Blood sugar balance plays a significant role in maintaining good health. Many health issues including diabetes, depression, fatigue and obesity can be related to an imbalance of blood sugar. Irregular blood sugar levels can also dramatically affect energy levels.
What is blood sugar imbalance?
Carbohydrate foods are broken down into glucose which is then circulated in the blood to provide our body cells with energy. Too much or too little glucose causes a blood sugar imbalance.
How does this happen?
Eating too many refined carbohydrates such as sugar, cakes, biscuits, and white flour based foods like pasta and white bread, as well as drinks like coffee, fizzy drinks and alcohol. Not eating regular meals.
What is happening in your body?
1. When glucose is released into the blood stream insulin takes it to where it is most needed, cells in the body need glucose for energy.
2. These particular foods/drinks: sweets, deserts, biscuits, cakes, undiluted fruit juice and caffeinated drinks may cause a sudden rise in blood glucose, especially if eaten alone, leading to energy surges and hyperactivity.
3. The body responds to this by releasing insulin to remove excess glucose. This can result in a blood sugar “crash” or “low” which can cause fatigue, irritability, anxiety, insomnia, dizziness, sweats, palpitations. Blood sugar crashes also cause the body to release stress hormones (cortisol) contributing to some of the above symptoms.
4. Eventually this “yo-yo” effect of blood sugar can cause a vicious circle of cravings, exhaustion and accumulation of fat.
How can I keep my blood sugar balanced?
Maintaining consistent blood sugar and energy levels will help you to cope with the demands of your daily routine and will improve your concentration levels and your mood.
Eat regular meals – every 3 hours. Have 3 meals a day with 2 snacks in between.
Always have breakfast
Avoid refined sugar and high sugar foods
Eat whole foods e.g. whole-meal bread and pasta. These are broken down more slowly and keep you fuller for longer
Combine each meal with a protein source e.g. fish, chicken, nuts, seeds, soya products
Avoid stimulants e.g. coffee, tea, smoking, alcohol. Try herbal teas or decaffeinated drinks instead
Avoid processed and fast foods and fizzy sweetened drinks.