Demystifying Blood Sugar 🩸🍪

Is blood sugar a mystery to you? Do you know someone impacted by diabetes?
I am writing this blog in hopes to un-complicate blood sugar, tell you how it relates to diabetes, and provide tips to sweeten your life to a better long-term health!

My only memory growing up related to Diabetes was my Grandpa taking insulin after meals. I remember Grandma didn’t like Grandpa eating sugar, but when she wasn’t in the room, Grandpa would tell us grand kiddos to sneak a popsicle out of the freezer for him. He loved his popsicles!! Sadly, when I was 7 years old, my Grandpa passed away in his sleep due to his diabetes. 🥹 It wasn’t until years later when I studied for my Holistic Health Coach Certification that I began to understand diabetes and how it relates to blood sugar and insulin.

Blood sugar, or glucose, is the unsung hero of your health—crucial yet often unnoticed until it becomes imbalanced. We often do not learn much about blood sugar in school so keep reading as I un-complicate blood sugar for you now!

What is Blood Sugar? 🩸🍪
When you eat sugars and carbohydrates, they break down into smaller sugar molecules called glucose (C6H12O6) that are released into your bloodstream, hence “blood sugar“.
This glucose, or blood sugar, is the main type of sugar found in your blood, providing essential energy to all of your body’s cells.

How is Blood Sugar Related to Diabetes I & 2?
When there is a spike of glucose in your bloodstream, it triggers your pancreas to release insulin. Insulin acts as a transporter, moving the glucose into your cells for immediate energy use or to be stored as glycogen. Glycogen storage is limited in the liver and muscles, so eventually excess glucose will be stored as fat! This delicate interplay of glucose, insulin, and cell absorption is crucial for maintaining equilibrium in your blood sugar levels, ensuring your body functions optimally.

So what is the difference between Type 1 and 2 Diabetes?
1. If your pancreas fails to release insulin, that’s Type 1 Diabetes, and you need to take insulin. 💉
2. If your pancreas is constantly releasing insulin in response to constant sugar and carbohydrate intake, overtime you may develop insulin resistance which can progress to pre-diabetes which can lead to Type 2 Diabetes.

Good news is that Type 2 Diabetes can be reversible by making the right diet and lifestyle changes. So let’s discuss 8 tips below to improve your blood sugar balance! 🥑🏃🏻‍♀️

What are 8 tips to Improve Your Blood Sugar?
1. Avoid eating carbs and sugars alone! 🥐🧁 Always include a protein, healthy fat, and/or fiber to lower and lengthen the spike of sugar in your blood. 🥩🥑🫐
2. Incorporate 10 minutes of movement after every meal so that some of the blood sugar in your body can be used up as energy, lowering the spike more quickly than if you didn’t move at all. 👟
3. Commit to consistent meal times.
4. Watch out for drinks with high carbs and sugars (>5g usually). They can sneakily spike your blood sugar because drinks do not usually have protein, fats, or fiber in them.
5. Stay hydrated by drinking enough water! 💧
6. Incorporate some cinnamon tea or add cinnamon to your drinks and meals! I love adding cinnamon to my smoothies and matcha lattes! 🍵
7. Prioritize 7+ hours of sleep daily. Sleep is your body’s time to rest and recover! 😴
8. Reduce your stress levels, as stress can also spike your blood sugar—did you know that!?

Bonus: Track your blood sugar with a monitor to see what impacts you the most and adjust accordingly.

When I trialed a blood sugar monitor, I definitely became aware that American restaurants almost always serve carbohydrates first like chips at a Mexican restaurant or bread at an Italian restaurant, 🥖 which is part of the reason you feel so blah after eating out! So now, I order an appetizer with protein first like ceviche or crab cakes or even charcuterie board! 🧀

Understanding and managing your blood sugar is a vital step towards feeling well and long-term preventing diabetes. By making informed dietary and lifestyle choices, you can take control of your blood sugar levels and sweeten your life towards a healthier future! Integrate a couple of these tips each week until they become a habit! 💫

Your Holistic Health Coach, Alexis Musso 🦋

June 20, 2024