A rising variety of chronic illness conditions can be connected to poorly controlled blood sugar levels. While some diseases have been related to poorly controlled blood sugar levels, such as Type II diabetes, a growing body of data suggests a relationship between blood sugar and other chronic diseases.
High blood sugar levels have been linked to illnesses like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and heart disease, according to research. A conventional, well-balanced diet rich in whole grains and vegetables, along with a moderately active lifestyle, should help people prevent blood sugar-related illnesses.
However, with rising consumption of processed foods and a trend toward a sedentary, stressful lifestyle, the prevalence of “lifestyle” illnesses is on the rise — an increase related to poor blood sugar management.
GI (Glycemic Index)
Given the significance of controlling blood sugar levels, it’s crucial to know how different meals affect blood sugar levels. The Glycemic Index is one technique to assess a food’s effect on blood sugar levels (GI). Pure glucose is assigned a baseline score of 100 on this index, and meals are evaluated from 0 to 100 based on how much blood sugar they raise, with 100 being the highest.
A diet should ideally have a higher proportion of low GI meals and a lower proportion of high GI items. Regular use of high GI foods has been linked to an increased risk of Type II Diabetes and insulin resistance, according to research.
Foods with a high GI raise blood sugar fast, causing the pancreas to produce more insulin. Insulin causes blood sugar to decrease by increasing sugar absorption by cells. A rapid increase in blood sugar caused by high GI meals might cause an immediate boost in energy and mood, but this is soon reversed once insulin does its job.
A rise in blood sugar, and therefore insulin, promotes fat accumulation, which is especially hazardous for diabetics who are unable to control blood sugar levels well.
Choosing meals with a low glycemic index is one method to control blood sugar levels. White bread, for example, has a high GI value of 70 and produces a rapid spike in blood sugar. Whole wheat, on the other hand, has a relatively low GI of 35. Whole wheat bread has a lesser influence on blood sugar levels than white bread.
Increased consumption of fiber-rich meals, which result in a more gradual increase in blood sugar levels even in the presence of otherwise high-GI foods, is another way to control blood sugar levels. A large body of data suggests that adding high-fiber foods to a regular diet might help control blood sugar levels.
The majority of illnesses caused by uncontrolled blood sugar are difficult to treat or need long-term management. Keeping blood sugar in check is as simple as limiting high GI meals and increasing the quantity of vegetables with each meal.
Ryan Fernando is an Award-winning celebrity Sports Nutritionist with 2GUINNESS world record and 2 Olympic medals under his belt. His client list include Olympic wrestler Sushil Kumar, cricketer Shikhar Dhawan & bollywood superstars Aamir Khan & Abhishek Bachchan. He is Chief Nutritionist at QUA Nutrition Signature Clinics.