Snacks And Blood Sugar

There are increasing numbers of people who believe that the modern obesity epidemic has less to do with the fat content of our diet and more to do with our blood sugar levels. Although weight gain relates to overall calorie consumption and fats are high in calories, there is a school of thought that says we would eat fewer calories overall if we could better control our blood sugar levels.

Blood sugar is pretty much what you imagine it is. It is the amount of glucose present in your blood at any given moment. We use glucose for energy, but it is not a good idea to maintain high levels at all times, because if there is too much, the body will try and address this by storing much of it as fat, which can then be used for energy at a later time. Clearly, this makes sense from an evolutionary point of view, but when we lead lives where food is plentiful and we never need to use that fat, you can see how a problem arises.

The body uses insulin to clear glucose from the blood and insulin prevents the use of fat as a fuel source. If weight is a concern, you therefore need to better control your body’s insulin response. But how can you do this?

The body releases a large amount of insulin when your blood sugar is high. This is when it is needed. If you can prevent your blood sugar from ever getting too high, this shouldn’t happen. Blood sugar rises when you eat high glycemic foods. Anything that is high in refined sugar will have this effect, as will many carbohydrates – particularly if eaten on their own.

Unfortunately, many snack foods fit this description. They are popular precisely because the body processes them rapidly, meaning they feel more instantly satisfying. However, this isn’t necessarily all that good for your health. Chocolate, crisps and fizzy drinks are all liable to ramp up your blood sugar considerably, so beware.

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t eat such foods; just that you should do so with more thought. After vigorous exercise, your body will need to replace lost energy and you have a short window in which you can take advantage of this. High glycemic foods are effective at these times. Otherwise, it might be better to scan the vending machine for foods that have a low glycemic index. If you’re thirsty, drink water. If you’re hungry, look for nuts or other more complex snack foods which aren’t quite so heavily reliant on sugar.

Remember, snacks can actually prevent low blood sugar, which is invariably followed by binge eating liable to send blood sugar to record levels. They aren’t necessarily a bad thing.

Stephen Pyecroft needs to keep an eye on his blood sugar levels, so when he feels like he needs a sugar boost he heads to the vending machine for a snack. The machine took too much money so he contacted the supplier who were more than happy to refund him his money.

Image Credit: 1, 2 – Smart Photo Stock.

Find more diabetes related posts:

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  • How To Recognise The Symptoms Of Hypoglycaemia
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