Your blood sugar rises every time you eat. It is an entirely normal part of the body’s mechanism for absorbing the energy of your meal. But if your food contains a high proportion of so-called fast carbohydrates, found in foods like white bread, white rice, french fries, and, of course, sweetened beverages, your blood sugar rises sharply, and then falls back again almost immediately. Blood sugar that goes roller coaster does not just mean that you go up and down between energy peaks and fatigue. In the long run, large and recurring fluctuations can also be a severe threat to your health. Simply put, it is about the large variations exhausting the metabolism’s ability to take care of energy in an efficient way. This increases the risk of developing, for example, obesity, type-2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. These diseases are usually called lifestyle diseases, which means that they are caused mainly by how we live. The good news with this is that it is also possible to reduce the risk of being affected by a healthy lifestyle. Here are some simple tips to lower your blood sugar fluctuations.
1. Eat less of the fast carbs. Replace the white bread with whole grains, increase the proportion of vegetables and legumes, cook your pasta al-dente so that it becomes more challenging for the intestine to break down. The advantage is a slow and moderate rise in blood sugar, which is kind to the body and makes the energy last longer.
2. Eat a proper breakfast. Skip the coffee or energy drink and eat a proper breakfast instead. Unsweetened yogurt with muesli. Fresh fruit and whole-grain bread and maybe oatmeal with oat drink. This way, you stay both satisfied and sharp and avoid the sugar cravings until lunch.
3. Exercise regularly. Exercise affects, among other things, the hormone balance in the body and has a wide range of positive effects. A short walk directly after the meal also works wonders for blood sugar.
4. Avoid stress – plan time for meals and exercise during your day. Stress at home and at work means an extra strain on your body that also affects your blood sugar. Reducing stress may be easier said than done, but there are certainly small things you can change. Taking micro-breaks and some fresh air during the day is a good start.
5. Drink water with food. So simple and yet so important. Water with food not only means that you quench your thirst effectively, but also that you do it without adding calories. Also, drink water regularly during the day – it helps maintain satiety and a good fluid balance makes you feel more alert.
A lot at once? Maybe, but keep in mind that every little change can actually make a difference.
In the next post, I will write about the often misunderstood concept of the glycemic index.