Many of us are becoming aware of the positive impact balanced blood sugar can have on our health — both in the short and long term. In the short term, you can feel more energetic, have a more stable and better mood, improve sleep, reduce cravings, and even lose weight. By prioritizing stable, balanced blood sugar levels over the long term, you can effectively reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic health problems.
Managing your blood sugar can have a significant impact on your quality of life and your ability to achieve your health and wellness goals. Today, I’m researching all things blood sugar and sharing five energizing breakfasts to balance blood sugar. It’s time to start.
Featured image of Michelle Nash.
Understanding blood sugar levels
Think of your blood sugar like a horizon. When your blood sugar levels rise too quickly, they also drop rapidly, leading to accidents. Those crashes can bring on feelings of fatigue, irritability, and cravings for foods that will spike your blood sugar again. This is why breakfast is especially important.
If you start your day with a balanced meal, you’ll be less likely to jump on a blood sugar roller coaster, which means less cravings, more energy, and more control over choices. your food.
Carbohydrates and blood sugar
To better understand this concept and how to regulate your blood sugar, let’s take a look at how carbohydrates are metabolized.
Carbohydrates from grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, and anything with sugar are broken down into glucose (or sugar) molecules. Glucose is the main source of ATP, the body’s energy currency, and is tightly regulated by the hormones insulin and glucagon. When our blood sugar gets too high, insulin is released, helping the muscles, liver and fat cells to store glucose. Conversely, when our blood sugar is low, the hormone glucagon is released to increase our blood sugar.
What is a balanced breakfast?
A well-balanced breakfast includes adequate protein (for most women, about 15-25 grams), fiber, and healthy fats. I try to keep my sugar under 10 grams in the morning to ensure a longer blood sugar curve and minimize potential spikes. This could include about ½ cup of fruit, which has the added benefit of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
5 best breakfasts to balance blood sugar
- Protein smoothies
- Breakfast tacos with scrambled eggs, bacon, spinach and avocado
- Plain yogurt with berries and nuts
- Veggie frittata
- Toast with boiled egg butter
Understanding the glycemic index
What do these breakfasts have in common? They are more than just delicious options! Carbohydrate-rich food sources like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables provide the added benefit of fiber to help slow digestion and peak blood sugar. This lowers the glycemic index, a scale that represents how much a particular food will raise your blood sugar.
The glycemic index ranges from 1 to 100, with a higher number indicating a more significant rise in blood sugar from that food. For example, white rice has a glycemic index of 72, while its whole grain variety, brown rice, has 50. This means you’re less likely to experience spikes when eating brown rice.
Protein, Fiber, and Fat: The Triple Food Combination
However, the glycemic index of foods does not take into account the entire meal, or blood sugar. You can reduce blood sugar spikes by combining foods with a higher glycemic index with protein, fiber, and fat. For example, when we eat an apple with almond butter, we have fewer mutations than when we eat the apple alone or drink only apple juice. And when it comes to dessert, try to eat it within 15-30 minutes of dinner so you can utilize all the protein, fiber, and fat from your meal to offset the sugar in the dessert that can cause damage. spike.
Lifestyle habits affect blood sugar
In addition to food, your activity level and mental health can affect your blood sugar and overall health in many ways that you may realize.
Other ways to improve your blood sugar include:
- Do exercise. Simply taking a walk after a meal can reduce the meal’s impact on your blood sugar.
- Reduce stress. Your stress hormone, cortisol, is involved in your blood sugar, and an increase in stress raises blood sugar.
- Prioritize sleep. Lack of sleep has been linked to higher blood sugar levels. Focus not only on how long you sleep, but also on the quality of your sleep so that you start your day feeling balanced.
If you want to dig deeper into your blood sugar, you can use a continuous blood glucose monitor to measure fluctuations throughout the day. Note that your trigger may be slightly different from someone else’s. It can be a fun exercise to try for a month and learn more about how to optimize your metabolic health, especially if you’re data-driven.
To learn more about blood sugar regulation and other nutrition tips, use code CAMILLESTYLES to save 20% above Mia’s online course, Nutrition for Food Freedom.