There is a huge connection between reproductive health and blood sugar. Insulin, which is secreted from your pancreas in response to glucose from food, communicates with your reproductive organs. For example, insulin tells the ovaries to produce more testosterone. Too much insulin released due to high spikes of glucose can lead to high testosterone and PCOS like symptoms (irregular periods, acne, hirsutism). High insulin also lowers sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) which increases estrogen and can contribute to symptoms of estrogen excess like PMS and heavy, crampy periods.
If your insulin and blood sugar are going on daily rollercoaster rides, it can cause inflammation, impact your adrenals and stress hormones, and contribute to subfertility,
The following blood sugar hacks will help prevent a high glucose spike to keep your hormones balanced and happy!
Eat your foods in the right order: Fiber first, protein and fat second, starches and sugars last. Eating your food in this order can reduce your overall glucose spike by 73% and your insulin spike by 48%.
Add a green starter. Eating a fiber rich appetizer (like a garden salad) can reduce the glucose spike of a carby meal by 35%.
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Stop counting calories. Think more about if what you are going to eat will spike your blood sugar instead of how many calories it contains. A 2017 study showed that when overweight people focused more on balancing their blood sugar, they ended up eating more calories but losing more weight than those who focused more on eating less calories.
Don’t forget breakfast. A protein rich breakfast will help balance your blood sugar throughout the entire day.
Avoid the fake sweeteners, too. Artificial sweeteners just aren’t your friend. Instead, try monk fruit and stevia. Avoid sucralose and aspartame and hidden sugars on ingredient labels.
If you want a sweet treat, have it on a full stomach. Eating something sweet on an empty stomach spikes your blood sugar more than if it is already filled with fiber, protein, or healthy fats.
Vinegar to the rescue. Consuming diluted apple cider vinegar in water before meals is a great way to flatten the glucose curve. The acetic acid in vinegar helps encourage the muscles to make glycogen faster than they usually would, which leads to a more efficient uptake of glucose. It’s also been shown to regulate menstrual cycles in those with PCOS.
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Move after you eat. Exercising after a meal, even a 10 minute walk, can decrease your glucose spike by up to 27% – no matter what you eat!
Aim for savory snacks like crackers and cheese, veggies and dip, etc. instead of sweets.
Don’t eat your carbs alone. Instead of eating plain carbs like a slice of toast, adding fiber, fat, and/or protein will help keep your blood sugar stable. So put some avocado and egg or nut butter on that toast!
Wonderful hacks provided by Jessie Inchauspe from her wonderful book Glucose Revolution: The Life-Changing Power of Balancing Your Blood Sugar.