Maintaining a balanced blood sugar level is critical for both your overall health and cognitive health. Your blood sugar level is the main factor that determines your hunger, cravings, and energy levels. You likely feel your best when your blood sugar levels are balanced and neither too high nor too low. Balanced blood sugar helps keep your brain healthy, your energy levels stable, and your mood balanced.
Carbohydrates found in foods are the main source of glucose for your body. Blood sugar simply refers to the amount of sugar (or glucose) in the blood at any given time. Insulin helps control blood sugar levels by signaling the liver, muscles, and fat cells to take glucose from the blood. In doing so, it helps cells take glucose to convert into energy.
When your body is low on glucose, or when you have diabetes and don’t have enough insulin to help your cells absorb glucose, your body begins to break down fat for energy. This leads to the formation of ketones in the blood, a kind of chemical that builds up when your body starts to burn fat for energy. Once ketones build up in the body, they eventually pass into the urine.
Why is Blood Sugar Balance So Important?
According to the WHO, a normal fasting blood glucose when fasting ranges between 70-100 mg/dL. Blood glucose concentrations should typically be below 180 mg/dL 2 hours after a meal. It is not ideal for glucose levels in the blood to go above or below the specified limits, which is why it is important to maintain balanced blood sugar.
Balancing blood sugar is not just important for people with diabetes or a serious illness. It’s important for everyone.
Having a balanced blood sugar level helps in:
- keeping your energy levels stable,
- keeping you more focused,
- stabilizing your mood,
- balancing your hormones,
- preventing excessive hunger,
- weight loss,
- keeping the brain healthy, and
- maintaining optimal wellness
When your blood sugar is unbalanced, you may be more at risk of being irritable, having a poor sleep, experiencing anxiety, having low energy, experiencing increased sugar cravings, and gaining weight.
How to Balance Blood Sugar?
The good news is that you can balance your blood sugar levels by adopting changes in your diet and lifestyle.
Controlling the amount and quality of carbohydrates that you have is critical for balancing blood sugar levels. To regulate your insulin levels, limit the total amount of carbohydrates you consume to 45-65% of the total calories you eat daily. Choose whole grains that contain complex carbohydrates such as oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, and barley instead of foods containing simple carbohydrates such as bread, pasta, and crackers. Make sure to eat meals with a balanced ratio of carbohydrates, protein, and fat to help stabilize your blood sugar.
Choose fruits with a low glycemic index to satisfy your sweet tooth. Dark-colored berries are the best choice because they both satisfy your sweet cravings and don’t result in a surge of sugar in your bloodstream. Try dark-colored berries with a healthy source of protein and non-starchy vegetables to slow their digestion and the release of sugars into your bloodstream.
Low quality sleep or lack of sleep can also make cells less sensitive to insulin, so it’s important to get adequate sleep. Exercise also helps maintain your blood sugar balance by aiding in blood sugar control.