- November 29, 2018
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- Posted by: admin
A steady, even blood sugar level is the key to a healthy body. Unfortunately, many people ride the blood-sugar rollercoaster. They start their day with a bowl of sugar-laden cereal, crave something sweet after lunch and are gagging for a sweet treat, like chocolate when 3pm comes around. These constant energy lifts and crashes are signs of imbalance.
What does GI mean?
GI stands for Glycaemic Index. Its a measure of how quickly blood-sugar levels rise after eating certain foods. Low-GI foods release glucose slowly, keeping your energy and mood stable, and assisting weight loss along the way. Carbs boost our ‘feel good’ brain chemicals, serotonin and endorphin. As humans, we naturally know this; that’s why we crave carbs when were feeling tired or have low energy. The trick is to choose ones that will satisfy us for longer. To stay off the blood-sugar rollercoaster, always eat carbs along with some form of protein or good fat.
How Blood Sugar Works
When we consume high-GI foods (like processed and refined carbs), we release glucose, causing a rapid spike in our blood-sugar levels. Some of that glucose is used for energy, however our body only needs a limited amount to function so the excess is stored as fat. After the glucose has been distributed (and after if spikes the blood sugar), we crash quickly, causing fatigue, hunger and irritation. Its a fast rise and an even faster come-down. When our energy is low, we crave carbohydrates, caffeine and sugar to pick us up. And then the cycle starts all again.
What about Insulin?
Insulin is secreted by the pancreas and is in charge of transporting glucose into the cells for energy. The problem is, its a fat storage hormone. So when you regularly have excessive glucose (from refined carbs), the insulin becomes ‘deaf’ to the glucose which means the insulin stops effectively transporting glucose to the cells. This leads to high glucose in the blood or high blood sugar which is the precursor to diabetes. Insulin also blocks the effects of the leptin hormone, which signals to our brain that we are full. That’s why people with a high-sugar diet tend to overeat – they literally don’t know when to stop.
Thanks to the rise of processed foods (and very smart marketing), there are record numbers of people with diabetes. That’s why its so important to keep your blood sugar in check. The benefits of a stable blood sugar level include:
- increased energy
- stable mood
- improved concentration
- weightloss/stable weight
- reduced cravings
- hormonal balance
- minimised risk of disease
How to balance out blood-sugar levels
Some steps to help you balance your blood sugar levels and get off the rollercoaster for good.
- Eat protein with every meal
- Enjoy low GI foods like (veggies, protein, wholegrain, fruits and good fats) to allow the slow release of energy
- Eat regularly. Switch to 5-6 small meals a day.
- Add good fats such as avocado, tahini, olive oil to your meals, particularly lunch. This should reduce your sugar cravings.
- Include a healthy, protein-rich snack in between meals
- Eat breakfast within an hour of waking up and make sure it contains protein and healthy fat.
- Avoid sugar and refined carbs (e.g white bread, pasta and lollies)
- Limit yourself to 2 portions of fruit a day. Berries are the best choice
- Avoid soft drinks, fruit juice and sweeteners.
- Manage your stress. Our stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol, are directly linked to blood sugar. Stress does not do your body any favours.
- Reduce stimulants like alcohol, caffeine and nicotine.
- Have a teaspoon of ground cinnamon a day.
SUPPLEMENTS THAT HELP REGULATE BLOOD SUGAR
Support yourself with chromium, magnesium, vitamin B complex and vitamin C.
Start adding more dark green leafy greens to your plate. Think kale, spinach, broccoli, buk choy and rocket. Greens are loaded with magnesium, the nutrient that regulates blood sugar.