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Dietary Change That Can Protect Your Health From Unstable Blood Sugar Levels

Dietary Change That Can Protect Your Health From Unstable Blood Sugar Levels

We all know sugar is not good for our bodies – not only can it cause us to put on weight, but once it’s in our blood system, it can wreak havoc with our moods and the inner workings of our body. Having stable blood sugar levels, therefore, is essential for controlling our energy, mood and overall health.

Eating the wrong types of sugars can cause the spikes and dips in our blood sugar levels that, in turn, cause the mood swings and energy rise and depletion – and this is the most obvious sign of our blood sugar levels being affected.

But what we don’t always realise is the damage that this ‘blood sugar rollercoaster’ is doing to our circulatory system – spikes and dips can put a strain on the large blood vessels increasing the risk of heart attacks, stroke, diabetes as well as the small blood vessels resulting in damage to the eyes, kidneys and nerves.

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Changing our diet can be the number one factor in how we can mess with, or stabilize blood sugar levels and cause the blood sugar rollercoaster we want to avoid.

How Diet Affects Blood Sugar Levels

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    Our blood sugar levels are determined by the types of carbohydrates we eat: refined sugar, refined grains and whole grains. Refined sugar and grains found in confectionary, white flour, white bread and white rice are the carbs that cause the most havoc. Consuming these are what causes our blood sugar levels to take that unwanted rollercoaster ride.

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    Whole grains are found in whole wheat products, brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat and other whole grains which help to stablilize blood sugar levels.

    When we eat carbohydrates, our body converts them into glucose, pumps it into our blood stream which then goes on to feed our brain, muscles and other organs. But the difference between refined carbs and whole grains is how long it takes for them to be converted into glucose and this is key to understanding and maintaining a healthy blood sugar level.

    Refined carbohydrates cause glucose to enter the blood stream extremely quickly causing a major spike in energy and mood. Alternatively, whole grains and fruit take much longer to be digested meaning it enters the blood at a much slower rate.

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    How Exactly Does A Blood Sugar Level Spike And Crash Happen?

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      When our blood sugar levels are spiked, the pancreas immediately starts to produce insulin to counteract the amount of sugar in our system because the body is always trying to maintain an even blood sugar level.

      The problem occurs because the pancreas always overcompensates the amount of insulin released and the role of this insulin is to remove the glucose and send it to the cells in our body. This results in too much glucose being removed and levels dropping significantly hence a quick and massive crash in energy levels.

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      Sudden low energy levels mean we will crave more refined sugars to up our mood and so the detrimental cycles continues.

      The Secret Ingredient To Stabilize Blood Sugar Levels

      It’s fibre. To prevent the blood sugar rollercoaster from occurring, we need to replace refined sugars and grains with whole grains and fruit because it’s these that contain the fibre needed to stabilize the glucose levels in our blood.

      Whole grains contain soluble fibre which acts as a sponge in your stomach, soaking up everything and causing it all to be digested much slower by the body. This causes the sugars to be released at a much more stable and even level. The pancreas doesn’t need to release so much insulin to overcompensate and so there isn’t a quick removal of glucose as with refined carbohydrates.

      So if you want to get off the blood sugar rollercoaster, switch to a diet rich in whole grains and eliminate the refined sugars and grains that promote the spikes and crashes that can cause your mood to dip. Cutting down on the amount of refined carbs you eat will improves your happiness levels and overall health so substitute brown rice for white or a chocolate bar for a piece of fruit and reap the benefits.

      Featured photo credit: unsplash.com via pexels.com

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      Jenny Marchal

      Freelance Writer

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      Last Updated on September 20, 2018

      How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

      How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

      Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

      If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

      1. Breathe

      The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

      • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
      • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
      • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

      Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

      2. Loosen up

      After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

      Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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      3. Chew slowly

      Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

      Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

      Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

      4. Let go

      Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

      The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

      It’s not. Promise.

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      Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

      Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

      21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

      5. Enjoy the journey

      Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

      Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

      6. Look at the big picture

      The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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      Will this matter to me…

      • Next week?
      • Next month?
      • Next year?
      • In 10 years?

      Hint: No, it won’t.

      I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

      Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

      7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

      You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

      Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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      8. Practice patience every day

      Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

      • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
      • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
      • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

      Final thoughts

      Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

      Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

      Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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