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Balanced blood sugar, essential for overall health | Your Best Life

In this week's Your Best Life, 6 News Anchor Leslie Draffin talks with a nutritional health coach about why balancing blood sugar is so important.

Healthy blood sugar balance. It might be something you haven't thought of before, but it can make a huge difference in your health. In this week's Your Best Life, 6 News Anchor Leslie Draffin talks with a nutritional health coach about why balancing blood sugar is so important and what steps you can take to get yours in check.

"Maintaining healthy blood sugar balance is absolutely essential for overall health in general. In fact, when it isn't balanced it can really wreak havoc on your entire body,” Nutritional Health Coach Helena Linzy said.

According to Linzy, when you have too much sugar in your blood it can attach to your body proteins and lead to tissue and organ damage. It can also keep you from losing weight because your body wants to eliminate sugar and not burn fat.

“Insulin is the hormone our body makes when we have a lot of sugar in our blood, and there's a couple of problems that go along with over secreting this hormone. So, first off insulin is highly inflammatory, and this can lead to mood swings and brain fog. Another problem with insulin relates to the fact that it is the fat storage hormone. So when it's around, our fat stores are held hostage. And essentially what's happening is we have a whole bunch of sugar in our blood, it really is toxic for the body, so the body is going to want to use that sugar first. It’s gonna pretty much put the brakes on any fat burning because it’s not too concerned with using fat if you have all this sugar in your blood. So, you may have plenty of energy available in the form of stored body fat, but you can't access it when your blood sugar and your insulin levels are elevated, and that can really hinder you from reaching your health goals."

But how do you know your blood sugar isn't balanced? "Your body will send you a variety of signs when your blood sugar isn't balanced some of the more common symptoms are increased appetite, food cravings especially for sweets, brain fog and fatigue" Linzy said.

To avoid the roller coaster of blood sugar imbalance, steer clear of meals that are only carbohydrates, like cold cereal, skim milk and orange juice.

"So the problem with this meal is it's just carbohydrates. There's no protein, there's no fat or fiber. So what happens when you eat a meal like this is all those carbohydrates are converted into sugar, and this sugar floods your bloodstream all at one time and it leads to a blood sugar spike. And your body kind of freaks out at this point because it's got so much sugar in the blood. So, it secretes insulin sometimes a little bit too much insulin, and then your blood sugar drops even lower than it was before you even ate, and that's the blood sugar crash.”

Instead, you can create meals that will balance blood sugar by filling your plate with quality protein, healthy fats and fiber rich vegetables which Linzy says "actually supports healthy blood sugar balance and by slowing the absorption of any carbohydrates that may be in the meal."

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