The glucose in your blood, comes from 3 main sources
1. The glucose you eat
2. The glucose your liver synthesises from protein
3. The glucose that is made from products of fat metabolism
A steady glucose level is essential for peak human performance and health.
Too low, and you die, fast.
Too high and you die, slow.
Regular people are worried about blood glucose being too high. A fasting blood sugar greater than 100, or a post meal reading greater than 140 will be considered diabetes, or at least pre diabetes by most doctors. I like the numbers even lower.
A level lower than 70 will have most doctors panicking about their patients. Usually, below 50, most people will not be conscious and functioning, and if it drops further, they die.
A wildly fluctuating blood sugar will not allow you to think clearly, it’ll trigger hunger and cravings, it’ll cause you to be irritable (low) or sleepy (too high)
Today’s post is about how to keep your blood sugar steady. The good news is, your body already knows how to do it. The bad news is, that your current high carbohydrate diet won’t let the body do it’s job properly.
Since a steady blood glucose is so crucial to life, evolution has set the body up with systems that will let it control blood sugar extremely well. There is no way artificial micromanagement from outside, in the form of drugs can even approach the perfection of what evolution is capable of.
Gluconeogenesis is the production of glucose within the body. This is mainly done by the liver and kidney. If at some point, you decide never to eat glucose again, you will not die. Your liver will make the *exact* amount of glucose that the body needs from the resources available.
Imagine, that the process of gluconeogenesis came to a full stop. You would have to eat continually to stay alive, supplying glucose from your food. If you stopped eating and there was no more glucose entering the bloodstream, whatever was in it (around 5 grams) would be consumed in 5 minutes and you’d die. As you may have noticed, that doesn’t happen. That’s because, gluconeogenesis is done through a very robust system and it never gets shut down.
The other trick that the body has is to spare valuable glucose for parts of the brain that do not have the flexibility to use any fuel other than glucose. All the machinery, that can run on alternate fuels will happily shift to ketones and fat, and the parts of the brain that cannot do without glucose recieve what they need from gluconeogenesis. This, is the basis for the “Keto diet”. People who do not have this basic concept of biochemistry will continue to claim that it is impossible to survive without carbs. But the body hasn’t read the textbooks they have, so somehow , the body manages 😜
So, how do you keep your blood sugar steady?
Quit overloading your body with external glucose. Let your body make exactly what it needs from the resources at hand. That would be a keto diet, if followed strictly. There’s more than enough articles on the Ketogenic diet without me adding to that collection.
If you’re looking for compromise solutions, here’s a few listed below.
1. Eliminate refined carbs- sugar, flour, juices
2. Reduce modern grains -shift to millets and legumes. They have a slower release of glucose during digestion. They also have a relatively higher amount of micronutrients and proteins compared to modern grains like rice, wheat and corn
3. Fasting (aim for a 16hr fast daily)
4. Avoiding eating after dark (6.30pm)
5. Constant movement, avoid chairs, interrupt your sitting
6. Resistance training before your carb heavy meal
7. Light walking (touristy, sight seeing pace, for half an hour after meals)
8. Eat more meat, vegetables and fish, fill yourself up with nutrient dense foods before loading up on nutrient poor modern grains