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Health 16 December 2017
By: Natasha Tanga

How to Balance Your Blood Sugar during the Holidays

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As we are approaching the end of the year, most of us are having time off from work to enjoy the holidays. Of course, it is a perfect time to get together with family and friends. Getting off our daily routines means it is harder to keep track of our healthy habits, including monitoring what we eat; it goes without saying that temptation is everywhere during the holidays! What is supposed to be the happiest season of all, feelings of guilt often crept in because of holiday cravings. To prevent this from happening, keep your blood sugar in check with these tips below!

1. Increase your fiber intake 

Fiber is important to incorporate in your diet, simply because it slows food movement out of the stomach and into the digestive tract. This results in a slower increase in blood sugar and you're feeling full for longer. This is especially beneficial to cut cravings, thus balancing out your blood sugar level. Snack on fruits or make sure to eat some vegetables along with your meals to jack up your daily fiber intake. However, be aware that fruit juices are not necessarily the best way to consume fruits as most of the time, whole fruits contains the most fiber.

2. Consume proper supplements

You can use supplements to help balance your blood sugar and prevent cravings. This is particularly helpful if you are diabetic, overweight, or frequently fight cravings for sweets and/or carbohydrates. Kayu Manis (Cinnamon) is an example of an excellent blood sugar stabilizer. Promising evidences has been found that this prominent herb can reduce fasting blood glucose. With potent blood sugar stabilizing properties, studies found that consuming cinnamon resulted in a significant decrease in glucose, total cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides, thus balancing your blood sugar levels. Consuming cinnamon in the long run may also likely to increase your good cholesterol levels (HDL). Refer to our range of Relief Sari Kayu Manis to fulfill your much needed cinnamon intake!

3. Improve your sleeping habits

Sleep deprivation wreaks havoc on blood sugar. Improving your sleep habits will go a long way in supporting healthy blood sugar levels. If you're often sleep-deprived, cortisol concentrations heighten and higher cortisol levels are linked to insulin resistance. Inadequate sleep also drastically reduces glucose tolerance, making it more difficult for cells to uptake glucose, thus creating higher blood sugar levels. You might be enjoying your holidays by staying up later than usual, but keep in mind that you should still sleep for at least 8 hours per day to maintain a healthy physique.

4. Don't be afraid of consuming fats

It might be tempting to reach out for that low-fat snacks to maintain your shape during holidays, but did you know that low-fat diet actually increases the possibility of having higher blood sugar levels? By replacing the fat in our meal with sugar and refined carbohydrate, we experience sugar cravings and frequent hunger. Fat provides satiation and satisfaction after a meal, while carbohydrates alone don't. 

Whenever we eat a source of carbohydrate, it should be accompanied by a quality source of fat. Fat slows down the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream and prevents sugar highs and sugar crashes. This keeps us full longer so we can reach or maintain a healthy weight. Additionally, the presence of fat in a meal signals the gallbladder to release bile. A stint on a low-fat diet, be it months or years, causes the bile to become thick and stagnant. Since the bile contains hormones and toxins that need to leave the body, stagnant bile allows these things to be reabsorbed into the body. This can contribute to inflammation and blood sugar imbalances.

When it comes to choosing fats, avoid highly processed fats, such as corn oil, soybean oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil and margarine. Rather, opt for animal-based fats, such as butter and egg yolks, though always keep in mind to consume it in moderation. Coconut oil is another excellent option.

5. Don't stress; just relax!

Although it is unlikely to get stressed during the holidays, keep in mind that you should still manage any incoming stresses that may come from vacation trips or any other plans that might not be in line with what you expected it to be. When our body is stressed, we not only reach for extra cookies, we pump out the hormone cortisol to respond to it. That is why managing stress is key to balanced blood sugar. 

When cortisol is secreted, insulin is suppressed, the body releases glucose into the bloodstream, and immune function is put on the back burner until the threat is managed. Once the stressor is resolved, the body goes back to normal functioning. Insulin rebalances blood sugar levels by storing glucose into cells, the liver, and muscles. When the signaling process of insulin and cortisol become too stretched, cells can become resistant to insulin, leading to metabolic diseases like type-2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and high triglycerides.

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