3 Keys to Blood Sugar Management

15 Sep

This week I am teaching classes on pro-active methods for Diabetics to manage their everyday health naturally.  In the mix of wonderful people and colorful personalities, it’s plain to see that across the board, health problems can effect anyone.  Each person knows themselves better than anyone else does, so a common theme has been to listen to our bodies very carefully.

I am fascinated by the individual stories of daily challenges to maintain a healthy balance, their desire to heal and even their confessions about everyday cravings.  Yes, chocolate cake is a hot topic!

A participant suggested that if folks with sugar imbalances just allow themselves an occasional bite of chocolate cake, then perhaps that will be all they need to satisfy their cravings.  However, a recent study yielded some surprising results.  When a small bite of dessert was given to someone with Metabolic Syndrome and someone who has no signs of sugar imbalance, the person with no sugar imbalance was able to feel satisfied and content with just a small sampling.  Unfortunately, the folks with Metabolic Syndrome simply could not have just a bite or two.  It’s similar to turning on an addictive craving.  They can’t stop.

I’ve heard some folks say they have to eat something to “get it out of their system” but isn’t that just getting it into your system?  Something to think about .

In addition to following your Doctor’s orders and prescriptions for Diabetes (or any other form of sugar imbalance); proper food choices, regular exercise and healthy awareness can go a long way towards not only balancing your blood sugar but also supporting your over-all health and well being.

Here are 3 (often overlooked) Keys to Blood Sugar Management:

1.  Keep a “Food Journal”

The reason this key is often overlooked is because of how much accountability is involved.  Writing down all your meals, snacks and drinks can be a daunting task when you know you are making choices that aren’t perhaps the best for you.  On the upside, coming face to face with the reality of your everyday eating and drinking habits might be just the impetus you need to clarify what works for you, what doesn’t work and what action to take for improvement.  Plus, it’s a great way to keep track of your daily water consumption.

A couple of warnings about the “Food Journal”, be honest with yourself as you record daily data and try not to judge yourself too harshly.  When you can look back over a week or a month and see some patterns of late-night eating, certain foods that trigger major cravings or parts of the day when you forget to eat, you will be informed on how best to manage your blood sugar and change certain habits.  Believe me, armed with that information, you’ll be glad you kept a “Food Journal”.

2.  Cut the Sugar

Recently, I wrote all about the sweet stuff in “60 Names for Sugar“.  Getting acquainted with all the different names for sugar will help you to make better choices in the grocery store and keep you from stumbling into sugar imbalance because of hidden sugars even in things as simple as spices.

Remember that some alternative sweeteners, like Aspartame and Splenda, can trigger the body to crave sweets.  Be conservative in your use of them, especially until you know how they affect your body.  What works well for one person may not work at all for another.

3.  Low Glycemic Impact Foods

These days, it can get confusing with all the talk of high-fat, low-fat, high-carb and low-carb.  The important thing to remember about Low Glycemic Impact Foods (otherwise known as Low Impact Carbs or Slow Carbs) is that these are foods that have a low glycemic impact on the body.  Low Glycemic Impact Foods such as fibrous vegetables have a slow-burn effect and make it easier for your body to maintain sugar balance.  Whereas High Glycemic Impact Foods such as cakes, cookies and soda hit the pancreas with such a rush of sugar with nothing to slow it down that the body experiences the proverbial “sugar rush”.

Even something as indulgent as a baked potato can become a healthy slow-burn carbohydrate when eaten with its skin.

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