The Wellness Edge

Biohacking Your Glucose Levels: A Holiday Guide

Dive into why healthy your blood sugar levels and managing glucose spikes can be the key to long-term wellbeing.

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As we step into the holiday season, it’s the perfect time to talk about something that affects us all but often gets forgotten about: our glucose levels. Inspired by the revolutionary approach of food timings and biohacking, let’s dive into why managing glucose spikes isn’t just about avoiding the post-feast slump but a key to long-term wellbeing.

Why Focus on Glucose Spikes?

Glucose, the sugar in our blood, is our body’s primary energy source. However, when we indulge in traditional and delicious holiday treats that can be packed with sugars and refined carbs, we often experience glucose spikes. These aren’t just momentary fluctuations; they can impact our overall health.

According to a study in the ‘Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism,’ irregular glucose levels are linked to increased risks of conditions like type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

But it’s not just about long-term risks. Stabilising blood sugar can lead to immediate benefits like enhanced energy levels, improved mood, and better concentration – all essential for enjoying the festive season to its fullest.

The Power of Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs)

Enter the world of Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs). These small, wearable devices provide real-time insights into how our food choices affect our blood sugar levels. A study published in ‘Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics’ showed that CGM users had a better understanding of their glucose fluctuations, leading to healthier dietary choices. We love the Lifestyle Libre for ease of use and discretion.

By using a CGM, you can observe how your body responds to different foods. For instance, you might discover that your favourite holiday pie causes a significant spike, while a handful of nuts stabilises your glucose levels.

The Art of Meal Sequencing: A Game-Changer for Glucose Control

An intriguing aspect of managing glucose spikes, often overlooked, is the sequence in which we consume different components of our meals. Research published in the ‘American Journal of Clinical Nutrition’ reveals that the order in which we eat – proteins and vegetables before carbohydrates – can have a profound effect on our post-meal glucose levels.

This approach, known as ‘food sequencing,’ is surprisingly simple yet effective. Here’s how:

Start your meal with fibre-rich vegetables and lean proteins.
This could mean beginning with a salad or vegetable soup, followed by turkey or a plant-based protein. By doing this, you create a ‘buffer’ in your stomach, slowing down the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream when you eventually eat carbohydrates which should be the last macronutrient consumed.

During the holidays, when meals are often carb-heavy, applying this technique can be a game-changer. For instance, at a traditional holiday dinner, begin with the green beans and Brussels sprouts, followed by the turkey, before moving on to the stuffing or mashed potatoes. This simple switch in your eating order can help maintain steadier glucose levels, avoiding those all-too-common energy crashes after a big festive meal.

Incorporating this strategy into your holiday eating routine can help you enjoy your favourite dishes while keeping your blood sugar levels more balanced. It’s a practical and effective way to enjoy the holiday season healthily and mindfully.

Holiday Eating: A Balancing Act

So, how do we apply this knowledge during the most indulgent time of the year? Here are some tips:

  1. Balance Your Plate: Combine proteins, healthy fats, and fibres with your carbs. This combination can help mitigate rapid glucose spikes. For example, enjoy your mashed potatoes with a side of greens and tempeh.
  2. Order Your Bite: Instead of starting with your side of mash, eat your greens first, tempeh next and then your mash last to reduce your glucose spike.
  3. Mindful Indulgence: The holiday season is for enjoyment, so don’t shy away from your favourite dishes. Instead, be mindful of portion sizes. A small slice of pie can satisfy your craving without causing a significant glucose spike.
  4. Stay Active: A post-meal walk can do wonders. Research in ‘Diabetologia‘ found that a 10-minute walk after meals can effectively lower blood sugar levels.
  5. Hydrate Wisely: Opt for water or herbal teas over sugary drinks or alcohol. Not only do they keep you hydrated, but they also avoid unnecessary sugar intake. Here is one of our favourite wellness elixirs.

Embracing Glucose Management for Daily Vibrancy and Holiday Cheer

Integrating insights on glucose management into our daily lives is not just a seasonal strategy; it’s a pathway to year-round wellness. The holiday season, with its array of tempting treats, presents a perfect opportunity to practice mindful eating habits like food sequencing and balanced meal choices. These practices aren’t limited to managing glucose spikes; they’re about nurturing a holistic approach to eating that enhances our mental clarity, physical vitality, and emotional balance.

Adopting these strategies enables us to live more vibrantly. It equips us with the energy and well-being needed to fully enjoy the festive season and beyond. Whether it’s savouring a holiday feast, engaging in daily activities, or embracing the quiet of a winter evening, understanding and managing our glucose levels can transform our relationship with food into a powerful tool for exceptional living. Let this holiday season be a stepping stone to a lifestyle of sustained health and joy.

For those interested in exploring delicious, health-conscious options, try our low GI dessert recipe. A layered chocolate, berry and aquafaba mousse – a perfect blend of indulgence and wellness for the holidays.

Disclaimer: Not Medical Advice

Please note that the content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this blog. The use of Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs) and any changes to your diet or lifestyle should be discussed and monitored by a healthcare professional.