Having better control of your blood glucose levels is critical to maintaining a healthier, perhaps even younger appearance over time, Registered Dietitian Kara Collier suggested in a recent appearance on the Keto Kamp podcast.
We’ve talked a lot in this space about how the glucose levels in your body have a direct relationship with food, exercise, stress, and sleep. On this blog, we’ve seen how glucose levels impact depression and anxiety as well as stress. Today, we’ll see how high glucose levels can affect how rapidly we age over time.
It might seem strange at first, but considering there is already a well-established link between stress and aging, it starts to make sense. Glucose really is at the center of how our bodies maintain themselves. If anything, it’s just another reason why having a continuous glucose monitor on hand is invaluable for wellness enthusiasts.
There’s a ton of more detailed information in Kara Gollier’s appearance on the Keto Kamp Podcast. Let’s talk about more ways a CGM can help you achieve your health ambitions.
In addition to the relationship between high glucose levels and aging, Kara and Keto Kamp podcast host Ben Azadi discussed a number of other items typically brought up in the wellness community.
For starters, Kara discussed how CGMs can be helpful for everyone -- not just those living with diabetes or prediabetes. Obviously, people with those conditions should be using a CGM, but there are broader benefits for anyone who uses it.
Other topics included the proper method of fasting, what foods should be consumed afterward, the impact of sleep deprivation on cortisol levels, walking after a meal, and a number of others.
As medical devices, doctors can only provide continuous glucose monitors after writing a prescription. Unfortunately, most doctors will only write prescriptions for people with diabetes on insulin therapy.
Kara cautions that the chances of people without diabetes who want to live a healthier lifestyle have a very slim chance of getting a CGM from a doctor. Considering how informative the devices are, this is certainly not ideal.
Controlling your glucose levels isn’t as simple as keeping it low. There are times when we need that energy, and other times when we don’t -- such as fasting.
“If you’re googling ‘what’s a healthy fasting glucose?’ it will probably tell you 70 to 100. But there is a lot of research that indicates when we get to that 90 to 100 range, we’re starting to see some increased risks,” Kara said. “So, we really want to shoot for 70 to 90 most of the time.”
Kara went on to say that glucose levels should return back to baseline levels two hours after enjoying a meal. She recommends that CGM users check their levels after they eat, and aim to see a number at 140 or less.
Ultimately, your ideal glucose level depends on what you’re doing at that moment. High intensity exercise, for example, demands more energy from your body. This is why glucose levels tend to spike during strenuous activity -- and level off quickly afterwards. As Kara explains, the body not only needs that energy -- it’s using it immediately. Drinking a soda and sitting on the couch, on the other hand, is causing your body to quickly acquire energy and not use it.
“Sleep is something we really have to pay attention to, and this is really eye-opening for a lot of people,” Kara said. “[There’s] actually a bi-direcitonal relationship where poor glucose going into the night can affect your quality of sleep. Also a bad night of sleep is definitely going to affect your glucose values the next day.”
Having elevated glucose before going to sleep can be caused by a late night meal, drinking, or even having a stressful argument with someone before calling it a night.
“Your body is in this conflicted state of ‘should I be metabolizing and processing this food, or should I be working on sleep and rest and repair?’ We’re not great at doing both of those at the same time,” Kara added.
This can be mitigated by cutting back on late night snacks and taking steps to de-stress before the end of the day.
Fasting is an approach many wellness enthusiasts use to better manage their blood sugar levels. As Kara notes in the podcasts, many NutriSense subscribers will do regular fasts to offset regular spikes. However, this isn’t as simple as forgoing meals for an extended period and then going all out after that time expires. In fact, this is about the opposite of what you want to do. Meals that are high in carbohydrates, for example, can ruin whatever gains you had from fasting.
“It’s probably the worst time to have that type of meal,” Kara said. “You really have just undone everything you did. I have seen it multiple times where somebody does a three-day fast, breaks it with a cheeseburger and french fries and soda, and sees glucose levels higher than they’ve ever been for two days straight. It takes a long time for them to come back to normal.”
Kara goes on to explain how the same phenomenon can be seen during daily fasts, just to a lesser extent. Fasts should instead be broken with lighter meals focused on protein, which will cause your glucose levels to be much more regulated.
Having control over your glucose values will have profound effects on your overall longevity. Even if you know the tips and tricks, however, this is far easier to achieve when you can actually get a reading of these values in real time. This is the benefit of a continuous glucose monitor, which NutriSense supplies.
For anyone curious about getting started on a wellness journey with a CGM -- or even those who are using it already, it’s definitely worth your time to give the podcast a full listen. You can get the full episode here.
We also invite you to learn more about the NutriSense Continuous Glucose Monitoring Health Program, which makes this journey both affordable and easy to understand.