The Connection Between the Stress Hormone
Cortisol and Blood Sugar
In my previous article titled, "10 Tasty Things to Eat for a Healthy Breakfast", I wrote about the connection between the stress hormone cortisol and blood sugar. Eating a balanced breakfast with protein can optimize cortisol secretion, which affects energy, mood and cravings. Since then, I have received many questions about the most optimal time eat breakfast.
The short answer is this: the best time to eat your first meal of the day is when you start to feel hungry. This can be 6am for some or 10am for others. As simplistic as this may sound, your body is not in it’s most optimal state to digest and utilize nutrients from food when you lack hunger. Being hungry depends on many factors including how late you ate your last meal, whether you exercise in the morning and how much sleep you got the night before. Some people are constitutionally inclined to not be hungry upon first waking up. I encourage you to listen to your body’s cues and be aware that people have different diurnal rhythms. In next month’s blog, I’m going to discuss how you can better respond to your body’s cues for real hunger and the impact this has on digestion, absorption and metabolism.
Here are some things to think about:
1. Start keeping a diary to see if there is a pattern between eating later in the evening and when you get hungry in the morning.
2. What did you eat the night before? More protein? More carbohydrates? Did you have alcohol and/or sugar?
3. What was the quality and duration of your sleep? How does this affect your hunger?
Remember, food is powerful and we can make improvements in our health just by making adjustments to our diet.