Eating regularly also ensures you get all the essential nutrients you need.
How your blood sugar levels affect you:
If you go for hours without eating, your blood sugar levels can drop, causing you to feel shaky, weak and nauseous. Low blood sugar levels also affect your concentration, energy levels and mood.
Carbohydrates such as sugars and starch mainly determine your blood sugar levels. The effect of sugars from sweets, biscuits and chocolate is unhelpful because they are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and cause a rapid rise in your blood sugar levels followed by a rapid drop.
The effect of starch from bread, pasta, rice, cereals, beans and lentils are more steadily absorbed by your body and they keep your
blood sugar levels stable over a longer period.
Aim for a slower burn: You can control fluctuations in your blood sugar levels by choosing starchy foods that are low on the glycaemic index (GI). Aim for foods that have a low or moderate GI count, such as oats, pulses and wholemeal bread. Apart from stopping you from functioning at your best in the short-term, sharp fluctuations in blood sugar levels can affect your longterm health.
Studies have shown that people who eat a lot of high-GI foods have a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Dont skip breakfast: Your blood sugar levels drop at night, its important to refuel your body first thing in the morning. Ideally,
breakfast should contain about 25 percent of your daily calorie intake, and have a good mix of starchy carbohydrates, protein and
fibre. Its also a good opportunity to add a serving of fruit to help clock up your recommended daily allowance.
Healthy breakfast choices: Muesli and porridge contain plenty of slow-burn starchy carbohydrates and fibre. Fruit such as dried
apricots, grapefruit, kiwi fruit, bananas or oranges are rich in vitamins and will help to sweeten your cereal.
Dairy products such as skimmed or semiskimmed milk and low-fat yoghurts are rich in protein and calcium.
Make time for lunch: Lunch should be the largest meal of the day, but often this simply isnt practical. Some people miss lunch
entirely, or grab a sandwich and eat it on the move. Stop yourself from falling into the trap of missing lunch, plan ahead and prepare
a healthy packed lunch to take to work. A lunch based heavily on carbohydrates can sometimes leave you feeling sluggish and
sleepy in the afternoon. Eating protein-rich foods with smaller portions of bread, potatoes and rice should help to prevent this.
Adding a piece of fresh fruit or a salad will help to keep you on course for the recommended daily five servings of fruit and vegetables.
Healthy lunch choices: Protein-rich foods such as chicken, lean meat, oily fish (such as tuna, smoke trout or mackerel), eggs,
tofu, and nut or bean pâté. also nuts cheese, cottage or yoghurt rice, pasta, cooked chickpeas, beans, kidney peppers, raw sliced
vegetables, grated provide a variety for a lowfat soup or a sandwich.
Rye bread, pumpernickel, pitta bread and oatcakes are ideal slow-burning accompaniments for your salad, soup or sandwich.
Snacking sensibly: There is nothing wrong with having a snack to overcome the occasional energy dip during the day. The trick is to go for low-fat snacks that will satisfy your hunger for longer; such as fresh fruit, dried fruit, raw vegetables, a handful of nuts and seeds, even a low-fat fruit yoghurt or fruit smoothie or one rich tea biscuit.
Drink plenty of fluids: Dehydration causes loss of concentration, dipping energy levels and headaches, and its easy to forget to
stay hydrated when you are busy. Keep your fluid levels up by drinking water, juice or herbal teas. Aim for at least six to eight glasses of fluid a day and limit your caffeine intake.