We have all been there - its 2:00pm and were a starving, "hangry", and tired. We want to reach for the quickest snack but we forgot to pack one so we opt for the vending machine and maybe grab a coffee. This sugary treat and coffee with sugar only wreaks more havoc on our bodies as we inundate it with more sugar.
Is this a reoccurring issue for you? If so, you might need to do some work on balancing your blood sugar levels.
How does blood sugar work? It starts off by consuming foods that contain sugar known as glucose which goes into our bloodstream. This glucose transported to our cells because it is needed for energy. Next hormones come into play. Insulin, which is actually a hormone, takes the amount of glucose we actually need and the rest gets stored as glycogen. When we start to abuse our body, insulin stops to respond properly and blood sugar levels increase. We want to make sure we keep blood sugar levels normal to avoid insulin resistance.
What are the long-term impacts? Unfortunately, blood sugar imbalances are not something you should take lightly. Over time you can become insulin resistant and long story short, development something as serious as type 2 diabetes. Although, that sounds dramatic, its becoming more common in today's society. Weight gain and obesity are also risks due to increased snacking and more food choices and being overweight and obese has its own risk factors.
What are things I can do to get back on track? Diet and nutrition play a huge role in this. There are some macronutrients (fats, carbs, proteins) you want to incorporate more of and some to be mindful of, as well as certain micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) that may be able to give you a helping hand. First be sure you are getting an adequate of protein in your diet. Having protein at each meal can help stabilize blood sugar levels and keep you fuller for longer, as well as healthy fats and fiber.
Then there are some other things you can include in your diet like a chromium supplement which has been shown to help stabilize blood sugar levels. Reducing processed, packaged and refined foods is a big step. These foods are not nutrient dense and are filled with multiple forms of sugar. Opt for grain-free breads, nut and seed based crackers, chickpea pasta, zucchini noodles and less cookies, candies, sandwiches, toast and buns.
Lastly, although the focus is on nutrition, sleeping, reducing stress and exercising are also important steps to take.
How might this look? Breakfast: eggs and veggies, protein coconut flour pancakes, or a nutrient dense smoothie. Snack: apple slices and almond butter, hard boiled egg and fruit or veggies, and hummus with veggies. For lunch you might want to consider packing something that can be eaten cold like a salad with roasted chicken, veggies and maybe some avocado. Then for dinner, having some roasted root vegetables baked with avocado oil, sea salt with a serving of spiced chickpeas or lentils. In good health,
Want to stay up to date on my latest blog posts, recipes and events? Sign up for my newsletter here!