2nd Mar 2017
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Four ways to maintain healthy blood sugar levels
Hand holding meter. Diabetes doing glucose level test. Vegetables in background

Much of the food you eat is converted into blood sugar to give your body energy. Regulating blood sugar levels is important to maintain a healthy weight and lower the risk of diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Problems can occur if your blood sugar levels are too high or too low. Some research suggests that people with high blood sugar levels are also at an increased risk of developing cancer.

Here are four ways to maintain healthy blood sugar levels:

1. Protein
Stabilising blood sugar levels begins with protein, which provides our bodies with long-lasting energy. It’s a great idea to include a lean source of protein with each meal. The best sources include lean red meat, chicken, eggs, legumes, nuts, seeds and tofu.

2. Chromium
Chromium is a mineral used by the body to regulate insulin production and give us stable energy. It may also help protect DNA chromosomes and halt cell mutations, which can lead to various chronic diseases. Good sources of chromium are raw, cooked or roasted veggies, especially broccoli, wholegrain cereals, nuts, mushrooms and soybeans.

3. Fibre
Fibre assists with blood sugar control as it helps to slow the body’s breakdown of carbohydrates and absorption of sugar. This means the foods you eat will provide your body with longer-lasting energy. The body needs both soluble and insoluble fibre. Fibre can be found in wholegrain breads and cereals, brown rice, legumes, fruit and vegetables.

4. Reducing sugar
The body does not metabolise sugar well, and it plays havoc with the regulation of your blood sugar levels. When sugar hits the bloodstream, it causes blood sugar levels to spike for a short period before dropping again rapidly. Foods to avoid include chocolates, cakes, biscuits, sugary breakfast cereals and soft drinks.

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    COMMENTS

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    Ted Wards
    10th Mar 2017
    10:37am
    When you discuss sugar, are you referring to sucrose, fructose or glucose? They are processed differently in the body and are used differently in the body.

    Structure
    Simple carbohydrates are classified as either monosaccharides or disaccharides. Monosaccharides are the simplest, most basic units of carbohydrates and are made up of only one sugar unit. Glucose and fructose are monosaccharides and are the building blocks of sucrose, a disaccharide. Thus, disaccharides are just a pair of linked sugar molecules. They are formed when two monosaccharides are joined together and a molecule of water is removed -- a dehydration reaction.
    Glucose
    The most important monosaccharide is glucose, the body’s preferred energy source. Glucose is also called blood sugar, as it circulates in the blood, and relies on the enzymes glucokinase or hexokinase to initiate metabolism. Your body processes most carbohydrates you eat into glucose, either to be used immediately for energy or to be stored in muscle cells or the liver as glycogen for later use. Unlike fructose, insulin is secreted primarily in response to elevated blood concentrations of glucose, and insulin facilitates the entry of glucose into cells.
    Fructose
    Fructose is a sugar found naturally in many fruits and vegetables, and added to various beverages such as soda and fruit-flavored drinks. However, it is very different from other sugars because it has a different metabolic pathway and is not the preferred energy source for muscles or the brain. Fructose is only metabolized in the liver and relies on fructokinase to initiate metabolism. It is also more lipogenic, or fat-producing, than glucose. Unlike glucose, too, it does not cause insulin to be released or stimulate production of leptin, a key hormone for regulating energy intake and expenditure. These factors raise concerns about chronically high intakes of dietary fructose, because it appears to behave more like fat in the body than like other carbohydrates.
    Sucrose
    Sucrose is commonly known as table sugar, and is obtained from sugar cane or sugar beets. Fruits and vegetables also naturally contain sucrose. When sucrose is consumed, the enzyme beta-fructosidase separates sucrose into its individual sugar units of glucose and fructose. Both sugars are then taken up by their specific transport mechanisms. The body responds to the glucose content of the meal in its usual manner; however, fructose uptake occurs at the same time. The body will use glucose as its main energy source and the excess energy from fructose, if not needed, will be poured into fat synthesis, which is stimulated by the insulin released in response to glucose.

    Not all sugars are the same.
    KSS
    10th Mar 2017
    7:56pm
    Fructose is fine IF it is in the whole fruit or veg and in this case you would be hard pressed to eat too much.

    Isolated e.g. high fructose corn syrup it is NOT a good sugar to have yet it is included in many many processed foods including fizzy drinks and fruit juices. Likewise the fructose component of sucrose is also an issue since the addition of sucrose is generally also in processed foods and also table sugar on your tea.

    Fructose in its raw state i.e. packaged with fibre, minerals and vitamins, fats and proteins is absolutely fine and nothing to worry about.=; i.e. eat the apple don't drink the juice!
    biddi
    10th Mar 2017
    5:10pm
    Oh, why is life so complicated?
    Here, have a bikkie.
    Penny Dropped
    11th Mar 2017
    9:11pm
    Yet again, same "journalist" that did Good carbs, bad carbs article, and who has no apparent qualifications in the areas of endocrinology or nutrition, hasn't bothered citing her references. Creates doubt over reliability of any content in Life Choices.


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