The connection between diet and hormones is significant, yet often widely ignored, even though most people recognize that hormones directly impact our health. The most basic link between diet and hormones is this: consuming too much refined flour and sugar disrupts hormonal balance.
It is imperative to keep blood sugar stable in order to balance hormones. How do we do this? By eating every few hours, managing carbohydrates, consuming helpful fats and avoiding harmful ones, sticking with high-quality foods and avoiding processed foods as much as possible. Below are some recommendations from Dr. Alicia Stanton for strategies that keep hunger in-check and hormones better optimized:
Eat small meals every 2-3 hours that consist of a lean proteins like chicken, turkey, fish, and nuts with a complex carbohydrate, either a vegetable or high-fiber fruit.
Consume carbohydrates that rate low on the glycemic index such as non-starchy vegetables, nuts and seeds, milk and plain yogurt, barley and quinoa, beans and legumes, sourdough bread and fruits from Northern and Mediterranean climates.
Eating small portions of low-glycemic index foods every three hours or so is actually more effective for keeping blood sugar stable, rather than letting it spike and then tank by waiting too long between meals. When your body isn’t in starvation mode, you make more rational and healthy food choices and keep portions small, rather than letting intense hunger push you to overeat or choose high sugar, fatty or salty foods. Small, frequent meals or snacks of low-GI foods provide a steady stream of energy, reduce stress and result in fuel going to muscles rather than fat, leading to a leaner body.