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Are You Sugar Spiking Your Body Unintentionally?

Your body works hard to keep the sugar in your blood at a safe level. As soon as you eat that cookie or bowl of pasta, your pancreas starts putting out the hormone insulin to process the sugar you’ve taken in. Too much sugar in your blood makes it thick and syrupy, which is not good. Imagine how much extra work that is for your heart as it tries to pump goopy blood around your body.

In the short term, a spike in your blood sugar will cause a sugar rush, followed by a sugar crash, with all the cravings and lethargy that go along with that. In the long term, repeated spikes in your blood sugar can cause heart and kidney problems, to issue with eyesight and nervous system.

When we work our pancreas too much by consuming simple sugars that cause sugar spikes, it’s going to tell us, ‘I'm tired, and I need a break’. It can’t keep up with the amount of insulin needed to deal with the sugar, and that's when we're going to see insulin resistance, prediabetes, Type 2 diabetes and related heart problems.

Don't play candy crush with your body, keep your blood sugar in check with the following information...


Sugar consumption has more than tripled worldwide in the past 50 years, and in Europe alone, people on average are consuming 100 grams of sugar a day – a far cry from the World Health Organisation’s recommendation.

Although the biggest culprits of our sugar consumption include fizzy drinks and sweet treats, hidden sugars in our diet often surprise us. For example, we feel we are being healthy when enjoying a fresh fruit juice or don’t consider the high levels of sugar within a glass of wine. Whilst on their own, these little indulgences may seem insignificant yet the overall amount of both hidden and added sugars in our diet can have an effect on our insides, but on our skin too.

Excess sugar in your bloodstream can cause Glycation, a natural chemical reaction which happens when sugar levels in the bloodstream spike beyond what our insulin can handle. Glycation affects the part of our skin that keeps it ‘springy’ – collagen and elastin. When these two proteins link with sugars they become weaker, promoting the signs of ageing; skin becomes drier and less elastic, causing wrinkles, sagging and a dull skin appearance...Ugh!

It is advisable to look at your sugar intake within your diet and try to have no more than the recommended amount, as this is what the body is able to handle without adverse effects. Added sugars should make up no more than 10% of your daily calorie intake.

To help you manage this, try and be aware of how much sugar per day you are having. Read food labels and make healthier choices when buying processed foods. Often supermarket brands operate a traffic light labelling policy to help steer you to make healthier choices. Know your sugars – honey, fruit juices and alcohol all contain high amounts of sugar. Drink water – replace fizzy drinks, juice and energy drinks with water and be aware that flavoured waters often include hidden additional ingredients.

Get Your Beauty Sleep

Scientists have found that the sleep hormone melatonin can reduce glycation damage by up to 50%. Your body goes through the circadian rhythm each day, and the cycle lasts for 24 hours. The circadian rhythm includes the behavioural, mental and physical changes.

Learning good sleep habits are essential given the close connection between sleep and diabetes. A decreased amount of sleep can increase blood sugar levels. Even sleep deprivation for one night can increase your body’s insulin resistance. As a result, your blood sugar levels may rise with it. A lack of sleep, or insomnia, has been connected to diabetes.

Plan When & What You Eat

Complex carbohydrates help control blood sugar. Every food you eat is turned to sugar – it’s the main energy source for your body. But for some foods, this process takes longer, which gives your body more time to deal with the sugar. This is why brown rice, whole wheat pasta and whole wheat bread are healthier for you. The extra fiber slows down digestion, helps you avoid a sugar spike and makes you feel full for longer. The refined white versions will strain your pancreas and likely make you want to eat more.

The insulin your body releases to control the sugar actually makes us hungry, so after your sugar spike, you may attempt reaching for more things to eat.

You can make simple swaps like switching from fruit juice to eating whole fruit, or switching out sugary jelly for sugar-free peanut butter on your toast. Among the sneaky things that raise your blood sugar levels may be the order in which you eat foods during any given meal. Research from Glucose Goddess shows in images below what can happen when individuals eat the same food, but with slight changes.