Keeping blood sugar steady is one of the easiest ways to safeguard your sunny spirit and ward off blah moods. Now, research reveals another benefit you can feel good about: It cuts the risk of COVID-19 complications by 77 percent. Luckily, dodging blood-sugar swings is simple!
Enjoy an early breakfast.
Breaking your overnight fast prevents your pancreas from going into “starvation mode” and releasing hormones that spike blood sugar. In fact, a study in Diabetes Care found that folks who ate breakfast lowered their blood sugar by 27 percent all day.
Tip: Researchers at Northwestern University found that those who ate before 8:30 am had lowered their blood sugar even more!
Toast frozen bread.
Starchy carbs are known blood-sugar offenders since they’re quickly broken down into glucose that floods the bloodstream. But British research reveals freezing fresh bread, then thawing before toasting (or buying baked, frozen bread) blunts blood-sugar spikes by 43 percent.
Study authors say cooling and heating transforms bread’s starches into a form that resists digestion so it doesn’t raise glucose levels. Also recommended: Opt for sourdough or rye bread, which slow the digestion of starches to sidestep sugar spikes.
Sweeten tea this way.
Cutting back on sugar by opting for artificial sweeteners seems like a no-brainer way to combat blood-sugar spikes. But research in Nature suggests sucralose, saccharin, and aspartame actually increase blood glucose by 112 percent. Experts say the fake sugars disrupt friendly gut bacteria that help the body respond to insulin. Instead, try natural sweeteners, such as stevia and monk fruit.
Dance after dinner.
Movement brings blood sugar down by shunting glucose from the bloodstream into muscles. That’s why a 30-minute stroll curbs sugar spikes by 25 percent all day long. For even better results, crank up some tunes and turn your living room into a dance floor: Old Dominion University scientists say the moderate boost in exercise intensity provided by dancing is ideal for balancing blood sugar-and folks who danced for a half hour after meals lowered their blood sugar surges by 38 percent.
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.