What is glucose?
Glucose is the form of sugar found in our blood. Glucose is also the main source of fuel for your body. When sugar enters your bloodstream, a hormone called insulin produced by the pancreas carries the sugar from your blood into your cells, where the sugar (glucose) is used for energy.
What do you glucose levels tell you about your health?
Uncontrolled or high blood sugar levels can lead to health complications such as type 2 diabetes, blindness, heart diseases, and kidney disease.
Glucose testing is done with a simple blood test. Glucose levels are measured in millimoles per litre (mmol/L).
2.6 – 6.3 mmol/L
8.2 – 10.0 mmol/L
11.9 – 21.1 mmol/L
How to Improve Your Blood Glucose Levels
- Do not allow yourself to become overweight. Start with knowing your BMI and abdominal circumference. Find out what your body weight should be and work on meeting that goal. A healthy diet and exercise can assist you in getting your target weight.
- Reduce your intake of foods that are high in sugar. Pop and energy drinks are nasty contributors to your sugar intake. If you have the will power, cut them out of your diet completely. Any reduction to you sugar intake will dramatically enhance your levels of blood sugar.
- Consume foods that improve sugar levels in your blood rather than aggravate it.
- Don't forget your complex carbohydrates. When you eat the same amount of complex carbohydrates for all your snacks and meals, your blood sugar levels will improve and eventually become steady as you meet your weight goals. Complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, brown rice, oatmeal, and cereal, leave your appetite feeling more satisfied than simple carbs would because they take longer to break down.
- Opt for high fiber foods such as kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, broccoli, peas, almonds, apples, and pears. The body cannot digest fiber and so it helps maintain ideal blood sugar levels.
- Eat lean protein such as chicken, turkey, fish, lean meats, and eggs. Low fat protein slows down the speed at which carbs are absorbed, thus leading to improved sugar levels.
- Include unsaturated fats that are in nuts, avocados, and olive, canola, sunflower and corn oils. Saturated fats increase blood sugars, so opt for unsaturated fats that do less harm.
- Educate yourself. How much you can eat during snack and meal times and how to space those meals out so that you can better control your levels of blood sugar.
- Do more exercise. Attend a gym on a regular basis or walk more. Change your regular fitness habits on a daily basis. For example, choose to walk over driving, if possible, or opt for stairs rather than the elevator.
Depending on your age check your glucose levels every two to three years.
Blood Pressure U.K.
John Hopkins University
Canadian Diabetes Association
Heart & Stoke Foundation