Have you ever looked at the clock at 3pm and realized you haven’t left the computer, or eaten, since breakfast? How about the good ole sweet tooth that forces you to down a venti frappuccino or handful of peanut butter cups? This happens to a great many of us, and when it does – it wreaks havoc on our blood sugar levels.
Blood sugar level is the amount of sugar (glucose) preset in the blood at any given moment. Glucose is gathered from the food we eat and used as a source of energy for all body functions. The amount of sugar found in the food (or drinks) we consume is a huge factor in the amount of glucose it will provide for our bodies and the speed at which it goes into our bloodstream.
Everything we eat gets broken down through digestion and converted to glucose. The rate at which our food converts to glucose is determined by the amount of sugar in the food and how quickly it can be digested. Candy, for example, is almost pure sugar and will transfer glucose to the blood very very quickly without providing nutrition. Broccoli and fish convert to glucose much slower and provide the body with protein, vitamins and minerals needed for optimal health.
When your blood sugar level spikes or drops to frequently, it is out of balance. This triggers stress and cortisol production in our body and can disrupt healthy digestion, mood, and hormone levels. This stress shows up on the skin as breakouts, redness, uneven tone and dehydration. Over time, it can prevent the skin from properly healing and renewing itself as well and this can lead to premature aging or scarring. Bottom line: pay attention to your blood sugar level and keep it in balance.
People with diabetes suffer from chronic irregular blood sugar levels and need insulin to help maintain balance. However, you don’t have to be diabetic to be affected by a spike or dip in blood sugar level. Going long periods of time without eating, ingesting too many sugary or processed foods, or eating sugar or refined carbohydrates on an empty stomach can all trigger a spike or dip in blood sugar.
Keep Your Blood Sugar Level in Balance:
Drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated.
Eat every 3-4 hours except when sleeping (generally speaking, this translates to 3 meals and 2 snacks.) Need a good breakfast recipe? We LOVE this smoothie!
Upon waking in the morning, drink water before anything else (warm water with lemon works really well) to wake-up your digestive tract.
Make meals and snacks with foods that will be slowly transferred into glucose in the blood (stay away from refined grains and sugars and load up on veggies and lean protein.
Look at Fiber: fiber helps maintain energy levels and prevents a spike in blood sugar – look for it in natural whole foods like whole grains, vegetables, legumes, etc.
Limit or eliminate sugar ‘spikers’: soda, sports drinks, desserts, table sugar, and alcohol (this is ESPECIALLY important for those of you with skin imbalances you want to improve like acne, rosacea, scarring, hyper-pigmentation, and wrinkles)
*If you are eating carbohydrates or sugar, try pairing them with vegetables and protein (foods that are more slowly converted to glucose) in order to help slow the sugar spike in the blood.