The effect of sugary foods on blood sugar levels

Blood sugar levels are a measurement of how much glucose you have in your blood stream. Glucose is a sugar that your get from food and drink. Your blood sugar levels will change throughout the day depending on how much you eat and how often. It is important to keep your blood sugar levels balanced throughout the day, instead of having huge highs and massive lows. This is because overtime the pancreas has to pump out more and more insulin to transfer the sugar into the cells, or retrieve the sugar from the cells back to the blood (in the case of low blood sugar levels) Eventually the pancreas can stop working effectively or in some cases stop working all together. This is known as type 2 diabetes. This can slowly happen over many years. The good news is though that you can reverse this process by balancing your blood sugars.

Here are some of my tips to begin balancing your blood sugars throughout the day. 

  • Avoid foods that are high in refined sugar such as refined white carbohydrates. These are stripped of their goodness such as fibre and other essential nutrients. Instead choose un-refined slow releasing carbohydrates such as fruit, vegetables, beans, pulses and nuts. As shows in the diagram above they will have less of an effect on your blood sugar levels. 
  • Reduce your intake of stimulants such as caffeine as these can cause a rise in blood sugar levels. Each person will metabolise caffeine differently. I would advise if you are having afternoon slumps, insomnia or anxiety it might be worth reducing or eliminating caffeine from your diet.
  • Start your day well. Choose a balanced protein rich breakfast with slow releasing carbohydrates (energy). My favourite winter breakfast is porridge with banana, nut butter and a sprinkle of seeds.
  • Enjoy fibre rich meals and snacks. Include nuts, seeds, and a wide variety of vegetables & fruits. Eating seasonally can really help you to experiment using different fruit and vegetables. Eating a wide variety of Fibre from fruit and vegetables are essential to good gut health. All the different nutrients found within the different colours feed different beneficial bacteria. 
  • Consume a varied whole food diet and regularly exercise to enjoy a healthy life.