It shouldn’t require a Ph.D. to know what to eat for lunch: how continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) can simplify things

We have a wide abundance of food choices and access to an incredible amount of information about food, and yet most people are still confused. This article describes how glucose monitoring can simplify dietary choices.

The Levels Team

Author

Casey Means, MD

Reviewer

Article highlights

  • 80% of consumers in a 2018 study said they found conflicting information about nutrition, and 59% of them said this confusion forced them to doubt their nutritional choices
  • If our blood sugar is too low, we can experience symptoms such as shakiness, confusion, lightheadedness, anxiety, and fatigue. If it’s too high, we can experience fatigue, nausea, shortness of breath, and stomach pain.
  • If our glucose levels are consistently elevated, we can end up experiencing serious metabolic dysfunction.
  • Continuous glucose monitor use can help you see how your body’s interstitial blood glucose levels are impacted by your food decisions.

As omnivores sitting atop the food chain in 2020, humans have the luxury of optionality with food choices. We’re faced with an enormous variety of food choices and combinations, often leaving us with a dilemma– one that often presents itself with ruthless rummaging through the fridge or frantic scrolling through DoorDash.

We have a wide abundance of food choices and access to an incredible amount of information– and no shortage of nutritional experts, coaches, and blogs telling us what to eat.

One quick Google search presents us with thousands of combinations and several contradicting theories, it’s no wonder that 80% of consumers in a 2018 study said they found conflicting information about nutrition, and 59% of them said this confusion forced them to doubt their nutritional choices.

The idea that there is one single diet that is perfect for everyone is baloney (note, the expression – please don’t only eat bologna!). However, with testing and objective data, it is possible to refine an optimal diet for you.

You really don’t need a Ph.D. to become an expert in what works best for you. Having access to tools such as Levels can help you refine your journey to metabolic health.

What to Eat for Lunch: A Game of Numbers

Our general approach to food often needs a stern fundamental shift in our psychology. Food should be perceived as the primary fuel source for your body and brain, rather than just something tasty that makes hunger go away.

If we break down the concept of “food,” we arrive at nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals.

Zooming in further, we can appreciate carbohydrates as the primary source of energy: our body breaks carbs down into the sugar glucose, which is absorbed into the bloodstream, where a hormone called insulin helps deliver it into our cells to be used for energy.

When we talk about metabolic health and metabolic fitness, we refer to how well the set of cellular mechanisms that produce energy from our food and environment function.

When our mechanisms (our metabolism) are functioning optimally, we can generate energy efficiently without excessive deterioration or harmful by-products. This helps us live actively while feeling our best, minimizing undue weight gain, the risks of cellular breakdown, and excessive oxidative stress on our cells.

Our lunch decision can either keep us going on our productive streaks with a clear mind, or it can boggle us in a post-meal slump where we strongly start considering taking a midday nap.

Your metabolic fitness level is not set in stone, it’s a simple description of your current state. Our bodies change with time, and our nutritional and exercise choices can have a significant impact on our health in the long-term– and every food decision pushes in a specific direction.

Taking Control Over Your Health, One Bite at a Time

Making the call on what we should eat for lunch isn’t always easy without a clear understanding of how your body immediately reacts to your food decisions.

However, we can gain some insights about our food decision with our glucose levels.

If our blood sugar is too low, we can experience symptoms such as shakiness, confusion, lightheadedness, anxiety, and fatigue. If it’s too high, we can experience fatigue, nausea, shortness of breath, and stomach pain. If our glucose levels are consistently elevated, we can end up experiencing serious dysfunction.

However, if we keep our blood sugar leveled and in a low and healthy state, it may be possible to better sustain our focus so we can perform at our best and avoid a bunch of unpleasant sensations. Stable glucose levels have been associated with better mental clarity, memory, mood, and energy. It’s low hanging fruit for upleveling life. And by checking glucose with a continuous glucose monitor, it’s simple to know how different foods are affecting glucose levels.

Using Levels, you can start seeing how your body’s interstitial blood glucose levels are impacted by your food decisions in a single user-friendly platform. The app also provides real-time metabolic feedback insights, helping you make informed decisions every day that can define your metabolic fitness.

So, by learning how your body responds to food, you can take full control and advantage of your meal decisions.