Chronic dysregulated blood sugar levels are one of the leading stressors on our bodies. Consuming foods that cause sharp spikes in blood sugar levels can lead to metabolic dysfunction or even break our metabolism over time. This metabolic dysfunction can significantly increase our risk of illnesses and disease.
Chronic blood sugar dysregulation has been linked to several health problems, such as “insulin resistance”, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), diabetes, autoimmune issues, cancer, heart disease, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. The consequences of metabolic dysfunction are life-altering, increasing the risk for various diseases significantly.
The Underlying Cause: Metabolic Dysfunction
So, what sparks this metabolic dysfunction? The process begins when we ingest carbohydrates or sugars. Our body breaks these down into glucose, which then moves from our gastrointestinal tract into our bloodstream. This triggers our pancreas to secrete insulin, which guides the glucose into muscle tissue, the liver, and other cells, providing them with fuel.
However, when we overconsume carbohydrates or sugars, our bloodstream becomes flooded with sugar (high blood sugar), as insulin struggles to keep up. “Insulin resistance” occurs when cells stop responding to insulin, causing blood sugar to remain chronically elevated. This signals our body to store the excess glucose as fat, further exacerbating metabolic dysfunction and paving the way for disease.
Fortunately, there are numerous ways to stabilize blood sugar levels. Here are my favourites:
1. Incorporate vegetables before every meal: Consuming fiber-rich vegetables before eating carbohydrates can significantly decrease your glucose response.
2. Consume proteins and fats before sweets and high-carb foods: This strategy aids in maintaining balanced blood sugar levels.
3. Avoid skipping meals: Doing so often leads to overconsumption of foods and subsequent glucose spikes.
4. Maintain low-stress levels and breathe deeply: Our breathing patterns regulate our nervous system. Shallow, rapid breaths trigger the body’s fight or flight response, increasing blood sugar levels.
5. Opt for monk fruit over sugar, honey, and maple syrup: Monk fruit does not impact blood sugar levels.
6. Prioritize quality sleep: Even one night of poor sleep can lead to insulin resistance for up to 48 hours, increasing cravings.
7. Eat until 80 percent full and include protein in every meal: Be cautious, though, as excessive fat or protein can also spike blood sugar. Balance is key.
8. Try having a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar before meals: Apple cider vinegar can reduce glucose response by up to 30 percent!
9. Engage in physical activity after high-carb meals: Movement helps pull sugar from the bloodstream into the muscles, effectively lowering blood glucose levels. Post-meal walks are a great habit to cultivate!
10. Protein at breakfast, high protein breakfast works great with my midlife ladies 🙂
11. Lift weights to build lean muscle (acts as a reservoir for glucose!)
By implementing these strategies, we can take charge of our blood sugar regulation, enhancing our metabolic health and reducing our risk of disease. It’s time to empower ourselves with knowledge and make informed dietary choices for our health.