We’ve all experienced blood sugar spikes from time to time — feeling great one minute, and having a major crash the next, making us feel sleepy and groggy. So it may not surprise you to know that blood sugar dysregulation is increasingly prevalent in Americans, even among non-diabetic individuals.

This is important because over time, blood sugar dysregulation leads to insulin resistance, a metabolic syndrome that is both an independent risk factor for breast cancer and outcome of having breast cancer.  According to recent research, metabolic syndrome is more prevalent in breast cancer patients.

Insulin resistance is a complex condition that basically means your energy isn’t stable. It has many downstream negative effects on our health, including breast cancer and up to 12 other cancers. But, the good news is, there are many lifestyle interventions that can improve, and even eradicate, symptoms and the chance of developing disease.

It may seem obvious that by reducing body fat, exercising, and eating healthy, we can improve our insulin resistance. But, there’s a little more nuance when it comes to our diets! It’s very important to eat nutrient-dense foods in the right order. For instance, studies show that eating protein and vegetables before carbs keeps our blood sugar more stable.

Additionally, adding things like apple cider vinegar to your diet and taking walks after meals also help stabilize blood sugar. Anything that lowers our stress hormones like meditating, meaningful relationships, and even listening to wind chimes, can also improve our blood sugar.

So next time you’re tempted to have a sugary treat, think about that food’s connection to breast cancer, and try making a more healthy choice. Your entire body will thank you!