What is glucose and how to get rid of sweet cravings?
Blood glucose levels are an important factor that guides our lifestyle. It can have serious negative implications if not kept under control and at normal levels. That's why when we have a healthy diet we should also take these factors into account to feel better and not develop other diseases in the future.
Glucose is a monosaccharide (carbohydrate) that is essential for providing energy for all the body's processes. Blood glucose, known medically as glycaemia, is the amount of circulating glucose, measured in milligrams per decilitre of blood, available to enter cells when needed. Blood glucose is useful not only to indicate optimal energy intake, but also to highlight a health problem such as diabetes.
What is glucose?
Structurally, glucose is a simple carbohydrate, organised as a monosaccharide. Together with lipids, glucose is the main molecule for supplying the energy needed for the body's processes.
Following the consumption of glucose-containing foods, the pancreas secretes a hormone called insulin. This hormone facilitates the entry of glucose into cells to provide the energy needed for physiological processes.
Why is it important?
When glucose is found in larger quantities than needed at a given time, it can be stored in the liver and muscle in the form of glycogen, where it can be taken up when needed.
However, blood glucose levels are important and the disadvantages of high levels must be considered. For example, persistently high blood glucose levels can lead to pathological conditions (e.g. diabetes).
The latest studies, such as those summarized in the book Glucose Revolution, show that there is a directly proportional relationship between blood glucose and blood sugar levels depending on diet. In this book, however, we also find out what we can do to increase our chances of not developing a type of diabetes and to feel better. That's because blood glucose levels influence our moods, fatigue and even some diseases other than diabetes.
Why might glucose levels affect us if we don't have diabetes?
It's a thought that many people adopt that their blood glucose level isn't important to them because they don't have diabetes or have a disease. But this factor is not so relevant as a high glucose level can also have lesser known implications. For example a high blood glucose level can be associated with poor general health, fatigue, behavioural changes and poorer health both physically and mentally.
So in a 2018 study, it was found that most non-diabetics experience high blood glucose from simple foods like breakfast cereal. These elevated blood sugar levels can affect the hormonal system, accelerate aging, and even lead to increased cravings.
What can we do?
These are the main tips that the author of Glucose Revolution offers us. She says: "When I learned these things, everything changed for me. I learned the science, I learned to control my elevated glucose levels, and this helped me heal my physical and mental health. I've synthesized everything I've learned into these tips."
Practical tips from Jessie Inchauspé (@glucosegoddess), author of Glucose Revolution:
1. Eat a salty and nutritious breakfast, not a sweet one
2. If you're going to eat something sweet, save it for dessert after a meal, never eat dessert on an empty stomach
3. Add vegetables to your diet and eat them at the start of each meal
4. If you can, the most beneficial thing to do during a meal is to eat vegetables separately first, then protein and fats, and carbohydrates and sweets last.
5. Take a walk or other form of physical activity after your meal.
6. Before eating, if you feel it's good for you, drink a glass of water with a tablespoon of vinegar added.
By following these practical tips you can keep your blood glucose under control and improve your health, get rid of excessive cravings and feel better overall.
Physical activity and an eating plan tailored to your needs is also very important. To have a FREE personalized meal plan download DWP Fitness and enter your details and the app will immediately generate recipes to suit your meal plan. Weights will be personalized and you can also make a workout plan from the app. If you want to learn more tips, also read about the important role serotonin plays in your life.