Non-diet nutrition

Three things to know about managing blood sugar

Understanding how blood sugar works and impacts your body is an important factor in approaching your health.

The Flourish team
A salad bowl that incorporates fat, protein, and carbohydrates

You've probably heard that blood sugar is important to your health. But why? And how?

The food you eat breaks down into sugars, mainly glucose, which is then used for energy in your cells. Blood sugar refers to the sugar levels in your blood. Being mindful of a few factors that affect blood sugar can help you achieve greater balance in your blood sugar levels and help prevent drastic spikes and drops that may not leave you feeling your best. If you're experiencing spikes and drops in your blood sugar, you may notice yourself feeling shaky, lethargic, or confusing hunger and fullness signals.

Here's three things you should know about blood sugar from a non-diet nutrition perspective.

1. Combining foods, rather than restricting foods will help to balance blood sugar.

You don’t need to micromanage your plate or your body to do this. Simply aim to mix your macronutrients—combine protein, fat, and carbs at most meals and snacks.

When you eat a meal or snack with a combination of macros, you are going to have a much slower release of glucose into your bloodstream. That will help keep your blood sugar levels balanced.

2. If you menstruate, your cycle affects your blood sugar.

Insulin sensitivity is higher in the follicular phase of your cycle, which is from the first day of a period to ovulation. (As compared to your luteal phase, which is after ovulation and before your period.) So being extra mindful of the balance of protein, carbs, and fat in the second half of your cycle can help stabilize blood sugar and energy levels.

3. Stress can impact your body's ability to regulate blood sugar.

The stress hormone, cortisol, can inhibit insulin production (the hormone that helps sugar get into your cells for energy). When you're stressed or have a lot of caffeine, for example, your body produces cortisol.

This is part of our fight-or-flight response that elevates our blood sugar for immediate energy usage, and can be useful when you’re actually in a dangerous situation. But chronic stress can, over time, make it harder for your body to regulate blood sugar.

If you have questions or concerns about managing blood sugar within the context of your personal health, meet one-on-one with a Flourish coach for free.

Author
Headshot of Claire Siegel
Claire Siegel
RDN, LD
Co-founder, CEO
Claire Siegel is the founder and CEO of Flourish. Claire has made it her life’s mission to help women create a sustainable approach to their physical and mental well-being.
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