I Tried a Continuous Glucose Monitor for a Month. Here’s What I Learned
After learning about the harms of ultra-processed food, I switched my diet to real, whole foods. I thought that if I shopped on the perimeter of the grocery store and ate what my great-grandmother considered food, I would stay healthy. Little did I know that I was putting a halo around all real food without understanding my unique metabolism, or how my body breaks down food for energy.
Metabolic health is the cornerstone of healthy minds and bodies. At least 88 percent of Americans are metabolically unhealthy, measured by blood glucose, triglycerides, HDL cholesterol, blood pressure, and waist circumference. Metabolic dysfunction sets people up for a host of chronic diseases, ranging from Type II diabetes to heart disease and cancer.
Before now, we didn’t have a simple way to monitor metabolic health and tackle problems before disease sets in (which can take years, even decades). Enter the continuous glucose monitor (CGM), a wearable biosensor that is revolutionizing metabolic health by showing how blood sugar responds to food and lifestyle choices in real time.
The goal is to keep glucose curves relatively stable and avoid repeated spikes and dips — also known as the blood sugar roller coaster. In the short term, these highs and lows can lead to cravings, weight gain, fatigue, mood swings and sleep difficulties. In the long term, they can cause insulin resistance, fatty liver disease, depression, infertility, dementia and more.
Why the far-reaching effects? Because the human body is fueled by trillions of mitochondria, powerhouses of the cell. When mitochondria get overloaded by, say, excess glucose, they can’t produce energy as efficiently. Over time, this can lead to damage in all parts of the body.
“I don’t want people to think they have hypertension, elevated cholesterol, type 2 diabetes. They have one problem, really, with a root cause: mitochondrial health,” Dr. Howard Luks told GQ earlier this year.
Glucose spikes can even accelerate aging by increasing oxidative stress, inflammation and glycation. “The more often we spike, the faster we age,” Jessie…