When you eat your muffins and other food and drink, the blood sugar sensor records your blood sugar levels.
Logging each of your meals while wearing the sensor give you real-time feedback about the impact of those meals on your body. You can check your blood sugar at any time using the blood sugar reader, so this is a good chance to learn about your body.
Blood sugar is only one piece of the puzzle
Logging your foods and seeing your curves is a great opportunity to learn more about your biology. As you experiment with different foods, keep in mind that blood sugar is only one of the many parts that influence how we should eat.
- Your blood sugar curves could be affected by many factors. How you combine your foods, what you ate throughout the day, the time you eat, and your sleep, stress and activity levels can all affect your blood sugar responses. That's why we use your standardized muffin test to inform your personalized blood sugar score and food recommendations. Your blood sugar measurements to your logged foods can then be used to further inform your scores for these foods in the future, and give you more personalization.
- There are other aspects of your biology to take into account. As you start to see your body’s blood sugar response to foods, you may be tempted to adopt a lower carb diet. But that diet may end up being higher in unhealthy fats or exclude many food that support your gut health. This is where the results of your ZOE test will come in. We help you not only with your blood sugar levels but to also find all the right foods to get the right balance for your overall biology.
Checking your blood sugar levels
- Check your blood sugar reader when you wake up in the morning and before you eat to understand your fasting glucose levels.
- Check the reader at least 1-2 hours after meals to start to see which foods impact your blood sugar.
- Test your favorite foods. This is your chance to see how the food you love most affects your blood sugar, and get more personalized scores to your specific measurement in the future.
- Look for ways to reduce your blood sugar spikes by combining fats/protein with the carbs you eat.
- Notice how your activity levels after a meal or your sleep the night before can affect your blood sugar curves.
- See how whether you were fasting or had something to eat before can affect your blood sugar response.
Seeing your blood sugar curve on your reader
- Hold down the green button on the front of the blood sugar reader until the screen turns on.
- Click ‘Get Sensor Data’. If it says there is data to report, click 'Yes' to overwrite this data.
- Hold the reader against your blood sugar sensor for a few seconds until it beeps.
- Click 'View'. The reader screen should then show a graph.
- If you get a screen that says 'To create reports...' you accidentally pressed 'Next' instead of 'View.' Press 'Back' then 'View.'
Managing your blood sugar curve
As a general guide, you want to try to keep your blood sugar levels stable, even if they are only one piece of the puzzle. If you experiment using your blood sugar sensor, you may start getting a sense of what impacts your blood sugar levels.
To help understand which foods are good for your blood sugar levels, look out for these things...
- Minimized spikes: Look for foods that do not spike your blood sugar after eating them. You may notice that eating carbs with fat and protein lowers the blood sugar response
- Faster returns to the baseline: Find foods that have a short spike, or allow you to return to your baseline faster without the sugar crash dip.
- A lower base: After a few days of focusing on reducing your spikes, you may notice you are also lowering your baseline glucose level.
- Fewer spikes between meals: Look for snacks that don’t spike your blood sugar and aim to eat meals that keep you satisfied until the next meal.
Avoiding sugar crashes
Pale skin, irritability, hunger and sleepiness are all symptoms of a sugar crash. In more extreme cases you may also suffer sweating or lack of coordination. Keeping an eye on your blood levels with your reader will help you better understand which of your meals or snacks are causing sugar crashes. Knowing this will help you avoid them in the future.
Try this experiment!
Here is a simple experiment to help you learn about the best foods for your biology. You might have heard that not all calories are created equal. Well, let's put that to the test!
Here are 3 different foods to test, all with about 200 calories.
- A starch: White rice (1 cup, cooked)
- A fiber-rich starch: Beans (1 cup, cooked)
- A fat-rich food: Cheddar cheese (2 oz)
How to experiment with different foods
- Try to be fasted to keep conditions standard
- Check your blood sugar levels before you eat
- Eat the food in about 15 minutes if you can
- Wait for 2 hours before you eat anything else
- Check your blood sugar levels on your reader
- Notice your blood sugar curve
- Repeat with other foods, and compare your blood sugar curves
Three different foods with similar calories can cause have very different effects on your blood sugar levels. Calories are not the only answer when it comes to weight and health.
You may have noticed that:
- Fiber-rich food can help keep your blood sugar levels stable, and have positive effects on your appetite and energy. The fiber is also essential for your gut microbes!
- Fat-rich food did not spike your blood sugar. While it may be tempting to always choose fats and avoid any foods that raise your blood sugar levels, it's important to be mindful that there's a lot more to your body than just your blood sugar. The quality of the fats you eat also matter - poor sources of fats can increase your dietary inflammation. Fats can also tend to have low fiber content, which are important for feeding the good bugs in your gut.
Your personalized ZOE food scores take into account many different pieces of the puzzle when it comes to food.
Your food recommendations will guide you on the best foods for your overall biology, and take into account your blood sugar and blood fat control, while also supporting your gut health.