Dessert Dilemma: Carbs vs Blood Glucose

Ever wonder why you may feel not-so-great about two hours after eating a yummy, sugary dessert? It's probably because the glucose caused an extreme rise in your blood sugar levels. With the holidays in full swing, we're diving into what causes glucose spikes, why it can be harmful to hormone health, and what you can do to still enjoy your favorite carbolicious desserts while minimizing extreme blood glucose levels!

 

What causes a blood sugar spike?

Eating a high carbohydrate food causes glucose to enter the bloodstream. This glucose signals the pancreas to release insulin to pull the glucose into muscle, fat, and liver cells. 

But many people don't process insulin correctly. This is called insulin resistance and occurs when the cells no longer respond to the insulin produced after the body senses glucose entering the bloodstream. Insulin resistance often occurs alongside polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) since high levels of certain hormones disrupt the receptors that the insulin should bind to, creating insulin resistance. This is one reason why stabilizing blood glucose is vital for balanced hormones. 

People without diabetes and pre-diabetes can benefit immesly from preventing large blood sugar spikes throughout the day, since the decline of those blood sugar levels can lead to fatigue, headaches, and even blurred vision.

 

How can we keep blood glucose stable? 

It's all about understanding how food works in the body! For example, before going to enjoy a christmas cookie, you could…

  • Eat protein, fat, and/or fiber
    • All of these have slower digestion rates which can slow the absorption of carbs and release of glucose into the bloodstream. It also makes the treat more satiating!
    • All Resist bars are packed with fiber, fat, and protein to minimize blood sugar spikes, making them a convenient pre-dessert snack that tastes like an additional dessert! 
  • Take an apple cider vinegar shot
    • A study published in the Journal of the American Association of Diabetes in 2004 showed that 4 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar lowered blood glucose when taken before a meal.
  • Move a little after your sweet treat
    • Taking a short walk or doing a little dance after eating something sweet can help reduce the blood sugar spike.

 

So, do I need to give up sugar?

Not at all! Being concious of blood glucose levels does not mean you need to give up your favorite carbohydrate-rich foods. Structuring your diet around the time of consumption, and maintaining an overall health supporting lifestyle can support your body as it processes carbohydrates into glucose and help flatten an extreme blood glucose spike.