Blood sugar, or glucose, is the sugar found in your blood that comes mainly from the food you eat. Whenever you eat something, your digestive system breaks it down into smaller components, and one of the major components is glucose. Glucose is our bodies’ preferred energy source. It’s a necessary ingredient for maintaining the optimal function of your organs, muscles, and nervous system. If you just ate a meal high in carbohydrates, starch, and/or sugar, your blood sugar will rise high over a normal fasting level. If you just had a meal of healthy fats and proteins, your blood sugar will not rise as high.
Blood sugar after meals that is continuously outside of the normal range can lead to major blood vessel and body tissue damage. This damage creates toxic compounds called advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGEs are proteins or lipids that are tagged with glucose molecules as a result of continuous exposure to high sugar levels. AGEs accelerate the aging process by depleting your body’s antioxidant stores. They also wreak havoc in the body by damaging DNA and lead to the development, or worsening, of many diseases including diabetes, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, kidney disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Fortunately, it’s very simple to measure the direct effect on your blood sugar of any kind of food, whether it’s a bowl of greens or a big juicy burger.
That means you can always make an informed decision about your dietary choices and ensure that you have the data you really need to optimize your health over the long term.
Identifying the foods or meals that regularly spike your blood sugar too high, too fast, or too long can help you to individualize your diet for longevity. After a few weeks of testing your blood sugar levels after eating various types of food, you should have a clear record of how your body responds. By familiarizing yourself with the effect that food has on your blood sugar, you will start to learn what foods your body loves and which ones to eat only on special occasions or not at all.
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