"With a little bit of practice and prep, you and your whole family will be healthier."
Having unstable blood sugar levels can lead to mood swings, put stress on your adrenal glands, generate hormone imbalances, and contribute to joint pain. Plus it can cause weight gain, too!
Learn how to manage your blood sugar for more energy and happier moods with Dr. Nancy Lin, PhD, holistic nutritionist in this video.
- 00:20: How blood sugar effects the body
- 01:52: Sugar is your body's main fuel
- 03:10: What is the Glycemic Index
- 04:32: What about Diabetes?
- 04:56: Pre-diabetes is a wake-up call to your body
- 06:00: The affects of snacking on blood sugar
- 07:46: Start by learning how to snack smartly
- 08:29: 11 blood sugar balancing snack ideas
- 08:40: Nuts and seeds
- 10:19: Hard boiled eggs
- 11:25: Low-glycemic smoothie
- 12:16: Veggies and hummus
- 13:38: Quinoa snack bowls
- 16:06: Roasted chickpeas
- 17:01: Celery sticks with almond butter
- 17:40: Salmon jerky
- 18:09: Tuna salad in half an avocado
- 18:46: Chia seed pudding
- 19:42: Turkey wraps with romaine hearts
- 10:05: Bonus snack - egg muffins
What Blood Sugar Imbalance Does to Your Body
You've heard the term before: "blood sugar." It sounds sweet, but it's not so innocent. It can run, and even ruin your life. There's probably no other chemical in your body, even hormones, that effects so many things from energy levels and stamina, to joints, heart, and even memory!
When your blood sugar is too high or too low, you can get forgetful, moody, irritable, and stressed. High blood sugar also affects your weight, including added fat around the midsection, hips, and thighs.
Unfortunately, the average American diet does not help keep blood sugar normal or healthy. In fact, the inflammatory diet most Americans consume makes it even worse.
What is Blood Sugar?
Sugar, or glucose, is your body's main fuel. It's absolutely necessary for powering the cells in your brain and body. When it's normal, so are you, both mentally and physically! Healthy blood sugar levels are typically referred to as being "within a healthy range."
The Glycemic Index
Your blood sugar levels are based on multiple factors. Of course, sugar and sweets in your diet will spike your blood sugar. So will processed carbs, sweetened drinks, and white flour-based foods like bread. Other things can raise your blood sugar as well, including alcohol. What many people don't know is that stress can raise your blood sugar! This is because stressful situations drive up the cortisol, a stress hormone that drives up your blood sugar.
But the biggest effect on blood sugar, is food. Scientists have developed a method for ranking the impact of foods on your blood sugar, and it's called the Glycemic Index. Quite simply, the glycemic index is a value assigned to foods based on how slowly or quickly these foods cause increases in your blood glucose level.
On the very low end of the glycemic index, we see vegetables, beans, and many protein sources. In the middle, is fruits, whole grains, and pasta. On the high end are cereals, potatoes, white breads, white flour-based chips and pretzels, and table sugar including soft drinks and candy. At the highest level of the index is a food many may find surprising: rice cakes! As a rule, you want to keep your foods in the middle to lower end of the index.
So what about Diabetes?
Diabetes is caused by insulin resistance, in which continuously high blood sugar levels make it extremely hard for sugar, the fuel that powers the cells, to get into the cells. But you don't have to be a Diabetic to have insulin resistance or excessively high blood sugar levels. There is something called pre-diabetes, which is a wake-up call or alarm, to let you know you're on the path toward diabetes. Eighty-six million Americans have pre-diabetes, where their sugar levels are higher than they should be, while not being in the Diabetes range. If you are pre-diabetic and don't do anything about it, you're on your way to Type 2 Diabetes. This is serious! But it's not too late to turn things around. The body is smart, and can change in a few weeks.
Before we talk about ways to manage your blood sugar, which will help you balance your mood and energy levels, improve weight, and lower inflammation in the body, let's look at what drives up blood sugar levels.
What Drives Up Blood Sugar Levels?
Bad Snack Choices
The average American snacks on foods like pre-packaged cookies, chips, and crackers. These are the snacks that are easily available and easily accessible to people on the go. Even a gluten-free pre-packaged cookie is chock-full of sugar! Some of these foods are even marketed to us as healthy, but they aren't. They are notoriously high on the glycemic index because the gluten and sugars are replaced with ultra fine, highly processed carbs that get into your blood stream almost instantaneously and cause dangerous spikes to blood sugar levels. It's preventable, but pervasive. Take a new look at what you reach for when you're hungry. Learn how to snack smartly to get your blood sugar issues under control. This will take some discipline to change your habits!
You CAN snack smart on foods that you enjoy, that also help support blood sugar balance, without throwing your whole body out of whack.
11 Blood-Sugar Balancing Snacks to Add to Your Diet
1. Nuts and seeds
Nuts such as cashews and sprouted almonds are a fantastic way to keep your appetite in check and your blood sugar levels stable. Nuts are rich in healthy fats, and they are not going to cause a suddens spike in blood sugar followed by a crash. They are also rich in vitamins and minerals that provide your body the nourishment it needs to power through the day. Walnuts in particular are high in plant-based omega 3 fatty acids, and vitamin E, both of which help reduce inflammation in the body. Almonds are also great, and Brazilian nuts have high amounts of high quality magnesium, which is essential for hundreds of body processes. Try picking up raw, unsalted nuts and keeping them on hand for when you get hungry.
2. hard boiled eggs
Eggs are excellent sources of protein, high in omega 3 fatty acids, and are a perfect balancing snack for any time of day, especially paired with an avocado. Enjoying a fat, a protein, and a complex carbohydrate for a snack is an ideal way to keep your blood sugar levels stable, and to prevent any sudden blood sugar spikes, as the fat and the protein will help to stabilize the absorption of carbohydrates.
A low-glycemic smoothie is a great way to get tons of nutrition into one convenient snack. The trick here is to avoid adding too many fruits. Try to balance the carbs, protein, and fat in your smoothie to keep your blood sugar in check. Try this great smoothie out!
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1/2 cup mixed berries
- a handful of fresh spinach
- 1 tsp ground flax seed or chia seeds
- 1 scoop collagen protein
- 1 dollop almond butter
This will help you keep full and energized throughout your day.
4. Veggies and hummus
Carrots, radishes, cucumbers, etc. can all be dipped in hummus for a delicious and healthy snack. You can pack it in your lunch and take it anywhere. It's a great way to satisfy your craving for something crunchy without reaching for chips. You can also pair the vegetables with tahini sauce, a blend of sesame seed butter and garbanzo beans. It is is a great source of fiber, which helps manage blood sugar as well.
5. Quinoa snack bowls
Quinoa is super versatile, and you can eat it sweet, with fresh fruits, or savory, with curry, spices, and herbs. It's a wonderful complex carbohydrate that is rich in plant-based protein and fiber, both of which are super important for keeping your blood sugar levels in check. It's inexpensive, easy to make, and delicious. Try making your own snack bowl with quinoa and diced vegetables, or make it for breakfast with pecans and blueberries. You can even add sweet potatoes and fish, or eggs and avocado. There are endless options!
6. Roasted chickpeas
This is so easy to do and they are full of fiber and so good for you. Roast them until they're crunchy and sprinkle with salt and turmeric for added flavor.
7. Almond butter on celery sticks
This is an incredibly easy go-to, and kids love them! You can add raisins for fun. Celery has a great crunch, and the fiber helps your body absorb less of the fat from the almond butter.
8. Salmon jerky
Salmon jerky is very high in protein and really easy to make! Just take salmon strips and put them into a dehydrator if you have one, or a toaster oven or regular oven. Cook until the moisture is gone, and you have a yummy jerky.
9. Tuna Salad in an Avocado
Just whip up an easy tuna salad, and try using lemon or lime, pepper, salt, and a little pickle juice instead of mayonnaise. Put it in half an avocado for a tasty, filling snack.
10. Chia seed pudding
This is a delicious afternoon snack that will be popular with the kids too. Soak chia seeds in coconut milk overnight in a glass jar. The next morning, they will have soaked up the moisture and become plump, gelatinous and chewy. Spoon into a bowl for a delicious pudding and top it off with blueberries for an extra brain boost.
11. Turkey wraps with romaine hearts
Just take some turkey, add asparagus if you like, and wrap in romaine for a delicious bread-free sandwich.
Bonus snack! Bake eggs and veggies in a small muffin tin, for a delicious egg muffin. Use spinach, bell peppers, or other vegetables for savory snack full of protein that will not spike your blood sugar.
Healthy snacking is not hard! With a little bit of practice and prep, you and your whole family will be healthier. It is a major life-changer and it can really balance both your blood sugar and your moods. As detrimental as blood sugar imbalance can be, it's incredibly important to take steps to manage it. Don't forget to take Smarter Curcumin every day. Curcumin is not only a powerful inflammation fighter, it helps manage blood sugar by improving insulin sensitivity, helping your blood to absorb sugar better, which lowers your overall blood sugar levels.