Blood Sugar, the 101
Blood Sugar, For all of us, diabetic or not, plays a major role throughout your entire body.
Even in healthy individuals, it’s becoming harder and harder to manage your blood sugar. And why is that?
Well, if you look at our current food supply, which is loaded with processed foods, and you compare it to whole foods in nature, you will see a lack of fiber. Sugar in nature is paired with fiber. For example, berries have a lot of sugar, but they also have fiber, which means that the sugar is going to have a minimal impact on your blood sugar level. The fiber is essentially slowing down the absorption of the sugar from the fruit and allowing that sugar to be released over time. It allows your body to respond appropriately.
When you eat foods that have the fiber stripped away, you get all that sugar all at once.
Blood Sugar, the consumption
So let’s talk about how your body responds when you consume sugar. The second you get anything sweet on your tongue, insulin begins to be released.
Insulin is a hormone that’s produced in the pancreas and is in fact essential to control blood sugar – maybe one of the most important hormones because of that.
Insulins job is to regulate blood sugar and shuttle it into the cell, as well as, drive nutrients into your cells. So insulin does a very important shuttling job to reduce the amount of sugar in the blood and get sugar and nutrients pushed to where they need to be. This can be good and bad – Sugar will be stored as glycogen in the cell for later use but when that storage is full, it is stored as fat.
So in the absence of fiber, when sugar is absorbed very quickly and insulin is released you could get an insulin spike, packing fat cells full followed by a low blood sugar level, which is also not good or safe. You may then feel the desire to eat again and end up eating too much.
It’s like a rollar coaster ride with sugar. Going up and down all day, influencing your cravings and fat storage.
This could also lead to insulin resistance, because your pancreas is overworked, and next step can be type two diabetes and obesity.
Blood Sugar, healthy v/s not
We used to think that being at an unhealthy weight caused insulin resistance, but now we know that it’s the opposite. Insulin resistance leads to obesity.
Now you know why blood sugar is important to be aware of, but let’s talk about what you can do about it.
Sugar is not a bad thing, but too much sugar overtime and the absence of fiber is a problem.
Too much sugar without fiber, and adding a lot of saturated fat, becomes a big problem. You now may have an issue with not only blood sugar management, but also heart disease.
Saturated fat by itself is not the enemy but when you combine that with the chronic state of an elevated blood sugar That becomes an issue. So blood sugar is the linchpin.
How do we manage blood sugar?
- Eat more fiber! We need at least 50 grams per day.
- Focus on a diet that’s rich and whole foods and contains a lot of fiber.
- Look for fiber on labels of protein bars, and snacks. Choose foods throughout the day that have fiber, like whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables as well as nuts and seeds.
The benefits are being able to control your appetite, maintain a healthy gut, and even improve your mood and cognition
If you find it difficult to get this amount of fiber in your diet, you may consider supplementing with a high-quality fiber supplement like FibRestore from Reliv. It not only has both kinds of fiber, soluble and insoluble, but it also contains pre-biotics and probiotics to maintain a healthy gut. It’s a powder that can be mixed with water or a smoothie and tastes delicious.
Another thing you can do is get adequate sleep, which plays a role in maintaining a healthy blood sugar and makes you more resilient and allows your body to heal properly.
Exercise is also a big factor in determining whether or not someone develops insulin resistance.
So if you do have a sweet tooth and you like to consume sugar, one of the best times to eat it is after an intense exercise session because the body needs sugar at that time and it can be utilized.
The keys to a healthy blood sugar are timing, moderation and a focus on a whole food diet 80% of the time.