Discover practical ways to lower postprandial blood glucose levels and unlock the associated benefits. But first, let’s understand what postprandial blood glucose levels are – simply put, it’s your glucose level after enjoying a meal.
Recognizing that glucose is the main energy source for your body, maintaining balanced blood glucose levels becomes crucial. This balance not only aids in managing cravings, fatigue, and hormonal issues but also plays a role in addressing fertility concerns, skin conditions, aging, poor sleep, menopause, and mental health symptoms.
Contrary to common belief, glucose control isn’t exclusive to individuals with diabetes. It’s a universal need for everyone to enhance knowledge and skills to ensure optimal blood glucose control. Avoiding spikes in glucose levels is key, as these spikes contribute to oxidative stress and inflammation, impacting overall human health negatively.
How does glucose get metabolized? When you consume a meal, carbohydrates break down into simple sugars (glucose), which are then absorbed into the bloodstream. This absorption can result in either a stable release or a spike in glucose levels, depending on the type and quantity of carbohydrates consumed.
Why avoid blood glucose spikes? Hyperglycaemic spikes can significantly increase inflammatory cytokine concentrations, leading to roller-coaster blood glucose levels and daily challenges like cravings, fatigue, poor sleep, and low mood. Chronic inflammation, associated with spikes, is a root cause of lifestyle diseases.
Prolonged high blood glucose levels after meals often indicate a defect in glucose tolerance, posing a risk for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, Type 2 diabetes, and cardiometabolic diseases. Persistent high levels can lead to protein glycation, contributing to vascular dysfunction, damage to the retina, kidneys, nerves, and the generation of free radicals causing harm to cells, fibrosis, and skin aging.
The impact of carbohydrates on blood glucose levels is significant, with carbohydrate-rich meals being the main drivers of glycaemic spikes. The glycaemic index (GI) categorizes carbohydrates based on their effect on blood glucose. Quantity matters too, as the portion of carbohydrate consumed contributes to the available glucose for absorption.
Here are some tips to lower postprandial blood glucose levels:
1. Carbohydrates: Quantity and Quality: Be mindful of the type and portion of carbohydrates consumed. Opt for low-GI foods and choose unprocessed high-fiber carbohydrates for better blood glucose control.
2. Natural Food Additives: Consider incorporating mulberry leaf extract, known for its benefits in regulating glucose and lipid metabolism. Apple cider vinegar, whey protein, and cinnamon may also aid in stabilizing glucose and insulin responses.
3. Leveraging Food Combinations: Combine slow-release carbohydrates, fiber, protein, or fat with higher GI carbohydrates to slow glucose absorption.
4. Food Order Matters: Eating vegetables, salad, protein, and fat before the carbohydrate portion may reduce postprandial glucose release.
5. Physical Activity: Exercise after eating – just 10 minutes of activity, like walking or taking the stairs, can effectively burn absorbed glucose.
The overall benefits of maintaining stable blood glucose levels include reduced cravings, improved energy, better sleep, slower aging, enhanced gut and mental health, improved glucose tolerance, reduced disease risk, and promoting remission from Type 2 diabetes.
In summary, focus on incorporating more fiber, protein, and fats into your meals. Choose unprocessed carbohydrates in sensible quantities, and consider adding apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, whey, or mulberry leaf extract as pre-meal supplements. Eat carbohydrates last, starting with vegetables and protein, and consider a post-meal walk for additional health benefits.