Blood sugar is nothing but the glucose in our blood, which acts as fuel for the body, and keeps it functioning. When the blood sugar in the body increases, it can lead to several health complications, most commonly diabetes. But, how does blood sugar level affect the body weight? The basic concept that most of us are aware of, is that when we eat more than what is required by our body, we put on weight. This is not entirely true as sugar level plays a vital role in weight gain by affecting our appetite and stamina.
Blood Sugar and Weight Loss
When we eat, digestible carbohydrates are converted to blood sugar. This glucose is required by cells for energy. Sugar is easily absorbed, but it cannot be used unless the pancreas secretes insulin. If we eat carbohydrate rich food, the body produces more glucose than what is needed by the body, and this raises the sugar levels in the body. As a result, even the insulin produced is increased, so that all the glucose can be used for energy. All the glucose is stored in the form of glycogen, till there comes a point where no more can be stored. The body feels that there is sufficient energy and hence starts accumulating fat in the body. Also an insulin surge makes the sugar level way too low, it doesn’t matter if you had enough for lunch, you are bound to feel hungry and tired. You will feel like eating something with a high sugar content and once you do so, the cycle will begin again. Eventually, high blood sugar is primarily responsible for increase in weight.
Regulating Blood Sugar Levels
Since, sugar levels affect your weight so drastically, what you need to do is regulate your blood sugar levels. Normal level of blood sugar before a meal is 60 to 90 milligrams of glucose per 100 millimeters of blood (mg/dl) and high blood sugar levels fall in the range of 100 to 125 mg/dl. Watch what you eat, because many a time, people are not aware which food items have high sugar content and as a result, end up eating the wrong food. Several food items have been given glycemic index rankings. This is to show how the food item affects the blood sugar. Food items with a high fiber content help in managing normal levels. They are digested slowly, thus the supply of glucose is constant and you will not feel hungry constantly. Let’s take a look at some healthy eating options, when looking to maintain blood sugar.
Foods that are Low on the Glycemic Index
Vegetables Fruits Others
Onions Apples Soya beans
Mushroom Pears Kidney beans
Cabbage Grapefruit Milk
Broccoli Cherries Sausages
Red Pepper Plums Oats
Lettuce Oranges Peanuts
Cauliflower Grapes Barley
Aubergine Apricots Butter beans
Foods that are High on the Glycemic Index
Vegetables Fruits Others
Pumpkins Watermelons White bread
Sweet potatoes Papayas White rice
Parsnips Cantaloupe Pasta
Beetroot Pineapple Cornflakes
Corn Bananas French fries
Potatoes Mangoes Pretzel
Peas Figs Donut
Some More Pointers to Nail Your Weight!
Avoid eating food items that are high on the glycemic index. If at all you eat it, have it in small quantities.
Do not skip meals. If you starve, you are likely to feel more hungry and you will end up eating more than you normally do.
Have small meals, after every few hours. In between meals, eat healthy snacks.
Snacks with high fiber should be preferred.
Eat a whole fruit instead of juice.
Be particularly careful when having processed food items like soup, ketchup and other ready to eat frozen food.
Beverages like colas, soft drinks and sodas also have a high sugar content.
Go easy, while having simple carbohydrates, as they are digested quickly. Simple carbohydrates include sugar in dairy products (lactose), fruit sugar (fructose) and table sugar (sucrose).
Most products that claim to be fat free have a high quantity of sugar.
Read labels of sugar free products before you buy them. They usually have sugar in some other form, which is equally bad for you.
The bottom line is to eat healthy. Once you understand which food items are good for you, try and include them in your diet. A healthy diet and regular exercise will go a long way in maintaining your blood sugar levels and help you achieve your desired body weight.