Articles

How to balance your blood sugar naturally

1st September 2016 | Written by Louise Blanchfield

Balancing blood sugar is important for so many aspects of your health. It helps you to cope with stress, to help prevent type 2 diabetes, it improves your physical and mental performance and helps you lose weight. So, what exactly is your blood sugar balance…

At any one time you have 1 teaspoon of sugar dissolved in your blood and your body will do just about anything to keep it that way. When you eat a meal, food is broken down to produce glucose (sugar) and that enters the bloodstream. Different types of food result in more or less glucose entering the bloodstream. In order to maintain glucose levels within the healthy range your body release insulin which moves glucose out of the blood into the cells that need it. However, when you eat a meal high in sugar your glucose levels rise far higher than you need in your cells and so insulin stores the excess in your liver and as fat. If you have a meal with more protein or fat and less sugar, you get less of a spike of sugar released into the bloodstream and if it doesn’t go above the healthy range then no glucose is stored as fat.

If you have had a high sugar meal, and a consequently high release of insulin, too much glucose is stored away and you then experience a drop in glucose levels beneath the healthy range and this results in the release of another hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is the ‘stress’ hormone, it signals your body to get ready to fight or run away from whatever danger is in front of you. This results in your body ‘shutting down’ all non – essential tasks such as digestion and prepares you for action but as a result this also prevents weight loss. So, if you eat high sugar foods you yo-yo from storing excess glucose as fat to then preventing weight loss as your sugar levels crash. And when you have low blood sugar that’s when you crave high sugar food, feel irritable and will eat anything convenient to hand.

So, how do you balance blood sugar levels?

  • Eat 3 meals a day – never skip a meal!
  • Eat protein at each meal – palm sized portion
  • Eat low GI fruits – pears, berries and apples
  • If eating higher GI fruits, bananas for example – have with a handful of nuts
  • Eat unrefined foods – vegetables, nuts, brown rice, wholemeal bread, legumes, seeds
  • Avoid and aim to eliminate refined foods – white bread, white pasta, white potatoes, cakes, biscuits, fizzy drinks, sugary foods, fruits juices, ready meals
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol, if consumed have with a meal as this reduces the effect on blood sugar levels
  • Exercise frequently
  • Decrease stress – remember stress releases cortisol which prevents weight loss
  • Add cinnamon to food

Balancing blood sugar isn’t just important for people wanting to lose weight. When blood sugar levels are too high it hinders the ability of the pancreas to produce insulin so can lead to diabetes and it damages arteries leading to a number of very serious conditions such as kidney disease, stroke, heart attack, nerve damage and slow wound healing.

So, it really is important for all of us to take notice of what we’re eating and how it effects this delicate balance. If you want to lose weight and keep it off join the Food Physio Weight Loss Group now to discover the secrets to lifelong weight loss. Make a change, feel the benefits!

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