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What is blood sugar?
Blood sugar, also known as blood glucose, refers to the amount of glucose present in the bloodstream. Glucose is a type of sugar that is a primary source of energy for the body’s cells, and it is mainly derived from the foods we eat, particularly carbohydrates.
When we eat carbohydrates, the digestive system breaks down the digestible forms into sugar. This sugar enters the bloodstream and increases our blood sugar levels. The body recognizes this increase in blood sugar and signals the pancreas to produce insulin in an effort to bring glucose levels back to normal. Depending upon our needs at the time, insulin can either trigger the cells to absorb blood sugar for immediate energy or store it away for future use. To do either of these actions, insulin will pull glucose from the blood. As the levels of sugar in circulation start to fall, the pancreas starts to make glucagon. Glucagon tells the liver to begin releasing stored sugar. The feedback and balance between blood sugar, insulin, and glucagon make sure that the body (and brain) have the steady supply of glucose that it needs to function properly.
How can reducing my blood sugar improve my health?
When we stabilize our blood sugar levels, we reduce the extreme highs and lows in glucose that leave us feeling exhausted, moody, and unable to think clearly. This allows us to have improved energy levels, enhance our metabolic health, increase our mental clarity, reduce sugar cravings, and help us achieve sustainable weight loss.
How can we stabilize our blood sugar?
Eat a balanced diet that is low in sugar: Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of lean protein, fiber, and healthy fats can help regulate blood sugar levels. Try to avoid processed foods and sugary drinks, as these can cause blood sugar levels to spike.
- Consider tools like GOOD IDEA: GOOD IDEA can be a healthy way to support your blood sugar goals. Drinking 1/3 of GOOD IDEA a few minutes before your meal and finishing the can with your food can help to reduce post-meal blood sugar by an average of 25%. Backed by over 11 peer-review research studies, GOOD IDEA’s five essential amino acids and a small amount of the essential mineral chromium work together to reduce blood sugar.
Exercise regularly: Regular exercise can help improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, five times per week. Moderate-intensity involves increasing your heart rate to a point where you are able to talk, but not sing, the words to your favorite song. Jogging, cycling, swimming, or a strength-training circuit are all great options.
- Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water can support the regulation of blood sugar levels by helping the kidneys to flush out any excess sugar through urine. Avoid sugary drinks and limit your alcohol intake, as these can cause blood sugar levels to spike.
- Manage stress: Stress can cause blood sugar levels to rise, so it’s important to find wants to manage stress. Try deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or other relaxation techniques.
- Get enough sleep: Lack of sleep can disrupt hormones that regulate blood sugar levels, so aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
Monitor your blood sugar levels: Monitoring your blood sugar can be an informative tool to guide our food and exercise choices. Tools like glucometers or continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) can be helpful biofeedback tools to measure our
individual response to certain foods or exercise regimes. In this way, we can select options that best stabilize our blood sugar levels. Talk to your healthcare provider about how often you should check your blood sugar levels and what your target range should be.
Remember that optimizing blood sugar levels is an ongoing process, and it may take time to see results. Be patient and persistent, and don’t hesitate to reach out to us for guidance and support.
Author: Dr. Colleen Gulick
*Before changing your health regimen always consult with a healthcare provider.