With just over 10% of Americans in good metabolic health, managing blood sugar is becoming paramount. Metabolic health isn’t just about cutting carbs; these six factors can also influence blood sugar.
If there’s one thing to eliminate to attain better health, it’s chronic stress. Long-term elevation of stress hormone cortisol can prevent muscles from absorbing glucose, leaving it in the bloodstream and increasing blood sugar levels.
Socializing, reading, journaling, and even just a few minutes of deep breathing can help reduce stress levels. Though none of those activities may be quite as simultaneously beneficial to stress reduction and blood sugar health as…
Working muscles require more energy, thus more glucose from the bloodstream, lowering blood sugar levels — both during and after exercise. Consistent activity helps your cells respond more efficiently to insulin’s signals to take up glucose, a.k.a, insulin sensitivity. Exercise that increases muscle mass increases the amount of glucose that can be absorbed from the bloodstream.
While specific strength training protocols may be most effective in increasing muscle mass and metabolic conditioning programs the most efficient in training how your body uses energy (glucose), all exercise supports blood sugar health. A low-intensity 10-minute walk after a meal has been scientifically shown to mitigate post-eating blood sugar spikes. Of course, it will be difficult to exercise without sufficient…
Like stress, poor sleep triggers cortisol release, causing similar elevations in blood sugar. While normal sleep maintains blood sugar levels throughout the night, disrupted sleep characterized by long periods of wakefulness causes unhealthy blood sugar fluctuations.
Nutrients that support blood sugar health
Vitamins B6 and B7 (biotin), magnesium, and alpha lipoic acid are involved in glucose metabolism. Chromium helps the cells absorb glucose from the bloodstream while zinc is critical for insulin release. These nutrients are staples in a balanced diet that includes a wide variety of whole foods, they’re easy to supplement if other factors — like gut health and medication use — interfere with absorption. Our Lypo-Spheric® B Complex Plus contains B6, biotin, zinc, and chromium while Lypo-Spheric® Magnesium L-Threonate contains 77mg elemental magnesium, and Lypo-Spheric® R-Alpha Lipoic Acid contains the most biologically active form of the insulin sensitivity-supporting nutrient. All Lypo-Spheric® supplements contain choline, which supports a healthy liver and thus has an indirect role in metabolic health.
While deficiencies in these micro-nutrients can have grave effects on metabolic health, a proper blood sugar-supporting diet includes…
Proteins, fats, and fiber
Pairing these three macronutrients with carbohydrates slows digestion, mitigating blood sugar spikes. And, take it from board-certified nutritionist and classically trained chef Mia Ridgen, ensuring your plate contains these nutrients can make your meal even tastier.
“The wonderful thing about focusing on blood sugar is that it’s more about what you’re adding to your plate than what you’re eliminating. For example, you can make a veggie and protein-rich bolognese using half zucchini noodles and half spaghetti. This increases your fiber intake while lowering the carbohydrate count for better blood sugar balance. I also love making oatmeal more blood sugar-friendly by cutting the oats with flax and chia seeds and adding a protein-rich collagen powder to the mix.”
And to drink with this meal, how about a glass of…
Staying hydrated with water helps the kidneys flush excess sugar out of the body and water consumption has been associated with better blood sugar health. Of course, this applies to water, not liquid substances in general. A sugary soda, while it contains water, is a leading cause of unhealthy blood sugar.