Given that most chocolate products have high amounts of sugar, and that many of you are working on balancing blood sugar levels, I wanted to provide you with some support. Sugar and unbalanced blood sugar can lead to: inflammation and pain, energy spikes and crashes, brain fog, insomnia, eczema, acne, depressed immunity, mood instability, and imbalances in the microbiome.
Here are some strategies for preventing the highs & lows that go along with sugar consumption.
1. Have a high protein breakfast
- aim for at least 20 grams of protein to start the day in a balanced state
- examples are approximately: 1 cup of greek yogurt, 3 eggs, 4 oz salmon, 1 scoop of protein powder
2. Read ingredients
- look for items that have cocoa and don't list sugar or glucose at the first ingredient
- since dyes and colourings can also impact the nervous system and liver, I'd also limit those where possible as well
3. Eat fibre, protein, and fats
- these items are broken down more slowly so they lessen spikes in blood sugar
- adding them to a meal or snack changes the glycemic index (you can easily look up lists)
e.g. almonds and dark chocolate
4. Quality over quantity
- you may feel more satisfied from good quality chocolate over large quantities of other types
5. Cocoa recipes often satisfy chocolate cravings
- also consider that chocolate cravings can indicate a magnesium deficiency
- cocoa powder can be added to protein balls, chia pudding, hot chocolate elixirs, and smoothies... here are some examples:
Chocolate Pistachio Protein Balls
Banana Chocolate Protein Smoothie
Chocolate Peanut Butter Overnight N'Oats
Chocolate Avocado Pudding
6. Keep it near other foods to slow down sugar absorption (don't eat on an empty stomach), and not right before bed where it might interrupt sleep
- blood sugar changes are a common cause of waking up at night
- lack of sleep and fatigue are common reasons why people experience sugar cravings - it's a cycle
7. Enjoy it :)
- moderation and balance are more important than avoidance
- feeling guilty is not helpful, give yourself permission to enjoy
Blood Sugar Numbers
If you'd like to learn more insights into how your body is handling blood sugar there are blood tests that can be done like HbA1c, fasting blood sugar, and fasting insulin. All of these are included in the Enhanced Healthy Living blood test panel, which you can read more about here.
For many reasons, a lot of people are not aware of their current lab numbers so they are opting to have bloodwork run through me, or they bring me their recent tests to properly understand the results. It's astounding how often I've been catching prediabetes, insulin resistance or diabetes through these tests. Fortunately, early stage changes are the best opportunity for lifestyle intervention. Prevention is key.
Spring is a time of renewal. As the weather shifts we begin to move away from warm and comforting foods, as we are able to have salads and fresh produce again. It's so interesting how our bodies intuitively make these adjustments. With the quick change in weather, it's also a great time to support our livers and reset our food habits. Once again, I'm offering the 2 Week Spring Clean Detox, which you can learn more about here.
I hope you enjoy the sunshine and the promise of brighter days this long weekend.
Take good care,
This article is intended for information purposes only and does not replace medical advice.