HORMONES SERIES | Balance Your Blood Sugar, Part 2.
In Part 1, we discussed the impact that out of control blood sugar has on our hormones and our skin. Now, we’ll talk about what to do about it. First up, your diet. Try to think of altering your diet as an experiment. In fact, you can even consider it temporary if that helps (although, trust me, once your blood sugar is balanced, you’ll never go back). Luckily, balancing your blood sugar isn’t restrictive in the least – it simply involves adjusting your current macronutrient consumption.
What combination of carbohydrates, protein, and fat should you be aiming for? Optimally, your diet should consist of 40-50% fat, 20-30% protein, and 20-30% carbohydrates. On your plate, that might look like a generous portion of veggies cooked in coconut oil, a little avocado, a 4 to 5 ounce portion of protein, and a small amount of starchy veggies (think root vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and butternut squash). You might be wondering why I didn’t include any grains. It’s not that I’m opposed to whole grains; I just want you to start thinking about including grain-less meals in your daily diet. Start with one meal per day and work up from there. Like I said, this shouldn’t seem restrictive. If you focus on greens, fat, protein, and fiber, there won’t be much room left on your plate for grains.
Your next thought might be, 40-50% fat? Are you crazy? Keep in mind that fat does not make you fat. Carbohydrates make you fat. But before you reach for the heavy cream, remember that quality matters. Seek out healthy fats with a balanced omega 3/omega-6 ratio, including:
• pasture-raised eggs
• grass-fed beef
• wild-caught fish
• grass-fed butter (my favorite!) and ghee
• cold-pressed, unrefined coconut oil
• coconut butter
• extra virgin olive oil
• nuts and nut butters
You will be amazed at how quickly your sugar cravings disappear when you increase the amount of quality fats in your diet. Trust me, it’s nothing short of miraculous.
Quality also matters when it comes to your protein and carbohydrate sources as well. Avoid simple, refined carbohydrates (the white guys) in favor of whole grains, starchy vegetables, and beans and if you choose animal protein, opt for grass-fed, pasture-raised, organic sources. The hormones and antibiotics fed to animals on factory farms wreak havoc on your endocrine system.
You’ll notice I haven’t mentioned sugar. Ditch it. No more desserts, pastries, cereal, bars, etc. Sorry, but refined sugar is not doing you any favors, organic or not. Initially have at the honey, maple syrup, and dates, but eventually, you are going to want to limit that as well. (As you increase the fat in your diet, it will naturally happen. You just won’t crave it like you used to). I will do another series of posts on my strategies for quitting sugar because it has been the best thing I’ve done for my health.
If you have adjusted your diet and you’re still having cravings and energy slumps, I’ll discuss a few supplements to incorporate in Part 3.