Mastering Blood Sugar Balance: How to Start Your Day the Proper Way
Have you ever considered the profound impact your breakfast choices have on your day? Everyone knows the adage that breakfast is the most important meal, but were you aware it plays a pivotal role in helping to balance your blood sugar levels? Which is essential for your health when you consider your levels influence your energy, mood, and even long-term health.
Back in the 90’s, America introduced their first attempt at the “food pyramid,” and though it has lost relevance, it still greatly influences how people consume their breakfast. For example, at the base of the pyramid, it suggested people eat much more grain than is necessary. This was due to the pyramid being heavily influenced by the food industry attempting to sell their products, not by nutrition specialists. Of course, not all grain (and by extension carbohydrates) are bad for you. It’s the overconsumption of refined carbs, which our breakfasts tend to be laden with, that affect your blood sugar negatively. It can be difficult to break from this trend, even knowing that the pyramid is outdated and incorrect. This is why it is vital people educate themselves on the proper way to start their day, and avoid blood sugar mayhem.
So let’s look at why balancing your blood sugar matters so much. Blood sugar roller coasters, characterized by sharp spikes and crashes in blood glucose levels, can have a profound impact on our well-being. These fluctuations are associated with increased cravings, irritability, fatigue, and even conditions like insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes over time. The roller coaster can also lead to hormone imbalances and pre-mature aging. However, when we achieve appropriate levels, we see results like sustained energy throughout the day. A great way to accomplish this is by incorporating protein and healthy fats in your first meal. In fact, protein takes longer to digest compared to carbohydrates, providing a steady release of energy throughout the morning. Protein also helps with improved insulin sensitivity and appetite regulation.
Balanced blood sugar can also regulate your mood and promote better sleep quality. It helps with the health of your brain since fluctuations can impact your cognitive functioning and concentration. And it might reduce anxiety, which should not be surprising if we find ourselves in better moods and getting improved sleep!
Now, how do you craft the perfect, protein-packed breakfast to set your day up for success? First, you want to try and keep things balanced. Ensure you have a source of protein, healthy fat, carbohydrates from vegetables, and low glycemic index nutrient-dense carbohydrates. Opt for whole foods; avoid processed foods or additives, refined sugars, and unhealthy fats. You should also try and spread your meals evenly throughout the day to avoid extreme fluctuations.
Sound a little intimidating? Don’t worry! We are going to provide you with some examples to help you get started. Let’s get the largest hurdle out of the way first: bread. A large number of people begin their day with bread in some fashion. Toast, French toast, bagels, breakfast sandwiches, sweet breads, etc. And generally we are using bread that has processed grain, and is packed with carbs – which will send you down the blood sugar road we are trying to avoid. A great option is choosing a wholesome bread, made with real ingredients. You might want to turn to gluten free or grain free bread, but some of the gluten free brands out there are full of additives that you certainly don’t want entering your gut. So how do you find a trustworthy brand? Which gluten free bread is best? Well, we of course love our Plantiful Kitchen bread. It has a lot to recommend it for your morning. It’s packed with nutrients, including 5g of protein, 7g of fiber, and only 2g of carbohydrates per serving.
Talk about your low carb bread! We are very passionate about our loaves, and encourage you to incorporate them in your next breakfast.
Other blood sugar-friendly ingredients for your breakfasts include chia pudding, fresh berries, nuts, seeds, avocado, tahini, and olives. You can make yourself a chia pudding parfait with some fresh berries. An egg and veggie scramble with some toasted Plantiful Kitchen sesame seed bread. Make yourself a bagel sandwich, featuring our everything bagels, hummus, or avocado mixed with some shredded fried tofu, or even some smoked salmon, or turkey if you aren’t vegan and maybe some olives for a bit of salt.Really, there are so many wholesome foods out there to make a balanced breakfast, once you begin the habit, you will easily make meals that keep your blood sugar levels in check. It’s not just about filling your belly, or grabbing something quick on your way out the door – it’s about laying the foundation for a day of balanced blood sugar, sustained energy, and overall well-being. And remember: here at Plantiful Kitchen we are very committed to healthy eating, and we hope you will let us be a part of your balanced sugar levels journey with some of our various gluten free bread options.