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Smart Eating: 5 Foods to Keep Blood Sugar Stable

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Hi, I’m Stella, a Gut Health Coach and Gluten-Free Practitioner. Join me in this blog as we explore meal options that can support us in regulating blood sugar.

“Can the food we choose impact our blood sugar levels?”

In today’s world, where Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs) are gaining popularity, discussions around blood sugar spikes and dips are everywhere. These compact devices, worn as patches on your arm, enable you to monitor changes in blood glucose levels after each meal. The goal? To understand how your body reacts to various foods and guide you in making informed meal choices.

Consistently high blood glucose levels result in a continuous release of insulin, with cells gradually becoming less responsive over time, thereby increasing insulin resistance.  This resistance hinders the efficient transfer of glucose to cells, resulting in elevated blood glucose levels and the storage of excess glucose as fat, particularly around the abdomen. Ultimately, insulin resistance can contribute to a range of health issues, including type-2 diabetes, and increased risk of heart disease.

Prioritizing balanced meals and lifestyle practices such as regular physical activity, (especially strength training) and stress management, can contribute to blood glucose regulation and improve insulin sensitivity, making it more efficient at transferring glucose from the blood to the cells.

 And what about CGMs? While they offer invaluable insights for those with specific medical conditions, those who are generally healthy may not need to monitor blood glucose levels around the clock. Rather than relying solely on CGMs, strategic and consistent adjustments to your diet can reap significant benefits.

Here are 5 meal tips that could positively impact your blood glucose levels in the long run:

1. Embrace FIBER, both soluble and insoluble

Fiber is your blood sugar’s best friend! There are two main types: soluble fiber dissolves in water, forming a gel-like substance in the digestive tract to slow sugar absorption, while insoluble fiber adds bulk to stool, aiding in bowel movement regulation. Together, they contribute to stable blood glucose levels over time. Incorporate fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes in your daily meals. You can start your day with a bowl of oat groats cooked with a variety of nuts and seeds, or enjoy a quinoa and black bean salad loaded with crunchy vegetables for dinner. 

If you’ve never given them a shot, consider trying chia seeds. They are known for their high content of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Here’s a quick Mango Chia Pudding recipe from Cookidoo that I usually prepare in the evenings, for an easy morning breakfast.

2. Add a little PROTEIN to each meal

Protein isn’t just for bodybuilders or gym enthusiasts. Including a source of protein in every meal helps slow down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, preventing rapid spikes in blood glucose levels. It also promotes satiety, keeping you feeling full and satisfied for longer periods. Choose both animal-based and plant-based protein sources such as lean meats, poultry, fish, tofu, tempeh, beans and lentils. A simple breakfast of scrambled eggs with avocado and tomatoes, or a lunch of grilled chicken, quinoa and mixed vegetables are excellent choices.

Cookidoo’s Marinated Tofu with Tomatoes and Aubergine Sauce is a winner, combining both proteins and fiber in one meal, and it tastes great with a simple side of steamed spinach.

3. Opt for LOW GLYCEMIC INDEX (GI) foods

You may have heard of the Glycemic Index. It ranks foods based on how quickly they raise blood glucose levels, on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 being the number associated with white sugar. Low GI foods have a GI below 50 and are digested and absorbed more slowly, resulting in gradual and steady increases in blood sugar. These foods often have a higher fiber and water content and are usually minimally processed. Keep in mind that a GI number only applies to carbs; since proteins and fats do not spike our blood glucose, they have a GI of zero. Select low GI carbs such as quinoa, barley, non-starchy vegetables, and whole grains over white bread, white rice, or white pasta, and complement them with fats and proteins for a balanced meal.

To easily find Low-GI foods on Cookidoo, simply enter ‘#lowcarb’ in the search bar. You’ll discover a variety of options, including these delicious Keto Bread Rolls. They’re made with nuts, seeds, coconut flour, eggs, and cream cheese, and they come together in just over an hour.

4. Harness the power of CHROMIUM-RICH foods

Chromium, an essential trace mineral, has gained attention in scientific research. Studies conducted on rodents suggest that the inclusion of dietary sources of chromium may increase insulin sensitivity and contribute to improved blood sugar regulation. Chromium is found in very small amounts in foods, with the best sources including whole grains, meats, seafood, fruits, vegetables, almonds, Brazil nuts, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, lentils, and chickpeas. Why not jot these foods down on your fridge for a handy reminder? Then, you could easily incorporate them into a snack of mixed nuts or in a dinner like baked salmon with steamed broccoli and slivered almonds to elevate your intake.Replace your daily boxed cereal with this delicious Cranberry and Coconut Toasted Cereal, sweetened with coconut sugar (with a significantly lower GI than white sugar), to incorporate a daily dose of nuts and seeds into your diet.

5. Embrace healthy FATS

Dietary fats can help regulate blood sugar levels by slowing down the absorption of carbs, thus reducing the speed at which blood glucose levels rise. Several studies also suggest that consuming Omega-3 rich foods can mitigate inflammation and enhance mitochondrial function, which could increase insulin sensitivity.
Incorporate sources of monounsaturated fats like cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil and avocados, as well as omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids such as salmon, flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and hemp seeds, into your meals. For example, you can drizzle olive oil over any salad, enjoy avocado toast as a snack (on that low-GI slice of bread), or savour grilled salmon with sautéed vegetables for dinner. This easy-to-follow recipe for Simple Steamed Salmon with garlic, rosemary, and thyme on Cookidoo is a cinch to prepare using the Varoma dish on the Thermomix. Steaming ensures that the dish retains its nutrients and natural flavours, making it a simple yet delicious option.

By incorporating these simple tips into your meals, you can aim to maintain stable blood glucose levels and support your overall metabolic health in the long run. And don’t forget to embrace simple lifestyle modifications for better results. 

Remember, unless there’s a specific medical condition, prioritize sustainable choices that nourish your body and support well-being, rather than getting caught up in every peak and spike.


Note: Health Coaching isn’t a replacement for medical advice. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of information you have read on this post.

About the Author

Stella Faso is a qualified Gut Health Coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN), Gluten-Free Practitioner,  and a Thermomix® Consultant.

Founder of thegreatgutsy.com, Stella offers personalised health coaching and Thermomix® Demos.

Contact her at info@thegreatgutsy.com or @thegr8gutsy on Instagram.

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