Physiology of Hanger
After we eat a meal, our blood-glucose levels start to drop and if we do not meet our body's macronutrient needs, we can experience some unpleasant symptoms of low blood sugar. Sugar is your body's main fuel source. We're talking about food that sustains and maintains your blood-glucose levels, not your favorite sugar-laden candy that only has a temporary and low-nutrient effect. When your body is low on it's preferred fuel source, the aftermath leaves many potentially lethargic and cranky. Additionally, stress-regulatory hormones, like coritsol, adrenaline, glucagon, and growth hormone, release(1) which can also promote irritability.. *Disclaimer: Do not attempt to self-diagnose. If you experience abnormally low blood-sugar levels, please contact your doctor. So how can "hanger" be avoided?
Tips To Avoid Hanger
First and foremost, "hanger" may result from a blood sugar drop. Therefore, the goal is to stabilize blood sugar throughout the day by eating sufficient macronutrients (calories), comprised of carbohydrates, protein and fat. Success will result when the right ratios of carbs, fats, and proteins are combined. Healthy carbohydrates, like fruits, are a good place to start, because carbohydrates are your body's fastest source of fuel: glucose. Additionally, the fiber in fruit will extend the energy that it is providing. Next, adding some high-quality protein will help pull sugar into the cells for energy. Finally, adding some healthy fats will slow the uptake of glucose into the blood stream, so you can use that energy over a longer period of time. Below are a few food-combining recommendations, as well as foods to avoid, for promoting a healthy blood-sugar response.
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