You may have heard of the world “blood-sugar,” and probably know it’s talked about by diabetics, but you may not know why it’s important. Most food is broken down by our bodies into sugar, and we use that for energy. Eating too many “simple sugars” can make our blood sugar too high. On the other side, waiting too long to eat, or crashing from a sugary meal, can make our blood sugar too low. Here’s why it’s important to keep it at a balanced medium:
1. Low Blood Sugar can make you really grouchy. In my family, it’s well-known that none of us can go hungry for too long. I have 3 sisters, and if our blood sugar gets too low, we turn from sweet, loving women into a bunch of crazed, angry people in need of an exorcism. If you go too long without eating, you can get yourself a permanent condition of hypoglycemia.
How to Fix It: Eat small meals every few hours, and keep snacks on you at all times. I always have a bag of trail mix in my purse, and baked veggie chips in the car. I don’t overeat at meals, but I eat smaller meals more often. I do this for the sanity of those around me and the people I love, so they don’t have to witness my wrath of hunger.
2. High Blood Sugar can make you really hyperactive, then crash into a unproductive coma. If you eat a high sugar/high starch meal, you can have a “tweak out” as the sugar surges through your body. Sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream as soon as it enters the mouth, it doesn’t even need to be digested. So that innocent little frappicino or soda can send you into a hang-shaking, mind-racing state of blood sugar mania. Then, to make matters worse, your blood sugar will sharply drop back down causing a crash. Then a state of exhaustion and lack of energy will occur. And how do people pick themselves back up? More sugar! It becomes a vicious cycle.
How to Fix It: Eat tons of fiber and some healthy fat in every meal. This will lower the glycemic load and slow the break-down of sugar in the body. Also, avoid sugary snacks and treats on a daily basis. Give yourself a “treat day,” and just eat sweets once a week or so.
3. Consistently high/low blood sugar increases your risk for diabetes. Don’t think you’re too young to be at risk for diabetes! There are children being diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, which is very preventable. It can happen at any age. And do you want the expenses and the annoyance of daily injections, medications, and strict diet guidelines?
How to Fix It: Make the choice to be healthy today. And eat more vegetables!!! This isn’t just an annoying thing our parents say, it’s a true key to health. Increase whole gluten-free grains, fruits, veggies, and healthy fats. If you can’t live without ice cream and chocolate cake, give yourself one day a week to indulge.
4. Low Blood Sugar can slow your metabolism down. If you wait too long in-between meals to eat, your body goes into fasting mode. All of your systems slow down, and you your body holds onto fat reserves. Also, if you get too hungry, you’re more likely to eat a huge meal and consume access calories all at once.
How to Fix It: Continuing to eat small meals throughout the day will keep your metabolism revved up, and your body will even burn more calories as you sleep.
5. Balanced blood sugar makes you smarter! Ok, not exactly smarter…but it will keep your mind clearer! Low blood sugar leads to “fuzzy brain” syndrome, where you have trouble thinking clearly. You can forgot things more easily, and will have more trouble functioning. High blood sugar can make you hyperactive, and your fast moving brain can have trouble concentrating and holding on to information. So balanced blood sugar can improve your memory and your brain functioning! So eat those vegetables, I swear there’s a million ways to make veggies tasty. Just listen to Einstein, he was all about it!