Healthy blood sugar levels: Why should you care about them, even as a non-diabetic?

why care about blood glucose levels if not a diabetic

Living a healthy lifestyle can be quite overwhelming. Sleep enough, but not too much. Drink at least 2.5 liters of water per day, and cut out alcohol. Move your body, but don’t overdo it. Be social, but don’t forget to take care of yourself either. When you’re trying to become the best version of yourself, keeping your blood sugar levels stable probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Why would it? You aren’t diabetic after all. Perhaps the only time you’ve heard about healthy blood sugar levels was when thinking about diabetes mellitus. A medical condition that impairs the body’s ability to regulate blood glucose levels. However, stable blood sugar levels are very important for everyone’s overall health.

Controlling your blood sugar levels

Fortunately, blood sugar (or blood glucose) levels have slowly worked their way up from being an indicator for a metabolic disorder to a very useful biomarker. Even in healthy individuals. 

“Whereas controlling your blood glucose is a medical necessity when you have diabetes or prediabetes, it is a helpful and reliable tool for you to improve your overall health before any long-lasting problems occur.”

By collecting real-time data with a device continuously monitoring your blood glucose, you get in-depth knowledge on how your body is responding to your lifestyle, and when it’s time to make some changes. This gadget is a so-called continuous glucose monitor (CGM). 

Disease prevention is only one of many advantages of controlling your blood glucose. Let’s have a look at the 12 most important short-term and long-term benefits of stable glucose levels. 

6 short-term benefits of healthy blood sugar levels you should know about: 

stable glucose levels help reduce anxiety

1: Hello stability, goodbye anxiety

After a long day at work, you are too tired to cook. You snack on a random selection of foods that are high in sugar. You suddenly feel energized. Excited. However, before you have even finished that last episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” the rush is gone, the exhaustion of the day sets in, you start feeling down, anxious, and hungry.

What you’ve experienced is the infamous “sugar-high”, the food you consumed has caused a dramatic spike in your glucose levels, followed by a crash that’s just as powerful. [1]

If this scenario sounds familiar, cutting down on sugar in your diet and stabilizing your blood glucose levels can be a game-changer.

2: Focus better without brain fog 

How often do you reach for that third cup of coffee, hoping this will be the one that keeps you laser-focused for the day?

Good news: it probably isn’t your lack of willpower that’s causing your inability to concentrate. 

Bad news: it might be your blood glucose levels that are on a constant sugary rollercoaster. 

Acute and chronically unstable blood glucose often leads to decreased cognitive performance,[2] making it harder to get any tasks done. Banishing that brain fog might be as easy as keeping your glucose levels from going off by switching up your diet with some whole-food ingredients and saying goodbye to that third cup of coffee.

3: More energy 

You’ve been getting 8 hours of sleep every night, meanwhile, you still feel tired during the day, especially after every meal?

This sounds like your energy levels are off and your blood glucose levels could be the culprit. 

You might not respond well to certain types of carbs, causing radical ups and downs that leave you feeling extremely fatigued and sleepy. 

Try to change up some of your favorite, sugary snacks. For example, reach for nuts, seeds, or yogurt topped with berries instead and see if your energy levels stay the same throughout the day once your blood glucose levels have stabilized.

4: Bye, bye cravings

A bag of chips here, a little chocolate bar there. Snacking is your hobby, even if you’ve just had a full meal.

If that’s the case, you might want to reassess your nutritional choices.

Let’s be honest – even though snacking is a lifestyle, it could be disrupting your natural flow of blood sugar and lead to even more cravings.

Healthy blood sugar levels can be reached by giving your body less high-glycemic foods, such as whole-grain products, vegetables, or legumes, which can leave you feeling fuller for much longer [3] and even lets you enjoy that little snack occasionally without crashing and burning afterward. 

5: Fat burning like a pro 

If tracking calories to lose weight isn’t working for you, let me stop you right there.

Your body is more complex than you give it credit for. 

When the glucose levels in your body rise, insulin follows to reduce the glucose in your blood and take it to the cells. Besides blood glucose regulation, insulin is a key hormone involved in fat storage and weight gain. Having constant high insulin levels will inhibit the breakdown of fat cells to use as energy and will stimulate its storage. 

You could be in your perfect caloric range, yet feeding your body mostly simple sugars might be causing chronically high blood glucose levels and a constant state of insulin production.

Staying in a healthy blood glucose range (80-110mg/dl) gives your body time to drop insulin to a level that actually allows you to burn fat for energy in between meals.

The result: weight loss, better metabolism, and no more counting.

6: No more headaches Migraines: one possible trigger down

Headaches can be particularly frustrating when you’ve already tried everything under the sun to get rid of them. 

The causes for the pounding pain in your neck, face, and head vary greatly and remain somewhat of a mystery to science, especially migraines.

A recent study showed increased levels of blood glucose in people suffering from migraines, suggesting that blood glucose fluctuations may contribute to migraine attacks. Further research needs to be conducted to clarify whether these increased levels are directly connected to migraines or just a stress response to the throbbing pain.

But even if the science is not quite where we’d like it to be, taking a few deep breaths to deal with the stressful pain and thus stabilizing your blood glucose levels is definitely worth a try.

Short-term benefits like these are great, but if you’re in it for the long run stay with me: We’re about to get into some advantages that will last a lifetime. 

6 long-term benefits of healthy blood sugar levels you should know about

stable glucose levels help improve metabolism

1: Improved metabolism

We’ve already tapped into this a bit before, but burning fat is just a small piece of the big puzzle that can help you with weight loss and management.

If you can keep your blood sugar levels within that healthy range (80-110mg/dl), your body will learn how to generate and process energy according to your physical activity and food intake.
This will cause your body to tap into the right fuel source (called “metabolic flexibility” [4] ) when needed and provide a higher energy supply for your daily needs whether you are resting or exercising. 

2: Hormones in harmony

Hormonal imbalances are frequently misunderstood as a female phenomenon. Everyone can suffer from hormonal dysregulation and often uncontrolled highs and lows in your blood glucose levels can be the primary cause of it. 

The hormones insulin and glucagon, which are responsible for regulating your glucose levels, are part of a much bigger structure, called the endocrine system. 

If your insulin is chronically high, a chain reaction follows, leaving behind a hormonal battlefield that can affect male and female fertility.

Therefore, balancing really is key.

3: Reduced inflammation

Inflammation per se isn’t a bad thing. In fact, if your body is fighting an infection or trying to heal a cut on your finger, it acts as a natural defense mechanism, producing pain, swelling, or even fever.

But inflammation should always be temporary. Chronically high blood glucose levels and insulin resistance (cells no longer respond appropriately to the hormone insulin [5] ) can be proinflammatory [6]. This causes your immune system to be in a constant state of panic, ready for combat when, in reality, there is nothing to fight against but your own body.

Keeping your glucose levels in a healthy range can decrease inflammation in the long run and avoid any further complications like diabetes. 

4: Slower aging and senescence

Don’t spend too much money on expensive skincare, invest in a healthy diet, a good sunscreen with high SPF, and a CGM device. 

The latest research indicates that by maintaining your blood sugar levels at a healthy range, you might be able to slow down your skin’s aging process. 

The primary features of aging skin include changes in dermal hydration levels, loss of thickness and flexibility, the appearance of wrinkles, and some aberrant pigmentation.

Intense ups in your glucose levels can lead to increased oxidative stress, inflammation, and glycation, a mechanism that acts as an “aging accelerator”. All these factors have been associated with increased skin aging and senescence ( a process by which cells irreversibly stop dividing and enter a state of permanent growth arrest without undergoing cell death) [7], [8].

Stay on track of your blood glucose levels and aging may soon be left to wine and cheese. 

5: Cholesterol levels not to die for 

A common misconception is that only foods high in saturated fats can raise your cholesterol levels. The effects of constant high blood glucose and insulin resistance are just as bad. [9] [10] 

Controlling your sugar intake, and as a result, maintaining your blood glucose and insulin levels balanced, helps to improve your cholesterol metabolism and prevents coronary heart diseases further down the road.   

6: Reduced risk of chronic diseases

Cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis or hardening of the coronary arteries are just one of many dangerous diseases that can come along with chronically unstable blood glucose levels and insulin resistance.[11]

Obesity, prediabetes, Type 2 diabetes, and even Alzheimer’s or cancer 2 have been linked to high blood glucose.

Keeping your blood sugar levels in a healthy range reduces the risks of chronic diseases significantly. So, if none of the benefits have convinced you so far, this might be the one that gets you up and running.

After all this talk about keeping your blood glucose levels stable, you’re probably wondering: 

“What does stable even mean and how do you know that you’re in the so-called ‘healthy range’ ?”

blood glucose healthy range

Let’s sort that confusion out in three easy steps.

Step 1: Get yourself a Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) device

This is the most reliable and readily available way to measure your blood glucose and track any progress or changes.
You can check your blood glucose levels at any time by using HELLO INSIDE’s data analytics and tracking apps. 

Step 2: Get familiar with the data 

As mentioned right at the beginning, it is natural for your blood sugar levels to be in constant flux throughout the day and night.
Food, exercise, sleep, or even stress can influence your blood glucose levels. However, as long as the spikes are not too high and the drops are not too low, the meticulous cycle keeps on moving without causing any harm to your body.

To actually use the data your CGM device is collecting, let’s put some numbers on that “healthy range”.

Blood sugar is measured in milligrams per decilitre (mg/dL), anything between 80-110 mg/dL is considered to be normal and stable. If you frequently notice drastic spikes over 160 mg/dL or crashes under 60 mg/dL on your Hello Inside App, try to slowly incorporate some new habits into your lifestyle and you’ll get instant feedback on whether or not that’s working.

Step 3: Learn how to keep your blood glucose levels stable

how to adopt healthy habits for stable glucose levels

Once you and your CGM device get acquainted with each other, you’ll soon realize that the 12 benefits just mentioned are all within easy reach. 

Whether you go for the quick fix or the long-lasting effects, here’s some advice on how to stabilize your blood glucose levels:

  • Limit refined carbohydrates
  • Combine fat, protein and carbs
  • Eat high-fiber foods 
  • Control portions and timing (learn more about intermittent fasting)
  • Get enough sleep
  • Reduce your stress levels 
  • Exercise regularly

You can give any of these tips a try, directly link them back to your CGM data and learn what actually works for your blood glucose levels and what doesn’t. Are you ready to look inside?

Find out what's best for you - Hello Inside

[1] Breymeyer, K. L., Lampe, J. W., McGregor, B. A., & Neuhouser, M. L. (2016). Subjective mood and energy 
          levels of healthy weight and overweight/obese healthy adults on high-and low-glycemic load
          experimental diets. Appetite107, 253–259.

[2] Sünram-Lea SI, Foster JK, Durlach P, Perez C. Glucose facilitation of cognitive performance in healthy young
          adults: examination of the influence of fast-duration, time of day and pre-consumption plasma glucose
          levels. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2001 Aug;157(1):46-54. doi: 10.1007/s002130100771. PMID:

[3] Marty N, Dallaporta M, Thorens B. Brain glucose sensing, counterregulation, and energy homeostasis. 
          Physiology (Bethesda). 2007 Aug;22:241-51. doi: 10.1152/physiol.00010.2007. PMID: 17699877.

[4] Goodpaster BH, Sparks LM. Metabolic Flexibility in Health and Disease. Cell Metab. 2017 May 2;25(5):1027-
          1036. https://doi:%2010.1016/j.cmet.2017.04.015. PMID: 28467922; PMCID: PMC5513193.

[5] Petersen, M. C., & Shulman, G. I. (2018). Mechanisms of Insulin Action and Insulin Resistance. Physiological
            reviews98(4), 2133–2223.

[6] Esposito K, Nappo F, Marfella R, Giugliano G, Giugliano F, Ciotola M, Quagliaro L, Ceriello A, Giugliano D. Inflammatory cytokine concentrations are acutely increased by hyperglycemia in humans: role of oxidative stress. Circulation. 2002 Oct 15;106(16):2067-72. https://doi:%2010.1161/ PMID: 12379575. 

[7] Jacczak B, Rubiś B, Totoń E. Potential of Naturally Derived Compounds in Telomerase and Telomere Modulation in Skin Senescence and Aging. Int J Mol Sci. 2021;22(12):6381. Published 2021 Jun 15. doi:10.3390/ijms22126381

[8] Noordam R, Gunn DA, Tomlin CC, et al. High serum glucose levels are associated with a higher perceived age. Age (Dordr). 2013;35(1):189-195. doi:10.1007/s11357-011-9339-9

[9] Gylling H, Hallikainen M, Pihlajamäki J, et al. Insulin sensitivity regulates cholesterol metabolism to a greater extent than obesity: lessons from the METSIM Study. J Lipid Res. 2010;51(8):2422-2427. doi:10.1194/jlr.P006619

[10] Chehade JM, Gladysz M, Mooradian AD. Dyslipidemia in type 2 diabetes: prevalence, pathophysiology, and
Drugs. 2013 Mar;73(4):327-39. doi: 10.1007/s40265-013-0023-5.

 [11] DiNicolantonio JJ, OKeefe JH. Added sugars drive coronary heart disease via insulin resistance and
          hyperinsulinaemia: a new paradigm Open Heart 2017;4:e000729. doi: 10.1136/openhrt-2017-000729 

[12] Chang KT, Lampe JW, Schwarz Y, Breymeyer KL, Noar KA, Song X, Neuhouser ML. Low glycemic load experimental diet more satiating than high glycemic load diet. Nutr Cancer. 2012;64(5):666-73.
https://doi:%2010.1080/01635581.2012.676143 . Epub 2012 May 7. PMID: 22564018; PMCID: PMC3762696.

Hello Inside Team

We have a passion for health, wellbeing and lifestyle topics. We love to discover new things and get to know ourselves better. Transforming scientific knowledge and insights into actionable advice is our goal.

more posts from author

Hello Inside Team

We have a passion for health, wellbeing and lifestyle topics. We love to discover new things and get to know ourselves better. Transforming scientific knowledge and insights into actionable advice is our goal.

more posts from author

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