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Glucose Levels For Women Over 50

Why Maintaining Steady Glucose Levels is Important for Menopausal Women

Dec 16, 2023

When I was younger, I would get what I called low blood sugar. I’d be busy doing whatever I was doing and all of a sudden, I’d feel trembling, break out in a sweat or get really fatigued. When I’d be on a long bike ride, I’d sometimes “bonk,” the expression athletes call “hitting a wall.” Basically, it means our blood sugar is so low we have no energy left for the effort we are putting in. When this would happen, I’d grab anything that was quick sugar– a bar, cookies, a piece of fruit. This would calm the symptoms, but little did I know I was setting myself up for a roller coaster of blood sugar spikes and drops. These spikes and drops in our glucose levels are something we want to avoid.

 

What is glucose? 

Glucose (sugar) mainly comes from carbohydrates in the foods and drinks we consume.

We need glucose. It’s our body’s source of energy and is mostly found in carbohydrates– starchy foods like bread, pasta, potatoes and rice as well as sweet foods like fruits, desserts and candy. Like anything our bodies need, if we have too much of something, it can cause problems.

If we eat too many carbs at one time, we cause a spike in our glucose levels. These spikes can harm our physical and mental health. You may have experienced this. When we have glucose spikes and drops throughout the day, we may feel tired after eating, hungry every few hours or wonder why we are struggling with cravings. These spikes and drops can mess with our hormones, give us brain fog, age us faster, take a toll on our skin and make menopausal symptoms worse. If this continues, it can lead to Type 2 diabetes.

 
 
 

Why is it important to keep our glucose levels stable?

Reduce Fat Storage–Hormonal changes in menopause can lead to weight gain. Fluctuating glucose levels can lead to increased fat storage and difficulty in maintaining a healthy weight. Plus, when glucose levels spike and drop, we can experience cravings. If we want to eliminate cravings, getting our glucose levels stable is in my opinion the most important step.

Reduce the signs of aging–Every time we experience a glucose spike and drop, think of it as an aging accelerator. To reduce the signs of aging, keeping glucose levels even will help slow down the aging process of our tissues and organs.

Prevent Insulin Resistance–Maintaining stable glucose levels helps prevent insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels by facilitating the uptake of glucose into cells. Insulin resistance occurs when cells become less responsive to insulin. This can occur with age and is linked to hormonal changes. The more stable our glucose levels, the less likely we are to become insulin resistant.

Improve Energy and Reduce Brain Fog–Stable glucose levels help provide energy to the body and the brain. Fluctuating levels can cause energy crashes and mood swings. Stabilize glucose levels and notice improved energy and brain function.

Disease Prevention– Fluctuating or elevated glucose levels can contribute to Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular issues. Managing glucose levels helps prevent both of these diseases especially once we lose estrogen in menopause.

Bone and Joint Health– High blood sugar levels have been linked to a decrease in bone density and are a contributing factor to inflammation. Maintaining even levels help with bone health and reducing inflammation will keep joints feeling less achy.

 
 

How to help keep glucose levels stable

There are several things you can do right away to start feeling the benefits of more stable glucose levels.

Break your fast with protein– Starting your day with protein will help set you up for a day of even glucose levels. Instead of starting with a fruit smoothie, toast and jam or a bar with added sugars, opt for Greek yogurt, eggs or even last night's leftover chicken and vegetables.

Avoid snacking, especially on high carbohydrate foods– Snacking frequently, especially on high carbohydrate foods, can lead to sustained elevated glucose levels. If you need a snack, be sure to include protein to slow down the absorption of sugar into the blood. Instead of just an apple, have an apple with a piece of cheese or some nut butter. Avoid processed foods because most of them are refined sugars that will be sure to spike your glucose, only followed by a drop that signals hunger and cravings and so the cycle continues.

Exercise– Move your body after every meal and lift weights to build muscle.

Research shows that a short walk after each meal prevents your blood glucose from spiking as high as it would if you ate and then remained seated. 

Building muscle increases the capacity of your muscles to utilize glucose for energy, helping to clear glucose from the bloodstream. Plus, muscle cells are highly insulin sensitive, which means they respond efficiently to insulin. Insulin resistance is a condition in which cells don't respond effectively to insulin. This insulin resistance is a key factor in Type 2 diabetes. Building muscles will help prevent glucose spikes and insulin resistance.

I believe the more we know and can relate to our own bodies, the better we can understand and care for ourselves. If you’re ready to take your health to the next level, click here to join my free Facebook Group, Losing Weight After 50. Or contact me to learn about my online coaching programs. 

Below is a quick recipe that I make ahead of time and then reheat for quick breakfasts packed with protein. Sometimes I make this in a pie pan, other times in muffin pans for individual servings.

 

Crustless Quiche

 

6 eggs

 

½ cup half and half

 

Salt, pepper, paprika

 

Vegetables and cheese of your choice-my two favorites are cheddar and steamed broccoli or sauteed mushrooms and spinach or super greens with parmesan cheese.

 
 
 

Use either a glass or ceramic pie pan or silicone muffin cups.

 

Spray or rub olive oil on pan. Preheat the oven to 400. Whisk eggs, mix in half and half and spices. Toss in your choice of vegetables and cheese. Pour into the prepared pan and bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes for pie pan or 15-20 minutes for muffin cups. Insert a toothpick into the center to check for doneness. Serve or refrigerate or freeze for meal prep.

 
 
 

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