‘From endless hunger to constant exhaustion; 3 Reasons why you should pay attention to your blood sugar levels’

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It’s no surprise that in today’s fast-paced world we consume way too much sugar. According to the NHS, sugar consumption should account for no more than 5% of our daily calorific intake, but reality paints a very different picture, with many people seeing sugar account for over 20% of their daily calories.
High sugar diets are taking their toll on our health, waistlines and blood sugar levels, causing rising levels of obesity, extreme tiredness and inflammation in the body, which are all bad news and can contribute to serious health conditions including diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.
Paying attention to your blood sugar levels can greatly help to improve your health. To explain more, Gudrun Jonsson, dietary advisor to Nibble Protein (www.nibbleprotein.com) shares the benefits of taking control of your sugar intake:
1. You’ll have more energy
Contrary to popular belief, sugar does not boost your energy levels in the long term. Yes, you will get an initial energy rush after eating something sugary, but that soon disappears once your body releases insulin in an attempt to lower your blood sugar to safe levels. This sugar rollercoaster will leave you feeling more tired and irritable than before. To combat this, try following a low Glycaemic Index diet which is based on eating foods that are slow to digest and metabolise, helping to keep your blood sugar balanced. To keep your energy levels on an even keel, it’s important to avoid snacks that are sweetened with high GI ingredients such as sugar and the “energy bar” staple, brown rice syrup (which is essentially pure glucose). Instead, grab snacks that offer sustained energy, like Nibble Brownie Bites (£1.59 from Ocado or Whole Foods), which have been made using dried plum puree, plant-based protein, and other low GI ingredients which can help to keep you feeling fuller for longer and eliminate sugar cravings.
2. You’ll sleep better
It’s a vicious cycle. The more tired you feel throughout the day, the more likely you are to reach for sugar to keep energised; and the more sugar you eat during the day, the more your sleep is disturbed. High sugar consumption during the day can prevent your body from reaching deeper stages of sleep, which is necessary to refresh and recuperate the body. Cutting down on sugar and limiting your intake could help to transform your sleep, promoting deep restorative slumber that has countless health and wellbeing benefits. Also, if you are someone who finds themselves waking up in the wee hours of the night (like 2-3 am) your blood sugar might be to blame. When you sleep, you are going without food for a long time so your blood sugar might drop too low in the night. If this happens your adrenals kick in with stress hormones that raise your blood sugar, causing you to wake up. If this sounds familiar, try eating a small low GI snack like piece of avocado or some Nibble before going to bed.
3. You’ll feel better
When it comes to your health and wellbeing, generally you’ll want to see physical changes which will indicate you’re on the right track. But what about your mental health? From addiction to anxiety, sugar is an all-round bad guy when it comes to your mental health; so if you’re feeling low, try to avoid sugar and you may start to feel better. In fact, sugar may be exacerbating the problem and making things seem worse than they really are. And anxiety is a classic symptom of low blood sugar, as is shakiness, dizziness, and increased sweating. If you suffer from panic attacks, your diet might be to blame.

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