Tips for Keeping Your Blood Sugar In Check
"As your blood sugar crashes, it drags down your mood, energy levels, and physical and mental stamina."
Watch Dr. Nancy Lin, PhD discuss some of the best ways to manage your blood sugar with the latest information and tips that can really change your life!
This is Part 2 in her series on blood sugar management. Make sure to check out Part 1 as well to learn the best blood sugar balancing snacks.
- 00:51: Review of Part 1: How blood sugar affects the body
- 01:40: Low blood sugar can slowly erode the memory cells in your brain
- 02:19: What is pre-diabetes?
- 04:00: How to get your blood sugar back in balance
- 04:16: Unhealthy snacking is one of the biggest causes of high blood sugar
- 05:00: Carbs have the greatest impact on your blood sugar
- 05:18: Avoid simple carbs
- 05:35: Instead eat complex carbs
- 06:52: What fats to avoid
- 07:15: Follow the anti-inflammatory diet
- 08:03: Take the right supplements to keep blood sugar and inflammation healthy
- 09:20: Get 30 minutes or more of exercise daily
- 09:57: Get 7 - 8 hours of deep, quality sleep
What Blood Sugar Imbalance Does to Your Body
With more than 100 million people either diabetic or pre-diabetic in the United States, blood sugar is a big issue!
Today, you're going to learn some of the best ways to manage your blood sugar. These tips will change your life!
A Quick Blood Sugar Review
Blood sugar swings can have negative affects on both your mind and body. 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 high, so are you! You can feel on top of the world with energy to spare. But what goes up, must come down, and as your blood sugar crashes, it drags down your mood, energy levels, and physical and mental stamina.
Low blood sugar can even slowly erode the memory cells in your brain. In fact, a recent medical theory has emerged that suggests Alzheimers may be a new type of diabetes, called Type 3 Diabetes. This means your memory cells become progressively less sensitive to their main energy source, glucose, which they need a steady supply of in order to function properly. This impaired response to glucose causes memory loss, and eventually could cause memory cells to die.
If you want to find out if you are pre-diabetic (as a whopping 80 million people in the US are), you can find out. You can also implement some changes to prevent it from turning into full-blown diabetes before it's too late.
So what is pre-diabetes?
It's diagnosed by taking a fasting blood sugar test that yields a higher score than normal (under 100 mg/dL), but below the diabetic level. If your blood sugar levels are above 100, but still below 125, this is pre-diabetes. When you have pre-diabetes, your bodies insulin does not effectively shuttle enough blood sugar into your cells. In response, your brain signals a demand for higher insulin production from your pancreas. Eventually, these overworked pancreas cells burn out, at which point you now have full blown type 2 diabetes, and need to receive insulin injections.
Pre-diabetes, left uncorrected, can also lead to a host of other issues besides diabetes, such as weight gain, cardiovascular disease, stroke, kidney problems, loss of vision, neuropathy and even Cancer.
How to get your blood sugar back to normal quickly
If your blood sugar is unbalanced, there are things you can do to get it back under control so you can feel more balanced, energetic, and even happier throughout the day.
Part 1 addressed how unhealthy snacking is one of the biggest causes of high blood sugar. We talked about blood-sugar raising snacks, such as processed carb foods like pretzels and chips, white bread, sweets, soft drinks, or even fruits sweetened in yogurt. Even so-called "healthy" energy bars are often packed with sugar.
Foods and their affects on blood sugar.
Carbs, proteins, and fats are the macro-nutrients that provide your brain and body with energy.
Carbs have the greatest impact on your blood sugar by far. This is because carbs are broken down in your gut into glucose and absorbed into your blood stream. But there are multiple types of carbs.
Simple carbs include starchy foods such as bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, and breakfast cereals. These are the types of carbs you want to avoid. All simple carbs convert rapidly into blood sugar.
Complex carb foods include vegetables and beans. These convert slowly into blood sugar and are much healthier for you.
Food scientists have constructed the glycemic index, which places a value on foods by how fast they cause blood sugar to rise. Low GI foods, with an index score under 55, which includes most vegetables, beans, fruits, nuts, and whole grains (including whole grain pasta) are good for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. High GI scores (over 70) are to be avoided or minimized. This includes white flour foods such as white bread, white rice, and other simple refined carbs, plus potatoes, sweets, and more. Food experts like to say, "if a carb is white, it's not quite right!" Obviously there are exceptions, such as cauliflower.
The bottom line is, maintaining a healthy intake of complex carb foods and staying with foods in the low-to-medium range of the Glycemic Index can help prevent blood sugar spiking, and greatly reduce the risk of pre-diabetes turning into diabetes.
When it comes to fat in your diet, it's important to avoid high fat intake, especially trans fats, which are found in many fried foods, as well as saturated fats, and those found in dairy or red meats. These fats can drive up blood sugar levels.
What You Can Do
First, follow Dr. Nancy's anti-inflammatory and blood sugar balancing diet. Inflammatory foods can raise your blood sugar, and conversely, high blood sugar raises your body's inflammation levels. It's a vicious cycle! This diet addresses both.
Additionally, taking certain supplements, such as Smarter Curcumin, can help keep your blood sugar and inflammation in a normal, healthy range.
While you're enjoying the extra energy from all your decreased blood sugar and inflammation, here are a few more steps you can take!
It seems like stress management is easier said than done, but there are super simple things you can do that only take a moment. Start by taking a few deep, slow, intentional breaths. Put your hand on your belly, inhale through your nose, feel your belly rise, and exhale. If you are able to find time, a few minutes of yoga or a short walk may help you de-stress. Or even just watch some reruns of your favorite comedy!
This is a fabulous way to lower stress and inflammation. 30 minutes or more of body movement each day, can produce an anti-inflammatory cellular response in your body, and calm the central nervous system. One of the best forms of exercise is walking. Go take a brisk walk! Or take a bike ride, a swim, get on a treadmill... whatever you do to move your body that you enjoy, do that thing!
It is critical to get 7 - 8 hours of deep, quality sleep. It's the quality that matters more than the quantity. This will be hard for some people. Try drinking chamomile, rooibos, or lemon tea with ginger to soothe the digestive system and help you relax. Aromatherapy can help as well. Diffuse lavender, or sandalwood oil for a couple of hours before you go to bed. Try some relaxing instrumental music to calm the mind down, and try a good, natural sleep supplement, like Smarter Sleep.
If you are seriously thinking about your lifestyle and health and want to start implementing Dr. Nancy's four-step program, today is the day to start!