- Improved sleep
- Increased fertility
- Decreased risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes
- Better hormone production and hormone balance
- Less PMS, less period pain, less period and menstrual issues full stop
- Improved mental clarity
- And every single system in the body from major to minor organs will work more effectively
So, as we know, when we consume food containing carbohydrates, these carbohydrates are broken down into glucose and our blood sugar levels rise. Our bodies then secrete insulin, a hormone, which brings blood sugar back down to a safe level. This is a normal, physiological response, but most of us are oftentimes requiring this insulin secretion multiple times a day because we’re snacking constantly on fruit, dates and peanut butter, chocolate etc, or intaking such vast loads of glucose (eg a huge bowl of pasta in one sitting) that huge quantities of insulin are needed which leaves us with a crash later on. What tends to happen is we then wake up with cravings for more carbs having slept badly and been unable to regulate our blood glucose effectively overnight, and the cycle starts again. All the while your hormones are suffering, your weight is suffering, your mood, skin etc.
The good news is that we don’t need to be saintly 100% of the time. Of course, that would be massively ideal, but I’m a realist. We have SO much temptation these days and also SO much stress - and when we’re stressed we crave sugar. So what I encourage clients to do is take the control back, learn some simple hacks around blood sugar regulation, and start reaping the benefits.
Disclaimer: The screenshots included are all from @glucosegoddess, a.k.a Jessie Inchauspe. Her instagram page, and recently published book, is a fantastic resource for anyone wanting to learn more about blood sugar.
1. Have a savory breakfast e.g. #eggsandveg
When we start our day with protein, fat and vegetables (you can even include a piece of toast here so long as you’ve got a good amount of protein and fat too) our blood sugar regulation is much better throughout the rest of the day. This is because we avoid the sugar high first thing, then the inevitable crash, followed by intense cravings.
The protein, savory breakfast is the number 1 thing I do with EVERYONE because it’s a really easy thing to change and to start noticing the benefits from. It doesn’t have to be eggs either, you can have any combination of good quality protein, fat, and veggies/carbs.
2. Add a starter of vegetables to your lunch and dinner
Eating some green vegetables before you consume your main meal helps to control the blood sugar spike. What we see from blood glucose monitoring isn’t only less of a spike, but a slower, more sustained rise in blood sugar. This is down to the extra fiber in the stomach that helps slow down the absorption of sugar. You can consume these veggies up to 90 minutes before your main meal too and still get the benefits. So for example if you’re going out to a restaurant and you’re not sure what the options will be, have a plate of greens with some apple cider vinegar and olive oil before you go.
3. Have a shot of apple cider vinegar, or any vinegar, before your meal.
The acetic acid in vinegar slows down the rate at which the stomach empties the food you've eaten into the small intestine, which in turn slows the breakdown of carbohydrates and gives the body more time to remove glucose from the blood. This ultimately reduces the spike in blood sugar you'd typically see after eating.
4. Gentle 10 min walk after meals
Exercise helps take glucose out of the blood and put it to use in the muscles, rather than store it in the liver or muscle or dump it into the blood - where it requires insulin to be regulated.
5. Eat fat not (high sugar) fruit
Protein and fat don’t trigger an insulin response, therefore they don’t elevate blood glucose at all. Not only that, but combined with carbohydrates they actually help flatten the glucose curve. A great tip for controlling blood glucose is to get more good quality fat in your diet. Snacking on nuts and seeds, cooking in coconut oil and grass-fed butter, dousing salads with extra virgin olive oil, drizzling tahini onto summer berries…
8Foods have a really wonderful range of high fat, high fibre snacks and paleo breads for you to try if you want to take back control of your blood sugar levels!
@gracekingswell Registered Nutritional Therapist