Nutritional Therapy: How can I balance my blood sugar levels?

As a Nutritional Therapist I am often answering this question. Many of my clients in our Canary Wharf clinic also have to learn how to do this for themselves.Firstly we need to understand how the body controls blood sugar levels. After a meal, the body responds to the rise in blood glucose levels by secreting insulin by the pancreas. Insulin lowers blood glucose by increasing the rate that glucose is taken up by cells through out the body. Declines in blood glucose, which occur during food deprivation or exercise, cause the release of glucagon another hormone produced by the pancreas. Glucagon stimulates the release of glucose stored in body tissues (especially the liver) as glycogen. If the blood sugar levels fall sharply or if a person is angry or frightened, it may result in release of epinephrine (adrenaline) and corticosteriods (cortisol) by the adrenal glands. These hormones provide quicker breakdown of stored glucose for the extra energy required during a crisis or increased need. There are a range of dietary measures that can be taken to avoid rapid rises in blood sugar levels. Firstly eating wholefoods (complex carbohydrates) as much as possible such as brown rice, brown bread, wholewheat pasta and naturally whole foods i.e. nuts, seeds, lentils, beans, vegetables and fruits. These foods are generally higher in fibre than processed or junk foods. They also do not contain any added sugar and the fibre in these foods will further slow down the release of the foods natural sugar into the bloodstream. Wholegrains such as rice, millet, rye, quinoa, and oats are also good sources of chromium. This mineral works closely with insulin in facilitating the uptake of glucose into cells.Eating small amounts regularly will also help to stabilise blood sugar levels. Making sure most of the carbohydrates foods eaten are 'low glycemic index' foods, such as apples, oats, wholegrains, lentils, beans, tofu and raw vegetables. These are foods that release their glucose content slowly,Blood sugar levels can also be can be kept more constant by eating a low-fat protein with a carbohydrate at meal times. This can mean for example having some nuts (almonds) with a piece of fruit, or tofu or fish with rice or pasta. Eating more protein with carbohydrate has the effect of stabilising glucose and insulin levels. This is can only be for a short time until blood sugar levels are stabilised maybe two/three months then return to the normal ratio of carbohydrate to protein.Taking regular aerobic exercise increases the body's sensitivity to insulin and improves blood sugar levels. Cut out or substantially reduce the use of stimulants and depressants including coffee, tea, chocolate, cigarettes, cola drinks and alcohol and dilute all fruit juices by 50%. These substances stimulate the release of adrenalin and other hormones that initiate the fight or flight response, preparing the body for action by releasing sugar stores and raising blood sugar levels."Take care of UrBod, because where else are you going live" Kenny Tranquille Dip.IONNutritional Therapist & NLP Therapy in the Heart of Canary 108 1238What is Nutritional Therapy?