I recently had a fascinating conversation with Teresa Herndon, Nurse Practitioner and founder of noblewellnessconsulting.com, about the importance of balancing blood sugar and its impact on our overall health. We chatted about various aspects of blood sugar and its connection to chronic diseases, mental health, and even aging. Let me share with you some of the key takeaways from our conversation.
Teresa's enthusiasm for this topic was contagious. She emphasized that maintaining stable blood sugar levels is crucial for preventing chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity, PCOS, and even mental health struggles such as depression and anxiety. Surprisingly, blood sugar balance also plays a significant role in aging, affecting our skin's collagen and overall appearance.
One of the key factors Teresa highlighted was insulin, the hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar levels. Insulin helps move glucose from the bloodstream into cells for energy. However, when we constantly bombard our bodies with excessive glucose from high-carb and sugary foods, insulin resistance can occur. This resistance makes it difficult for our bodies to utilize the energy effectively, leading to various health issues.
Teresa compared insulin resistance to a dripping faucet wearing down what's beneath it over time. When our bodies are constantly bombarded with high-carb foods, the insulin feedback loop becomes overwhelmed, and the body eventually becomes resistant to insulin's effects. It's like disconnecting the doorbell when kids keep ringing it—it's a defense mechanism to protect against constant stimulation.
Now, let's move on to the five key ways Teresa suggested to balance blood sugar.
1. Start your day right: Teresa emphasized the importance of having a savory breakfast rich in protein. This helps stabilize blood sugar levels and prevents the rollercoaster ride of glucose spikes and crashes throughout the day. It could be as simple as enjoying an omelet with veggies or having last night's leftover chicken and broccoli.
2. Eat in the right order: Teresa revealed a surprising hack—eating certain foods in a specific order can significantly impact glucose levels. She recommended starting your meal with fiber-rich vegetables, followed by proteins and fats, and saving carbohydrates for last. This approach slows down glucose absorption and provides a steady rise and fall in energy levels.
3. Prioritize physical activity after you eat: Of course, regular exercise has numerous benefits, including improved insulin sensitivity and blood sugar regulation. Teresa encouraged incorporating movement within 90 minutes of eating for at least 10 minutes. It can be a short walk after meals or even chores around the house like folding laundry or cleaning the kitchen.
4. Start your largest meal of the day with vinegar: Vinegar can lower the glucose spike by up to 30%. You can take a shot of vinegar before dinner, but if that's too intense, make a vinegar mocktail with lemon, apple cider vinegar, stevia for sweetness, and maybe some water. Any vinegar works, just avoid sugary ones like aged balsamic glazes. Dilute a tablespoon of vinegar in a cup of water, add stevia, and a touch of lemon juice for flavor.
5. Be careful with sweet foods: When it comes to sweet and starchy foods, it's all about making smart choices. If you're having fruit juice, make sure to have it with a meal and save it for last. Another option is to go for blended fruit and vegetable drinks. When it comes to fruit, aim for lower glycemic options like berries, avocados, and citrus fruits. Of course, you can still enjoy sweeter fruits like pineapple and mango, just treat them as a dessert and pair them at the end of a meal. Choose wisely and savor the sweetness.
So there you have it, the key takeaways from my conversation with Teresa Herndon about balancing blood sugar. Remember, it's not just about preventing diabetes but also about overall well-being, mental health, and even the aging process. Start your day with a protein-packed breakfast, eat in the right order, get some activity in after you eat, add vinegar into your eating routine, and choose sweet foods wisely. These simple steps can go a long way in maintaining stable blood sugar levels and promoting better health.