Did you know there is a scientific cause for cravings? Cravings often appear after you experience a significant spike in blood sugar followed by a dramatic drop in blood sugar or a "crash." You may feel like you're relying on caffeine to make it through the day, experience frequent hunger pains or have low energy. But did you know there is a way to eat that helps you feel more balanced?
It's true! There is a style of eating that can help stabilize energy levels, reduce inflammation, cause fewer cravings and help control blood sugar. It can benefit individuals with elevated glucose or insulin resistance working to improve their blood sugar control. Life is about learning and improving. Whether you have diabetes, prediabetes, a family history of diabetes or want to take a proactive approach with your eating, there are small actions you can take today to get started right away. Don't wait another day to feel your best!
Research has found several highly effective ways to balance blood sugar and reduce insulin resistance. Here are the top five dietitian tips to manage your blood sugar.Start your day with a protein-rich breakfast rather than something sweet.
Make your first meal of the day balanced with a good source of protein such as eggs, nuts, Greek yogurt or protein powder. Research shows if you start your day with a balanced meal, your body will be better at regulating blood sugar for the rest of the day.
Eat your meals in a specific order. Research has found that eating your meal in a particular order can help decrease a blood sugar spike by almost 75%, which can be nearly as effective as some diabetes medications.
- Vegetables first: Start your meals with non-starchy vegetables. Think of these vegetables as a magic pill that uses fiber to slow digestion, allowing glucose to hit the bloodstream much more gently. Try carrots or broccoli with dip, a salad full of leafy greens, tomatoes and cucumbers, or cooked vegetables such as roasted Brussels sprouts. All forms of non-starchy vegetables count. When you commit to eating vegetables first at meals, you'll be amazed to see how much you increase your vegetable intake!
- Proteins and fats next: Enjoy a source of protein and fat such as meat, fish, tofu, beans, cheese, nuts and avocado. Protein and fat also help slow digestion for better blood sugar control and provide satiety.
- Starches and sweets last: Save anything starchy or sweet, such as bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, corn, peas, fruit and dessert for the end of a balanced meal. Timing the carbohydrates at the end of the meal after eating vegetables, protein and fat will not adversely affect your blood sugar nearly as much as eating carbohydrates on an empty stomach.
Enjoy sweets and dessert after a balanced meal rather than on an empty stomach.
Once again, save anything sweet for the end of a balanced meal when you already have fiber, protein and fat in your stomach to help blunt a blood sugar spike. Plus, since cravings usually occur due to a crash in blood sugar following a spike, many people notice fewer cravings for sweets once they have balanced their blood sugar. They report feeling satisfied with just a few bites of something sweet and feel powerful having control over their cravings rather than being controlled by cravings.
Move for a few minutes after meals.
Timing some form of movement after meals is an excellent way to help reduce a blood sugar spike. Even just a few minutes of activity allows muscles to utilize some of the sugar in the blood, such as walking or performing household chores. Research has shown even two minutes of walking can help!
Stay consistent with support.
Do you know that even just writing down a goal makes you more likely to achieve it? So does having someone to hold you accountable. One of the best parts of this style of eating is it is NOT all or nothing. There are no off-limit foods. There is no guilt associated with enjoying your favorite foods. It is an approach to eating many individuals feel like they can continue with long term. When it comes to making progress, consistent action is key. Set yourself up for success with support from a Hy-Vee dietitian. It is also crucial to communicate with your doctor about any changes to your diet and continue taking medications as directed while monitoring changes in blood sugar.
Connect with your local Hy-Vee dietitian on our virtual nutrition services platform and schedule a complimentary Discovery Session to learn more. Hy-Vee dietitians offer various services to help you meet your weight loss and nutrition goals, including one-on-one consultation packages, personalized menu plan programs, virtual nutrition store tours and more.
The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.