As the weather turns colder and you feel the need to take comfort in creamy hot chocolate, cakes and puddings here are some top tips to help your body metabolise sugar more effectively and avoid spikes and crashes.
1. Get your body moving
Regular exercise helps to increase your body’s insulin sensitivity and uses up glucose as an energy source for muscle contracture. Although government guidelines recommend 30 minutes of any moderate physical activity everyday, recent studies have shown that short sharp bursts of exercise, termed ‘exercise snacking’ prior to eating has the best effect on improving blood sugar levels.
Another important development is in the activation of a muscle in your calf called Soleus. This has a particular benefit to blood sugar, reducing blood glucose by up to 50% and can be easily exercised by walking or doing heel raises/soleus push-ups, both of which can be effortlessly added to your exercise routine.
2. Adapt your diet
Reducing carbohydrates in your diet and switching to more protein based meals and snacks will reduce the consumption of glucose. Protein, along with good dietary fats and fibre, also helps to slow the absorption of any glucose which means that you are less likely to have a sugar spike. Consuming sweet treats on a full stomach after a meal instead of as a snack on an empty stomach will also help to reduce a sugar spike.
3. Take a blood sugar stabiliser!
Both chromium and cinnamon help to stabilise blood sugar levels. Chromium picolinate is the most recommendable form of chromium as it’s highly absorbable and studies have shown that taking 200-1000mcg per day lowered fasting blood sugar levels and improved hemoglobin A1C levels. Research has shown that 1/2 to 1 teaspoon (2-4 grams) of cinnamon produces the same effects and is easy to add onto your breakfast or into water.