When I talk about blood sugar with my patients, they will often think I am only speaking about the amount of sugar they eat. “Blood sugar” is a term that helps explain how your body is fueling itself and the effects that take place when imbalance occurs within your metabolism. You may have heard of someone being hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) or someone being hyperglycemic (high blood sugar, or pre-diabetic). These terms are relative to what is occurring within your body and how you are responding to not only what you are eating but also to how you are managing your stress.
There are 3 different energy sources that we eat, protein, fat and carbohydrate. What type of energy source you decide to ingest has a dramatic effect on your blood sugar, which in turn will impact your hormones. Carbohydrate is the energy source that metabolizes the quickest into “blood sugar”. It is the most readily available energy source, which means if you eat it, you better use it quick, otherwise you will store and it will increase inflammation levels. But as we know, most of us are not using our energy quick. We are not as active as we use to be, hence will store more of the carbohydrate (as fat on your body) and increase inflammation levels (pain, allergies, decreased immune function, etc..). This is the basis behind consuming foods that are higher in fat and protein (as well as our wonderful veggies) as they will fuel the body in a more consistent manner creating more level blood sugar.
The other major player in our blood sugar is stress. When you stress, whether it be about finance, romance, job, kids, cell phones, cars etc…, remember that your body believes that stress to be a bear that is sitting in front of you about to eat you up. What subsequently happens when stress takes place is that an unloading of glucose(the same stuff the carbohydrate breaks down into) from its storage containers in your body, goes directly into the blood stream because your body thinks that you are going to have to “fight the bear”. But you know that there is no physical effect that really occurs anymore when stress is taking place. You can not “fight” your cell phone breaking or your check bouncing. The physiologic effect that takes place in the body after a stress reaction occurs, will create the same increased amount of inflammation, storage of fat tissue and blood sugar imbalance that takes place when you eat increased amounts of carbohydrate/sugar.
These are 4 easy steps that you can take to begin balancing your blood sugar: 1)Eat a protein rich breakfast 2) Eat protein every 2 hours, do not let yourself get hungry 3) Eat protein before you go to bed 4)Understand what you have control over and what you do not have control over in your life. 5) Stop worrying, everything will be OK.