This simple eating well guide on my blog was long overdue an update. Previously, I just talked about empowering yourself with knowledge of nutrition basics and a couple other tips. But things have moved on quickly, as more and more research is done on the link between nutrition, gut health and more.
If you’ve read my recent life update, you’ll know that I’m taking part in the Zoe Nutritional Study which is a “groundbreaking” research project exploring the relationship between diet, gut bacteria, and health.
Before that though, I read the book Glucose Revolution, which was jam packed with plenty of tips for eating well and balancing your blood sugar. Having been progressing through the Zoe study, I’ve come across the same tips again and that’s because they’re all backed by research.
The focus for these tips are on blood glucose levels and their relation to health and eating well. That’s because having stable blood glucose levels have several health benefits. Firstly, stable blood glucose levels help you to maintain consistent energy levels throughout the day.
When your blood glucose remains within a healthy range, the cells in your body receive a steady supply of glucose, which is the primary source of energy. This leads to improved focus, sustained physical endurance, and better overall productivity.
Additionally, stable blood glucose levels support cardiovascular health by reducing the risk of high blood pressure and lowering the chances of developing heart disease, as well as helping to control hunger caused by extreme fluctuations in blood sugar. Overall, stable blood glucose levels are a cornerstone of maintaining optimal health and preventing chronic diseases.
Pleas note that this information is not meant for anyone with a chronic illness, nor to replace seeking advice from a qualified nutritionist for specific health related issues.
Your Eating Well Guide Tips
Choose A Savoury Breakfast Over Sweet
It seems your first meal of the day may be the most important, especially in terms of managing your blood sugar levels during the rest of the day. Try to avoid sugary breakfasts like pancakes, waffles, porridge with syrup or muffins.
Some great options to have in the morning on an empty stomach are eggs, Greek yoghurt, tofu, meat, fish, cheese, cream cheese, protein powder, nuts and seeds. It’s been through doing Whole30 a number of times that I’ve been able to reprogram my thinking that breakfast = cereal or sugary foods.
Try A Shot Of Diluted Vinegar Before A Meal
When I read this one in Glucose Revolution, I of course had a bottle of ACV sitting in the back of my cupboard just waiting for this moment. You can use any vinegar you have, but make sure to dilute it in a tall glass of water and use a straw to reduce any damage to your teeth.
This simple trick can play a big part in balancing out blood sugar levels by slowing down the breakdown of carbohydrates.
Eat Your Fibre & Protein First
The order in which you eat your food matters. One great thing I love about Glucose Revolution and Zoe is that you aren’t told to cut anything out. By eating your carbohydrates last you contribute to a slower and steadier release of glucose into your bloodstream.
Ditch The Bread Basket Before Meals
Continuing on from the ‘eat your fibre and protein first’ tip, is to Dave the bread on your table to eat alongside your protein, fats, and vegetables to help flatten the glucose curve. Let’s be honest though, filling yourself with bread doesn’t leave enough space to enjoy your main meal and desert, right?!
Aim For 30+ Plants Each Week
A varied diet has been shown to improve your gut health through supporting the gut microbiome. But plants don’t just mean green stuff. The term “plants” is used to describe all types of fibre-rich plant foods, including; fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, nuts, seeds, whole grains and legumes. Aiming for 30+ servings of these. each week is the goal.
Make Your Starter Green
A vegetable starter is a good alternative to bread or other snacks if you’re feeling peckish and are waiting for your food to be ready. If you can’t or don’t want to eat your meal in a certain order then just opt for a starter that includes non-starchy vegetables like leafy greens, and eat the rest of your meal normally.
Save Sweet Stuff For After Dinner
It’s nice to save the best till last anyway, right? So save dessert, to sweet drinks / teas for after you’ve had your meal. Some other options for beverages include sparkling water, green tea, milk alternatives (pea milk is currently may favourite) or a green smoothie.
Movement After A Meal
Now this one has to be my favourite tip. Something as simple as a walk, some yoga or stretching has the power to help keep blood glucose levels stable. Blood sugar levels usually spike 60 to 90 minutes after eating, so get moving as soon as possible after finishing your meal.
Do you have any other top tips for eating well?! Which ones have worked for you?