At What Blood Sugar Level Does the Damage Begin

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 03/25/2024

Managing blood sugar levels is incredibly important for maintaining overall health. Unfortunately, not many people understand how to effectively take control og their blood sugar.

Learn about high blood sugar and the damage it causes, as well as tips you can implement to manage it.

Understanding Blood Sugar Levels and Organ Damage

Blood sugar levels are a crucial health indicator that shouldn't be overlooked. The importance of understanding blood glucose becomes apparent when you realize the potential for organ damage if these levels aren't adequately managed.

How High Blood Sugar Affects Pancreatic Beta Cells

Your body's pancreatic beta cells, responsible for insulin production, can suffer significant loss when your blood sugar readings consistently exceed 100.

These beta cells are essential for keeping our bodies healthy and avoiding illnesses like type 1 or 2 diabetes since they're responsible for controlling glucose levels.

Glucose levels chart

The Role of Insulin in Regulating Glucose Levels

Insulin is integral in managing your body's response to high blood sugar by facilitating glucose absorption into your cells. Insulin helps maintain healthy glucose levels, as medical organizations like the ADA recommend.

A well-regulated insulin dose helps prevent conditions associated with poorly controlled diabetes, including weight gain, disease control issues, and increased risk of developing further complications from chronic high blood sugars.

To maintain optimal glycemic index values and avoid unnecessary strain on pancreatic beta-cells caused by persistent high-glucose scenarios, it's important to monitor one's diet carefully. This includes being mindful about consuming low-glycemic-index foods while exercising regularly - both proven strategies against erratic spikes in one's daily readings.

What the American Diabetes Association Recommends

The American Diabetes Association (ADA), a leading authority on diabetes treatment and management, has set specific guidelines for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.

According to their recommendations, your A1C - an average measure of blood glucose over three months - should be below 7.4.

ADA Guidelines on Healthy Blood Sugar Level

This figure equates roughly to a daily blood sugar reading of about 166 mg/dL. ADA standards consider this threshold safe and aim at avoiding diabetes complications through proper diet control.

  • Avoiding sweets can help maintain these recommended readings, as high intake may lead to symptoms akin to those seen in untreated type-1 diabetes patients.

  • Maintaining this level also helps prevent isolated systolic hypertension, often associated with consistently high glucose readings.

  • Daily routine changes such as regular exercise are encouraged alongside dietary modifications for effective results.

Ideal A1C For Optimal Health

Monitoring blood sugar levels is essential for sustaining optimal health. The Mayo Clinic Diabetes Diet Book and other reputable sources suggest that the ideal A1C for most individuals should be less than five percent. A1C is a measurement of blood sugar levels.

Importance of Maintaining Low A1C

A lower A1C value signifies better control over your blood glucose levels. Maintaining a low A1C can help reduce the risk of developing diabetes complications, as well as hypertension and heart disease.

If you're managing type 1 diabetes or trying to prevent isolated systolic hypertension, having a low A1C can help significantly.

In cases where diabetic gastroparesis diuretics are used as part of the treatment plan, maintaining low A1C becomes even more critical due to its impact on insulin absorption rates.

A proper diet and regular exercise routine are essential in controlling our daily routine's effect on blood sugar readings.

Dietary Changes To Control Blood Sugar Levels

Controlling your blood sugar is a significant factor in maintaining good well-being, particularly for those with diabetes. The nourishment we eat significantly influences the regulation of our blood sugar levels.

Beware Of Processed Foods And Drinks

Processed food and drinks are common culprits that spike our blood sugar readings. Consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages can cause a rapid spike in glucose levels due to their high glycemic index values.

Benefits Of Cutting Down Refined Carbohydrates And Added Sugars

Cutting down on refined carbohydrates and added sugars from the diet is beneficial to lower your chances of poorly controlled diabetes or insulin resistance. Focus on eating low-GI foods that don't cause sudden increases in blood glucose levels.

Incorporate Low GI Foods Into Your Meals.

Foods with a Low Glycemic Index, such as lentils, beans, and most fruits & vegetables, help maintain steady post-meal blood sugar readings, thus reducing overall disease control efforts.

Maintain A Balanced Diet For Optimal Health.

Eating balanced meals throughout the day helps manage weight gain and nourish your body while ensuring stable blood glucose levels. It's one way to keep yourself energized yet prevent any drastic changes to your usual insulin dose required by Type 1 Diabetes patients.

keto foods on a plate

Intermittent Fasting As An Effective Strategy

If you're trying to regulate your glucose levels, intermittent fasting may be your solution. This strategy isn't just about weight loss; it's also an effective method for managing insulin resistance and high blood sugar.

Principles Of Intermittent Fasting

The principle behind intermittent fasting is simple: cycle between periods of eating and not eating. This doesn't mean starving yourself but rather controlling when you eat. You might choose the 16/8 method (fasting for 16 hours per day), as this is the most common approach.

How Intermittent Fasting Helps Lower Blood Sugar Levels

Frequent daily meals can keep our bodies in constant "insulin production mode." In contrast, during fasting windows, your body gets a break from producing insulin constantly due to frequent eating patterns throughout the day.

Your pancreas has time off from secreting this hormone that regulates glucose in your bloodstream. A research paper in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicated that those with type 1 diabetes who implemented intermittent fasting experienced noteworthy upgrades in insulin sensitivity and pancreatic beta cell operation. 

Beyond helping lower blood sugar levels long term, some research suggests that intermittent fasting may even counteract falling blood sugars too quickly - another common issue among those dealing with sweets diabetes symptoms.

Remember to always consult healthcare professionals before drastically changing diet or lifestyle habits.

Maltodextrin and Managing Blood Sugar Levels

When managing blood sugar levels, we must be mindful of our foods, including ingredients like maltodextrin. Maltodextrin is a carbohydrate derived from starch, commonly used as a food additive to enhance texture or sweetness in various processed foods and beverages.

It is crucial for individuals concerned about their blood sugar levels to be cautious with maltodextrin consumption, as it can lead to rapid spikes in blood glucose levels due to its high glycemic index.

This can be especially relevant for people with diabetes or those following a low-carb or keto diet.

In a keto diet, the goal is to minimize carbohydrate intake to induce ketosis, where the body uses fat as its primary fuel source instead of carbohydrates. Maltodextrin is not considered keto-friendly due to its high carbohydrate content and potential impact on blood sugar levels.

Instead, individuals looking to manage blood sugar levels or maintain ketosis on a keto diet should focus on whole, nutrient-dense foods like vegetables, healthy fats, and moderate protein sources.

Reading food labels carefully and choosing low-carb, unprocessed alternatives can help avoid hidden sources of maltodextrin and support blood sugar management while adhering to a keto eating plan.

As always, consulting with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian can provide personalized guidance to achieve your health goals effectively and sustainably.


Managing blood sugar levels is vital for overall health. Individuals can mitigate the risks associated with high blood sugar levels by understanding the impact of diet, exercise, and lifestyle choices.

Prioritizing low-glycemic-index foods, avoiding processed sugars, and seeking guidance from healthcare professionals are key steps toward achieving optimal blood sugar control and promoting long-term well-being.

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