Despite its bad rap, blood sugar is an integral part of your body chemistry. When it’s functioning like it should be, your blood sugar is responsible for giving you an abundance of energy and a healthy, thriving immune system. When it isn’t, however, you’re left feeling like a sluggish psychopath with serious hanger management issues.
Maintaining balanced blood sugar levels doesn’t have to be difficult. A few lifestyle changes and ingredient switches will ensure you never have to apologise for what you said when you were hangry again.
Here are seven ways to make sure your blood sugar is always kept in check:
Flo Living creator Alissa Vitti recommends starting the day with a good-sized, protein-rich and fat-packed breakfast and says that this is essential for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels throughout the course of the day. It restocks your depleted glycogen stores from your overnight fast and promises to properly fuel you for the day ahead.
We know as well as the next person that caffeine is a busy professional’s kryptonite. Nothing eases you into the day quite like a warming cup of caffeinated goodness, but it could be having adverse consequences on your blood sugar. With that sought-after caffeine-hit inevitably comes a post-coffee slump, which is a direct consequence of your blood sugar being outta whack. Herbal tea, anyone?
Our favourite F word! (OK, top 3). Eating lots of fibre with every meal is great for reduced blood sugar as it helps to slow down the absorption of sugar by the body. This slow release into the bloodstream, means less of a dastardly insulin spike. Fibre also increases nutrient absorption, which means foods like black beans, lentils and a hella load of greens should become a mainstay of your diet.
You probably know by now, but not all carbs are created equal. High GI carbs such as rice cakes, white bread and most breakfast cereals are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, which creates a spike in blood sugar, followed by a plummet and a slump. Switching your carbs to lower GI options such as quinoa, wild rice and beans will prevent this dip, meaning you’ll feel fuller for longer and are less likely to suffer an attack of the LBSB (Low Blood Sugar Bitch!).
Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. If you know you tend to have a recurring 3pm hankering for a little summin’ summin’ from the vending machine; anticipate it by packing some blood sugar friendly snacks. Energy balls, nuts and seeds or some hummus and chopped veggies are the perfect choices to have on hand in order to beat your usual afternoon slump.
You’re probs bored to the back teeth of hearing about the health benefits of adequate rest and sleep, but it is essential for maintaining stable blood sugar levels. Plus, if you’re fatigued, you’re also more likely to reach for sugary or caffeinated foods and drinks to perk you up. And as already established, this will wreak havoc on your blood sugar balance. If you struggle, check out this tip to make you fall asleep in one minute. You’re welcome.
Sporteluxe’s resident nutritionist, Emma Cronin contends that the key to eating for slow release energy is simply to eat meals with the right balance of ingredients. This includes a mixture of good carbs to give you sustained energy, protein to provide that feeling of fullness, healthy fats for an energy-dense hit and fibre to slow down the release of carbs and sugar into the bloodstream. R.I.P. Hanger, your time here is officially up.