Blood sugar, also known as glucose, is an essential source of energy for our body's cells. However, when the levels of blood sugar in our body become too high, it can lead to several health complications. Hence, managing blood sugar levels is crucial for good health. Nutrition plays a vital role in managing blood sugar levels. Our goal for this blog post is for you to understand how to manage your blood sugar levels with proper nutrition and healthy eating (and how Pure Plates can help make healthy eating EASY!)
Understanding Blood Sugar
Blood sugar refers to the concentration of glucose present in the bloodstream. The body's cells use glucose as a primary source of energy. However, if the levels of blood sugar remain elevated for extended periods, it can lead to several health complications. The normal blood sugar levels should be between 70-130 mg/dL (your primary care provider can help you to understand this better too!).
The Importance of Nutrition in Managing Blood Sugar
Nutrition plays a crucial role in managing blood sugar levels. The three primary macronutrients, AKA macros - carbohydrates, protein, and fat- all have different effects on blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates have the most significant impact on blood sugar levels. Glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) are two measures that can help in selecting the right carbohydrates. Foods with a low GI and GL are recommended. Fiber is another nutrient that can help regulate blood sugar levels. Additionally, micronutrients such as magnesium, chromium, and vitamin D have also been linked to blood sugar control.
Building a Balanced Diet
A balanced diet plays an important role in managing blood sugar levels. It is recommended to consume a balanced mix of carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats. The American Diabetes Association recommends that individuals with diabetes consume 45-60 grams of carbohydrates per meal. It’s also important to choose low glycemic index/load foods, which means selecting foods that do not cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels. Examples of low GI foods include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Incorporating fiber into the diet is also crucial for blood sugar control. Fiber helps slow down the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream, leading to more stable blood sugar levels. Examples of high fiber foods include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Choosing foods rich in micronutrients is also essential for overall health and blood sugar control. Foods rich in magnesium, such as leafy greens, nuts, and seeds, have been shown to improve blood sugar control. Chromium, found in broccoli and whole grains, has also been linked to improved blood sugar control.
Meal Planning for Blood Sugar Control
Meal planning is an essential aspect of blood sugar control. Planning meals ahead of time can help ensure that you are consuming a balanced diet and staying within your recommended carbohydrate intake. Examples of balanced meals with Pure Plates includes the Baja Tilapia, Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Chicken, and Bruschetta Chicken.
Check out some of Pure Plates other best-selling healthy meal prepped meals here.
Snack options for blood sugar control include a small handful of nuts, hummus with vegetables, or a hard-boiled egg with a piece of fruit. When dining out, it is important to choose low GI options and ask for sauces and dressings on the side to control the amount of added sugars consumed.
Pure Plates has a full snack menu to make healthy snacking for weight loss easier. You can find the full snack menu here.
Other Lifestyle Factors That Impact Blood Sugar Control
In addition to a balanced diet and meal planning, other lifestyle factors can impact blood sugar control. Exercise and physical activity have been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise daily.
Sleep and stress management are also crucial for blood sugar control. Poor sleep and high stress levels can lead to elevated blood sugar levels. Prioritize getting enough sleep and engaging in stress-reducing activities such as yoga or meditation.
Finally, it is essential to work with your healthcare provider to monitor blood sugar levels and take medications as prescribed. Limiting alcohol intake is also important, as alcohol can interfere with blood sugar control. Speak with your healthcare provider if you’re concerned about your blood sugar levels or risk of disease.
The Bottom Line
Managing blood sugar levels is crucial for overall health. A balanced diet, meal prepping with Pure Plates, and lifestyle modifications such as exercise, sleep, and stress management can all help improve blood sugar control. By making sustainable lifestyle changes, individuals can achieve better blood sugar control and improve their overall health. Pure Plates makes healthy eating for your blood sugar goals easier by delivering meals straight to your door.