The balance of blood sugar levels (BSL) is absolutely key to vibrant health. Your energy banks, staying a good weight, keeping mentally alert and happy hormones will all be affected by BSL.
Blood sugar needs to stay within a healthy range; it is dangerous to have high or very low levels. This is why medication for diabetics is essential; it is life saving.
Short explanation of blood sugar control
One of the impacts on BSL is food. When eaten and broken down during digestion into molecules these eventually pass into the blood. The amount of sugar at any one time in the blood stream is maintained within a safe range by hormonal interactions within the body.
The quantity of sugar absorbed by the gut is dictated by a number of factors including: composition of the food itself, the presence of fibre, fat content and the amount of simple sugars.
Simple sugars tend to pass unhindered into the blood during digestion and raise levels very quickly. Some examples of these would be confectionary, processed foods and drinks, added sugar, high sugar fruits and alcohol.
Insulin is a key player in controlling levels in the body. Basically this hormone is released to help with the absorption sugar (which is used for energy and is a primary food for cells) effectively bringing levels down to stop them from getting too high.
The problem comes with too much sugar in the system, as this will also result in too much insulin.
A seesawing effect between blood sugar and insulin can develop as BSL can be brought down too low by insulin resulting in a ‘slump’. Which in turn creates cravings. We all know what happens next; the almost uncontrollable desire for more sugar. If we give in (and it almost impossible not too) and more sugar is eaten insulin steps in again; and off we go again into a cycle of highs and lows.
Ultimately, this scenario is thought to contribute to the development of insulin resistance potentially leading to type II diabetes.
How to avoid the highs and lows of blood sugar levels
1. One of the simplest tactics is to reduce or preferably avoid; all confectionary, foods with added sugar, high glycemic fruits and processed foods.
2. Always read the labels; the ingredients are listed in order of volume in a food. If the first or second ingredient is ‘sugar’ you will know it is a high sugar food.
3. Fibre and good quality fats balance the impact of natural sugars in a food. The easiest way to ensure you benefit from this is to eat natural foods. Nature has a way to giving what you need in just the right amounts.
Everyone has unique requirements regarding the food they need to be vibrantly healthy. Each body also has its own ability to process the food eaten; this is why some people can eat anything and others definitely can’t!
However, blood sugar control is fairly universal and if constantly compromised, it will eventually negatively impact health. If you have poor energy, experience low mood or are challenged with weight control, then investigate your blood sugar balance.
Your long term health depends upon it.