It hits you out of the blue.
You feel weary and somewhat jittery.
Your vision begins to blur.
You feel thirsty.
And your capacity to concentrate declines sharply.
You’ve been knocked out by an after-meal, or “postprandial” spike.
You blood glucose levels have temporarily shot up after eating.
Yes, even if you don’t have diabetes.
As you would imagine by the sounds of it, blood sugar spikes aren’t good news.
When they hit you, you feel completely out of sorts.
In the long term blood sugar spikes can lead to heart and kidney disease, and increase your risk of stroke.
All because you’ve given in to a few extra carbs.
But there’s good news.
There’s plenty of things you can do to avoid blood sugar spikes naturally and stay healthy and in control for years to come.
Avoid blood sugar spikes by applying these behavioural patterns to your routine
Nothing too complex or demanding – simple changes that when applied to your daily routine will help you keep that mischievous blood sugar under control.
- Plan your meals.
Planning your meals for the day is key to maintaining healthy sugar levels.
Try to plan a daily menu to keep your blood sugar low by focusing on low-GI foods and a small sample of higher-GI foods as treats and garnishes.
For instance, a sample breakfast might include eggs and spinach as the base with a glass of milk and small orange to complete the meal. The eggs and spinach are below 20 GI each, so larger portions are fine. The milk is above 20 and the orange is above 40, thus requiring limited servings of each.
For lunch? Tomato, lettuce and turkey salad in a whole-wheat tortilla with a serving of kidney beans on the side.
And for dinner: zucchini, eggplant and minced beef, a side of pearled barley and fresh pineapple for dessert.
If you feel like you need to snack, how about a handful of peanuts or 1 cup of baby carrots?
- Stick to your plan - Don’t skip your meals
Once you’ve got your plan, you’ve got to stick to it.
Yes, life gets busy and you forget to eat your carefully planned meal but try not to.
The best way to keep your blood sugar levels under control is to give your body fuel several times during the day.
Three meals and two snacks is a healthy goal.
A certain level of fluctuation is to be expected but if your blood sugar level is healthy when you start a meal, even if it does go up, it won’t go as high.
Just imagine what happens when your levels are already high…
- Don’t Drink Alcohol on an Empty Stomach.
It’s common knowledge that alcohol should not be drunk on an empty stomach. That’s particularly important when you are trying to maintain blood sugar levels. Drinking as little as 2 ounces of alcohol on an empty stomach can lead to very low blood sugar levels.
Remember - you can make a drink last longer and lower the impact that it will have on your blood sugars by having a wine spritzer.
Foods that will keep your blood sugar levels under control
Besides the famed leafy green and nonstarchy vegetables, there are other foods available to you to keep your blood sugar in check and help avoid blood sugar spikes.
Vinegar. A tablespoon of vinegar with every meal – as unappealing as it may seem – has been shown to improve fasting blood sugar levels. So, how about dressing your salad with a dash of olive oil and your favorite type of vinegar? You’ll love the Mediterranean feel it will bring to those leaves!
Cinnamon. An increasing number of studies seem to indicate that cinnamon’s qualities help maintain blood sugar levels, even for people who aren’t overweight. The quantity needed is still unclear, but it would appear that anywhere from a teaspoon to six grams per day might do the trick. So don’t be shy when it comes to this fragrant spice - sprinkle it over your cereals, your tea, and your home-baked treats.
Oatmeal. This type of high-quality carbohydrates takes a lot longer to be digested in your system. This helps keep blood sugar levels steady over time.
Avoiding blood sugar spikes doesn’t have to involve nasty needles or unnecessary medications.
Take the right steps, eat the right foods, and enjoy a more balanced outlook on life!