We all should be thinking about our blood sugar, not just when we are told to worry about it. We've all experienced the effects of having severely low blood sugar levels, and it’s nothing to brag about. The headache comes along, and the energy crashing mixed with the exhaustion can leave you very irritable.
We might not think about it every day, but our blood sugar levels constantly change. We are solely responsible for its fluctuation because we choose what we eat and when. It should make sense that we have a duty to balance our blood sugar levels.
Wondering whether or not you have balanced blood sugar levels? With Vessel Health, you can work with a Nutritionist to discuss your nutrient, energy, and blood sugar levels.
If you are worried about your blood sugar levels, there are a few ways to tell if they're being impacted.
Signs of Unbalanced Blood Sugar Levels
Just because a doctor never told you to worry about your blood sugar levels, you should still think about them. That’s simply not true. Everything you consume will impact your blood sugar levels. Understanding what healthy levels look like will help you make good decisions regarding your diet and lifestyle later on!
When you cannot manage your blood sugar levels, you can experience hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) or hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) as the levels fall and rise rapidly. If you are experiencing an imbalance in blood sugar, you might notice some of the following symptoms:
- Frequent urination
- Dry mouth and extreme thirst
- High levels of sugar in the urine
- Feeling hungry
- Trouble concentrating
You should consult with a medical professional if you experience any of these symptoms for prolonged periods.
Tips To Balance Your Blood Sugar Levels
Blood sugar should always be monitored because it can help to prevent issues later on in life. You might develop type 2 diabetes, heart complications, or kidney problems if your blood sugar is uncontrolled.
There are easy ways to ensure that you are keeping your blood sugar levels healthy, and you can do them within the comfort of your own home without the need for any prescription from a doctor!
Don’t Skip Meals
When you skip out on a meal, you are losing the essential nutrients that help to boost your energy and get you through the day. When you wake up in the morning, your blood sugar levels will be low due to not eating for several hours, so eating a nutritious breakfast with fiber and protein is a great way to get a kick of energy to last you until lunch.
If you notice that your blood sugar spikes easily after a big meal, It may be helpful to try eating five to six small meals throughout the day to avoid spiking blood sugar too high within a given meal. Smaller meals of a balanced ratio of protein carbs and fats can also help aid in managing caloric intake. If you control your portions and make them smaller, you can monitor your blood sugar spikes better. You will also have more sustainable energy if you are eating properly throughout the day!
Foods that you could consider eating include the following:
- Low GI foods like lentils, nuts, seeds, apples, and broccoli
- Medium GI foods like brown rice, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and peas
- Whole grains like oats, quinoa, barley
- Magnesium-rich foods such as spinach, kale, black beans, and almonds
- Fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna)
- Healthy fats like coconut oil, avocado, and olive oil
- Spices like basil, cinnamon, garlic, etc.
Stay Away From Processed Foods
Foods that are processed, like a bag of chips, cookies, crackers or a granola bar, are more likely to add sugars and salts. You will want to stay away from foods that undergo processing because they will have more added sugar and salt than fiber or protein in the ingredients. Fiber and protein help stabilize blood sugar, and the lack of the two in processed foods makes it easy for them to cause blood sugar spikes.
You'll want to avoid fruit juices with added sugar and any sugary snacks that may increase your sugar cravings. Swap these snacks for fresh fruit with some nut butter!
Instead of picking up the first item you see, read the ingredients listed on the nutrition label. Some processed foods will be much healthier for you than others, so it’s all about finding the best choice!
Eat Whole Foods for Balanced Blood Sugar Levels
Staying away from processed foods might mean including more whole foods into your diet. When we are talking about whole foods, we are not talking about the store! We are referring to fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds, along with some meat and fish (depending on their quality).
You should consider adding in more of these items to get plenty of dietary fiber and protein into your diet, with natural sugars, moderate salt, and a whole bunch of helpful vitamins and minerals.
You can get all of your nutritional needs out of a whole foods diet while maintaining a healthy blood sugar balance!
Consume Plenty of Fiber
Fiber is essential in your daily life, especially when you are trying to maintain your blood sugar levels. Fiber helps to slow the digestion of carbs and absorption of sugar so that you experience a more gradual rise in blood sugar. Soluble fiber is known to improve blood sugar maintenance.
Foods high in dietary fiber are fruits, vegetables, dark leafy greens, whole grains, and beans, legumes, nuts and seeds. If you are following a diet based on consuming whole foods and staying away from processed foods, you should naturally increase your intake of fiber.
Now, who wouldn’t love to increase the amount of hours they sleep in a night? And actually, doing so can improve your blood sugar levels! When you aren’t getting enough quality sleep at night, your hormone levels for cortisol will begin to rise, impacting blood sugar as you become more resistant to insulin.
Insulin resistance is when cells in your muscles, fat, and liver don’t respond well to insulin, a hormone created by your pancreas for importing glucose into cells. This enables glucose from getting to your blood for energy.
Making sure that you are getting plenty of sleep each night can ensure that your cortisol levels are staying manageable so that your blood sugar can. If you are unsure what your cortisol levels are, you can always use Vessel Health’s Wellness Test Card to find out!
Drink Plenty of Water
Water is essential for many bodily functions, and this includes regulating blood sugar. Drinking plenty of water can help your kidneys flush out any excess sugar through urination. One study found that people who drink more water are less likely to develop hyperglycemia.
In short, water helps your body function properly, so drink up!
Practice Meditation Regularly
Not only does sleep reduce cortisol, but stress is the main reason for cortisol to be released. If you feel more stressed out, you may risk raising your blood sugar levels and creating health-related issues.
One way to help monitor your stress and blood sugar is by practicing meditation. You can practice meditation in many different forms, including deep breathing and yoga, so be sure to test some activities out to find the one that really speaks to you.
Testing Your Levels with Vessel Health
You might find that some of these tips work better for you than others, so it’s important to give them all a try. But, how will you know if what you are doing is actually helping? With Vessel Health, of course!
With our technology, we are able to provide information about your body to you directly on your mobile device! If you struggle with managing your blood sugar levels but can’t figure out what is going on, it’s always helpful to see your health levels and the changes that are happening to them as you practice these tips in your daily life.
With Vessel, we offer suggestions on how to improve your overall health based on your information. You can also consult with a Vessel Nutritionist to figure out the best path to take to improve your blood sugar levels.
It’s never too soon to start focusing on how you are treating and caring for your body. We want to make it as easy as possible to get in the habit of making healthier decisions!
Mikaela Frame See all the author’s articles