NourishDoc: Well, we are focusing on women’s health over forty, and today’s topic is balancing blood sugar. First, we will understand blood sugar and how we balance it with Rebecca Hasselton. She is joining me live and is a licensed nutritionist and health transformation coach. Welcome, Rebecca.
Nutritionist Rebecca: Thanks, Amita. I’m glad to be here.
NourishDoc: Let’s start with the basics of blood sugar and what happens to our bodies if it’s not balanced.
Symptoms Of High Blood Sugar In Women
Nutritionist Rebecca: It’s a great question. So, blood sugar gets much attention, but only some understand it unless they get diagnosed with a large imbalance or disease involving blood sugar. Everyone has blood sugar, the substrate when converting food into energy. You break down your food into different byproducts. When you eat carbohydrates, you break down those carbohydrates into glucose or blood sugar, and that helps fuel your body so that your body can do all the things that it needs to do; it’s ideal to have that be a balanced level and not get too high or drop down too low.
You would know that you were not in balance because you would be experiencing symptoms. Symptoms for high or low blood sugar can often feel similar. So you could be tired or oscillating from feeling jittery or even foggy-headed. Then you feel like you could tank on your energy, or your brain stops working, or you can’t seem to get yourself to focus. Those are symptoms that your blood sugar is disrupting. Getting dizzy is another symptom of either too high or too low blood sugar. Many other symptoms are more long-term.
Blood Sugar Imbalance
So, longer-term symptoms meaning when your blood sugar is imbalanced for an extended period, weeks, months, or years would be more systemic conditions of imbalance; you could notice issues with your hair, skin, or nails with poor wound healing. That’s a classic sign that your blood sugar is imbalanced, stubborn weight gain that’s often involved when your blood sugars are chronically running too high, and this can be masked as natural things change naturally as we all age, and so sometimes we chalk it up to oh I’m getting older. But that may not be the case. Your body is dysregulated with your blood sugar, and your eating affects your blood sugar levels.
Personalized Diet For Balancing Blood Sugar
NourishDoc: Okay, so let’s understand, we know food is a medicine; what type of nutrition or diet should we follow to balance our blood sugar? That’s number one, and if it goes out of balance, the second part is from a maintenance point of view, like what kind of nutrition, diet, we should do so that we don’t go like a yo-yo, like a roller coaster ride. It happens to me. It happens to me all the time. My blood sugar fluctuates daily, and millions of women or people are out there. They’ve experienced the same things, just trying to understand on a very high level; this is not medical advice.
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Nutritionist Rebecca: Correct. Yes, I’m not a doctor. I don’t pretend to be a doctor. So, on a nutritional level, our blood sugar goes up and down to some degree. We want to minimize it. We don’t want it to look like a really fun roller coaster. We want to create a nice coast like you’re on a raft on a river. So, like a very calm stream or a very slow river.
So, what works for one person will only work universally for some. I have worked with clients for whom the only way we knew what was working was they were testing their blood sugar. So there would be foods you would think would bring their body into a nice, steady balance, but it’s only sometimes the case. I’ll give you some general guidelines, but I also want to outline that knowing your body and how your body work is very important.
So, getting some custom data is essential. Suppose you find that doing the basics is not getting enough results. So, the things you want to do to create stable blood sugar are not just food; the foods you want to focus on are getting a good amount of protein before you start eating carbohydrates. So, you won’t produce items by eating approximately three meals per day and getting protein at each meal with some good fat.
Fruits and vegetables with fiber in them. When we eat many starches, such as root vegetables, sweet fruits, processed carbohydrates, bread, crackers, and cereals, that can have the propensity to increase much more quickly and dramatically increase blood sugar levels which can lead to what goes up must come down. So, you spike up, and then, you’re crashing, and then, you’re like, oh my gosh, give me sugar, give me something carby and starchy because your body wants to get your blood sugar back up. Some great examples of balancing meals are soup with protein and vegetables. So, animal, proteins, meat, fish, poultry, or some vegetable protein.
So, having tempe or tofu, non-GMO, some legumes or mushrooms. Those can be good things with vegetables to help stabilize your blood sugar. But focusing on a good amount of protein and vegetables, maybe some good fibrous fruits. That will help with Blood sugar from a food perspective, but there’s a lot more to it than just food. Getting adequate hydration is very important, as getting enough sleep.
Lifestyle factors: Sleep, Water, Exercise
So your body needs at least 7 hours of sleep reliably each night. We don’t get enough sleep. You’re going to be insulin resistant. That means that the hormone that helps to balance your blood sugar. It gets the fuel from your food into the cells. It’s you need to listen to it more effectively. It’s not affecting your cells as it should. So, even if you were eating perfectly, if your sleep is imbalanced, that will create or can create a blood sugar imbalance. If you’re eating great but not moving your body, your body needs exercise; it needs a movement that can also affect your blood sugar adversely. So, it’s multifactorial, is what I’m trying to say.
NourishDoc: Okay, well, thank you so much. This is a quick five to 10-minute session that we bring daily. Anything else you want to add quickly before I wrap up?
Nutritionist Rebecca: Oh my gosh, That’s so fast. So, there is also a link between the stress hormone cortisol and blood sugar or glucose. So, for some percentage of the population, you can do all the right things with your food. However, it does not make a significant difference if you have much stress, either emotional stress or some hidden stress.
Stress And Blood Sugar Level Link
Hidden stress can be some imbalance in the gut. One of my areas of specialty is working on gut health. If there’s food sensitivity or inflammation, then all of those things can raise cortisol levels in the body, which can also raise all, excuse me, glucose levels. One thing that sets my approach apart from other nutritionists is helping clients identify if they have imbalanced blood sugar. Why? Is it your food? Or is it another factor that helps you to get the habits in place to balance your chemistry successfully?
NourishDoc: That’s an excellent point you made; it’s not just one thing, right? We know that our mind and body are connected. We all know that now and no matter what kind of amazing food, the body will get cuckoo too. So I’m using a very simple non-specialist language here. Using blood sugar as a cuckoo part.
That is exactly what we are trying to tell everyone about the holistic lifestyle; we are building a holistic platform to help our mind and body together. They do not; they are not like two different compartments here. We need to bring and fuse them, and that’s exactly what you’re talking about. Any last words you want to share quickly on your website, Insta? You’re welcome to do that so that people know where to join you.
Nutritionist Rebecca: Thank you for mentioning that the mind and the body are connected. They do work together as a team. Yes, my website is Choosing Health now.com. You can reach out to me there. I’ve got some helpful blogs on balancing all aspects of health, including blood sugar, and I am on Insta a bit, but I’m more on my Facebook page, Choosing health. So, don’t hesitate to contact me if you want to explore your blood sugar or any element of help and address it holistically.
NourishDoc: Well, thank you. That is a great thought for the weekend. Starting the weekend. So, thank you so much, and have a great weekend, everyone. We’ll be back again.