How do you know which foods induce normal post-meal blood glucose responses?
A recent study published by researchers at Stanford University reveals that “normal” blood glucose levels are often not normal at all — they stray much farther from the healthy ranges than we assumed.
“We were very surprised to see blood sugar in the prediabetic and diabetic range in these healthy people so frequently,” said Michael Snyder, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of Genetics at Stanford and senior author of the study. (3)
The conventional way to measure blood glucose is by testing a fasting blood sample – which reveals your blood glucose level at the time of testing. But the downside is it never tells you about the changes that occur in your blood sugar level as you go through your day.
Another common way to test it is the “HbA1C,” — which reflects your average blood glucose for the last 3 months.
Similarly, it doesn’t indicate what’s going on in your body throughout the day – making it difficult to spot potential lifestyle changes that could help stabilize your blood glucose.
But recently, some patients with high blood sugar have used continuous glucose monitors (CGM) to understand these daily variations.
In this study, continuous glucose monitoring in healthy participants showed that large fluctuations in blood glucose happen much more commonly than expected.
To assess how different people react to the same meal, the research team provided three different breakfasts to participants: corn flakes with milk, bread with peanut butter, and a nutrition bar.
The individual responses to these meals were unique, suggesting that people metabolize the same nutrients in different ways.
Other common meals like corn flakes were also found to cause a massive glucose spike in most participants.
The best way to eliminate risks of abnormal blood sugar is to monitor it continuously – even if you’re not diabetic.
This helps you detect which foods you should keep in your diet, and which ones you should cut out entirely.
You may be in for some surprises here; some snacks you’ve ruled out may be better for your body than those you think are actually good for you.
So, if you want an easy way to monitor your glucose levels, then check out this article on how a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) works.