Avoid Blood Sugar Spikes Naturally

Oh, the words "blood sugar." Does it conjure up visions of restrictive eating, diabetes medications, or insulin injections?

Simply put, 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 can't absorb the glucose and the excess keeps your blood sugar levels too high. You start to become pre-diabetic and metabolic syndrome can start to take hold.

However this doesn't have to lead to type 2 (or adult onset) diabetes. Lifestyle changes have been found to reverse this condition. 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. That comes from adopting a more plant-based diet, reliant on vegetables and fruit. Also, adding more beans and legumes for protein, and fiber too. Utilizing healthy omega 3 fats such as Extra Virgin Olive Oil, avocados, and nuts. Adding oily fish, such as salmon, and unsweetened yogurt. Sounds like the Mediterranean Diet a group of us are participating in right now. If you want to know more contact me and I will send you details on the next one.

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. The most unbelieveably easy recipe is at the end. Thanks, Janette Logan, for sharing this great snack.



Lifestyle for stable blood sugar

Exercise also helps to improve your insulin sensitivity, 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? And many of you who have walked with me know I believe in getting regular exercise!

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.

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.


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 go awry, causing serious health issues, if left unmanaged.

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


Recipe: Cinnamon Orange Slices

This is so simple it is impossible not to try to make this. Love this snack!

(1) Orange

Cinnamon

Slice the orange into rounds.

Sprinkle with cinnamon

Optional: A drizzle of honey


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