Keeping blood sugar within a normal range is important for everyone, not only diabetics, as blood sugar plays a critical role in:
- Appetite and/or hunger
- General energy levels
- Brain function
- Prevention of symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, sweating and irritability
- In diabetics, it can also prevent or postpone side-effects such as vision and foot problems
Having high sugar levels means the body puts out more insulin to stabilise blood sugar. Over time, it results in a condition called “hyperinsulinaemia”, meaning that there is too much insulin in the blood.
One of the challenges with high insulin levels is that the body finds it much more difficut to burn stored fat for energy. Being overweight leads to higher blood sugar levels, which leads to more insulin production, which leads to weight gain. This vicious cycle means overweight people can struggle to lose weight if their blood sugar isn’t controlled.
One way of controlling blood sugar is through diet – which you are currently doing by following the Slender Wonder programme.
There are also other factors to take into consideration when it comes to controlling blood sugar:
Many foods labelled “sugar free” can raise your blood sugar. Why? These foods can contain all the carbohydrates from other starches. Check the total amounts of carbohydrates on the back label and be aware of sugar alcohols such as sorbitol and xylitol. They are sweetness with fewer carbohydrates and sugar(Sucrose), but may still have enough to raise your blood sugar level.
A bad cold
Usually, your blood sugar rises as your body works to fight off an illness. Therefore, weight loss might slow down when you are unwell. Drink water and other fluids to stay hydrated. Be aware that some medicines, such as antibiotics and the decongestants used to clear your sinuses, may affect your blood sugar levels.
Feeling overwhelmed or unhappy at work takes its toll. When under stress, the body releases hormones that may cause blood sugar levels to rise. Deep breathing and exercise can help you to relax. If possible, remove yourself fron the situation that is causing you stress.
Sports drinks are designed to help replenish fluids quickly and some contain as much sugar as fizzy drinks. For a moderate workout of less than an hour, plain water is probably all you need.
Although fruit is a healthy choice, be aware that dried fruits are much higher in carbohydrates than fresh fruits. Stick to the fruit on your programme.
Steroids and diuretics
One large family of drugs – corticosteroids – can cause blood sugar to increase. Steroids treat rashes, arthritis and asthma among other ailments. Diuretics used for high blood pressure, sometimes called water pills, can also raise blood sugar levels if you have diabetes. Some antidepressants are known to have an effect on blood sugar too.
Foods that contain healthy bacteria, such as most of the commercial yoghurts available these days, are called “probiotics”. Probiotics can improve digestion and may help to control blood sugar. The best choice is plain yoghurt without added sugar.
Heat makes blood sugar more difficult to control. When on holiday, opt for accommodation with air conditioning and avoid the midday sun. When temperatures rise at home, use curtains and blinds or a fan to keep your house cooler and your body temperature lower.
Sprinkling your food with cinnamon can add flavour without adding salt, carbohydrates or calories. Some studies suggest it can also improve the body’s ability to use insulin and may lower blood sugar in people with type two diabetes. More research is needed.
Physical activity is a terrific health booster for everyone. If you opt for high intensity workouts, your blood sugar may spike and then drop. Sometimes this drop can last hours afterwards leaving you hungry, dizzy and tired. Eating a snack, such as yoghurt, before exercising usually helps. It may be better to do moderate exercise, as this does not cause sugar levels to drop so low. Suitable exercises are recommended in your Slender Wonder booklet.