Balanced blood sugar throughout the day is foundational for preventing disease and feeling good. If you’re curious about how to balance blood sugar, this article will cover several diet and lifestyle strategies to help.
Keep reading to learn more about:
- The risks of of unbalanced blood sugar
- The benefits of healthy blood sugar levels
- What is a healthy blood sugar level?
- What is insulin resistance?
- Hypoglycemia vs. hyperglycemia
- How to reverse insulin resistance
- Ways to lower blood sugar and how to maintain blood sugar
Let’s get started!
What Are the Risks of Unbalanced Blood Sugar?
Before we dive into the risks of blood sugar imbalance and insulin resistance, let’s define normal blood sugar. When you eat food, specifically carbohydrates, your blood sugar will rise. The pancreas secretes insulin to move the sugar from the blood into cells, where it’s used for energy.
Healthy blood sugar levels are between 70-85 mg/dL in the morning before food, and with good glycemic control, they will rise 30 mg/dL or less after a meal. There will be some normal blood sugar fluctuation throughout the day, but you’ll feel energetic and clear headed between meals.
Insulin resistance occurs when blood sugar levels are elevated over time, affecting insulin secretion. High blood sugar means more insulin, but eventually, cells become “resistant” to the signal.
High blood sugar is also known as hyperglycemia.
Signs of hyperglycemia include:
- Fatigue or lethargy after eating
- Increased thirst
- Increased urination
- Reduced immunity
Hyperglycemia symptoms can be acute after eating a meal high in sugar or other carbohydrates. If hyperglycemia is frequent, it may lead to insulin resistance.
What goes up must come down. Signs of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, tend to follow episodes of hyperglycemia.
Hypoglycemia symptoms include:
- Increased hunger and cravings
- Poor concentration
Prediabetes and Type 2 Diabetes
Over time, unregulated and elevated blood sugar leads to insulin resistance, the underlying dysfunction in prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. By stabilizing blood sugar, you can prevent insulin resistance from progressing or even reverse it.
How to Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
How to stabilize blood sugar and how to fix insulin resistance have everything to do with your daily diet and lifestyle habits.
Shifts in Diet
A diet to lower blood sugar, also known as an insulin-resistance diet, includes the following principles:
Cut Processed Foods – Processed foods are where you’ll find most of the processed carbohydrates that lead to high and imbalanced blood sugar. You can try at-home blood sugar monitoring to see for yourself.
Increase Whole Foods – Be sure to replace processed items with whole, unprocessed foods that stabilize blood sugar. Whole carbohydrates are rich in fiber and micronutrients that help your body digest and metabolize them effectively.
Protein, Fiber, and Healthy Fats – One of the best ways to improve insulin sensitivity is to balance meals and snacks with protein, fiber, and healthy fats. This is the exact formula we use when developing Scott’s Protein Balls.
Optimize Meal Size and Timing – Find a natural daily rhythm with food and try to eat more early in the day when your metabolism is higher.
Drink More Water – Sometimes we mistake hunger for thirst; stay hydrated.
Sleep is another natural way to balance blood sugar. When you don’t get enough sleep, it affects hormones that increase hunger and food intake. Plus, when you’re tired, it’s easier to grab processed food.
Exercise is the ultimate blood sugar-balancing tool. Even a 10-minute walk after meals helps decrease the blood sugar spike from that meal.
The stress response produces cortisol which raises blood sugar. This hormonal response is great if a bear is chasing you, but if not, learn strategies to manage stress.
This tip is obvious, but smoking is terrible for your blood sugar and overall health.
The Benefits of Balanced Blood Sugar
By using these simple lifestyle habits, you can create more balanced blood sugar, which translates to feeling better, better health, and longevity. Here are some of the top benefits:
- Improved Hormone Health
- Lengthened Healthspan
- Weight Management
- Better Moods
- Healthier Skin
- Increased Energy
- Sharper Focus
Let Scott’s Protein Balls be a part of your blood sugar-balancing diet. The combination of protein, fiber, and healthy fat makes them satisfying, providing energy without a blood sugar spike. Try them as a snack, before or after exercise, or before bed.