NutriSense Blog

Getting Personal With Blood Glucose

October 22, 2021
Reviewed By
Kara Collier, RDN, LDN, CNSC

Are you the sort of person who thinks the only time to get a health checkup is when you’re sick? Do you ignore your diet until you want to lose weight? Paying attention to healthy habits isn’t always a priority for people, especially those who think they’re already healthy.

Even if you believe you are healthy, it’s a good idea to track things like eating habits, sleep patterns, and overall lifestyle. Preventive care can help you find the source of the problem, so you’re not simply treating symptoms.

An Individual Approach to Health

The things going on inside your body can surprise you, mainly because there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to your health. For example, exercise is good for you, but every form of exercise may not be the right fit for your specific needs. In the same vein, simply following what you think is a healthy diet may not actually be doing your body any good at all.

And here’s where monitoring your blood glucose steps into the picture. If you’re wondering how it helps and why the way that your body responds to specific changes is so individual, read on!

You Can Get Out Ahead of the Problem

A lot of people only think of their health when they feel unwell. But what if you could put your best foot forward and get ahead of the curve? Preventive healthcare helps you avert the issue instead of trying to fix it once it’s advanced. An excellent way to start proactively managing your health is to focus more on blood glucose. High blood glucose levels can cause various health issues, including heart, kidney, eye, and pancreas damage. You don’t have to have diabetes, or even pre-diabetes, to monitor your blood glucose—it’s just as helpful for those without diabetes.

You’ll Know More About Your Health Data

Your health data, including things like your blood glucose levels, can help you on your preventive health journey. Knowing the ins and outs of how your body responds to food and lifestyle habits can help you assess what your body needs. But what if you don’t know how to track it? Lucky for you, there’s no dearth of options, from the standard finger-prick glucose test to one of our favorites—a continuous glucose monitor (CGM). You can track long-term levels with an A1C test or a test of how much glucose is bound to hemoglobin in your blood. The higher the average blood glucose levels or the percentage of hemoglobin with glucose attached to it, the worse off you likely are.

You Can Curate Your Diet

You may think preventive health means getting on the ‘healthiest’ type of diet or following the latest health craze. But it’s important to remember that the same food can have radically different effects on different people. Take the banana, for instance. A great source of fiber, you may have heard that the potassium-rich banana is healthy for everyone. And for the most part (if you’re not over-eating them), it is. Still, two people may react differently to the fruit depending on several other factors. One such factor might be your microbiome composition—research shows that our gut microbiome composition can predict whether you will have a larger or smaller glucose response to a given ingredient.

Even if you don’t have underlying health issues, you may see different spikes than other people eating the same foods. A bowl of ice cream may not have a noticeable effect on one person, while on another, there may be a high spike in blood glucose. So, how do you figure out what works and what doesn’t? A CGM! Without it, you only have an abstract idea of foods that are ‘healthy’ or ‘unhealthy,’ and you may never know if your diet is doing you any good at all. With a CGM, you can curate your diet to include foods that work for you and cut out those that don’t. 

Get the Most Out of Your Blood Glucose Monitoring

As you can tell by now, if you’re trying to track your health habits regularly, CGMs are a great option. The A1C test reads an average value over three months, which is an easy way for your doctor to track your glucose levels over a more extended period. Still, you won’t be able to see the short-term variations in blood glucose levels. And the short-term levels are often what help you see how to avoid foods and habits that spike your blood glucose levels.

They’re also an excellent way to experiment with different foods to see how your body reacts to them in real-time. Learning to modify your lifestyle according to spikes can reduce the time spent out of a healthy range over 24-hours. And the more time you spend within a healthy range, the better health outcomes you will have in the long run. To get the most out of the CGMs, start with these two steps:

1. Learn About the Basics

Do you know what features your monitor has, how to use it, and what all the data means? If you’re going in blind, it may be challenging to get the most out of your CGM. Learn as much as you can about the device you pick, including simple things about applying the CGM before you start using it. Also, learn what the sensor does, how long it lasts, and how it reads your data.

2. Keep up to Date on Technology

As the idea of monitoring blood glucose for preventive and personalized healthcare grows, there will be lots of new trends and technology to keep track of. It’s a good idea to read about the devices currently out there, how continuous glucose monitors differ from blood glucose meters, and so on.

As you learn what options are out there, remember to focus on what other technology or offerings you’re getting with the monitor itself. For example, with a NutriSense subscription, you can access a phone app and a dietitian to help you read the data. It can help you make the most of this monitoring to adjust your health plans for your individual needs. Once you know enough, pick your CGM and start curating your diet and lifestyle according to what works for you!

Personalize Your Healthcare With NutriSense

Ready to track blood glucose levels so you can start on your preventive healthcare journey? People with diabetes have been using CGMs for years, but the CDC recommends checking your glucose levels even if you’re not showing symptoms.

Now, anyone can get a CGM with NutriSense, which offers the same technology for the public for the first time. And the best part is, you can use their monitors with an innovative app that tracks your blood glucose levels in real-time. There’s also a team of registered dietitians to help you read and understand the data.

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