Blood glucose is the ‘currency’ of the body’s energy system. By managing it well, you can take control of your body – and your weight.
You run on glucose
Your body breaks down food to access what it can absorb. Your system directs energy where it’s needed via your blood. The glucose – energy – in your blood powers everything you do.
A highly dynamic system
Like heart rate, blood glucose varies dynamically throughout the day, but it’s driven by food not respiration. As you eat and absorb the energy, blood glucose (BG) generally goes up; as you use energy, it goes down.
The body strives to regulate your blood glucose in a narrow zone. It only needs about a teaspoon of sugar in your entire circulation. Here is what an ‘ideal day’ looks like:
A smooth line, staying in the narrow zone, means the body is regulating your energy well. That means you are setting your body up to burn stored fat.
Most people’s diets create a day that looks more like this, with many large spikes and crashes:
This is due to our modern diet of energy-dense carbohydrates and pure sugars.
Every food choice you make impacts your blood glucose in some way. Carbohydrates have the effect of raising glucose.
Carbohydrates and sugars are very rapidly absorbed, unlike proteins and fats, that take longer to break down and use.
Continuous spikes over time eventually lead you to put on weight: stored fat. Eventually, this can lead to type 2 diabetes.
With each blood glucose spike, your body senses a stress and responds using insulin. This takes glucose out of your circulating blood to reduce the spike. Prolonged demand on this system leads to disfunction – you wear it out.