5 Easy Steps for Balanced Blood Sugar
Blood sugar imbalances may be affecting you in many ways you never suspected. They can leave you feeling lightheaded and nauseous, not to mention downright moody. Blood sugar imbalances aren’t just bad for your mood though — imbalanced blood sugar can also cause your hormones to fluctuate wildly.
Nutritionists now know that balancing your blood sugar is crucial to your overall health, affecting more than just hunger. Read on to better understand the ins and outs of blood sugar balancing, and learn some tips for gaining better control of how you feel from the time you wake to the time you call it a day just by managing your blood sugar.
The Importance of Blood Sugar Balance
When you think about blood sugar balancing, what comes to mind? For most, it’s probably diabetes, while others may be more familiar with the negative health impacts of low blood sugar. No matter what blood sugar issue you may have, if your blood sugar is either too high or too low, it’s not a good thing. It’s very important that your blood sugar levels to be balanced for the sake of your overall health.
Having chronic blood sugar imbalance can lead to insulin resistance, and eventually diabetes. Having chronically low blood sugar (usually caused by things like skipping meals) can also significantly impact your energy levels and cognitive function.
Signs You May Be Suffering From a Blood Sugar Imbalance
- Constant craving for sweets
- Irritability after skipping a meal
- Feeling lightheaded after skipping a meal
- Frequently feeling shaky
- Blurred vision
- Increased thirst
- Poor memory or cognitive function
- Increased urination
- Difficulty losing weight
- Reliance on caffeine to get you through the day
- Feeling fatigued after eating
Tips to Better Manage Your Blood Sugar
#1 Meal Plan
Meal planning can be super helpful for making sure you are fueling your body with the foods it needs to function at its best. Supporting balanced blood sugar is just one of the many good reasons to plan your meals. When you take the time to plan and then prep the foods you are going to eat throughout the week, you will be less likely to skip meals or to eat something on the fly. Try to plan out your meals weekly and meal prep as much as possible to help keep yourself on track.
#2 Focus on Whole Foods
Whole and nutrient-dense foods — the ones that don’t come with nutrition labels — are ideal. We’re talking fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and organic and grass-fed animal products. When you ditch the packaged and processed foods, you will naturally be able to gain better control of your blood sugar levels as a whole. Natural whole foods are nutrient-dense and don't come with added sugar (or other preservatives and additives). Another tip here is to shop the perimeter of the grocery store, as this is where you are going to find most of the whole foods and your dietary staples. Skip the middle aisles as much as possible!
#3 Enjoy Enough Healthy Fat
Many people worry about eating foods that are high in fat. But if you follow our page at all, you know healthy fat is essential to overall health. In fact, our brains are made up of nearly 60% fat, and fat plays a critical role in hormone balance. Eating healthy fats from avocados, nuts, seeds, coconut and olive oil with your meals can also help slow the release of glucose in the bloodstream which will help control blood sugar levels while also helping you feel full for longer periods of time. It’s a win, win! So, strive to add a healthy fat to each meal, your blood sugar levels will stay stable much longer, and you will be less inclined to reach for that dessert after dinner.
#4 Get Enough Sleep
There are so many important reasons to make sure you are getting enough quality sleep each night, one of which is that sleep impacts blood sugar. As it turns out, a lack of sleep can seriously impact your hormone balance and may even cause food cravings for the foods that can cause blood sugar spikes. You may also be hungrier after a night of sloppy sleep. So, make sleep a priority, and strive to get 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night.
#5 Boost Gut Health
Poor gut health can be linked to most health conditions, since the gut is central to the overall health of the body, and blood sugar balance is no exception here. If you are suffering from imbalanced blood sugar levels, it’s important to boost your digestion as the two are interconnected. A diet high in sugar is not only bad for your blood sugar, but it’s also bad for your gut, and too much sugar can lead to candida which has been linked to imbalanced blood sugar. To help support gut health, limit sugar, enjoy probiotic-rich foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, and reduce stress, and take a high quality, soil based probiotic. Unlike other probiotics that must be refrigerated or that relay on undesirable coatings and chemicals to keep cultures alive, soil based organisms (SBO probiotics) are naturally acclimated to conditions like moisture, heat and air exposure. Research shows that taking probiotics along with healthy fats helps facilitate the transit of active cultures through the stomach, so look for one with added flaxseed and MCT oils to their formula to further safeguard their probiotics and help restore balance to your digestive system.
The Bottom Line
Blood sugar balancing is more important than most recognize or acknowledge for their overall health. Not only does having imbalance blood sugar levels cause moodiness, cravings for the wrong foods, and some uncomfortable symptoms like nausea, but it can also impact your energy, and lead to insulin resistance over the long term.
Try implementing these tips to harness your blood sugar levels to help you feel your best each day, with more balanced energy and mood each day. Your friends and family will thank you!