Energy and Addiction (Part 3): How Blood Sugar Levels Effect Food Addiction

Categories: Food Addiction

How Blood Sugar Levels Effect Food AddictionWhether or not you are a diabetic, it is imperative that you always keep your blood sugar levels in check.  Why?  The stability of blood levels affects energy levels which is essential in the combat against food addiction.  How is this so?  This post will explain the importance of blood sugar levels and its connection to food addiction.  In addition, we will help you regain your energy levels through maintaining healthy blood sugar or glucose levels.

There are various ways to raise your energy levels.  One of which is getting quality sleep which we have already covered in the previous post.  Another way to boost energy is through stabilizing glucose levels in the body.  Here’s why.

 

 

The Role of Blood Sugar or Glucose in the Body

Sugar is a vital source of energy for the body. It comes from our daily food consumption such as bread, cereals, fruits, rice, vegetables, and more.  Carbohydrates from the food that we eat are then broken into sugar and then taken into our bloodstream.

This glucose or sugar in our blood provides energy necessary for our cells and organs to function properly, or to better yet keep to be used in the future.

A steady blood sugar level results to hormones telling your body to burn unwanted fat therefore keeping you fit and healthy.  Healthy blood glucose level also gives your brain more energy to make sound decisions and judgments.

 

Link Between Blood Sugar Levels and Food Addiction

You might be wondering why or how blood sugar levels push us to be addicted to food.  Let me give you an example.

When you eat foods that are high in carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into sugar and is absorbed into the blood.  As a way to eliminate poison or ward off unwanted “visitors”, the body releases insulin to reduce the sugar level.

As a consequence to the “warding off” of the poison called too much sugar, glucose levels become too low.  To regulate this, your body sends signals to the brain telling that it needs more sugar to regain the body’s state of equilibrium.  Hence, sugar cravings occur.

Apart from this, blood glucose level is proportional to our energy levels.  When our body glucose is low, our energy level is low too.  But when it is in its normal and healthy level, we are also energized and active.  Our body is able to fight poisons in the body plus make us able to do the things that we want to do.

Apart from keeping us up, glucose also has something to do with our willpower.  According to the studies of Roy F. Baumeister, the sugar level in the body is surprisingly linked to self-control.

As stated in his research, participants of the research who endured the temptation of the fresh cookies quit on the task (given after the presentation of the baked goodies) that necessitated much effort and diligence.  However, those who did not have to resist the cookies did better on the task.

Through this study, it was made clear that self-control, in this case eating the cookies, used up all the energy that the participants have.  And this energy source that is related to this kind of activity is no other than glucose.

Almost all of the brain’s actions or responsibilities require glucose.  One of these responsibilities that call for glucose is to do procedures that require much energy and effort.  Self-control or willpower requires much effort or energy.  Therefore, in order for the brain to prevail over the cravings and urges, a huge amount of glucose should be expended and needed.

 

How To Have Balanced Blood Sugar Levels

Evidence in studies indicates that our body needs glucose to have higher energy and to control cravings.  Now that you know that blood glucose or sugar level is essential in having high energy levels, you might be interested in trying the tips below.

  1. Stay away from refined carbohydrates.  This kind of carbs already went through different processes therefore making them unhealthy.  These carbs have chemicals that can dramatically increase blood glucose levels.  In addition, they don’t have the nutrients that the body needs as they only contain additives and sugar that are only addictive.  Samples of products with refined carbohydrates include white rice, candies, white bread, and more.
  2. Eat complex carbohydrates.  This type of carbohydrates digests longer than the other carbs and has fiber and vitamins.  Since they take more time to digest, its effect on the blood is gradual.  Examples of food with complex carbs are apples, strawberries, radishes, tomatoes, oats, soy beans, and low-fat yogurt.
  3. Stay hydrated.  Water is one of the most indispensable friends that we have and need.  Our blood needs water to transport sugar and insulin all throughout our system.  So why deprive our body with it?
  4. Go for cinnamon.  Who would have thought that this sweet spice is helpful in balancing blood glucose levels?  Cinnamon stimulates receivers and receptors of insulin making the body respond immediately to this hormone.  As a result, the body’s glucose levels will normalize and the body will not need to generate insulin for the body.  
  5. Stay away from stimulants.  Samples of food and drinks with stimulants include chocolate, caffeinated drinks, and cigarettes.  These stimulate the body to release glycogen or the stored glucose in the body.  As a result, blood sugar levels will elevate and then fall.
  6. Exercise.  Stress raises glucose in the blood.  To avoid this, you need to engage in activities that relax you.  One of which is through exercise.  Or if exercising is just not your thing, you can do pursue your interests and hobbies.
  7. Get your daily dose of fiber.  Fiber reduces the speed of carbohydrate absorption in the body.  Consequently, this will help in stabilizing glucose levels in the blood.  In addition, cravings are reduced and cholesterol levels are lessened.
  8. Opt for sweet vegetables if you want your sugar fix.  Carrots and red bell peppers are just some examples.  Keep them in your ref so you can grab something if you feel like a sugar craving is coming.  There’s no limit to vegetable consumption so don’t skimp on them.  Eat as much veggies as you want.

 

Conclusion

Every activity in and by the body requires energy.  Even the willpower and strength that we need to avoid over consumption of unhealthy food require a huge amount of energy which is provided for by glucose.  To be able to survive this dilemma, we need to have a healthy and stable blood sugar level.  This will give us ample energy to do what we have to do daily (including resisting temptations).

This post has 8 tricks to successfully do that so might as well try them out.  Find out what works best for you as our body has different reactions to certain foods.  Good luck!  I know you can do it.

This post is just a part of the 5-part series of energy and addiction.  You can read about the other posts if you browse the rest of this site.  Thank you and have a nice day.

 

References

http://www.drjeanetteryan.com/blood_sugar.html

http://www.georgiaintegrativemedicine.com/Improve_glucose_tolerance…pdf

http://www.hungryforchange.tv/article/easy-tips-for-healthy-blood-sugar-levels

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_sugar

http://www.uky.edu/~njdewa2/gailliotetal07JPSP.pdf

http://www.naturalnews.com/035642_cinnamon_blood_sugar_regulating.html

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/carbohydrates/carbohydrates-and-blood-sugar/

Doriet von Fircks

About the author

Doriet von Fircks is a health practitioner and a nutrition expert.
She specializes in food related problems, such as food addiction.
After reading many articles about food addiction, especially lots of scientific journals, she realized that there was hardly any discussion about food addiction from a scientific perspective.
She updates the site frequently, ensuring that the latest scientific findings are always featured on FoodAddictionScience.com. If you have questions about this site or suggestions for improvement, please feel free to contact her.