Top 10 nutritional guidelines for stabilising blood sugar and managing stress

Top 10 nutritional guidelines for stabilising blood sugar and managing stress

  1. Add protein at each meal - protein slows down the release of sugar into the bloodstream. Good quality protein sources include tofu, beans, meat, poultry, quinoa, amaranth, eggs, pulses, yoghurt, cottage cheese, fish, and lentils.

  2. Top up on high fibre foods - fibre also slows the absorption of sugar from food, the particularly water-soluble fibre found in legumes, oat bran, apples, pears and most vegetables.

  3. Don't skip meals - eat when you are hungry; a small snack between meals of nuts, seeds or a piece of fruit and a slice of cheese helps to even out the rate at which sugar is absorbed.

  4. Choose complex carbohydrates - switch from white bread, white flour products, white rice and pasta to whole grains like oats, brown or basmati rice, wholemeal bread and pasta, vegetables and fruit. These slow releasing carbohydrates help to keep blood sugar levels steady between meals.

  5. Eat lots of vegetables and fruit - aim for at least 5 to 10 portions a day. These supply a whole host of important vitamins and minerals that are necessary to support a stress response in the body. Stress itself will increase the need for nutrients so if you are stressed you may already be depleted.

  6. Remove highly processed and sugary foods - clear your cupboards of cakes, biscuits, crisps, chocolate, sweets, and pastries. These types of foods are high in sugar which is released very quickly into the blood circulation leading to sharp ‘highs’ and sudden crashes.

  7. Read all food labels - many processed foods like tomato ketchup, baked beans, low-fat products and ready meals contain high levels of hidden sugars.

  8. Include oily fish - these are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Insulin action is dependent on the sufficient intake of essential fatty acids. Include salmon, mackerel, trout or sardines 1-2 times a week. Walnuts and grass-fed meat and poultry also contain omega-3s.

  9. Cut out caffeine - often stress and fatigue can make caffeine seem very tempting. Unfortunately, this disrupts blood sugar balance so that, despite giving an instant energy lift, it is quickly followed by an energy crash which may leave you tired, irritable and craving another quick fix! Coffee and tea both contain caffeine so try alternatives like herbal teas or barley & chicory drinks and don’t forget to drink plenty of water.

  10. Avoid or considerably reduce alcohol - alcohol is both a stimulant and contains lots of sugar. It triggers the release of adrenaline and produces strong swings in blood sugar levels. Despite feeling as though it relaxes you initially after a stressful day, ultimately it will disturb your sleep leaving you tired and more likely to reach for coffee or sugary snacks.

Hope you will find this useful! 

Yours in health and happiness,

Beth Cook


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