One-third of American adults and two-thirds of people with heart disease have high blood sugar. What’s more, over 6 million people in the U.S. have diabetes– and don’t even know it.
Take control of your health by getting control of your blood sugar.
Blood sugar is, quite simple, the amount of glucose in the blood. But how does it get there?.
How Do Blood Sugar Levels Rise?
As sugar is released from your small intestine into the bloodstream, your blood sugar rises. Your pancreas kicks into action by secreting the hormone insulin.
Insulin then shuttles blood sugar out of the bloodstream and into muscle cells where it can be used for energy.
So what happens when muscle cells have taken as much sugar as they can hold? They shut their doors. And then, sugar gets shuttled somewhere else…into your fat cells.
And the result? You gain weight!
How High Blood Sugar Can Harm Your Health
While your body can easily deal with small amounts of sugar (like that found in half of a small apple), a sugar overload (20, 30 or 40+ grams) – like the levels commonly consumed in the Standard American Diet (SAD) – cause the pancreas to go into overdrive.
And this is a slippery slope for your health.
Insulin increases blood pressure by retaining sodium in the kidneys. And high blood pressure is a big risk factor for heart attack and stroke.
As you tax your body with sugar, you force it to crank out more and more insulin. Over time, cells stop “hearing” insulin’s message and you become insulin resistant. Eventually, the beta-cells of your pancreas that produce insulin simply wear out. And when this happens, you need insulin injections to replace your body’s supply – a state called insulin-dependent diabetes.
In fact, having high blood sugar increases your risk for every chronic disease including:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Hormone-dependent cancers (including breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer)
- Macular degeneration
- Heart disease
It’s no wonder that most experts agree that your blood sugar is the MOST important factor in your long term health.
So now you might be wondering…
What is a Normal Blood Sugar Level?
Blood sugar is tightly regulated in the human body. Normally, the blood glucose level is maintained between about 4 and 6 mmol/L.
Normal blood glucose level (homeostasis) is about 90mg/100ml or 5mM. The total measurement of glucose in the circulating blood is therefore about 3.3 to 7g (assuming an ordinary adult blood volume of 5 liters). Glucose levels rise after meals and are usually lowest in the morning, before the first meal of the day.
For optimum health, aim for a fasting glucose 90 mg/dL or less. Invest in a blood glucose monitor to track your progress. And consider monitoring your A1C levels to get a better picture of your blood sugar control over time.