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4 specific ways to support your blood sugar

but first....those google search suggestions

i love a Google moment. i'll look up random trivia level facts, song lyrics i definitely have wrong, how to spell diarrhea, etc.

one of the most awkward google moments is typing in a question and seeing the suggested text populate.

just now, i typed in... "how many americans have" and was presented with:

  • how many americans have died from COVID?

  • how many americans have diabetes?

  • how many americans have student loan debt?

  • how many americans have passports?

listen, i left that last one in there for mild comic relief. if there's three things we've been confronted with in the last three years, it's making sense of the impacts of Covid, understanding our health, and wondering what will happen with student loan debt.

the pre-diabetes dilemma

the question i wanted to answer was the second. 11% of americans have diabetes. apparently, 1 in 3 americans has 'prediabetes' which... is a term that frustrates me.

prediabetes is considered a 'warning zone' for folks to potentially develop diabetes, determined by an A1c range of 5.7-6.4%. your hemoglobin A1c is the measurement of your blood sugar level over the past 3 months.

in a way, i think it's wonderful to have folks identify if behavior shifts could serve their long-term health. on the other hand, prediabetes is not an official diagnosis [and was largely backed by pharmaceutical companies]. it does not necessarily mean you're destined for diabetes.

if you'd like to learn more about how the 'prediabetes' range came to be, i recommended the Reuters investigation series and this piece from Science.

a moment for spice

when it comes to diabetes care, two things get me hotter than a New Orleans summer:

1. when folks are prescribed medication for diabetes when they are in a prediabetes range, without a conversation about lifestyle or behaviors.

2a. the assumption that prediabetes or diabetes means a life without carbs.

2b. the fear that eating too many carbs causes diabetes.

now, let's get neutral

so, what do we do about all this? let's identify 4 specific ways to support your blood sugar.

[this is a nutrition recommendation for the general population; if you have specific or individual concerns, it is always best to contact your health provider or dietitian for further nuance!]

  • give your carbs a friend

this one's not meant to be all-or-nothing! there are plenty of scenarios [for function or preference] where carbs on their own are a lovely choice.

in general, when it comes to supporting happy blood sugar levels, pairing your carbs with a pal like fat, protein, and/or fiber extends your energy levels. this also promotes satisfaction and a stable mood.

my favorite way to do this? you already know -- adult lunchables!

  • find your meal rhythm

it's easy to fall into the thinking that less is more when it comes to blood sugars. did you know that people with diabetes are hospitalized for hypoglycemia more than hyperglycemia? low blood sugar is extremely dangerous!

instead of the eat less/fasting approach, find your meal rhythm. eating consistently throughout the day means consistent energy levels. it also means less likelihood of being so ravenously hungry that you experience binging.

  • routine blood work

make those annual wellness visits! getting your labs done annually will keep you informed about your body and if there are notable changes year to year.

sometimes getting labs back feels like a big report card. remember: you're more than your labs. use this information as neutral data to keep you informed rather than in a fear state.

  • movement that feels good

fun fact about your blood sugar: when your muscles contract, they utilize blood sugar for energy without needing insulin! finding a movement practice that you can do consistently and with joy can take time. and also, it's time that gives back to you mentally and physically.

which blood sugar tip is one you're excited to implement? which one feels like a slippery slope into dieting? Leave a comment and let me know.

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