5 COMMON MISTAKES PEOPLE MAKE WHEN ATTEMPTING TO MANAGE THEIR BLOOD SUGAR

While we may hear about blood sugar management most as it relates to diabetes risk, balanced blood sugar also helps support stable energy, brain function, and mood. Here are some common mistakes people make when attempting to manage their blood sugar and some tips for getting on the right track. 

Blood sugar management is important to overall wellness in a variety of ways. While we may hear about blood sugar management most as it relates to diabetes risk, balanced blood sugar also helps support stable energy, brain function, and mood. Here are some common mistakes people make when attempting to manage their blood sugar and some tips for getting on the right track. 

Only focusing on calories

If you’re looking just at the amount of calories you eat, you could be missing the bigger picture. We need a balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrate to support stable blood sugar. This is because when we eat carbohydrates (from any source: grains, beans, fruit, starchy veggies, lactose, etc), it breaks down into glucose. Fat and protein have a buffering effect and promote slower breakdown of those carbs—and more stable blood sugar. Try a recipe, to get a mix of vegetables, carbs, protein and fat on your plate. Eating complex carbohydrates, will also contain fiber and typically more nutrition, can also help keep your blood sugar levels more even. Prioritize balance, even if you are keeping an eye on calories.

Not getting enough fiber

SIX THINGS THAT CAN HAPPEN WHEN YOU DON'T EAT ENOUGH FIBER (2)

Not getting enough fiber – google image

If you’re not getting the recommended 25-35 grams of fiber per day, you may be missing out on its blood sugar benefits (here are amazing benefits of eating more fiber). Fiber helps slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, improving blood sugar regulation. Reach for whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, peas, lentils, fruits, and vegetables to help you cover your bases. Include at least one high-fiber food at each meal.

Not making time for exercise 

According to the American Diabetes Association, regular exercise can help you manage your blood sugar, burn fat, build muscle, reduce stress, and sleep better. Being sedentary, or staying on the couch, is linked to obesity, heart disease, and even cancer. Begin by setting an attainable goal for yourself such as walking during your lunch break every day or going to the park instead of watching TV after dinner. All it takes is 30 minutes, five days a week to see benefits. 

Fearing fat

CHAT BEO LA GI 1

Include healthy fat sources – google image 

Although fat is more caloric than carbs and protein (one gram of fat provides nine calories, and carbs and protein each provide four calories per gram), it’s helpful in balancing blood sugar, as it slows the digestive process and helps lower blood sugar. Include healthy sources like olive oil, avocado, and nuts and reach for fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines.

Skimping on sleep 

When you aren’t getting enough zzzs, it’s harder for your body to break down glucose. This makes managing your diabetes much more difficult. In addition, sleep deprivation can lead to cravings and an increased appetite, making it harder for you to turn down fatty and sugary snacks. 

The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. If you’re clocking in fewer, it may be time to rethink your schedule. Try not using your phone before you go to bed, so it’s easier to fall asleep, or setting a bedtime for yourself so you know you’ll be getting the right amount of sleep. If you have difficulty falling or staying asleep, talk to your doctor for help.

Source: iowadiabetes, eatingwell

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