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7 Expert-Approved Ways to Avoid a Blood Sugar Spike (Without Avoiding Carbs)

If you find that you crave sweets a lot, you’re overly tired, or you regret what comes out of your mouth when you’re dealing with a hanger problem, you should probably consider improving your blood sugar balance. You might think of blood sugar monitoring as something only people living with diabetes need to consider, but the truth is that everyone’s blood sugar goes up and down throughout the day — whether they’re diabetic or not.

Whenever you eat something with carbohydrates, it gets broken down into sugar, and your pancreas produces insulin to help your cells absorb the sugar so it can be used for energy.

So, how do you avoid the blood sugar spike when eating carbohydrate-rich foods?

1. Add vinegar to meals Did you know that vinegar could help lower your glucose when you have some before or during your meal? Consuming an ounce or two of vinegar (either alone, or in a glass of water) before or when eating a carbohydrate-heavy meal will help to curb that post-meal glucose spike. Additionally, consider adding vinegar to your recipes, like salad dressings or marinades. 2. Add protein and fat to the mix

Healthy eating is about the total picture: balanced meals are really important for maintaining optimal blood sugar levels and avoiding a crash. Yes, we want to eat carbohydrates like bananas to facilitate our blood sugar rising and falling throughout the day, but we also want to include fat and protein in the same meal or snack to slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream to avoid the spike of blood sugar.

Desserts can cause spikes in blood sugars because they tend to contain refined carbs and added sugars, both of which get absorbed into your bloodstream quickly. To manage blood sugar levels without deprivation, have a lower-sugar, protein-rich treat.

3. Substitute all-purpose/wheat flour with alternative flours

The type of flour you bake with makes a big difference. Ultra-processed carbs like white flour quickly convert to sugar in the blood. For baking, replace all-purpose flour with alternative, lower-carb flours like almond, cashew, or coconut flours. Refined grains such as wheat flour can lead to high blood sugar spikes

4. Add some fiber

Fiber helps with slowing sugar absorption which means less of a blood sugar spike. There are two ways to do this, so you can opt for either depending on the circumstances.

Have your dessert after a meal rich in fiber, or add fiber to your dessert. Fiber also helps feed your good gut bacteria and there is emerging research on how your microbiome may influence your blood sugar.

However, not every dessert has to have fiber in it. So if you just had a really healthy, fiber-rich meal, that’s a great time to have a sweet — rather than on an empty stomach.

5. Get more exercise

Go for a walk or engage in exercise after eating a high carbohydrate meal. Sugar is fuel for your muscles, so engaging them will remove the sugar from the blood and your muscles will use the sugar for energy.

6. Adjust the portion size

Sometimes my favourite desserts are the ones that are going to spike my blood sugar the most, and I don’t want to change the recipe to be ‘healthier’ and that’s ok.

When you find a food that’s worth it to you and you want to minimize the blood sugar spike, adjust your portion size. This could look like just eating a smaller portion, or having your normal portion but splitting it into two servings — like a small serving after lunch and then another one after dinner, or dividing it up over the course of a couple days. 7. Don’t drink your sugar

Sugar-containing drinks, including some carbonated drinks , blended coffee drinks, and juices can lead to rapid glucose spikes since the sugar is absorbed rapidly into the bloodstream. Many of these drinks deliver high volumes of fructose, which are converted to byproducts in the liver that directly lead to insulin resistance. So leave out the Red Bull and Monster drinks it's NOT doing your Liver any good at all... 😭

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