Jul 04, 2022Preconception

Blood Sugar Control for Boosted Fertility

by Lisa Dreher
Blood Sugar Control for Boosted Fertility

Whether you’re preparing to conceive or are pregnant, balanced blood sugar is so important. Elevated blood sugar (also known as hyperglycemia) during pregnancy can increase the risk of developing insulin resistance and gestational diabetes. We know that babies born to moms with poor blood sugar control are more likely to be excessively large and at higher risk for developing obesity, diabetes, and other health conditions later in life. Yet even before these potential issues can express themselves, hyperglycemia and gestational diabetes increases the risk of cesarean section and other health complications for both mom and baby. So, what can we use to support balanced blood sugar and increase the chances of a health pregnancy? Our top recommendation: food! The food you eat, including when you eat, is one of the most powerful ways to prevent wild glucose swings and support optimal health!

The 3 key food components that keep your blood sugar balanced include protein, high-quality fat, and fiber. These will slow down how quickly your body digests carbohydrates and converts them into sugar.

 

Here are some of the best options:

 

  • Protein: pastured eggs, organic poultry, grass-fed/grass-finished meats, wild-caught seafood, grass-fed dairy, organic soy, nuts, and seed.
  • Fat: extra virgin olive oil, olives, nuts, seeds, grass-fed ghee, and avocado.
  • Fiber: beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, vegetables, whole unprocessed grains, and fruit (especially berries). 

I always encourage my clients to make sure they incorporate each of these 3 key components at meals and at least 2 with snacks. It is also important not to graze too often or go too long between eating, both of which can throw off your blood sugar. I suggest eating a balanced meal or snack about every 3-4 hours, or every 2.5-3 hours if you are feeling nauseous or not able to eat much at one time without becoming uncomfortable. Yet, despite the best of intentions, sometimes this can be hard to do, especially if you are traveling or out of your normal routine. It may even be difficult during your normal routine if you are simply in a rush! Therefore, we put together a list of our top blood sugar balancing snacks to have on hand, both homemade and packaged, to help you avoid getting into a “food emergency”! 

Homemade Snacks

 

1. Veggies with hummus or guacamole.

 

2. Chia seed pudding – thoroughly mix 2 Tbsp chia seeds with 1/2 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk and let sit overnight in the fridge. When ready to serve, top with some berries and cinnamon!

 

3. Hard-boiled eggs.

 

4. Handful of mixed nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds, and macadamia are some of the best)!

 

5. Fat bombs- here is a great recipe example.

Pre-made Snacks

 

1. Organic air-dried kale chips, seed crackers/chips, and “salad to go” bags are all super flavorful and loaded healthy fat, fiber, and even some protein!

 

2.  No-bake energy bites with healthy protein and fat that allow you to control the sugar content.

 

3.  Protein Bars – this is technically a 2 in 1 recommendation. Paleo Valley makes high-quality protein bars high in fiber that contain grass-fed bone broth protein. They also offer grass-fed meat and pasture-raised turkey sticks.

 

4. Nut butter packets are perfect for travel and provide you with healthy fat, fiber, and some are high in protein as well. 

 

5. Paleo Bread – are we recommending bread?! When it’s made with ingredients like eggs, nuts, seeds, and fiber and doesn’t contain any refined grains…absolutely! If you have some time, smear some avocado on top and you’ve got yourself a delicious avocado toast snack.

The key to a successful and healthy eating schedule is to be prepared! Look ahead and the coming week and try to plan for any known event or times when it might be difficult to fit in a balanced meal. Have any of the above snacks on hand to make sure you are always equipped with a healthy snack that can keep your blood sugar balanced and serve as nutritional reassurance

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Lisa Dreher

Lisa Dreher

Lisa is a registered dietitian/nutritionist with a Master’s Degree in Nutrition and Integrative Health. She has been practicing for over a decade and works full time at Dr. Mark Hyman's UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts.

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