Demystifying Blood Sugar: Understanding its Importance and How to Maintain Healthy Levels
Maintaining optimal blood health is crucial for overall well-being, and one factor that can significantly affect it is the consumption of sugar. In this article, we will explore the relationship between sugar and blood health, shedding light on the potential risks associated with excessive sugar intake.
The Role of Sugar in Blood Health
Blood sugar, also known as blood glucose, is a vital component of our body’s energy supply. It is the primary source of fuel for our cells and organs. Blood sugar levels are regulated by insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas. Insulin helps to transport glucose from the bloodstream into the cells, where it can be used for energy or stored for later use.
Types of Sugar
There are two main types of sugar: naturally occurring sugars and added sugars. Naturally occurring sugars are found in fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, accompanied by essential nutrients and dietary fibers. On the other hand, added sugars are artificially added to processed foods and beverages, providing empty calories without any nutritional value.
Maintaining a healthy level of sugar
Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is essential for overall health and well-being. Some ways to keep your blood sugar levels in check include eating a balanced diet that is rich in fiber and low in processed sugars, exercising regularly, and monitoring your blood sugar levels regularly if you have diabetes.
The normal range of blood sugar levels varies depending on the time of day and whether you have eaten recently. According to the Diabetes Fonds, a blood glucose level between 4 and 8 mmol/l is considered ideal for people with diabetes 1. The same source also provides a detailed explanation of what blood sugar levels mean and how they are measured.
Impact of Excessive Sugar Consumption
High blood sugar (hyperglycaemia), can cause weight gain and damage to blood vessels and lead to complications such as heart disease, kidney damage, and nerve damage. On the other hand, low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia), can cause symptoms such as shakiness, confusion, and dizziness.
The power of natural supplements
Here are some natural supplements that claim to lower blood sugar:
Cinnamon: Cinnamon supplements are either made from whole cinnamon powder or an extract. Many studies suggest it helps lower blood sugar and improves diabetes control.
American Ginseng: American ginseng, a variety grown primarily in North America, has decreased post-meal blood sugar by about 20% in healthy individuals and those with type 2 diabetes.
Probiotics: Probiotic supplements, which contain beneficial bacteria or other microbes, offer numerous health benefits and may improve your body’s handling of carbohydrates.
Aloe Vera: Aloe vera may help lower fasting blood sugar in people with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.
Berberine: Berberine is a bitter-tasting compound taken from the roots and stems of certain plants, including goldenseal and Phellodendron. It may help lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
While sugar is an essential source of energy, excessive consumption of added sugars can have negative implications for blood health. The periodic intake of food supplements associated with a varied and balanced diet also helps maintain a balanced level.
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