You may think that balancing your blood sugar levels is a task reserved only for people with diabetes. While it is true that people with diabetes must closely monitor their blood sugar levels, the truth is that everyone should pay attention. That’s why we want to talk about 4 habits for balancing blood sugar.
Having high levels of glucose circulating in your body is damaging to blood vessels and kidneys. The body responds with insulin to escort the glucose into your cells where it can be used for fuel.
However, when there are recurring spikes of glucose throughout the day, your cells may turn down their receptivity and not accept the insulin or glucose. The alternative is for insulin to escort the glucose to be stored as fat.
I believe in being proactive with my health, so I take measures to balance my blood sugar and protect my body. Here are four tips for balancing blood sugar so that you have stable energy throughout the day.
Eat Low Glycemic Foods
Foods with a low glycemic index (GI) are digested slowly and release glucose into the bloodstream gradually over time instead of all at once. As such, they are beneficial for maintaining steady blood sugar levels throughout the day rather than having drastic highs and lows in between meals.
Low GI foods include whole grains like oats and barley, non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower, nuts and seeds, and high-fiber fruits like apples and pears. Additionally, try replacing sugary snacks with protein-rich snacks like Greek yogurt with berries or celery sticks with peanut butter. These will provide sustained energy throughout the day without sudden spikes in blood sugar levels.
Examples of high GI foods would be those made with flour (even if not sweetened), bananas and watermelon, and the myriad of beverages offered in cans, bottles, or coffee shops that have high-calorie counts. Beverages are particularly problematic because they require minimal digestion.
Get Enough Sleep
Research has shown that adequate sleep is essential for managing diabetes. It improves your body’s ability to process glucose naturally. Poor sleep quality is associated with higher morning glucose levels which can cause fluctuations in blood sugar during the day. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep every night and stick to a consistent sleep schedule. This will help to maintain healthy blood sugar levels throughout the day.
What you eat or drink before you go to bed can also influence both your sleep quality and your waking blood sugar. That evening nightcap may seem to relax you and aid in going to sleep, but there’s a rebound effect. When the body begins to process the alcohol, it will detract from its ability to rebalance systems, which will disrupt sleep. And eating a sweet snack shortly before bed is more likely to be stored as fat.
Regular exercise can help regulate and balance your blood sugar levels. It allows your body to use glucose more effectively by increasing the sensitivity of your cells to insulin. Additionally, aerobic exercise can decrease the amount of glucose entering your bloodstream after meals. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise per week.
If you eat a meal that you know is likely to raise your blood sugar, one of the best ways to balance that out is to take a walk after the meal. A moderate pace for 10-15 minutes should help to utilize the excess glucose in your bloodstream.
Eat At Regular Intervals
Do you skip meals or eat erratically throughout the day? Chances are you aren’t eating in a manner that supports good digestion. You need to sit down, chew well, and help your body properly process nutrients from food.
Eat smaller meals more often throughout the day than fewer large meals. This will provide steady energy rather than spikes followed by dips which can lead to unhealthy cravings later in the day.
Wellness starts with adequately managing our bodies’ natural balance, including blood-sugar levels. Following these tips can help everyone maintain healthy glucose levels to feel energized throughout the day. This can also help you avoid spikes or energy drops due to imbalances caused by an insufficient diet or lifestyle habits.