Get off the Blood Sugar Roller Coaster Naturallyposted on 01/25/11 by lynn
Maybe you had a big lunch, ate that side of mashed potatoes, washed it all down with a Coke. For dessert, maybe you had just a cookie. Should be more than enough calories to last ‘til dinner. But what happens by early afternoon? Crash! Energy drains out you like water from a sink. So it’s back to the vending machine. More calories and more sugar to last you only a few more hours. By the end of the workday, and despite an extra cup of coffee (with extra cream and sugar), you’re yawning again.
We’ve all been there. This is bad blood sugar management at its worst. And where do all those extra carbs go? To belly bulge, no doubt thanks to insulin. Insulin is the hormone that stimulates uptake of blood sugar (glucose) into tissues and the hormone that sends excess dietary sugar straight to be produced into fat.
How can you get your body under control so you can have lasting energy and also lose weight? No special drugs or treatments needed. Here are five natural ways to keep blood sugar in check.
Exercise to sensitize. Being active can have drastic effects on insulin sensitivity and blood sugar management. In fact, according to the American Diabetes Association, just one intense workout may lower blood glucose levels for hours. For consistent blood sugar control, however, regular exercise is best. Just 30 minutes a day of moderate exercise can help improve blood sugar levels long term.
Eat balanced meals. When you eat meals, it’s the carbohydrates that are broken down and absorbed that raise blood sugar (glucose). Getting too much too quickly can cause glucose levels to spike. Then, after insulin kicks in, glucose takes a nosedive. But combining carbs with proteins, fats and fiber can help provide you with only gradual, manageable rises of blood sugar.
Stick to low-glycemic carbs. Glycemic index is a measure of how quickly a meal with carbs raises blood sugar. Proteins and fats serve to lower glycemic index of a meal, but fiber itself lowers glycemic index of carbs. “Good” carbs, as are called those low in glycemic index, include whole grains and high-fiber vegetables while “bad” carbs, those high in glycemic index, include white bread and mashed potatoes.
Use soluble fiber to solve blood sugar woes. Soluble fiber absorbs water and becomes gelatinous slowing the time that food leaves the stomach, which lowers glycemic response for better blood sugar control. A great sources of soluble fiber are oats.
Keep amount of carbs low per meal. Carbs are the body’s main fuel source, but lowering glycemic load by limiting carbs to less than 30g-45g total carbs per day can keep blood sugar from rising too high. Some experts even suggest breaking up breakfast, lunch and dinner into smaller meals spread throughout the day.
Take control with chromium and cinnamon. Getting sufficient chromium in your diet can help you better maintain appropriate blood sugar levels. And, if you must have dessert, try sprinkling on plenty of cinnamon. Both chromium and cinnamon appear to potentiate insulin activity.
Replace high-sugar sodas with green tea. Not only will you eliminate a lot of carbs, but you’ll be getting antioxidants called catechins such as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). New research from National Institutes of Health suggests EGCG may help blood sugar management. ECGC appears to enhance vascular flow by improving delivery of glucose to tissues as well as by improving insulin activity. For optimal benefits, drink plenty of green tea throughout the day.Posted in Nutritional Nuggets |