This is a topic well written about. As mentioned previously the aim of our blogs is to keep it simple. So I will try my best to keep it simple and palatable for you and will leave some awesome links to more scientific research. In the last couple of years we have heard a lot about blood sugar levels, GI foods, insulin resistance and diabetes all this information can get a bit overwhelming! Here is a breakdown of some of these key terms.
Blood Sugar refers to the amount of sugar or glucose in your blood at any given time.
Glucose is the body’s preferred source of fuel. The brain, nervous system and red blood cells cannot function without a steady supply of energy from blood glucose.
GI stands for Glycaemic Index, This refers to how quickly your blood sugar levels rise after eating certain foods.
Factors that affect the GI include:
- Total fibre content.
- Fat content.
- Carbohydrate quality (whether the carbohydrate comes from a refined source or from a whole foods source).
Low GI foods are foods that release glucose slowly. Giving you a stable mood and energy. Low GI foods help balance blood sugar, reduce carbohydrate cravings and are effective for weight management.
High GI foods (highly refined and processed foods)
Cause a rapid spike in our blood sugar levels. Some of the glucose we ingest is used for energy, however our body only needs a small amount in order to function and so the rest is stored as fat. After the glucose has been distributed into our systems we crash, feeling fatigued, hungry and irritated.
Insulin is in charge of transporting glucose into cells for energy. Once glucose is in your bloodstream, insulin causes the cells throughout your body to absorb the sugar and it gets used for energy.
If we have constant, excessive glucose, the insulin stops transporting glucose into cells effectively. This leads to high levels of glucose in the blood or high blood sugar.
Insulin also blocks the leptin hormone, which signals the brain, and lets us know when we are full. That’s why high- sugar diets lead to overeating as we literally don’t know when we are full and so we keep eating.
Balancing blood sugar is important for optimal physical and emotional health. A steady supply of glucose is essential to:
- Fuel optimal brain function.
- Balancing hormones.
- Keeping your energy levels constant.
Low blood glucose can cause headaches, irritability, anxiety and depression, dizziness, fatigue and poor endurance. As well as sugar cravings leading to erratic eating patterns.
High blood glucose also known as Hyperglycemia occurs when the body either can’t make insulin (type 1 diabetes) or can’t respond to insulin properly (type 2 diabetes).
Here Are Some Benefits Of A Stable Blood-Sugar Level:
- Increased energy.
- Stable moods.
- Improved concentration.
- Weight loss/ stable weight.
- Reduced risk of adrenal fatigue.
- Hormone balances.
- Reduces cravings.
- Minimised risk of disease.
Ways To Help Blood Sugar Balancing
- Eliminate processed foods from your diet, especially refined sugars.
- Pay attention to the quantity and quality of the glucose/carbohydrates that you are consuming.
- Make sure you get enough high-quality fat and protein.
- Choose Low GI foods such as lean meats, fish, beans, legumes, vegetables, nuts and seeds and whole grains.
- Avoid high GI foods such as breads, pastas and crackers; and sugars and sugary foods such as sweets, pastries, soft drinks and corn syrup.
- Detox heavy metals and other toxins from your system, as these can interfere with glucose handling.
- Make good lifestyle choices, such as adequate sleep, movement, and stress management. These all play a role in balancing blood sugar.