High blood sugar levels can cause constant exhaustion – tips to control your sugar intake
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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 percent of our daily calorie intake, but reality paints a very different picture, with many people seeing sugar account for over 20 percent of their daily calories.
Paying attention to your blood sugar levels can greatly help to improve your health. To explain more, Gudrun Jonsson, dietary advisor to Nibble Protein 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.
Jonsson explained: “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).
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“Instead, grab snacks that offer sustained energy, like Nibble Simply, which contains less than 10 percent sugar and are sweetened only with low GI coconut sugar. This new, innovative range of all-natural, low-carb, keto-friendly biscuit bites have 60 percent less sugar, 57 percent fewer carbs and 170 percent more protein than a regular biscuit, making them the ultimate guilt-free treat for those looking to satisfy a sweet craving (available to buy from www.wearenibble.com).”
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.
But Jonsson warned: “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 a 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,” said Jonsson. “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.”
4. You’ll be less hungry
Although sugar now takes a leading role in our diets, excess consumption can leave us feeling hungrier and more likely to overeat
Jonsson explained: “Sugar is a fast releasing energy source, meaning that it will give you an energy high, and then crash you back down again soon after.
“As sugar has virtually no nutritional content or benefits, it won’t keep you feeling full for long either, and eating too much can leave you craving sugar and in search of your next ‘sugar high’, thanks to its highly addictive nature.”
5. It will aid digestion
If there is too much sugar in your body for your bloodstream to absorb, the surplus sugar makes its journey through your digestive system.
Jonsson said: “The bacteria in the bowels feast on these sugars, emitting gasses which can lead to abdominal discomfort, bloating, and flatulence.
“It’s also likely that too much sugar can invite an influx of harmful bacteria (and yeasts like candida) into the digestive system which can result in more serious long-term digestive problems.”
6. Improved skin and nails
A diet high in sugar could be the cause of bad skin and weakened nails. This is because of a bodily process which is stimulated by sugar consumption called glycation, according to Jonsson.
She added: “Simple carbohydrates, like refined sugar cause insulin levels to spike, which leads to a surge of inflammation throughout the body. The inflammation produces enzymes that break down collagen and elastin, causing wrinkles, acne and pigmentation.
“A more balanced diet which is low in sugar can help improve the appearance of skin and nails, giving you a brighter, smoother complexion and stronger nails, which are less prone to breaking.”
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