Skip to main content

Maintain balanced blood sugar is one of the most important things you can do for your overall health – not only does it positively affect your energy and mood, but it can also help prevent serious diseases and chronic conditions.

According to Kate Kanner, Dt.P., a roller coaster of constant blood sugar spikes and crashes can make it harder for your body to efficiently move glucose out of the bloodstream and into the cells that need it for energy. This is called insulin resistance. Over time, if blood glucose levels stay high for too long, it can damage blood vessels, nerves, and even organs.

“When blood sugar levels aren’t maintained, you’re at increased risk for type 2 diabetes, hormonal imbalances, brain fog, insulin resistance, and energy blackouts,” says Elizabeth Arensberg, MS, RD. “Food plays a major role in balancing blood sugar. The best way to prevent accidents is to eat balanced meals: fill half your plate with vegetables and divide the other half equally into proteins and starches or whole grains with healthy fats. »

If keeping your blood sugar in the target range is a top priority for you, here are some expert eating habits you‘ll definitely want to avoid. Then, for healthier tips, here are the best breakfast habits to lower your blood sugar.

Shutterstock

It probably goes without saying, but regularly eating sweets, high-sugar processed cereals, or other foods made mostly of pure sugar with few nutrients is a big no-no, according to Dana Ellis Hunnessenior dietitian at UCLA Medical Center and author of Recipe for survival.

For example, it’s better to have an egg and avocado on toast than jam, or a bowl of oatmeal with banana and peanut butter than just a banana. The latter options will raise your blood sugar very quickly, while the former contain key macronutrients like fibre, protein and fat, to ensure a slower and more gradual release of glucose.

“When we eat large amounts of carbohydrates or sugars, large amounts of glucose are dumped into the bloodstream,” says Arensberg. “Blood sugar levels will skyrocket and are much higher than your body can handle. Then your pancreas has to pump out a lot of insulin to help deal with the glucose spike. high blood sugar levels, causing an energy crisis.”

White bread
Shutterstock

White bread, tortillas and pasta, as well as pastries or other foods made with white flour are not ideal for regulating your blood sugar, David Brendan, Dt.P.founder of start rowing.

“Most refined grains lack protein and fiber,” says Katie Tomaschko, MS, RDN, contributor to Sporty smiles. “So eating too many refined grains, especially without anything else, will cause blood sugar spikes and crashes.”

As a general rule, Tomaschko says it’s best to always opt for whole grains whenever possible, for example, brown rice or quinoa instead of white rice, whole wheat bread instead of white bread, and oatmeal instead of refined cereal for breakfast.

woman rushing, talking on the phone and holding a croissant
Shutterstock

“If you go too long without eating a meal or snack, our blood sugar will drop too much,” says Kanner. “This is also known as hypoglycemia, and it leads to feelings of lethargy and fatigue because your body literally doesn’t have the energy to perform all of its usual functions. Your favorite energy source brain is also glucose, so mental cognition can also take a hit.” when blood sugar levels drop.

This is especially true if you skip breakfast, according to Arensberg.

When you wake up, you need to fuel your body with the macronutrients it needs to produce energy“, she explains. “If you skip breakfast, you are more likely to feel groggy and irritable. Eating a breakfast rich in protein and healthy fats within the first hour of waking up is a great way to start the day with steady energy.”

If you know you’re having a busy day, keep high-protein and high-fiber snacks on hand, such as an apple and almonds or whole-grain crackers and hummus, to keep your blood sugar levels from rising. blood does drop too much as a result of not eating. And if you’ve ever been diagnosed with diabetes, Kanner strongly advises having a balanced snack in the evening, or else blood sugar levels can drop too low overnight.

“The body has a mechanism that allows it to start breaking down stored sugar in the liver when it recognizes it,” she says. “So blood sugar can be high in the morning because the body has gone into panic mode and resorted to its backup method of getting sugar into the blood. Eating a balanced snack in the evening can help stabilize blood sugar throughout the night.”

man with headache holding water
Shutterstock

Did you know that dehydration negatively affects blood sugar? According to Tomaschko, your body produces a hormone called vasopressin when you don’t drink enough water. Vasopressin forces your kidneys to retain fluids and prevents the body from eliminating excess sugar in your urine.

Drinking water regularly throughout the day will help keep your blood sugar levels stable. Remember that the ideal intake will depend on your height, diet, level of physical activity, health status and other factors. That said, The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine recommends that men drink 125 ounces (3.7 liters) per day and women drink 91 ounces (2.7 liters) per day.

couple drinking soda
Shutterstock

Dietitians say drinking sugary drinks like soda, sports drinks and some fruit juices is one of the worst habits you can have when it comes to your blood sugar. Again, it’s because those drinks are essentially “empty calories” that don’t provide any other nutrients like fiber, fat, and protein to slow the absorption of sugar.

Even worse-liquids are digested and absorbed much faster than solid foods, so they can raise your blood sugar even faster and more dramatically than a piece of cake or a muffin, which contains at least some starch. This may explain why a 2018 study in The BMJ found that sugary drinks pose a greater risk of type 2 diabetes than most other foods containing fructose.

According to Harvard School of Public Health, the average can of sweet soda or fruit punch contains 150 calories, almost all of which comes from added sugar. And a 2010 study published in Diabetes Care found that participants who drank one to two servings of sugary drinks per day had a 26% higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who drank less than one serving per day. month.