Why blood sugar is the best biomarker and how you can influence it

Hello Inside Team
12 min.
Why blood sugar is the best biomarker and how you can influence it
Table of contents
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipisicing elit. Temporibus, quae?
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet.
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipisicing elit.

How do you know your lifestyle is keeping you healthy? What's the truth behind the saying "An apple a day drives out sickness and disease"? Is seven hours of sleep a day enough, or would you be better off getting eight? And will a banana before your morning run help you get in those extra miles? Or does it actually hurt you? 

For centuries, the workings of the human body were a mystery. Everything was fine until our bodies let us know that it wasn't, and by the time that happened, it was usually too late.

Fortunately, that has begun to change in the 21st century: For the first time in history, people's individual health data is more readily available than ever before, thanks to technological advances and data analytics apps. This means they can not only respond to existing health problems, but also take preventative measures to stop them.

However, the abundance of data and information on health in the modern world can be a problem:

  • What dates should you pay attention to?
  • How should you record the data?
  • And how are the results to be interpreted?

In this article, we'll look at biomarkers - the telltale signs that something is happening in your body. You'll learn which biomarkers you should know, how to measure them, and why you should focus on one biomarker in particular: blood sugar. 


Hello Inside Podcast with Tim Böttner: Practical insights about CGM and glucose monitoring (EN)

Why blood glucose is the best biomarker

There are a large number of different biomarkers you can monitor to get a picture of your overall health. However, none of them are as effective, thorough or medically informative as measuring blood glucose.

Your heart rate, and therefore your heart rate variability (HRV), is also an important biomarker to keep an eye on. Especially if you have a family history of cardiovascular problems.

Heart rate variability is the time interval between heartbeats. This can tell you whether your heart is working regularly or not. An irregular heartbeat can be caused by increased stress, hormones or lack of sleep, or it can be a sign of a metabolic disorder. However, while heart rate variability can be a good indicator of a disorder, it doesn't tell you nearly as much about what the problem might be as measuring your blood sugar level.

Smartwatches and smartphone apps have made recording and measuring sleep patterns popular in recent years. The quality, quantity and consistency of sleep are all important variables. Getting enough sleep is important for well-being, fitness and the immune system. Although chronic sleep deprivation can lead to obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes, simply monitoring sleep may not be a sufficient indicator of overall health, as the recording provides little insight into what is going on in your body.

Blood glucose levels are the best biomarker to measure your overall health. They can provide a variety of insights:

Blood glucose spikes, crashes, and glycemic variability.

A frequent rise and fall in blood sugar can make your daily life a nightmare. Chances are, you're already suffering in silence:

  • Do you often feel tired or very exhausted?
  • Do you find it hard to concentrate?
  • Are you feeling down? And unproductive?
  • Are you hungry all the time?

If you suffer from one or more of these symptoms, it may be a sign of unstable blood sugar levels. Stabilizing your blood sugar can be the first step to a healthier, happier and easier life. In the long run, frequent blood sugar spikes and crashes can even lead to chronic diseases such as cancer, stroke, and cardiovascular disease, as well as cognitive decline.

Your unique reaction to different foods

In the 21st century, there is no room for diets or nutrition plans that fit everyone.

We now know that every person or body is unique and therefore reacts to food in a very individual way. If you observe how your blood sugar level rises and falls in response to the various foods you eat, you will finally know whether you can eat one more cookie or whether you should eat fewer carbohydrates in the future.

Your blood glucose levels reflect the state of your microbiome (= the bacteria that live in and on us), the influence of your genes, fitness level, sleep patterns, stress and diet on your overall health.

You'll gain unparalleled insight into the state of your body and learn what you can do to improve it. 

Metabolic flexibility (MF)

We now know that weight control is much more complex than a simple equation of the number of calories ingested minus the number of calories burned.

If you have a high glucose level in your blood, your body will use it as a preferred source of energy. This means that excess calories are stored in the body as fat. This leads to weight gain.  

When your blood glucose level is stable, your insulin sensitivity increases. Insulin resistance should be avoided because it means that your cells do not respond well to insulin, cannot utilize glucose from the blood, and blood glucose levels rise.

So when resistance decreases, your body can process the sugar in your blood and start burning fat faster, which prevents weight gain. Or in other words, if you know how to stabilize your blood sugar levels, you can eat in a way that makes your body's metabolism more flexible. You can maintain your desired weight.

Metabolic syndrome

In the past, because there were no readily available biomarkers to measure overall health, it was often not possible to detect the onset of a metabolic disorder before insulin resistance developed. 

So it was too late.

Measuring blood glucose levels as a biomarker can already give you initial insights that you might otherwise have missed. Insulin resistance, for example, may not show up in a blood test for ten years. Regular blood glucose testing can detect it earlier. Making the right changes to your diet and lifestyle can play a key role in preventing the onset of prediabetes and other chronic diseases.

How to measure blood glucose correctly?

The most reliable and readily available method for measuring blood glucose levels is to use a continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) device.

A CGM is a small, inconspicuous white disk, no larger than a 2-euro coin in most cases. The sensor is attached to the back of your arm and can be worn comfortably under clothing. It stays securely in place even during sports activities such as swimming, showering, or other daily activities.

The CGM will measure your blood glucose levels. You can check them at any time with the HELLO INSIDE data analysis and tracking app. The HELLO INSIDE system uses the NFC technology in your smartphone to transfer the information from the sensor to your phone. The HELLO INSIDE app helps you identify trends in your blood glucose levels, as well as blood glucose spikes and drops. Using the data, you can develop a healthy lifestyle. This, in turn, will help keep your blood glucose levels stable and in a healthy range.

What are healthy blood glucose levels?

Blood glucose is measured in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl). Healthy blood glucose standard values are set between 80 and 110 mg/dl in the HELLO INSIDE app. 

Any physical activity, stress, or consumption of certain foods can cause your blood sugar levels to spike temporarily. Recording and monitoring your blood glucose levels can help you identify what particularly affects your blood glucose levels. This will help you learn how to avoid these triggers in the future.

What are bad blood glucose levels?

Your blood glucose level is subject to constant fluctuations throughout the day and night. However, the values should always remain within a certain healthy range (see blood glucose standard values earlier in this article).

If your blood glucose levels drop too low or rise too high (especially after a meal - see chart above) this can be a cause for concern. In general, frequent blood glucose levels below 60 mg/dl or peaks above 180 mg/dl are considered potentially dangerous.

If your blood sugar level is constantly fluctuating around one of these two values, this could be a sign of a serious health problem. Please consult a doctor. 

What are the signs of good or bad blood sugar?

When your blood sugar levels are in the norm, you feel great!

  • You don't feel hungry shortly after eating.
  • You don't have food cravings.
  • You are energetic, happy and it is easy for you to concentrate.

If your blood glucose levels are not in the healthy range , you may experience the following symptoms:

  • You are irritable, hungry or tired.
  • You find it difficult to concentrate on certain tasks
  • You have signs of depression or anxiety.

Our blood glucose levels fluctuate throughout the day, especially when you've eaten or exercised. This means you can experience blood sugar spikes or drops at any time, even when you're at work, for example. If you suddenly feel like you're having the worst day of your life, or that the IQ scores of all your colleagues have suddenly dropped by at least 20 points, you should check your blood sugar before you write your resignation letter.

Stabilization of blood sugar: what is the short- and long-term success?

Successfully stabilizing blood glucose levels means keeping them within a healthy range and thus no longer having to live with unpredictable mood swings, lack of energy, poor concentration, cravings and general daily psychological and physical discomfort.

In the long term, successfully stabilizing your blood glucose levels also means preventing disease. These include metabolic disorders, diabetes, cancer, stroke, obesity and other diseases that can significantly affect your life expectancy and quality.

How can you influence your blood sugar level?

There are many ways you can directly or indirectly affect your blood sugar.

You can directly influence your blood glucose level through diet and exercise. Whether you eat right or wrong and whether you move too much or too little - all this has an effect on your blood glucose level.

However, there are other things that indirectly influence your blood glucose level: These include your sleep patterns, stress levels, and addictive substances such as nicotine and alcohol. 

To better understand these points, we've divided everything that can directly and indirectly affect your blood sugar levels into six different areas. With these, you can influence your biomarker value and train your body towards a healthier relationship with blood sugar.

6 areas for a balanced blood sugar level


Diet has a direct impact on your blood sugar levels. This is about everything you eat, portion size, and even the order in which you eat foods. You probably already know that sugar causes a blood sugar spike. But did you also know that you can reduce this effect by eating sweets only after a healthy, balanced meal?

The 'apple cider vinegar' hack

Die-hard "Apple Cider Vinegar" fans may carry a supply of it around in their flask to keep on hand. But all kidding aside - just a little green salad with an apple cider vinegar dressing before a heavy meal can make a big difference! Try it out and watch your blood sugar levels. How does it react to this small change?


It is important to be active and move once in a while throughout the day. This is the only way your body can better process the glucose in the blood and support insulin metabolism. A short walk after a heavy lunch can do wonders: You'll be focused and energized all afternoon! Maybe you can even skip the afternoon coffee in the future this way.


Did you know that your blood sugar level is higher after a bad night? That's why it's important to be well rested every day.

Sleep allows your body to recover from the stress of the previous day. It is also essential for your body to continue processing glucose and burning energy from the right sources. Try to get into a good sleeping rhythm. This can be accomplished by establishing a regular, early bedtime.

Also, about an hour before going to bed, avoid anything that agitates or activates you and your body too much: turn off all screens (e.g. smartphone, TV) to avoid exposure to artificial light sources. There are so many ways you can fall asleep without looking at a screen: When was the last time you read a good book? Or listened to a podcast?


Humans are social animals by nature. This means that we depend on the company of others to be healthy and happy.

Spending time with close friends and family can help us feel less stressed, more energized, and more a part of a community. And that, in turn, has a positive impact on our blood sugar levels in an indirect way. 

One thing should be noted at this point: Don't let yourself be persuaded to eat unhealthy food or drink too much alcohol in company. If you notice people in your social environment who want to push you to eat and drink, tell them about your HELLO INSIDE blood glucose sensor and show them what effects certain foods have on your body. You'll see, great conversations will ensue. 


Drinking alcohol (especially in high doses) is bad for your blood sugar levels. Among the many things that alcohol does to your body is that your body uses it as fuel, which further delays the onset of glucose and eventually fat burning.

There's no good news for smokers either. Nicotine has been shown to increase insulin resistance, which raises blood glucose levels and makes spikes more likely to occur. If you're serious about your blood glucose levels as a biomarker, you should quit smoking for good and try to limit or avoid alcohol consumption as much as possible. If you can't resist a glass of alcohol at an event or social evening, opt for wine or champagne rather than cocktails or beer.


Stress releases cortisol. This stress hormone impairs the utilization of glucose in the cells and causes blood glucose levels to rise.

In other words: If you're stressed, you probably don't feel particularly healthy or happy either.

Try to reduce all foods such as caffeine and sugar. They can trigger internal stress. Also, try to develop some stress management strategies to deal with external influences in your daily life.

Stress management works with...

  • Breathing exercises
  • Meditation
  • a hot cup of tea
  • a nice bubble bath

Basically, anything that counts as time to yourself can help lower stress and, in turn, your blood sugar levels.

How can you start controlling your blood glucose levels?

Some of the changes you need to make to see a significant difference in your blood sugar levels may be more difficult to follow through on than others. As with all new habits, it's best to start small and gradually work toward implementing them in all areas of your life. Also, be sure to constantly track your progress. Set incremental goals. That's the only way you'll stick with it and be successful in the long run. 

Hello Inside Team
We have a passion for health, wellness and lifestyle topics. We love discovering new things and getting to know ourselves better. Our goal is to turn scientific knowledge and insights into actionable advice.
Back to the blog