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Optimal blood sugar levels are one of the most vital of the blood chemistry numbers. It ensures graceful aging and optimal health. And note, I didn’t say “normal” levels. Averaging over 95 on fasting glucose will whittle away at your eye health, nerve integrity, circulation, healing capacity, body composition, and energy levels. All while producing accelerated aging of many body systems.
Traditional advice lacks on prevention and life extending potential on this number. After years of increasing glucose numbers, it almost guarantees a decline in health. But, the good news is the body is resilient. Adjusting lifestyle and embracing nutraceuticals offers a powerful approach to maintaining and recovering health. You can achieve optimal blood sugar levels.
What is glucose and what are the optimal blood sugar levels?
Glucose is the main fuel that circulates within us to fuel our cells. It is the gasoline for our body engine. Fats produce energy, too, but glucose is the body’s first choice. Maintaining an 82 to 86 fasting blood sugar is the ideal situation for a long vibrant life. Plus, allowing modest elevations of glucose after consuming foods. In our 20s and younger, we had ideal glucose levels regardless of our lifestyle due to the blessings of youthfulness. But, that protection fades fast by age 30+ for most of us.
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Fasting glucose levels of 100 to 125 indicate pre-diabetes. Yet even at this stage most do not take it seriously. Or they take drugs to lower the number without addressing lifestyle. The third leading cause of death in this country is pharmaceutical drugs. Heart disease and cancer are 1 and 2. As the drugs become less effective over time, a higher dosage is required which heightens the side effects. Doesn’t it make sense to address the underlying reasons for the imbalance with lifestyle and nutrition? Instead, the symptom is treated.
Now that we know the importance of maintaining optimal blood sugar, the question is how do we put a plan together to accomplish the goal of optimal blood sugar? Coming from a history of believing in the profound ability of the body for self healing and regulation, my recommendations may be different from traditional information in some areas.
Signs of High/Low Blood Sugar
Even without measuring your blood sugar levels, there are certain clues that things might not be “normal.” How do you know if you’re not managing your blood sugar levels throughout the day? The following are common signs not to ignore that can signify diabetes and fluctuating blood sugar levels.
- Fatigue or low energy levels
- Sugar/carb cravings
- Excessive thirst
- Weight fluctuations/weight loss
- Increased urination
- Mood swings, nervousness or jitteriness
- Blurred, worsening vision
- Slow healing of skin wounds, dryness, cuts and bruises
- Frequent infections
- Heavy breathing and trouble exercising
Steps to Achieving Optimal Blood Sugar Levels
#1: Buy a self testing glucose monitor. Testing instead of guessing is the most powerful method to determine effective strategies. Test blood sugar three times weekly fasting in the morning to get a baseline.
#2: Understand that as we age the glucose can become elevated despite an almost perfect diet due to the liver producing glucose rather than the foods. This is where focusing on liver health and other systems may be necessary.
#3: The knife and fork still remain the most powerful weapon for all areas of health. And especially blood sugar. Determining the proper macros (protein, carbohydrates and fat) in the diet is crucial. Genetics and activity will alter these numbers and experimenting may be necessary. I believe in leaning toward a keto lifestyle. Higher levels of quality protein partnered with low to modest carbs and significant levels of healthy fat with most meals. Processed and excessive carbohydrates are the demon regarding blood sugar. Healthy fats are MCT oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, organic butter, quality olive oil, nuts and raw seeds and avocados. To learn about how to make keto more effective with 5 supplements click here.
#4: Skip foods that have as first ingredient “enriched flour” and added sugars. Instead choose natural sweeteners including organic stevia, modest amounts of raw honey, and monk fruit. Never eat carbohydrates without healthy fat included in that meal to slow down carbohydrates’ impact on blood sugar levels. Limit pasta, corn, potatoes, deserts, rice, alcohol drinks that are sweet, and all soda beverages. Focus on healthy meat and colored vegetables as your main diet choices.
#5: Get regular exercise! Sitting is the new smoking! Blood work shows that inactivity more than 6 hours actually shifts blood work to the less healthy levels in that short period of time! My tip is this. Every morning upon waking ask yourself this question-Did I work out yesterday? If the answer is yes you have the option to not workout that day. But, if the answer is no then let nothing stand in the way of at least a 30 minute workout. You are the only one coming to rescue you and your health so stop looking for anyone but the face in the mirror to save you! Watch my short video on Why running isn’t your best exercise.
#6: Excessive stress increases glucose for most individuals. The reason for this has to do with our stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol is our friend for occasional times to prepare us for our challenges. But the normal person today is fraught with challenges almost all day instead of seldom. Bills, relationships, news of the day, fears of the unknown and the list goes on. This constant level increases blood sugar. Self destructive habits are required to put together your personal solution plan for improvement. Creating a daily habit of mindful meditation is vital in my life. Life is not a grim duty. And practicing repositioning your consciousness to a place of observing your thoughts rather than drowning and being controlled is the purpose of meditation. Insight timer app is my number one choice to assist this process. Consider natural cortisol and stress remedies such as Ashwagandi, GABA and B-complex daily. Research indicated they have effective cortisol balancing effects if used daily.
#7: Sleep. Being well-rested is crucial for maintaining a healthy outlook on life, sticking with healthy habits and even managing hormone levels. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 35 percent of Americans report getting less than the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep each night, raising their risk for many health problems, including type 2 diabetes.
Lacking sleep can raise stress and appetite hormones (like cortisol, which make you hungry), making it harder to avoid sugary snacks, refined grain products and too much caffeine. Sleep and metabolic processes are linked in several key ways, and research shows our natural sleep rhythms can trigger high blood glucose or raise the risk for diabetes when they’re disturbed. Sleeping too little, getting poor quality sleep or sleeping at the wrong times can impair insulin secretion even if you don’t change your diet.
Aim to get between seven to nine hours of sleep per night, by sticking with a normal sleep/wake schedule. Balancing hormones can curb stress responses, and assist you to have enough energy to exercise and keep up with your day. My sleep e-book will educate you to set up a program for yourself on managing insomnia in the safest most effective drug free method known. You can also listen to my podcast on sleep here.
#8: Consider adding blood sugar support nutraceuticals. Research has expanded exponentially on the value of natural options to assist the body in this area. A product containing the following nutraceuticals may be a helpful addition to your program if taken with each meal.
- Butchers Broom
- Gotu Kola
- Alpha Lipoic
- Banana Leaf
- Bitter Melon
- Holy Basil
Consult with an experienced healthcare professional if you are being treated for blood sugar or medical issues before beginning. These nutraceuticals are quite powerful and combined with drugs could lower blood sugar to an unhealthy level.
We are blessed today with credible information that can be lifesaving if we recognize and embrace it at appropriate times in our life. Recognizing the natural pharmacy within our bodies as the safest and most profound option is important for our own self confidence and healing. May you be the captain of your own health journey by finding your team to support you through the years