We eat a lot of sugary foods during Thanksgiving. Patients with diabetes can experience difficulty in maintaining their blood sugar levels. Fluctuations in blood sugar balance, as well as persistently elevated blood sugar levels, can put them at a risk of serious complications like neuralgia, diabetic nephropathy, retinopathy, and repeated infections. Also, understanding blood sugar balance is essential not just for patients with diabetes.
Maintaining blood sugar levels is important even for those who suffer from obesity, hypertension, heart disorders, inflammatory diseases, cancer, and autoimmune diseases as the fluctuations in these levels can create a serious impact on the prognosis of these conditions as well. Even for those of us not suffering from these conditions, maintaining good blood sugar balance can help us to have steady energy all day, sleep well and reduce stress brought on by blood sugar dips.
Here is a brief discussion about the importance of understanding blood sugar balance to help prevent diabetes, protect yourself against the risk of complications of other diseases and ensure you have a relaxing and enjoyable day on Thanksgiving without blood sugar surges and crashes.
Understanding Blood Sugar Balance For Diabetes Control And Maintaining General Health
How Balanced Blood Sugar is Maintained
All carbohydrates eventually break down in the body into glucose (sugar). Your body uses some for energy and stores the rest for later in your liver and muscles. Any further excess is stored as fat. As you can see, a high carbohydrate diet over time can lead to obesity and “wearing out” your body’s blood sugar process (involving the use of insulin). This can then lead to insulin resistance and in some people it leads to Type 2 Diabetes.
Carbohydrates are essential to health and provide necessary energy for cells, so there is no need to demonize carbs. In fact, vegetables and fruits are carbohydrates! The important thing is to understand the difference between various carbohydrates and to incorporate moderation and balance into your diet.
The Impact of Simple Sugars
Research studies have revealed that the excessive intake of simple sugars in the form of glucose and fructose is primarily responsible for increasing the risk of diabetes, and inflammatory and autoimmune dysfunctions.
Understanding blood sugar balance in terms of how different types of sugars affect your health is critical to avoiding the complications while deriving benefits from the readily available source of energy that carbohydrates provide.
People who eat too much sugar at once, especially those containing simple carbohydrates, are vulnerable to developing frequent fluctuations in their blood sugar levels.
Simple sugars in candies, soft drinks, chocolates, pastries, and cakes tend to break down faster once they are consumed. As a result, the blood sugar level rises sharply and immediately after eating these foods.
However, these sugars are also taken up by the body faster causing a sharp dip in the energy levels shortly within just a few hours of eating those foods. Thus, eating these foods frequently can lead to a roller-coaster of highs and lows throughout the day and even the day after.
Hence, understanding blood sugar balance keeping in mind how eating too much of simple sugar creates imbalances is essential.
Simple Carbs vs Complex Carbs
Unlike simple carbs, complex carbs (wholegrains, vegetables, skin-on fruit) take a longer time to be broken down once they are consumed. Hence, they provide a more steady source of energy to the body without causing a sharp rise or decline in your blood sugar levels.
Complex carbs can also help to restore insulin sensitivity while simple carbs can trigger inflammation making insulin less efficient at metabolizing sugars. This is another reason to choose complex carbs over simple carbs to maintain glycemic control.
It is important to note that a high carbohydrate diet, even if complex, is unbalanced (it must contain protein and fat at every meal and snack) and could lead to quicker-than-recommended break-down into glucose.
A Balanced Diet and the Role of Other Macronutrients
Eating a diet of complex carbs along with adequate proteins and healthy fats is recommended to slow down the release of glucose into the bloodstream. Eating a balanced diet with adequate macronutrients (fat, protein and carbohydrates) and micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients) could help to reduce the adverse impact of eating simple sugars.
Also, making simple swaps in food choices by including more non-starchy carbohydrates (leafy greens, carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, etc) while minimizing starchy carbohydrates (potatoes, pastas, rice) and including fibre (non-starchy vegetables, wholegrains, lentils and other legumes, etc) are all helpful ways of maintaining steady blood sugar. While fruits eaten with the skin on do contain good levels of fibre and nutrients, and although they are often recommended as safer choices for diabetics as they contain fructose rather than glucose, they are better eaten in moderation (max 2 per day) if blood sugar is an issue. Swapping from sweeter varieties such as apples and bananas to berries and pears is also helpful.
It is also important to exercise regularly to burn glucose that is stored in muscles. This can allow more glucose from the bloodstream to taken into muscles to replace what was used, lowering blood sugar. Increasing muscle mass can further help with this process and improve balance over time.
Understanding blood sugar balance and adopting these strategies could help you avoid the complications of diabetes and reduce your risk of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases that can occur due to fluctuating blood glucose levels. And simply help you feel better throughout your day, night and holidays like Thanksgiving.
The body’s normal metabolic processes can be enhanced further by using supplements like BioPro-Plus that can help to regulate immune system functions and enhance insulin sensitivity of the cells and tissues.
BioPro-Plus is formulated to help support the functions of immune cells thereby reducing inflammation and oxidative stress that can lead to insulin becoming less efficient. Regular use of BioPro-Plus could help to support healthy metabolism of carbohydrates thereby improving glycemic control.
Understanding blood sugar balance and using BioPro-Plus on a regular basis could play a key role in protecting you against the abnormal changes in blood glucose levels and preventing diabetes and related disorders.