We all want to have energy that lasts all day long at the office. What we eat and drink affects how we feel because what we’re consuming, affects our blood sugar levels. Hypoglycemia is a health issue when your blood sugar gets extremely low and you can feel anxious, find it very hard to focus, feel starving, have a painful headache, and even feel shaky and start sweating a lot. Doesn’t sound like fun, does it? Check out this guide, so you can ensure that your blood sugar levels remain at a healthy, stable level so you can enjoy day and improve your work performance.
1. Watch Your Caffeine Intake
Coffee makes the world go round, or it at least helps us get through those bleary-eyed mornings. According to research, drinking too much caffeine can result in low blood sugar. Although experts aren’t 100 percent sure that you need to watch how much coffee you drink in order to maintain normal blood sugar levels, many recommend that you’re careful anyway, just in case. If you suffer from diabetes, definitely watch that you don’t go over two cups of black coffee every day or your blood sugar will be affected. For healthy adults, 400 milligrams or two cups is thought to be okay, so stick to that and your energy won’t ebb and flow.
It’s also a good idea to limit how many cups of coffee you’re drinking at your desk because you don’t want to rely on it for a false sense of energy. Coffee results in the same type of energy burst and subsequent crash that sugar or chocolate produces, so keep an eye on it. Always drink water to stay hydrated rather than too much coffee or cola.
2. Start With Breakfast
It’s the most important meal of the day… especially when it comes to your blood sugar. If your usual breakfast is white bread and orange juice and jam, it’s time for a change. Make sure you’re eating enough protein and good carbs at breakfast to set you up for a good energy day.
Oats are an amazing source of fiber and they are one of the best foods you can eat for your morning meal if you’re concerned about your blood sugar levels.
However, Canadian nutritionist Leslie Beck recommends that you are careful about what type of oats you use. Instant oatmeal that you can find in a package in most major supermarkets is just going to raise your blood sugar. So instead, look for steel-cut oats or rolled oats.
3. Stick to Whole Grains
White bread, pasta, rice – these are staples of the typical, traditional American diet, but they don’t do any wonders for your blood sugar. Let’s take a look at white bread: it’s got sugar and white flour which are both refined. High-fructose corn syrup is found in white bread and this contributes to blood sugar levels rising.
So, it’s no wonder that if you toast a slice of white bread and add sugary berry jam and call it breakfast, and then enjoy a chicken salad sandwich on white bread for lunch, you’re going to experience low blood sugar levels in the afternoon, which is when you need to keep your mood and energy up the most since you still have several hours to go in which you need to be productive.
Instead, eat whole grain or whole-wheat bread. You can also eat a variety of whole grains ranging from brown rice to quinoa to millet. It’s easy to switch your regular white bread for a healthier type, which makes the transition seamless so you can focus on what’s really important: your job.
4. Think About Fiber
We know we should be eating fiber yet many of us don’t give it any thought or aren’t aware of how much we need to be consuming. Experts say that males should eat 35-40 grams of fiber daily and females should eat 25. We don’t consume enough and that’s too bad, because fiber keeps you full and also keeps your blood sugar steady. In fact, it can even lower your blood sugar levels.
But fiber keeps you full and also keeps your blood sugar steady. Eat fiber-rich foods throughout the day. Some easy foods are apples, pears, and black beans.
5. Eat Your Snacks
Snacking is a big part of keeping an eye on your blood sugar because you want to make sure that you keep your good mood going all day long. It’s a smart idea to keep snacks on hand and to enjoy a snack mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Some healthy snack ideas include raw veggies and hummus, a piece of fruit with some almond butter, a handful of grapes with some low-fat cheese, and a container of yogurt with some blueberries. You can also keep several kinds of nuts at your desk for those times when you need a super-fast protein fix.
6. Eat When You Feel Symptoms
Even if you just ate a big lunch, you still might feel shaky, sweaty and gross, and that means you still need to eat something to bring your blood sugar levels down. Grab some nuts and cheese or something to ensure that you’re getting some protein and healthy fats. It’s a good idea to always have healthy foods on hand at the office, at your desk and in the office kitchen fridge and cupboards, just in case you had to go out for lunch with a client, for example, and your usual healthy options weren’t available.
7. Be Careful in Restaurants
If you eat a cheeseburger and fries for a work lunch with your colleagues, of course your blood sugar levels will be abnormal and you will be ready for a nap by the time you return to your desk. So, be careful and picky when eating out. A salad is usually a good bet – just make sure it includes some lean protein like salmon or chicken. Ask if you can sub white bread in a sandwich for a whole-grain wrap or bread – some places might be able to accommodate you. Some places can give you an extra side of quinoa if you want some healthful carbs that won’t cause your blood sugar to dip.
8. Be Less Sweet
You should still be nice to your coworkers, of course, but consuming sugar during the hours of 9-to-5 (or even at breakfast) is a no-go when it comes to blood sugar. You’re going to experience a horrible rise in your levels and will feel awful once the blueberry muffin that you called breakfast wears off. Watch the sugar that you’re adding to your coffee and the amounts in any processed foods that you’re buying. Even tomato sauce and salad dressing have sugar so read every label before purchasing.
If you eat a chocolate bar for a 3 p.m. snack and then wonder why you suddenly feel so exhausted and shaky, it’s not you – it’s your beloved chocolate. Blood sugar levels rise and fall according to the foods we consume, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on what you’re eating throughout your 9-to-5. With this guide, maintaining steady blood sugar levels is simple and possible.
Do you think the tips above are important to include in your work-day? Let us know in the comments section below.