So many of us in the United States suffer from obesity and diabetes. 2014 statistics show that 1/3 of adults are overweight and almost 90% of people living with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. Even if you are not diabetic, having high or low blood sugar can lead to a multitude of issues such a dizziness and mood swings. Luckily, there are a few every day habits you can practice to help level out your insulin levels and help you in the long term.
FAT CAN BE YOUR FRIEND
Contrary to popular belief, eating fat can help you. It slows down sugar absorption in the bloodstream and prevents a roller coaster of spikes and crashes. Many people believe that eating fat will make you fat, but it keeps you satisfied longer and can help prevent you from overeating. Not all fats are created equal, though. Natural saturated fats like from coconut oil, avocado, chia seeds, nuts, and egg yolks are the best for you and recent studies have shown they have no significant link to heart disease.
Many people turn to sugary drinks and snacks for a pick-me-up to get them through the day, but that is the worst thing you can do for both your energy levels and your blood sugar. You will experience a short term boost of energy, but when your blood sugar crashes an hour later, you will feel worse than before. Instead of the pie, try getting some protein. Protein takes longer to break down in the body and provides a longer-lasting energy without the crash. Like saturated fats, protein also slows the body’s sugar absorption. Think about eating a breakfast that is high in protein. Studies show that it can help you control your sugar levels all day.
GET MORE SLEEP
Possibly the hardest thing for us to do sometimes is get more and better sleep. We are in an age where we are addicted to our screens and busy schedules. Forty percent of the US gets less than the recommend 7-9 hours of sleep. Lack of sleep can affect your judgement, leptin levels (the hormone that makes you feel satisfied), and most importantly your insulin sensitivity. In fact, not getting the right amount of good sleep can increase your risk of diabetes and obesity.
There is no argument that everyone needs to exercise more. You don’t need to run a marathon or become a competitive body builder, but doing light cardio or moderate strength training is known to help balance your blood sugar levels. Your muscles use more glucose, the sugar in your blood stream. Over time, this can lower your blood sugar levels. It also makes the insulin in your body work better. You’ll get these benefits for hours after your walk or workout. Don’t overdo it though, too much or strenuous exercise can cause your body to release a hormone called cortisol which raises your blood sugar levels.
A balanced diet, getting a good night’s rest, and moving around more are just some of the things you can do to help control your blood sugar levels. The best part is all these things also promote a healthy weight and overall wellness!
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