Do you feel faint or dizzy if you go without food for more than 3-4 hours?
Do you get headaches if you do not eat for long periods of time?
Or do you have difficulty concentrating without a sugar pick me up? Chances are you are riding the blood sugar rollercoaster.
This means you could have blood sugar imbalances. It means your body is unable to regulate your blood sugar sufficiently, making it harder for you to concentrate, making you more irritable and making you crave sugar or starch throughout the day.
An underestimated key to our health and well-being is this blood sugar level regulation, and learning to manage it better will lead to improved moods, concentration and energy levels. Making you ready to take on the day, and maybe the world.
Blood sugar levels rise as all the carbohydrate foods we eat are digested or broken down into glucose and absorbed into our bloodstream.
Blood carries glucose around the body to supply all cells with the fuel they need, glucose is burned to create energy.
The pancreas produces insulin in response to rising blood sugar levels and insulin facilitates the transport of sugar from the blood into the cells. Excess blood sugar levels stimulate the pancreas to overproduce insulin, putting pressure on the pancreas and making cells insulin resistant. When this cycle happens over and over again, our cells become tired and stop listening to insulin, which leads to insulin resistance, an early warning sign of diabetes.
Signs that you may have blood sugar imbalances
• Irritability, mood swings
• Sugar cravings
• Anxiety, Nervousness
• Headaches, Dizziness
• Excessive sweating
• Crying spells, Inability to cope
• Inability to sleep or broken sleep
In a nutshell you want to avoid foods that cause your blood sugars to rise and fall quickly, you want food that will sustain your blood sugars and keep you on an even keel throughout the day.
Avoiding high sugar, processed foods and avoiding stimulants can help this.
Remember the higher the high the lower the low!
- Eat every 3-4 hours and include protein with every meal and snack. This helps you feel fuller for longer. When we skip meals, we’re skipping fuel, and our blood sugar levels will naturally drop. When our blood sugar levels are low, we’ll struggle to be on our game mentally, physically, and even emotionally (ever experienced being “hangry”? hungry/angry?). We’re also more likely to make poor food choices, craving sugary treats which pick back up our energy levels.
- Try to eat within an hour of waking. To continue to keep your blood sugar levels stable make sure to eat regularly throughout the day, and include a mid-morning or afternoon snack if this works well for you. Always include a protein and healthy fat. These statiating macronutrients are sure to keep your blood sugars stable
- Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates
They are the main culprits of blood sugar spikes. Refined and processed foods cause your blood sugar levels to rise and can contribute to the toxic burden on your body. Refined foods are putting more pressure on your liver to remove them from your system. If your diet is predominantly processed you probably do not have enough of the nutrients needed to support the liver in the detoxification process
- Get your fats and proteins in
Healthy fats provide long term stable energy, unlike high GI sugary foods that create an energy spike. Protein gives you that satisfied feeling. Proteins, fats and carbs make a good team.
- B Vitamins
are known as the anti -stress vitamins and are especially important for glucose metabolism, making sure you have enough of these in your diet will help keep your blood sugar levels stable.
- Prioritise sleep
Sleep deprivation can make you crave stimulants and sugary foods that give you a quick energy boost but fail to maintain your blood sugar levels
- Reduce stimulants
Coffee can wreak havoc on blood sugar levels and its diuretic effect can cause the loss of potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc and other minerals
Alcohol is a stimulant that can contribute to unbalanced blood sugars and can affect mood and sleep
- Wholegrains (wholewheat pasta, oats, brown rice, quinoa, rye & millet)
- Beans & lentils
- Fresh fruits and vegetables as some fruit can spike blood sugar
- Nuts and seeds
These are all naturally low GI and help stabilise blood sugar levels