The topic of blood sugar should not only be a term for diabetics, because blood sugar fluctuations have an influence on our body fat, our energy level, health and it can sometimes be used as an indicator of food intolerances. Nowadays, anyone who wants to get to know their body better using this tool could track their glucose level with a sensor from the comfort of their own home without visiting a doctor. That's exactly what I tested with a blood glucose meter for two weeks and got to know my body a little better.
Why measure blood sugar even if you are healthy? A little review of the first article:
As a healthy person I mean measure blood sugar and monitor? I dared to experiment on myself and checked my blood sugar at regular intervals throughout the day to show you what this value can say about your health.
The topic of blood sugar was explained in more detail in the last blog post. The article provides basic knowledge about hormone regulation around glucose levels, diabetes and what effect all of this has on our health, performance and body fat. The fact is: Blood sugar should be kept as stable as possible and should not fluctuate too much up or down so that the hormones that are important in this context are not overloaded. This can be achieved through diet, exercise and the right lifestyle. You can find more detailed information about this in Blood sugar articles yourself – this would be highly recommended as prior knowledge.
Why measure blood sugar even though I'm not diabetic?
Since I have been dealing with the topic of blood sugar and insulin for a long time, as they are important basic knowledge in nutritional advice, I wanted to examine the whole thing in more detail. You can learn a lot about the topic in medical and biology textbooks and scientific literature. For example, you can quickly find out how blood sugar rises depending on the time of day or meal and how the hormone insulin behaves accordingly, but every body is individual . In practice, everything can look a little different because genetics, intestinal health, exercise and many other factors can have an influence on blood sugar. The measure blood sugar It can therefore also be interesting for healthy people who would like to be tested.
The experiment allowed me to get to know my body better because now I know that there are actually some foods that are less good for me than others. I was actually very surprised at how extremely the sweet potato caused my glucose levels to skyrocket, even though it is always touted as having a stabilizing effect on blood sugar. In principle that will be the case, just not for me personally. More on this can be found below in my results table.
Measuring blood sugar: The methodology – blood glucose meter in the app combined with the sensor
For my experiment, I chose an innovative and uncomplicated method. I was able to order the sensor from the company online, which can measure blood sugar. It can be conveniently attached to the upper arm at home using the included applicator. You press the applicator like a stamp, which then presses into the small round sensor on the skin. It has a fine needle at the front that is inserted under the skin when it is attached and is held in place by a skin-friendly adhesive. Applying it doesn't hurt at all, you don't feel anything poking under your skin. The sensor doesn't bother you at all and holds up well even when showering and doing sports. You just need to be careful when taking off and putting on clothes so that you don't get caught.
You can then activate the tracker via an app. To synchronize the measuring device, you simply hold your cell phone over the spot on your arm and the app will tell you the glucose value. In addition, a statistics curve shows what happened in the time before. You can use the graphic and also the exact measured values in mg/dl to see what your blood sugar is doing during the day and at night - see picture:
The results – my most important conclusion when measuring blood sugar
I wrote down the measurements that were most important to me from the app's data. The focus was actually initially on the individual foods because I was interested in what causes blood sugar to rise more and what causes it to rise less or more slowly. I had to realize once again how complex our bodies are and that it's not just the food itself that plays a role, but other factors such as stress levels or the combination of foods have an influence. Above all, I was able to conclude from the data that that the first meal of the day can actually stabilize blood sugar for the entire day .
This reminded me once again of the crucial role of proper breakfast confirms which one you talk about again in the associated article you can read everything.
Summary and interpretation of data when measuring blood sugar
I have that for myself in the table below most relevant measurement data summarized and a possible explanation was written. This is based on my biochemical understanding of the topic, including the points on hormonal regulation from the first article on this topic. Nevertheless, it must be said at this point that the explanations and my conclusions from them are mainly hypotheses.
Here is a brief explanation to help you understand the measurement data: We use for this Blood glucose the units Milligrams per deciliter Blood (mg/dl). According to science, a healthy person should not have a sugar level higher than 100 mg/dl when fasting (i.e. after getting up, before eating). Two hours after eating, blood sugar is usually up to 140 mg/dL. Depending on whether you have eaten a very carbohydrate-rich meal, the glucose value can be slightly higher. One speaks of diabetes if the blood sugar level is over 126 mg/dl on an empty stomach and over 200 mg/dl after eating.
Immediately after waking up the value was around 100mg/dl. On working days it rose to 115mg/dl within 30 minutes before breakfast - on free mornings the increase was 10mg/dl lower!
Blood sugar stabilizes overnight, but when we wake up, the stress hormone cortisol is released because it activates our system. This increase causes sugar to be transported into the bloodstream as our cells need to be fueled. More stress hormones seem to be released on workdays because more action is required!
Red meat with vegetables and good fats stabilize my blood sugar throughout the day. A purely plant-based breakfast raises my blood sugar from 100 to 130 to 140 mg/dl within 30 minutes - even though it is low in carbohydrates!
For me that was very clear. If the first meal didn't consist of meat, fat & vegetables, my blood sugar would jump big with every snack and every meal - unless, for example, I ate steak with vegetables for lunch. Then the glucose value remained very stable again for the rest of the day.
Intermittent fasting from 4 p.m. overnight until midday the next day had a very positive effect: after the small increase in the morning when I got up, my blood sugar remained very stable - between 95 and 110 mg/dl.
I already felt very comfortable fasting 2-3 times a week: my energy level and concentration are always very good during this time and I feel regenerated afterwards. Apparently fasting also gives my blood sugar hormones a chance to recover.
sweet potatoes cause my blood sugar to rise incredibly high, so it rose from 113 to 193 mg/dl (!) within 30 minutes! Another 45 minutes later the value was 78 mg/dl. Normal potatoes increased it to a maximum of 142 mg/dl!
After this rapid, extremely high increase in glucose, there was a total midday low and I had to lie down first. No wonder, because my blood sugar has been on a wild rollercoaster ride! After a meal with normal potatoes, this wasn't the case at all and my energy level remained constant. Apparently my genetics are not made for the tuber, which comes from South America, even though it is actually a superfood!
Also complex carbohydrates Late in the evening (after 8 p.m.) my blood sugar rises sharply in the first phase of sleep to up to 150 mg/dl, after which it drops to below 100 mg/dl within about 30 minutes.
With melatonin (sleep hormone) production in the evening, which begins 2-4 hours before going to bed, a gene is activated that reduces insulin secretion. As a result, less glucose is brought from the blood into the cells and blood sugar rises more 1 . If it gets too high, insulin has to be activated again - more than would actually be good. This can disrupt our biorhythms and lead to problems with insulin production in the long term.
Studies and values are mostly based on examinations of people suffering from diabetes
I would like to briefly note that almost all accessible data Glucose values at diabetes Studies have been produced. This is probably because the investments are worthwhile here because they want to find therapeutic measures for sick people, because these bring profits back to the companies. Studies with athletes and healthy people are therefore often of no interest to the investors in the studies. That's why I could only determine that blood sugar level Normally it should not be higher than 140 mg/dl 2 hours after a meal. But what was supposed to happen in those two hours is relatively unclear. To make sure that enough insulin is produced so that the blood sugar slowly stabilizes again after the two hours, this indication makes perfect sense.
However, it would be interesting to know how high the value can rise shortly after eating. During my extreme spike after the sweet potato, the value had returned to normal after the two hours to 110 mg/dl, but I am convinced that the extreme highs and lows are still undesirable. This could cause a problem with them in the long term Insulin receptors develop if they are repeatedly overloaded by such increased values.
Measuring blood sugar – the conclusion of the self-experiment
I recommend this to anyone who wants to get to know their body even better blood sugar Conduct an experiment on yourself. My data is a good example of how things can still be optimized individually despite an already very conscious diet, a healthy, fit body and a low body fat percentage. A stable one blood sugar is crucial for health, performance, body fat reduction and sleep. Since different people actually react differently to different foods, the tool with the Blood glucose meter a simple solution for at home to adjust your diet and lifestyle again.
I have the Freestyle Libre 2 tracked via the app, which was the cheapest and easiest option for me.
If in doubt, never rely solely on your own experiments or measurements and, if you discover irregularities in your blood sugar, always consult a doctor or trained trophologist to be on the safe side! I wish you much success with your diet, your health and a balanced lifestyle.
1 Patrick, Dr. Rhonda (2019): Late-night eating and melatonin may impair insulin response. Found my Fitness [https://www.foundmyfitness.com/episodes/melatonin-insulin-response; 05/31/20].