Keeping your glucose level in check.
Glucose, which you get from carbohydrates in your diet, is the foundation to fueling your body. Without glucose, the thousands or aerobic and anaerobic processes that happen all the time to keep you alive, wouldn’t be able to function. Foods high in refined carbohydrates, such as cookies, white bread or rice, however, can cause a large release of the glucose-regulating hormone insulin, which results in blood sugar spikes. These spikes are always followed by steep declines. When you sustain a quick drop in blood sugar you can feel tired, hungry and even agitated. To keep your blood sugar even, you need to choose the right foods and combinations so that insulin stimulation is gradual and regulated, rather than quick and sharp. Post workout, a fast devolving carbohydrate is best, as your insulin levels are depleted and should be restored within your glycogen window. This crucial glycogen window last approximately 30 minutes after you workout. This is a very essential time to consume fast digesting carbohydrates.
The two most important criteria in choosing healthy glucose sources are 1) that they’re high in fiber, and 2) that they’re protein-rich and healthy fat foods. 1)Fibers helps slow the absorption of glucose, thereby slowing down the rate at which food leaves the stomach. 2) You also need protein rich foods. Proteins digest more slowly and thus have a lesser effect on insulin secretion. Contrary to popular belief, fats are healthy, at least some fats. Like protein, fat also takes longer to digest and slows down glucose absorption. The goal here is to limit unhealthy saturated fats, which are found in refined meats, high-fat dairy, and processed foods. You can balance your meals with healthy unsaturated fats, (avocados, olives, fish, seeds and nuts). Use cooking methods, such as broiling (rather than frying or sautéing), which don't require extra oil. Drizzle nutritious oils, such as flaxseed oil, over your salad instead of traditional salad dressing.