Balancing blood sugar levels is key to managing diabetes. So, in recognition of World Diabetes Day, Nutritionist Jenny Logan shares her dietary recommendations to help support healthy blood sugar.
Written By Jenny Logan DNMed. (Jenny is a Nutritional Therapist who has worked with clients in Health Foods Stores and Private Clinics for over 20 years.)
Balancing blood sugar levels is key to managing diabetes, amongst other reasons:
- Erratic Blood Sugar levels make burning fat almost impossible, this really affects our ability to lose weight.
- Erratic blood sugars also make controlling the appetite really difficult.
- Stable blood sugars are vital for stable mood, to control anxiety, good sleep and good energy.
Support healthy blood sugar levels by relaxing often, and by considering the following points:
- AVOID REFINED FOOD – White/refined food has had all the fibre removed, meaning that all the energy is released quickly – resulting in a blood sugar spike, which will inevitably be followed by a drop.
- EAT MORE PROTEIN – Good quality protein fills us up, can not be converted to fat, and keeps blood sugar levels stable – therefore protein should feature heavily with every meal. Fish, meat, poultry, beans, lentils and nuts and seeds are all excellent protein sources.
- EAT MORE WHOLEGRAIN – Wholegrains are full of fibre and release their energy slowly, helping to avoid blood sugar spikes.
- ALWAYS ENJOY PROTEIN WITH CARBOHYDRATE – Combining protein with carbohydrate will further slow down energy release, keeping those blood sugar levels stable.
- EAT REGULARLY – Skipping meals will cause blood sugar levels to dip which will result in sugar cravings.
- EAT MORE VEGETABLES – Eat vegetables for their fibre content and the fact that they will really fill you – but be careful! Certain vegetables, such as carrots and parsnips, should only really be eaten raw – as once cooked they also contain a lot of simple energy!
- EAT LESS FRUIT – Fruit is healthy; however, it is also high in simple sugars and eaten too often will cause a sugar spike. Try swapping fruit snacks for a small handful of nuts and seeds, topping up with good fats and protein.