Blood Sugar Balancing Act
It’s that time of year again when even the healthiest of health food fanatics occasionally slip up a bit in the area of resisting a sweet treat here and there. Moderation is key, but it’s our ability to keep our blood sugar levels balanced that is crucial to a healthy and prosperous life. This topic hits a bit too close to home for me because diabetes is the number one health challenge in several generations of my family. From 1994 to 2008, I was pre-diabetic and monitored my blood sugar levels closely. Fortunately, I found the magic combination of superfoods and habits that brought it (and kept it) under control for the past 10 years, but that’s a topic for a future blog. Today, I’m just going to focus on a few simple foods to have in your regular diet to help balance your blood sugar levels in order to help prevent disruption of your body’s functions and help your overall health.
- Greens: You can never eat too many greens. For the best blood sugar benefits, go for nutrient-dense, low-carb greens like spinach, kale, and broccoli. These greens are also very rich in protein and calcium, which help your body in multiple areas. You can toss these greens in salads with olive oil and chunks of salmon, tuna, or chicken. Studies have shown that these three vegetables contribute to dramatic improvement in patients who are constantly battling with their blood sugar.
- Low fructose fruits: Fruit is always a must, but for blood sugar-specific management, choose fruits that are low fructose, such as cantaloupe, raspberries, blueberries, kiwi, and blackberries. You can snack on them throughout the day, or toss them in your salad, smoothies, or acai bowls. I also use them in my Greek yogurt for a naturally sweetened dessert!
- Protein: Protein is essential for slowing down glucose absorption in your body, which helps regulate your blood sugar levels. Add foods to your diet that are packed with protein, like wild salmon and other types of fish, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, eggs, grass fed beef, and other types of lean meat. Make your diet interesting by including some of your favorites. If you love peanut butter, try snacking on celery sticks dipped in all-natural peanut butter. This snack is rich in protein and only contains the good kind of fat. Remember; everything in moderation. Too much protein can actually become sugar in your blood, creating a condition called gluconeogenesis; 40 to 70 grams of protein is enough for a day.
- Herbs and Spices: Herbs and spices are natural supplements for balancing your blood sugar levels. They not only add flavor to your dishes but they may also help your hormones lower your blood sugar. Some spices, like turmeric, contain anti-inflammatory properties, which help in balancing out your sugar.
- Low-calorie drinks: Cut out sugary, high-calorie drinks from your diet. Add drinks like cinnamon tea, lemon water, coconut water, and cucumber juice in your daily routine.
- Whole grain foods: Whole grain foods that are also rich in protein, like millet and quinoa, provide and store energy without causing spikes in your blood sugar levels.
- Beans: Beans are a good source of protein, low carb, and rich in fiber; all important factors in balancing your blood sugar. Hummus, lentils and garbanzo beans are good examples and great dietary choices. Remember to soak them the night before and rinse them to promote easier digestion.
- Nuts: Nuts like almonds and walnuts contain healthy amounts of fiber, protein, and healthy fats, and are a great low carb snack idea.
Try balancing your blood sugar the natural way by changing the way you eat. You’ll be amazed at the difference!
If you would like to learn more about my one on one coaching, or you just want to get clear on a few of your goals, schedule a quick 15 minute call with me at calendly.com/gwynmorasko
Yours in health and wellness,