How To Lower Blood Sugar Spike – Are you worried about your blood sugar? What is blood sugar and why is it so important?
You may have heard the term “blood sugar” before this article. Most people think of blood sugar and they think of the “blood sugar crashes” we’ve experienced before – feeling low on energy, very hungry and maybe even shaky or having that nagging tension headache. What most people don’t realize is that this low blood sugar is almost always the result of a previous high blood sugar. Blood sugar spikes are the sure thing that cause the big crash, but we rarely talk about “blood sugar spikes” and what causes them.
Before we get into blood sugar, it is important to note that blood sugar is not just a ‘diabetes problem’ and not just an obesity problem. Every person, regardless of size, age or body type, has blood sugar, and every person can experience blood sugar imbalances.
Blood sugar, also known as blood sugar, is the amount of glucose present in your bloodstream. Glucose in the bloodstream is most affected by the foods you eat. Your body creates glucose in your bloodstream by digesting this food into sugar, which circulates in your bloodstream. Our body will then use that blood sugar for energy, then what is not currently needed for energy will be stored in the cells for later use.
Blood sugar levels are raised most by carbohydrate foods, foods made from refined grains, bread, noodles and pasta, pastries and cakes, sugar and sweet foods, but these carbohydrates also include whole grains, starchy vegetables, fruits, etc. . Yes,
These carbohydrate foods can really be part of a healthy, balanced diet, it’s just how much of these foods you eat at one time and in what combination – that’s what most of us need to be aware of when it comes to imbalances in blood sugar.
In terms of blood sugar (AKA blood sugar), your blood sugar will rise every time you eat, this is a natural human response to food and energy production, how much will depend on the type of food you eat including the macronutrient profile of food (which we will discuss later ). ), as well as the quality and quantity of the food and of course your body’s current state of health.
Unfortunately, thanks to modern diets rich in simple carbohydrates (a familiar diet for many people), balanced, balanced blood sugars that our bodies have adapted to handle and handle with ease are far less common than not. Incorporating large amounts of simple carbohydrates into a meal, think pancakes with syrup for breakfast, bagels, cereal, toast, a big bowl of pasta for lunch, etc. – these will cause a rapid rise in blood sugar levels. With a rapid increase in blood sugar, our body sees this as an emergency that needs to be treated immediately.
How does the body handle this rise in blood sugar? Let’s get into the basics of blood sugar regulation.
‣ When blood sugar rises, it stimulates the pancreas to release insulin to help lower blood sugar levels by storing excess glucose as glycogen and triglycerides for later use as energy.
‣ But insulin can overcorrect, causing blood sugar levels to drop too low (called reactive hypoglycemia), which the body also sees as an emergency.
‣ The central nervous system then signals the release of epinephrine and norepinephrine, followed by cortisol, to raise blood sugar levels by converting glycogen and amino acids into glucose.
Especially when we indulge in simple carbohydrates—which is very easy to do, for a variety of reasons, including our genetic programming, the instant mood and energy boosts we often crave (thanks to stress, lack of sleep, and blood sugar imbalances), and easy access to processed foods, which is so delicious – the same cycle can repeat itself over and over throughout the day, ultimately leading to blood sugar disturbances, insulin resistance, possible adrenal/HPA axis problems (thanks to the oversecretion of cortisol) and a myriad of symptoms associated with each.
Most people are not aware of this, but the brain is the main organ for blood sugar regulation, which in turn controls the activity of the following 5 major peripheral organs and tissues through:
In addition, the central nervous system works with these 5 main hormones to help regulate blood sugar levels:
‣ Insulin – Insulin is produced by the beta cells of the pancreas and plays a very important role in regulating blood sugar levels. Insulin is basically the key to opening cellular “gates” to let in energy, meaning the excess glucose found in the blood. Excess energy (glucose and fat) is stored in the cells of our liver, muscles and fat tissue.
‣ Glucagon – Glucagon is produced by the alpha cells of the pancreas and promotes the breakdown of glycogen into glucose in the liver. Glucagon balances insulin. When blood sugar levels drop after eating, it stimulates the release of glucagon to produce more energy. This cycle tells your cells to then release glycogen, which is stored as energy to tide you over until your next meal. This cycle is repeated throughout the day. Glucagon is basically the key that opens our cellular “gates” to let glucose and fat out of our cells.
‣ Epinephrine and Norepinephrine – Both epinephrine and norepinephrine are released when the body is under stress and is concerned about its safety. Whether it’s an external or internal physical threat, such as low blood sugar, it’s part of the central nervous system’s fight-or-flight mechanism, designed to keep us safe. Adrenaline stimulates glycogenolysis in the liver, which converts glycogen into glucose, as well as lipolysis, which releases fatty acids from triglycerides stored in body fat, and finally gluconeogenesis, which converts lactate, glycerol and amino acids into glucose in the liver. All as a means of having the energy to fight or run away.
‣ Cortisol – Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is released when stress levels are high or blood sugar levels are too low. It increases the fuel (or energy) available to the heart and skeletal muscles in the same way as adrenaline, through the stimulation of glycogenolysis, lipolysis and gluconeogenesis. However, cortisol is slower to respond and takes minutes instead of seconds because cortisol is dependent on complex HPA axis processes. (Another excellent topic for another day).
A really easy way to remember all of this: If blood sugar regulation were an orchestra, the central nervous system would be the conductor and PAALS, the instrument.
How the foods you eat affect your blood sugar All the foods we eat can be divided into three groups of macronutrients: ‣ Carbohydrates ‣ Protein ‣ Fats
Foods found in the whole foods state almost always predominate in one of these macronutrients over the others, but many foods contain a mixture. As mentioned earlier, although all macronutrients will cause some increase in blood sugar levels, as you can see above, carbohydrates will cause a greater increase than the others, meaning the resulting post-meal disturbance will also be greater. Paying attention not only to the types of foods you eat and how they affect your blood sugar is the first and easiest way to start balancing blood sugar levels and avoid big spikes and big drops.
While you may at this point be able to do some simple reasoning and see how eating ONLY carbs can cause extreme spikes and drops in blood sugar, you still may not understand which foods fall into which categories, so let Let’s take a look at some other common foods..
In nature, carbohydrate-rich foods, in their whole state, almost always contain significant amounts of fiber. The fiber found in unrefined carbohydrates will actually slow down the effect on blood sugar compared to refined carbohydrates such as cakes, pastries, bread, pasta, juice, desserts, etc. which often have very little intact fiber left. Although fiber itself is a carbohydrate, it should not cause a rise in blood sugar or insulin because it is not digested by the small intestine and is instead carried to the large intestine to be broken down by bacteria. In some cases, fiber can actually lower glucose and insulin levels. Fiber has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity, reduce the risk of heart disease and grow beneficial bacteria in our gut. Another benefit of fiber is that it “builds” and helps you feel full and satiated.
In the same way that we combine our whole-food carbs with protein and fat, which we’ll get to in a moment, the fiber in whole-food carbs can add an extra blunt to the spike in blood sugar that we’d get from carbs alone. . When we process foods from their whole food state, grains that are made into flour for baking, fruit that is juiced, sugars that are stripped of nutrients, we put sugar directly into our blood and you know what happens next.
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