Do you feel yourself crashing throughout the day and constantly reaching for sugary treats to keep you going? You may be experiencing glucose spikes. Marilia Chamon, registered Nutritional Therapist, Gut Health & IBS Expert, explores the world of glucose spikes, shedding light on what glucose is, its role in the body, the potential health implications of glucose spikes, and how diet and lifestyle choices play a crucial role.
What is Glucose?
Glucose, often referred to as blood sugar, is a simple sugar and a vital source of energy for our bodies. It's the fuel that powers our cells, enabling them to perform their various functions efficiently. When we consume carbohydrates, our digestive system breaks them down into glucose, which is then transported through the bloodstream to be used as energy or stored for future use.
The Role of Glucose in the Body
Glucose plays several essential roles in maintaining our overall health:
- Energy Production: Glucose provides the energy needed for all our bodily functions, from walking to thinking.
- Brain Function: The brain heavily relies on glucose for cognitive functions and mental clarity.
- Muscle Function: Muscles use glucose during physical activity, helping you move and exercise effectively.
What are Glucose Spikes?
Glucose spikes occur when there is a rapid and significant increase in blood glucose levels, often as a result of the consumption of high-carbohydrate or sugary foods. These spikes can have adverse effects on our health and well-being.
Why Glucose Spikes Aren't Great for Our Health
- Energy Roller-Coaster: Glucose spikes can lead to a sudden burst of energy followed by a crash, leaving you feeling tired and irritable.
- Weight Management: Frequent spikes can contribute to weight gain and make it challenging to maintain a healthy weight.
- Insulin Resistance: Over time, repeated spikes can lead to insulin resistance, a precursor to type 2 diabetes.
- Inflammation: High glucose levels can trigger inflammation in the body, which is linked to various chronic diseases.
Foods That Can Spike Glucose
To manage glucose levels effectively, it's essential to be mindful of the foods you consume. Here are some common culprits that can lead to glucose spikes:
- Simple Carbohydrates: Foods high in refined sugars and processed grains, such as sweets, fizzy drinks, white bread, and pastries.
- Starchy Vegetables: Potatoes and corn can cause rapid spikes in glucose levels.
- Fruit Juices: Fruit juices are often high in natural sugars, which can lead to spikes if consumed in excess.
- Sugary Snacks: Snack bars, cereals, cookies, cakes, muffins and many more.
How to Avoid Glucose Spikes
Eat Food in the Right Order: The sequence in which you consume different food groups matters. Start your meal with non-starchy vegetables, followed by protein, and then starchy carbohydrates. This order can help slow the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream.
Have a High-Protein Savoury Breakfast: Begin your day with a protein-rich breakfast, such as eggs, tofu, or protein smoothies. A savoury breakfast can help stabilise blood sugar levels and reduce cravings for sugary snacks later in the day.
- Eat Dessert Wisely: When indulging in desserts or high-sugar foods, it's advisable to enjoy them after a main meal. Consuming high-sugar items after eating a balanced meal can help slow down the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream.
Apple Cider Vinegar Before Meals: Some studies suggest that consuming apple cider vinegar before meals may help improve insulin sensitivity and reduce post-meal glucose spikes. Don’t like the taste of apple cider vinegar? We've got you covered, our ACV gummies deliver the same concentration of ACV as a single shot of the liquid.
Move Your Body After Eating: A short walk or light physical activity after meals can aid in glucose regulation. It helps your body utilise glucose for energy, reducing the risk of spikes.
Avoid Carbohydrates Alone: When you do consume carbohydrates, pair them with fibre-rich foods, protein and/or fats. For example, if you're having pasta, add vegetables and a source of protein like grilled chicken or tofu. This combination slows down the absorption of glucose.
Cook and Cool Your Starches: cooking and cooling starches, such as potatoes and pasta, reduces their glycemic index by increasing resistant starch (a type of fibre). Incorporating this strategy as part of your meals can lower glucose spikes and also support your gut health.
Mindful Eating: Pay attention to your hunger and fullness cues. Eating mindfully can help you avoid overeating and better manage glucose levels.
Stay Hydrated: Drinking enough water throughout the day is essential for overall health. Staying hydrated can also support glucose metabolism.
Limit Alcohol Consumption: Alcohol can lead to glucose spikes, especially when consumed on an empty stomach. If you choose to drink, do so in moderation and with food.
- Monitor Your Blood Sugar: If you have concerns about glucose levels or are at risk for diabetes, consider monitoring your blood sugar regularly. This can help you understand how your diet and lifestyle choices impact your glucose levels.
Managing Glucose Levels with Free Soul's Vegan Protein Blend
Now, let's introduce you to a valuable tool in managing glucose levels— the Free Soul Vegan Protein Blend. This blend not only supports your daily protein intake but also helps regulate blood sugar levels in a healthy way.
- Plant-Based Protein: Made from a blend of pea and hemp protein, our vegan protein blend is an excellent source of plant-based protein that can help maintain steady glucose levels.
- Low Sugar Content: We've ensured that our protein blend is low in sugar, so you can enjoy it without worrying about unwanted glucose spikes.
- Nutrient-Rich: Packed with 16 additional vitamins and minerals, it supports the overall health and wellness of women.
Understanding glucose spikes is a crucial step towards better managing your health and well-being. By making informed dietary choices, incorporating products like Free Soul's Vegan Protein Blend, and adopting a lifestyle that promotes balanced blood sugar levels, you can take control of your glucose and pave the way to a healthier, more energetic you.
Written by Marilia Chamon
Registered Nutritional Therapist, Gut Health, IBS & SIBO Expert
Founder of Gutfulness Nutrition