Truth: You can’t balance your hormones if you don’t balance your blood sugar
BySarah Axtell, ND •August 27, 2022
The first step to achieving hormone balance is to optimize your blood sugar with good nutrition.
Eating foods high in refined carbohydrates and sugar can lead to a major spike in blood sugar. Your body then secretes insulin to address elevated blood sugar, which can then lead to a drop in blood sugar (this is termed “reactive hypoglycemia”). When levels drop, we feel hungry and tired and thus crave carbs to compensate. This roller-coaster ride of blood sugar can lead to post-meal fatigue (it’s not normal to be tired after eating!), anxiety, weight gain, a weakened immune system, diabetes, heart disease, and insulin resistance.
Too much insulin impairs ovulation (release of an egg from the ovaries). When you do not ovulate, your progesterone levels will be too low. High insulin is also a source of inflammation, which can negatively impact our hormones.
Here are 3 tips to balance blood sugar and thus your hormones:
- Nix the naked carbs…or at least dress them up. We are a culture that is obsessed with naked carbohydrates. Naked carbs are processed, high-glycemic foods devoid of fat, fiber, and protein. Think- anything that comes out of a box or a bag, such as cereal, bagels, cookies, crackers, chips, pretzels, granola bars, bread, pasta, etc. If you are going to eat one of these naked carbs, at least dress them up with fat, fiber, and protein. For example, top your sprouted grain bread with peanut butter or almond butter. Add nuts, seeds, and protein powder to your oatmeal. Top your gluten-free crackers with avocado and turkey.
- Walk after meals. Taking an after dinner stroll will do wonders for your blood sugar. Research shows that exercising in the “mid postprandial phase” of the eating cycle, which occurs between 30 to 120 minutes after eating, most effectively prevents a glucose spike. Remind yourself that even a small walk around the block after eating is better than nothing!
- Fast…in between meals and overnight. It is important to eat during the day to fuel you, but constantly grazing and snacking can wreak havoc on your blood sugar and thus hormones. Eat your 3 solid meals (with fat, fiber, and protein!) and then fast for at least 4 hours in between meals. Avoid eating after dinner.
For more info, on balancing blood sugar, see this post:
Best and Worst Foods for Blood Sugar
Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health practitioners with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.