A quick bio lesson: Your body needs energy to keep it functioning normally. You get this energy from food, which your body breaks down into smaller pieces and can either take in and use or excrete. When you eat carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into glucose, a simple sugar that is your body’s main source of fuel. Glucose travels around your body in your bloodstream and is taken up by cells – in the muscles, in the brain, almost everywhere – to be converted into energy that helps you carry out almost all of your body’s activities, from solving problems Work to marathon run.
Without enough blood sugar, our bodies would not function. Too much blood sugar can also cause problems. That’s why we have hormone signaling pathways that help keep blood sugar levels normal. But sometimes – and for many possible reasons – it can shed a little or a lot.
How is blood sugar regulated in the body?
The blood sugar balance is maintained by your hormones. This balance ensures that the body has enough energy available when it is needed and is mainly maintained by hormones: insulin and glucagon.
Made in and released by the pancreas, insulin lowers blood sugar by telling cells throughout the body to take up glucose (sugar). Because glucose gets into cells to be used as energy or stored as glycogen, less is left in the blood.
Glucagon causes blood sugar to rise. When blood sugar levels are too low – usually several hours after eating – the pancreas releases glucagon. Glucagon instructs the liver and muscles to convert stored glycogen back into glucose and release it into the bloodstream.
Other hormones are also involved in this process. Amylin and somatostatin inhibit the secretion of glucagon to lower blood sugar. Epinephrine, cortisol, and growth hormone raise blood sugar levels, as does glucagon. Hormonal changes that come with age also make a difference: our average basic blood sugar level tends to increase with age.
How does blood sugar affect your
Appetite and metabolism?
In the hours after a meal, blood sugar levels rise as you digest the food you have just eaten, and then fall again as your body uses up that energy. How high your blood sugar levels go, how far they go down, and how long this entire process takes depends on several factors, including your individual biology, diet, and level of activity. In general, the higher and faster your blood sugar level rises, the lower and faster it will fall again. When blood sugar swings quickly into the lower end of the normal range, it triggers a hormonal response that leads to increased appetite and feelings of hunger, which can include sugar cravings. It can also slow down your metabolism.
Of course, if you notice other signs of low blood sugar like tremors, sweating, anxiety, and irritability, you should speak to your doctor. They may want to do some tests to see if you have symptoms of diabetes. Some nondiabetics also experience physiological signs of low blood sugar a few hours after a meal. This condition is known as reactive hypoglycemia. Although the symptoms are usually not severe, it is worth discussing with your doctor. Certain blood sugar balancing strategies can help relieve symptoms.
How can you eat for
balanced blood sugar?
Blood sugar balance is best achieved when you hit it from different angles. This includes a few lifestyle changes that we’ll get into in a moment. But let’s start with some general meal guidelines.
1. Go for foods with a low glycemic index
2. Reduce refined sugars in your daily diet
Cutting down on foods with refined sugar can be a good habit when trying to keep your blood sugar levels under control. For those with a sweet tooth, it is worth trying Sweetkick 14-Day Sugar Reset: It contains a daily supplement to support normal glucose and energy metabolism, as well as mint sweets with Gymnema sylvestre extract, which temporarily suppresses the sweet taste. This can help you identify sources of sugar in your diet.
Sweetkick 14-Day Sugar Reset Goop, $ 46
3. Look for sources of chromium and magnesium
You can get lots of magnesium from vegetables, avocados, dried legumes, nuts, seeds, and tofu. Most fruits and vegetables are good sources of chrome, but you can find particularly high amounts in broccoli, green beans, and nutritional yeast. If you’re interested in supplements, Liposomal Magnesium L-Threonate from LivOn Labs and Regularity Relief from The Nue Co. both contain magnesium.
4. Charge the fiber
goop Wellness Metabolism-Boosting Superpowder goop, $ 55 / $ 50 with subscription
5. Add cinnamon
Cinnamon and cinnamon extract can help maintain healthy blood sugar levels when used as part of your diet. That is why we have included 500 milligrams of cinnamon extract – equivalent to around two grams of cinnamon powder – in our Metabolism-Boosting Superpowder.
6. Consider keto
A low-carb diet like keto can keep blood sugar low and in a narrower range. But since standard ketogenic diets tend to be restrictive and leave out vegetables for the most part, it’s worth trying a more flexible, plant-based approach, like functional medic Will Cole’s ketotarian diet.
What other activities can help preserve it?
Healthy blood sugar?
1. Manage your stress
In a stressful situation, your body prepares to respond to a perceived threat by lowering insulin levels and increasing stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, all of which increase blood sugar. In a real fight-or-flight situation, this process ensures that you immediately have enough energy to survive any threat you may face. But if your stressor is a bunch of work items – not a threat to your life, even if it feels like it at times – you’re probably not burning off the excess blood sugar. If you are under chronic stress, it is possible that your blood sugar is also chronically high. Coping with stress can help. Meditation and breath work are good options that work, but if that’s not your thing: go hiking. Spend time with friends. Play a game of tennis. Dance for five minutes. Whatever works for you.
2. Get enough sleep
One large study showed that people who sleep less than six hours a night are much more likely to have decreased insulin sensitivity, which means their cells are not as capable of absorbing sugar from the blood.
3. Exercise regularly
Moving your body requires energy, which usually means your cells must use the sugar available in your bloodstream (which lowers blood sugar). And studies have shown that exercise can make your body more sensitive to insulin for around twelve to twenty-four hours after your workout – that’s a good thing. Exercising and exercising your body daily throughout the day can help regulate blood sugar levels well.
4. Stay hydrated
A low water intake is associated with a high blood sugar risk. Drinking plenty of water will keep your blood hydrated and keep the risk low.
5. Limit your consumption of caffeine or alcohol
Both caffeine and alcohol, in excess, can reduce the effect of insulin in your body.
6. Eat mindfully
Mindful eating is the practice of being present with awareness during a meal or snack. Eat slowly and pay attention to the different flavors and textures of your food. Listen to your body for clues about satiety and contentment.
This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied on for specific medical advice. To the extent that this article contains the advice of a doctor or alternative practitioner, the views expressed are the views of the cited expert and do not necessarily reflect the views of goop.