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Blood Sugar & Your Heart

Posted by Jenaé Miles on
Blood Sugar & Your Heart

High blood pressure and diabetes are at crisis levels in the U.S. One in every 10 Americans has diabetes, and one in three have prediabetes. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) also report that nearly 74% of people 18 and older with diabetes also have hypertension, also known as high blood pressure. It's vital to keep your glucose levels and blood pressure low to maintain a healthy heart and body.

What is Blood Sugar?

Blood sugar, also known as glucose, is a sweetener that you ingest and the body processes. It comes from carbohydrates, and your body needs it for energy. Without glucose, your muscles would weaken, and other areas of your health would decline. However, there are different types of carbs. Simple carbs break down fast, leaving your body hungry for more fuel. 

On the other hand, complex carbohydrates take longer to process and provide sustained energy. Too few carbs can leave you drained and with low blood sugar. In addition, too many simple carbs can cause your glucose level to spike. Watch for the signs of high blood sugar to reduce damage excess levels can do to your heart. 

How Does Blood Sugar Affect Your Heart?

Too much of anything isn't healthy, including sugar. Unresolved high glucose levels can damage the blood vessels and nerves that help your heart function. 

Additionally, prediabetes and diabetes are linked to other risks for cardiovascular disease. The conditions and causes below are common for people with diabetes. 

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a common condition that can damage your heart if left untreated for too long. To keep your heart healthy, you want an average blood pressure reading of 120/80 mmHg. Anything over this number is considered elevated. The higher the reading, the more risk you have of a stroke or heart attack. Consuming too many simple carbs can increase weight and hypertension risk, so follow the same diet for high blood pressure as you do for healthy glucose levels. 

High Cholesterol

Everything you eat can affect your body. Too much sugar is bad for your heart, and high levels of cholesterol are dangerous, too. There is good and bad cholesterol. LDL isn't good, but HDL is linked to a healthy heart. You can start to reduce high cholesterol with the proper diet. Along with HDL and complex carbohydrates, you can get closer to a lower weight that's better for overall wellness. 

Being Overweight

Excess weight isn't healthy for your cardiovascular health. It increases your chances of developing type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and other severe medical conditions. Following low cholesterol, low carb, high protein diet can help manage weight and reduce your risk of heart disease. Also, work to get seven to nine hours of sleep at night and keep a specific routine. When trying to lose weight, the most common mistake people make is not setting a schedule for working, eating, relaxing, and sleeping. When the circadian rhythm is off, so is the rest of your wellness. 

Eat a High-Fat, High Cholesterol, and High-Sodium Diet

Your diet plays a significant role in maintaining a healthy heart. You can be the skinniest person in the world, but if you eat the wrong foods, you're still at risk for developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The first step is to replace bad or LDL cholesterol with good. You can do this by adjusting your meals to reflect healthier choices, such as replacing deep-fried chicken with grilled or backed. Additionally, don't just limit the salty snacks. Eliminate them from your diet. 

There are plenty of before-bed snacks that are healthy and still taste good. For example, Extend Nutrition products are formulated to control glucose levels for up to nine hours and may help reduce your appetite and cravings, which can limit and even stop late-night trips to the kitchen. If you prefer something liquid, consider an Extend Shake. You can mix it with water, milk, and even yogurt and fruit for a healthy, delicious, anytime snack.

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Signs of High Blood Sugar Levels

Everyone needs to know the signs of high blood sugar. Many people are eating diets high in simple carbs and unknowingly causing their glucose levels to rise. These include,

  • Frequent urination
  • Excess thirst
  • Headaches
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Vision disturbances

As the condition worsens, you may experience,

  • Slow-healing wounds
  • Recurring infections
  • Tingling in the hands and feet
  • Gum disease

How to Reduce Glucose Levels

The best way to prevent an insulin spike is to watch for signs of high blood sugar and work to reduce it quickly.

Preventing High Blood Sugar

It's safer for your heart and health to prevent high blood sugar than it is to reduce it. Below are some tips to help get you started on your wellness path. 

Healthy Diet

Again, the key to managing blood sugar and maintaining a healthy heart is a well-balanced diet that gives your body everything it needs to run at top performance. Additionally, choosing the right foods throughout the day can prevent complications with your nighttime glucose levels. 

Regular Exercise

Although exercise can play a role in increasing blood pressure and reducing blood sugar levels, it's a vital part of healthy living. When combined with a well-balanced diet that includes all the necessary carbs, proteins, fats, fiber, and nutrients, you can keep your blood sugar at the healthiest level. 

How to Encourage a Healthy Heart

The best way to reduce your risk of heart disease or cardiovascular-related conditions is to control blood sugar. A well-balanced diet, regular exercise, and healthy glucose levels can help all the wellness pieces fit. These steps can help you reduce your weight, lose belly fat, lower blood pressure, and promote low LDL and high HDL levels.

Use Extend Bars, Shakes, and Meals to Manage Blood Sugar

Extend Nutrition can help you control your blood sugar levels and maintain a healthy heart. Our products are formulated for glycemic control, which means they can help manage your glucose and prevent the body's response to too much or too little blood sugar. The breakdown of healthy protein levels, fats, and complex carbohydrates in Extend Nutrition bars and shakes are clinically proven to control blood sugar for up to 9 hours without leaving you tired or hungry. 

A common reason people's glucose levels rise too fast is hunger from unhealthy carbs that cause a quick spike in blood sugar but burns off nearly as quickly as you eat it. Additionally, hypertension often develops when people have trouble maintaining weight with regular exercise and a healthy diet. Extend Nutrition bars and shakes are the perfect snack to manage both blood sugar and blood pressure. 

Extend Bars and Shakes come in a variety of flavors and products. Our Anytime Protein Bars are for the chocolate lovers or fruit & yogurt lovers with 9-12g protein, no added sugar, all natural ingredients and 1-2g net carbs. Our shakes come in a variety of types including Anytime Protein Shake, Premium Whey Protein Shake and Vegan with Quinoa Protein Shake. All nutritional and ingredient information can be found here. Just click on the product you want to know more information about. We also offer a Subscribe + Save program where you can get products delivered to your door and 15% off every month. There is no fee for cancellation or for changing your subscription. Good health takes commitment, so commit with Extend!

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