Updated: Oct 26
Written by Ashley Powell, Registered Holistic Nutritionist at Thrive Urban Wellness
When our blood sugar levels are steadily in the “sweet-spot” – not too high and not too low – we feel our very best and our metabolic machinery functions optimally, leading to numerous health benefits. When we have a flatter glucose curve without the sharp peaks of high blood sugar and the deep dips of low blood sugar, we are in a much more powerful position to impact our health in a positive way.
Steady Glucose Means:
- Fewer cravings and less hunger
- Weight loss
- Better energy
- Enhanced mental health
- Improved sleep
- Balanced hormones
- Clearer skin and fewer signs of skin aging
- Diminished cognitive decline
- Improved PMS and menopause symptoms
- Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and better management of type 1 diabetes
How do we keep our blood sugar in a more stable range? Follow one or more (ideally ALL!) of these tips on a regular basis for the next few days and notice the difference in how you feel.
1. Protein, Fat & Fiber (“PFF”)
Make PFF your BFF! Including a source of protein, healthy fat and fiber at each meal or snack is the best way to ensure a steady blood sugar curve. Try not to eat carbohydrates on their own… combine them with either a protein, fat or fiber (any or all of these 3) to slow down absorption.
Protein can come in the form of eggs, chicken, beef, fish, tofu, beans, legumes, collagen powder or protein powder, hummus or edamame. Healthy fats include olive oil, avocado oil, avocados, nuts and seeds, coconut oil, grass-fed butter, nuts and seeds. Fiber should come mainly from non-starchy vegetables or low-sugar fruits in their natural state; whole grains, beans, lentils, legumes and root vegetables are also good sources of fiber.
Samples meals or snacks include:
- A smoothie with frozen cherries, avocado (protein + fiber), chocolate protein powder, cacao powder, coconut milk (fat) and ground flaxseed or chia seeds (fat + fiber)
- Veggies (fiber) dipped in hummus (protein + fat); stir some hemp seeds into your hummus for an added fat and protein boost
- Fritatta with sautéed onion, mushrooms, spinach and goat cheese (protein + fat + fiber) served with a side salad with lemon tahini dressing (more fiber + fat)
- Chicken chili with beans, kale and sweet potato, topped with avocado and green onion
(protein + fat + fiber)
2. Veggies before your meal
Eating some vegetables prior to or at the beginning of a meal is the best way to slow down the rate at which the carbohydrates (glucose) you are about to eat enter your bloodstream, resulting in a steadier glucose curve overall. Just a simple handful of cut-up veggies or a small side salad with olive oil and lemon juice or vinegar will do the trick!
3. Apple Cider Vinegar before a meal
One tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (or any other unsweetened vinegar) prior to a meal – taken with a little bit of water as a “shot” – will cut the resulting glucose and insulin spike from your meal by around 20%, according to studies. It can also aid digestion so this trick is a one-two punch for optimizing your health!
4. Walk it off after a meal
If we move our bodies after eating a meal that is high in carbohydrates, our muscles will uptake some of the glucose and/or fructose we’ve consumed, thereby flattening our glucose curve. Even 10 minutes of movement is beneficial! Walk, dance, vacuum, tidy, play… any type of movement will do. This is especially beneficial if you have eaten a large meal, particularly one high in carbohydrates, or have over-indulged on dessert.
Try implementing some of these tips and tricks today and feel the difference that steady blood sugar makes… it is one of the biggest keys to achieving and maintaining optimal health and wellness!