8 Tips For Healthy Blood Sugar Balance
One of the biggest medical scams out there is the reliance on false blood sugar readings to diagnose and prescribe blood stabilising drugs.
There was a time when fluctuating blood sugars were never a problem - when people would primarily embrace whole foods close to nature, for nourishment and to keep the body's systems functioning optimally.
Today, spikes and troughs in blood sugar are only a legitimate problem when caused by a poor diet, usually based on processed and refined foods.
The answer to bringing your blood sugar back into balance is not prescription drugs, as these will only cause side-effects and further health challenges.
Instead, why not embrace some simple tips and natural, common-sense solutions that will take care of the true 'cause' of the problem.
What Is Blood Sugar?
Often also referred to as 'blood glucose', blood sugar refers to the process by which your body converts digested food into useable energy in the bloodstream.
When you eat, your digestive system breaks down each different component of foods such as:
- Vitamins & nutrients
Whatever does not get used immediately, then gets stored in cells for use further down the track.
Spikes in blood sugar are caused by high levels of insulin in the bloodstream, which result from eating too many 'fast' sugars like refined sugar products, artificial sweeteners and refined carbohydrates such as white flour and white pasta.
This eventually wears out the pancreas, which is responsible for managing the production of insulin. Over time, this is what leads to conditions like chronic fatigue, weight gain and diabetes.
What Is Blood Sugar Level?
Your blood sugar level is the amount of sugar, or glucose, in your blood. It is also known as the serum glucose level and is expressed as millimoles per litre, abbreviated, mmol/l.
Blood glucose levels normally stay within narrow limits throughout the day at about four to eight mmol/l, but are higher after meals and usually lowest in the morning.
For reasons that are not well understood, when very high levels of blood glucose are present for years, damage of the small blood vessels can occur.
This, in turn, increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and related complications such as:
- Retinopathy (eye disease)
- Nephropathy (kidney disease)
- Neuropathy (nerve disease)
- Cardiovascular disease, such as heart attack, heart failure, hypertension, stroke and problems caused by poor circulation, such as gangrene, which is present in the worst cases.
Signs & Symptoms
You don’t necessarily need to measure your blood sugar with a ‘test’ to know that it’s out of balance.
There are distinct clues that your body will give you to indicate that your levels are either too high or too low…
High Blood Sugar (Hyperglycemia)
- Frequent urination
- Blurry vision
- Weight loss
Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia)
- Extreme hunger
- Restless sleep
- Shakiness & tremors
- Mood swings
- Vision issues
How To Balance Blood Sugar Levels
The single biggest determinant of your blood sugar is your diet.
As previously mentioned the quantity and types of carbohydrates you eat is the number 1 factor in terms of influencing your level.
The “Glycemic Index” is a measurement of how fast carbohydrates get converted to glucose. The idea is to avoid foods that are classified as “High GI” or 55 or more on this scale.
The more you eat, the more sugar you’ll absorb, so eating a mixture of foods, including fats and proteins at the same time as carbohydrates will help to slow down the absorption of sugar and assist with reducing ‘spikes’ in blood sugar levels.
In addition, the following 8 tips will also help you to both level out your blood sugars and prevent them from becoming too out-of-balance in the first place.
1. Eliminate Processed Foods & “Fast” Sugars
In addition to most of them being “lifeless", processed and packaged foods often contain much higher levels of refined sugar than you may have ever possibly imagined!
Here are some typical examples:
- Soft drinks & many bottled processed fruit juices
- White bread & pastries
- Cakes, biscuits & spreads
- Breakfast cereals
Apart from the refined sugar content, many also contain artificial sweeteners, colourings and preservatives which are also detrimental to your health!
Learn more in Cancer-Causing Chemicals In Supermarket Foods
Not only do these types of foods, high in “fast” man-made sugars, cause your blood sugar levels to spike very quickly and play havoc with your energy levels, they can also be highly addictive!
Plant-made or “slow” sugars on the other hand naturally give your cells exactly what they need and in the right amounts. So replacing any artificial or processed foods with fresh fruits and vegetables will help your body to function at its best and provide you with sustained energy without the peaks and troughs associated with refined “fast” sugars.
Learn more in The Truth About Sugar
2. Load Up on Vegetables & Legumes
Instead of sugary processed foods, fill your diet with an abundance and variety of fresh nutrient-rich vegetables and legumes which are also high in fibre. Not only will these gifts from nature’s table help you to avoid spikes they’ll also naturally work to bring your blood sugar levels into balance.
Some good vegetable choices include:
- Brussel Sprouts
- Sweet Potato
As well as being high in protein, the plentiful soluble fibre in beans and lentils is a boon to your blood sugar. Beans can help you balance blood sugar levels while providing steady slow-burning energy if you have insulin resistance, hypoglycemia or diabetes. The fibre in beans keeps blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal.
3. Consume ‘Good’ Fats Daily
Certain plant-derived “good” fats not only serve to slow down the release of glucose into your bloodstream but also make you feel fuller for longer which can help to prevent sugar cravings during the day.
Sources of healthy fats include:
4. Move From Refined Carbs to Whole Grains
In addition to swapping sugar-filled foods with fresh fruits and vegetables, it also pays to replace anything made with refined flour with whole grains which get 'slowly' converted to glucose by the body.
The sugar and chemical content aside, refined flour products also tend to spike blood sugar levels.
As always preference should be given to organic cultivation.
Healthy “Low GI” whole grains include:
- Brown Rice
5. Graze on Dried Fruit, Nuts or Pulse in between meals
The frequency of your eating can also have an impact on your blood sugar levels.
Eating smaller ‘meals’ or snacks every 3-5 hours during the day can help to balance out your levels and keep them steady.
Bigger, more infrequent servings of food will lead to markedly more shifts in your blood sugar levels.
As already mentioned whole foods that are high in protein and fat are good to add to your diet and can help to keep things balanced.
If you’re looking for the perfect low-medium GI snacks you can’t go past:
- Mixed nuts: Almonds, cashews, macadamias, pistachios & walnuts
- Dried Fruits: Organic Mango, Papaya, Pineapple & Apricots
- Pulse Sacred Meal
6. Increase Your Water Intake
By its nature water contains no carbohydrates so will not raise blood sugar levels at all.
Additionally, it enables the body to “flush out” excess glucose in the blood via urine, so kicking up your water intake will not only help your kidneys out but also keep you hydrated.
Make sure you drink is the cleanest possible source - a good quality filtered, natural spring or distilled water.
Learn more in Water: Nature’s Best & Why It’s Critical To Life
7. Eat at Least One Fermented Food Each day
Fermented foods contain "live cultures" or "probiotics" that are essential to the optimal functioning of your digestive system, but also for your overall health and wellbeing.
Recent studies also indicate that having a daily serving of fermented foods can actually help balance your blood sugar levels thanks to their lactic and acetic acids which can help inhibit low quality carbohydrates from turning into blood sugar.
8. Exercise 45 minutes per day
When you exercise your muscles use up glucose as a source of energy and will lower your blood sugar levels in the process. Additionally, post exercise, glucose is also used up by the body to help repair tissue.
Aim to do at least 30-60 minutes daily exercise such as:
- Bike riding
- Circuit Training
If you aren’t able to do any of those activities walking is also beneficial.
The Main Takeaway
Blood sugar balance is important to keep you energetic, happy, productive and to support quality sleep. When you have blood sugar imbalances, you'll usually experience either a brief sugar high or you'll be at the bottom of a crash.
Diet and exercise are the key factors in balancing blood sugar so that you can remain energised, nourished and avoid common health problems like chronic fatigue, diabetes, irritability and weight gain.
By following the tips shared here, you'll go a long way to getting your blood sugar back into balance without reliance on harmful synthetic medication.
Tolman Self Care.