First, how not to balance blood sugar levels...
Remember when you were really young and your parents left that block of chocolate out for the babysitter. While they were at the door seeing her off that chocolate was staring you down and you thought “if I just have one bit Mum won’t notice”.
One bit turned into two...
and then “what the bloody hell surely mum didn’t notice she hadn’t eaten the lot and what’s up with that anyway. IT’S CARAMELLO CHOCOLATE!” so you finished it off.
A whole block.
All right! That was me not you!
I was in so much trouble and I paid big time for it. I spent the whole night with a headache, wide awake and craving more sugar in the morning.
High blood sugar can do that. To keep your blood sugar balanced it's best not to eat whole blocks of chocolate and here are my top seven tips for maintaining that balance.
During moderate exercise,
such as walking your muscles use more glucose, the sugar in your bloodstream. This can help to lower your blood sugar levels and make the insulin in your body work better. Insulin helps your body turn glucose into energy or store it in your muscles, fat cells, and liver to use later when your body needs it.
The benefits continue for hours after the exercise.
Carbohydrates have the biggest impact.
Our bodies break down carbs into sugars and insulin move the sugars to the cells that require it. Too many carbs can break down this process and blood glucose or sugar levels will rise. Lowering your carb intake can improve your blood sugar levels. It is particularly good at helping those with type 2 diabetes.
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Water helps your kidneys to flush out excess blood sugar through your urine.
Having high blood sugar levels can also increase your risk of dehydration. Drinking water helps to rehydrate the blood when the body tries to remove the excess glucose.
Fibre particularly soluble fibre,
slows carb digestion and the absorption of sugar, therefore, blood sugar levels rise more gradually after eating.
The hormones glucagon and cortisol are released during times of stress causing blood sugar levels to rise.
Exercise, yoga and meditation can all help you to relax and so reduce stress stopping these hormones from wreaking havoc.
Lack of sleep has been shown to increase blood sugar levels,
and so increase your risk of diabetic issues. To help keep your blood sugar levels in balance try to get at least 7 hours sleep each night.
Sleep and blood sugar levels are closely related in that blood sugar levels rise with lack of sleep. To keep you blood sugar levels balanced you need plenty of sleep.
Avoid the vicious cylce.
Too much stress in your life causes the rise of the hormones glucagon and cortisol in your blood which in turn messes with your sleep and so raises your blood sugar levels. Double whammy stress and lack of sleep both raising your blood sugar levels and so the start of possible health issues.
Foods listed on the glycemic index,
are ranked according to their affect on our blood glucose level. The lower down the index the food is the slower the rise in blood glucose levels when you eat it.
It is also important to note that while eating foods lower on the index is important the quantity is just as important. So while sweet potato is low GI eating a shit ton of sweet potato chips is going to spike your insulin.
Maintaining normal blood sugar levels is a very important part of avoiding long-term health issues, managing your weight and just feeling good. Blood sugar imbalance is at the heart of many chronic health issues and is an epidemic that can be easily avoided with better nutrition and self-care.