By Yogesh Malviya
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Are you familiar with the phrase "sugar high"? It's a saying that has been around for years, often used to describe someone who has eaten something sugary and is feeling overly energetic right after consuming it. But have you ever thought as to why? You might be surprised to learn that understanding blood sugar levels and their fluctuations can give you greater daily insight into your health and well-being. This blog post will explore what causes these shifts in blood sugar levels and how they affect us. Ready? Let's jump in!
The primary type of sugar in your blood is called blood sugar, sometimes known as glucose. It helps to provide energy to your cells and tissues and helps regulate many of your body's functions. The unit of measurement for blood sugar is milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). Normal blood sugar levels typically range between 70 mg/dL to 120 mg/dL and are an important indicator of overall health.
Blood sugar levels can change dramatically from hour to hour. Eating and drinking, physical activity, stress, hormones, medications, and illness can cause blood sugar levels to rise and fall.
When eating: After a meal, your blood sugar levels naturally rise. This is because the carbohydrates, proteins, and fats you consume are converted into glucose. The amount of glucose released into your bloodstream depends on what food you eat and how much you eat.
After eating, the pancreas releases insulin to help move the glucose out of your bloodstream and into your cells, which can be used for energy.
Physical activity: As you exercise, your body needs more glucose to help fuel the activity. To meet this demand, your body will release more stored glucose into the bloodstream. After you stop exercising, your blood sugar levels will return to their pre-exercise levels.
Stress: Stress can cause your blood sugar levels to rise temporarily. This is because the stress hormone cortisol signals the pancreas to release more glucose into your bloodstream.
Hormones: During puberty, hormonal changes can cause fluctuations in blood sugar levels.
Medications: Some medications, such as corticosteroids and diuretics, can cause changes in blood sugar levels.
Illness: When you are ill, your body may not produce enough insulin to balance your blood sugar levels. Also, stress hormones can be released when you are ill, further elevating your blood sugar levels.
The primary cause of blood sugar fluctuations is the food we eat. For example, foods high in carbohydrates, such as bread, rice, pasta, and other grains, cause a rapid rise in blood sugar. This is because these foods are broken down quickly by the body, which releases glucose into the bloodstream at an accelerated rate. On the other hand, foods with a low glycemic index (such as vegetables and proteins) break down more slowly, so they do not cause a rapid spike in glucose levels.
Additionally, physical activity affects levels. When you exercise, your body uses up stored energy (glucose), so your blood sugar decreases while you're active. After exercising, your body will replace those stores, which can lead to a sudden increase in your glucose levels. Stressful situations can also impact your blood sugar; when our bodies are stressed, they produce hormones like cortisol which can cause our bodies to release glucose into our bloodstream whether or not we need it at that moment.
For regulating blood sugar levels, complex carbohydrates and dietary fibers are essential. Complex carbohydrates take longer to digest and break down, slowly releasing glucose into the bloodstream. Good sources of complex carbohydrates include whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, brown rice, and quinoa. Likewise, fiber slows down digestion and helps regulate blood sugar levels. Here are some foods that help in regulating blood sugar levels:
• Eating a balanced diet high in fiber and low in sugar, saturated fats, and refined carbohydrates.
• Including foods rich in complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains.
• Eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day instead of large meals.
• Substituting fruits, veggies, nuts, and seeds for sugary snacks.
• Choosing lean proteins like chicken and fish instead of red meats.
You can help keep your blood sugar levels in check by eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, managing stress levels, and taking any necessary medications as prescribed by your doctor. If you are having issues with blood sugar control, it is important to speak with your doctor. They can help you determine the best course for managing your blood .
Overall, understanding what causes fluctuations in our blood sugar levels is essential for preventing them from becoming too extreme. By focusing on eating healthy small meals throughout the day that include protein and fat, along with regular physical activity and stress management techniques, we can keep our energy level balanced over time instead of experiencing large spikes or dips due to overeating or going too long without food. Taking care of ourselves through proper nutrition and lifestyle practices will help keep our blood sugars regulated for optimal health!