Guest Post on Blood Sugar Balance

Filed Under: Healthy Food, Nutrition

I often see clients that skip breakfast or even lunch and they reach out for nutritional support because of symptoms such as difficulty losing weight, low energy, and lack of focus or depression.

Let me introduce Orsha Magyar of NeuroTrition. She is undeniably the smartest integrative nutritionist I know and I am lucky enough to be working with her on menu and recipe development. Orsha explains the science behind balancing blood sugar and the overall health impact food has on the mind and the body. Click on the link to pop over and browse the NeuroTrition site. Your brain will thank you!

Beating The Blood Sugar Blues
By: Orsha Magyar, M.Sc., R.H.N.

If you’ve ever felt “hangry,” where you are so hungry you feel irritable and anxious or downright depressed, you may have the blood sugar blues. The best thing you can do for your sanity (and your loved ones’, because I bet they’ve experienced your “hanger”) is to recognize that in order to make your brain happy, you must first balance your blood sugar.

I tell my clients that to get them mentally healthier I am going to get them off the blood sugar roller coaster most of them don’t even know they’re on! I have helped countless individuals improve their mood and overall mental health by helping them regulate their blood sugar, and many have even had their physicians reduce their antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication doses or remove them altogether. Some of my clients’ doctors have even helped them wean off their mental health medications with greater ease and significantly less resurgent symptoms once their blood sugar was balanced. Science has shown us that blood sugar is not just about diabetes (as many first time clients tend to think), but rather that it plays a critical role in our mood. And the good news: optimum nutrition to balance your blood sugar will do wonders for your brain.

When you get stressed (and who doesn’t in this day and age!) your brain uses up a lot more sugar, or glucose. To meet your brain’s increased demand for more glucose under times of stress, your adrenal glands produce and secrete the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Cortisol increases blood sugar and adrenaline makes sure it gets to your brain. Once the stress passes, however, your blood sugar drops so low that it triggers symptoms of low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia. These symptoms include impaired judgement and memory, poor concentration, dizziness, headache, irritability, anxiety, mood swings and depression. One of the characteristic symptoms of hypoglycemia is a major craving for bread, pasta, pastries, coffee and/or alcohol that will give your brain the quick hit of the blood sugar it needs when it dips dangerously low. Thus begins the vicious cycle of the blood sugar roller coaster, where one minute you’re up and the next you’re down, only to repeat again and again throughout the day. As if you need to add salt to this wound, cortisol has a delayed effect on the parts of your brain that tell you when you’re hungry and that you want to eat carbohydrate-rich food, so a few hours after you’ve maneuvered a stressful situation you will want refined, processed carbohydrate-rich foods.

The best advice I can give to begin getting your blood sugar back on track and fixing your mood once and for all is to eat breakfast—ideally within one hour of waking up. You’ve heard it before but breakfast truly is the most important meal for your mind since it essentially breaks the fast of the night and brings your blood sugar levels back up from their nighttime low. The longer you go without eating, the lower your blood sugar drops, and it eventually triggers the mental health symptoms of hypoglycemia. Eating within an hour of waking and then every 3 – 4 hours throughout the day and always making sure you mix carbohydrate-rich foods with good quality fat or protein (think a bowl of unsweetened Greek yogurt with raw nuts) ensures that your blood sugar stays healthy and that you stay happy.
About Orsha

With a background in neuroscience and holistic nutrition, Orsha Magyar, M.Sc, B.Sc, R.H.N is an integrative nutritionist who combines the best of modern nutritional science with effective holistic approaches. Specializing in mental health, addictions, and emotional and disordered eating, Orsha seamlessly blends the best of her diverse training to offer clients exceptional nutrition counsel and care. As the founder and CEO of NeuroTrition Inc. she and her team develop mental wellness lectures, workshops, programs and retreats for the public, healthcare practitioners, and companies across Canada.

For more info about NeuroTrition Inc. or to get in touch with Orsha please check out

And don’t forget to keep up with their bite-sized tweets on mental health and nutrition @neurotrition