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How to Lower Blood Sugar with Healthy "Slow" Carbs

Blood Sugar Matters for Everyone, Especially if You're Over 45  

If you're over 45, you're even more susceptible to increased blood pressure, body weight, increased (bad) LDL cholesterol, pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and more! Elevated blood sugar levels cause and contribute to almost every one of these conditions. Healthy foods, like slow carbohydrates, can help lower blood sugar levels naturally to help improve these conditions to avoid progressive disease.

Slow Carbs = Steady Glucose 

Not all carbohydrates are the same. Fast-acting carbs are starches and sugars that aren't healthy because they trigger a quick rise in blood sugar that overwhelms the body. Slower carbs are healthier because they provide a more steady conversion to glucose. The metabolism can better manage the insulin response.

What is Glycemic Index?

A number assigned to carbohydrates indicates how quickly they move from the belly to the bloodstream. Or how fast the carb is digested into glucose (blood sugar). At a glance, the nutrition facts only tell you the total carbs. The GI (Glycemic Index) provides a number that better reveals the value of the food.

GI Ranges

  • Low = 0 - 55 (every day, healthy meal target)
  • Medium = 56 - 69
  • High = 70 + (exception, only on occasion)

Healthy GI Range  

Think of the typical speed limit as 55, and know that you want to stay at 55 or lower at all times directionally. If you're going to lose weight or manage blood sugar levels for a health condition, consider the "Medium" range as an "exception, only on occasion" Range.

Shown below: Food For Life's Ezekiel 4:9 Bread GI = 36 for ONE slice. 

What determines the "value" and "quality" of the carb:

  • High fiber
  • Consuming the carb with healthy fat and protein
  • Whole foods, not processed
  • Ripeness increases natural sugar, and overly ripe or dried fruit increases the score.
  • Cooking or preparation process- listen to my podcast episode about "resistant starch."
  • Acidic adds from vinegar and fresh lemon or lime also help lower the score.

Serving Size Matters

The amount you eat determines the "Load" or the impact on blood sugar levels. The larger the serving, the longer it will take insulin to respond to level out the impact. That's why the Glycemic Index and the total carb count in grams are used to calculate the Glycemic Load.

Glycemic Load

Glycemic Load measures both the "quality and quantity" of carbohydrates. GL considers the total carbohydrate serving in grams and works to protect the body from consuming too many carbs in one meal. After all, there's only so much protection fiber can provide.

GL Range

  • Low = less than 10
  • Medium = 11 - 19
  • High = 20 +

What's Healthy

Consider your metabolic response and your health and wellness goals when planning meals. If your goal is weight loss and strict blood sugar management, consider planning most of your daily meals in the LOW GL range.

Photo Below: Ovvia's Recipe information available on every recipe for all Ovvia® Members

 Healthy Adjustments 

If you find a recipe or meal in the Medium Range, consider lowering the serving size if the total carbs are high. Members adjust and fine-tune a recipe with the Per Meal Targets. Look at the nutritional components; the recipe could use more fat to "complete" the meal target. The addition of fat can also lower overall GL. Remember, healthy fat isn't a carb. 

Bottom Line

GI & GL are additional tools that can be especially helpful if you're hesitant about eating carbohydrates. It's NOT a "new way" of eating and planning meals. It's a companion tool alongside the Ovvia® Per Meal Targets.

At a glance, it helps to "green light" and guide you with meal planning. If you see "yellow or red" on the recipe, slow down and make an adjustment or consider saving it as an exception to enjoy on occasion.

Learn More

Listen to my podcast to learn more! These two episodes all touch on the subject of carbohydrates. In episode 1, Which Diet Works Best, we discussed how our body responds to food. Episode 18: Carbohydrates: Eliminate Confusion dispels myths. And in my 2 part video series called How The Metabolism Works, free to everyone, I explain how Weight-Loss Works and how our body responds to different foods. 

Ovvia® Members can access: How Weight Loss Works, parts 1 & 2. And watch the four videos in the category: "What to Eat & When to Eat" to learn more about managing insulin and blood sugar levels and get specific strategies!

See all the Membership options!  


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