eliminates the most common allergens (because it's so good).

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We can use nutrition to create PERSONALIZED diets to:

PREVENT certain conditions

Help you understand your INTOLERANCES

Know how your body REACTS to carbs, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals

Build a nutrition plan for OPTIMAL health



🙋🏻‍♀️ I know I carry the CT variant of the GLUT2 gene.

This means I have a higher risk of sugar addiction which can lead to developing Type II Diabetes – but it doesn’t mean I WILL develop diabetes.



I've been able to ALTER and IMPROVE my diet with this knowledge to make sure I live a long and healthy life.



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tracyhoule.com/benefits_genetic_testing_for_health/
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