A Step One Side Benefit: Controlling blood sugar
I started Step One Foods as an easy way to improve heart health. But, I was not surprised to discover that our products also help improve blood sugar control. It’s one of the many side benefits of Step One Foods!
Why wasn’t I surprised? I loaded each of our products with healthy nutrients that carry a whole host of benefits.
Let’s consider fiber first, which is key in stabilizing and lowering blood sugar levels. Unlike other carbohydrates, the body doesn’t absorb and break down fiber -- meaning it won’t make your blood sugar spike on its own. In addition, it slows down the absorption of other carbohydrates leading to lower and steadier blood sugar levels.
The Institute of Medicine recommends people get 21-38 grams of fiber per day -- from food, not supplements. Most Americans consume less than 15 grams of fiber per day. As is the case with most nutrients, it’s best to get your fiber from natural, whole foods, and not processed foods that have fiber added in. Two servings per day of Step One Foods contain at least 10 grams of whole food fiber. So if you were average before, you're now in the recommended range!
Next, there’s sugar itself. The reason we want to keep blood sugar relatively constant is because when sugar levels spike, insulin -- a storage hormone -- goes up with it. And that throws off the way insulin triggers our bodies to store sugar AND LDL cholesterol. So when insulin levels go up, so does bad cholesterol. (And yes, good cholesterol goes down.)
Americans eat an average of 22 teaspoons of added sugar every day. (Here’s how to sleuth out where it’s coming from.) But when you eat a plant-based, whole food diet, the natural balance of fiber and sugar will sort themselves out.
Our products, for example, get their sweetness from whole foods. Check out the nutrition panel for our blueberry oatmeal: 26 grams of carbs and seven grams of sugar -- primarily from whole food sources. We make our bars from oats, flax seeds, whole blueberries, cranberries and Saskatoon berries -- and the bare minimum amount of apple juice concentrate needed to keep those blueberries and cranberries soft enough to chew.
When you’re eating Step One Foods, you can rest assured that in addition to helping keep your heart healthy and get your cholesterol into a healthier range, you’re also helping to keep your blood sugar levels in balance.
Read the rest of the blogs in this series of Step One Side Benefits:
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