There’s no one diet that works for everybody. The best way to find the ideal diet for your unique metabolism is to get real-time feedback on how the foods you eat and your activities impact your body. The solution? A Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM).
CGMs are nothing new. They’ve been used for 25 years to help people with diabetes track their blood glucose levels to better manage their condition. Recently, these devices have become more advanced and easier to use, and nutritionists and healthcare professionals are now suggesting people use them to optimize their overall health and performance.
How Metabolically Fit Are You?
High levels of blood glucose are strongly correlated with chronic disease and poor metabolic health, which is at an all-time. Only 12 percent of American adults are metabolically healthy, defined as having optimal (without medication) triglycerides, HDL cholesterol, blood pressure, blood glucose, and waist circumference, according to a 2019 study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Poor metabolic health increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and diabetes. While some 37 million Americans (one in 10 adults) have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, another 96 million (one in three) have prediabetes — higher-than-normal blood sugar — and the majority don’t know it.
Metabolic dysfunction is, in fact, at the root of most chronic diseases.
How A CGM Works
Wearing a CGM (a half-dollar sized patch placed on the arm or belly with a tiny filament sensor inserted just under the skin) is like having a miniature lab on your body. It offers real-time 24-hour feedback, testing glucose every few minutes and sending the data wirelessly to a monitor, so you can see your blood glucose rise and fall throughout the day. This provides you with crucial information about how lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, sleep and stress impact your blood sugar levels.
4 Ways Wearing a CGM Can Improve Your Health
1. Helps determine your personal optimal diet
CGM identifies how various foods affect your blood sugar levels and whether they cause a dangerous spike in blood sugar or provide a healthy boost to your metabolism. Studies have found that even when people eat identical foods, they can experience dramatically different increases in blood sugar. Knowing exactly which foods to eat (and what times) to maintain a stable and steady blood sugar range allows you to perform at your best.
2. Reveals the impact of exercise
Exercise improves your ability to maintain steady glucose levels and improves metabolic fitness. Not sure how that hour-long workout at the gym or your nightly walk around the block after dinner is affecting your blood sugar levels? A CGM will show you.
3. Measures the impact of sleep
Sleep contributes to blood sugar regulation and a good night’s rest generally corresponds to lower blood glucose the next morning. Without enough shut-eye, it can be more difficult for your body to metabolize glucose, which can lead, for example, to weight gain and fluctuating hormones.
4. Monitors Stress Levels
Stress can increase the production of cortisol and epinephrine, which, in turn, tends to increase blood glucose. Seeing the clear impact of stress on blood sugar levels can motivate you to find ways to better manage it.
An early detector
A CGM acts as an early detection system, allowing you to catch potential serious health issues caused by chronically high blood sugar levels. This gives you the chance to make the necessary lifestyle changes that will prevent disease.
For optimal results, it’s most effective to combine your CGM readings with personalized nutritional coaching to create an individualized plan tailored to your specific lifestyle habits. This will result in improved diet, sleep quality, exercise performance and stress levels, setting you on the path to optimal health and greater longevity.