Over 100 million people in the U.S. have health problems related to blood sugar imbalances, according to The American Diabetes Association. Imbalanced blood sugar is now one of the biggest issues facing public health worldwide. But a staggering 80% of this group doesn’t know it until their health takes a turn for the worse.
Keeping your blood sugar levels within a normal range is essential for good health and weight management. Below, you’ll learn why blood sugar balance is so important and how to spot an imbalance. Then I’ll share four simple tips that can improve your blood sugar response by up to 30%!
Blood sugar plays a vital role in how you feel physically. When your levels aren’t stable, you can feel tired and unwell, and your body can begin storing more fat.
If your blood sugar is constantly rising and crashing, you’re at risk of developing diabetes—a serious illness that impacts nearly every part of your body. Having diabetes can take a major toll on many aspects of your health. It can damage your arteries, nerves, and everything from your heart to your eyes and your feet.
Abnormality in blood sugar stability (also known as dysglycemia) includes hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or hyperglycemia (high blood sugar).
Hypoglycemia can cause the following symptoms:
Hyperglycemia symptoms only show up if your blood sugar is significantly elevated. If this happens, you may experience:
Insulin, glucagon, and other hormone levels rise and fall to keep blood sugar in a normal range. Too little or too much of these hormones can cause blood sugar levels to fall too low or rise too high.
Normally, blood glucose levels increase after you eat a meal. When blood sugar rises, cells in the pancreas release insulin, causing the body to absorb glucose from the blood and lowering the blood sugar level to normal.
When blood sugar drops too low, the level of insulin declines, and other cells in the pancreas release glucagon, which causes the liver to turn stored glycogen back into glucose and release it into the blood. This brings blood sugar levels back up to normal.
Certain lifestyles can significantly affect your blood sugar levels. For example, a high-sugar diet or one high in saturated fat can lead to insulin resistance. Over time, the sugar you eat can’t make it into your cells to be used for energy and stays in the bloodstream instead.
Imbalanced blood sugar can sound scary, but you can make a few changes that will significantly improve your balance. Turn these three tips into regular habits to improve your blood sugar response by up to 30%.
Your muscles are your largest storage bank for the glucose that enters your body. Firing up your muscles with some physical activity before a meal will help create a home for all the glucose you’re about to eat. In fact, when your muscles contract during activity, your cells are able to take up glucose and use it for energy, whether insulin is available or not!
Try this: Complete 40 squats before you sit down for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Moving after a meal can also help reduce blood sugar response for the same reason. Most forms of aerobic or cardiovascular exercise will lower your glucose levels. These workouts lower blood glucose levels and boost your body’s sensitivity to insulin, countering insulin resistance.
Certain exercises, like heavy weightlifting, sprints, and competitive sports can produce a temporary increase in our stress hormones (like adrenaline) and can temporarily raise blood sugar levels. To keep them low and steady, opt for more gentle movement, like walking or moderate-intensity aerobic exercises.
Try this: Take a ten-minute walk after eating to see drastic results!
Vinegar is a powerful blood sugar regulator. This simple, inexpensive substance can lower blood sugar concentration and insulin response for several hours after eating. Researchers have found that vinegar especially can lower the impact of carbohydrate-heavy meals on glucose levels. Just 10 grams of vinegar will significantly reduce blood sugar after meals by about 20%!
Apple cider vinegar is a great choice that will also boost digestion health. Fermented foods containing lactic acid or acetic acid, like apple cider vinegar, help store excess glucose in the liver, reducing the body’s rate of glucose production and absorption.
Try this: Drink half to one tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar mixed with 12-16 ounces of water 15 minutes before your meal.
Fiber is an important part of any healthy diet, but it can be especially important for people who are concerned about their blood sugar and insulin levels. Most Americans eat about half of the recommended 20-35 grams of daily fiber, so you most likely will benefit by filling your plate with a bit more fiber.
Fiber is the structural portion of fruits, veggies, grains, nuts, and beans. These fibers cannot be digested or absorbed by our bodies. They have no calories or glucose in and of themselves, but they keep your digestive tract working well. Fiber can also help lower your cholesterol levels and stabilize glucose levels.
Add beans, broccoli, barley, and berries to your meals for a flavorful fiber boost. Eating fiber first when sitting down to a meal can also help your body improve blood sugar regulation.
Try this: Add a small salad before your meals to boost your fiber intake. Maximize its effects by topping your salad with olive oil and apple cider vinegar for a dressing (both of which lower blood sugar levels).
Fasting blood sugar and fasting insulin are two of the eleven lab tests you should be getting every year. Having a clear snapshot of your labs annually can give you a clear vision of your health and where you can improve. These tests can catch signs of metabolic dysfunction long before things get serious!
Know what labwork you should be asking for each year in addition to your blood sugar and insulin. Download my Free Labwork Guide here and start taking charge of your health today!