The importance of blood glucose

27th July 2022

Blood sugar, also known as blood glucose, is a term often used across the Gro platform.

In this article, we’ll explain the science behind blood glucose and why monitoring your blood glucose is so important.

What is blood glucose?

Your body uses sugar in the form of glucose to produce energy for your body. This can be for large structures such as your muscles, all the way down to a cellular level in red blood cells.[1]

We can get glucose from the carbohydrates we consume or through glycogen, a form of glucose stored in the muscles and liver. It is also created from fat, protein and lactate in a process known as gluconeogenesis.[2]

Our bloodstream is key to getting the glucose and glycogen into our body’s tissues to be used as energy. Glucose begins to dissolve as it flows throughout our blood and the circulatory system, reaching the necessary tissues. This is why the amount of glucose circulating throughout the body is called blood glucose.

Regulating blood glucose levels

Although providing energy to our tissues and cells is vital to keeping healthy , ensuring our blood sugar levels do not drop too low (hypoglycaemia) or too high (hyperglycaemia), is equally important.

Maintaining stable glucose levels and preventing spikes in blood sugar helps maintain our energy levels, stops us from craving sugar and reduces the risk of severe health complications, like blindness, heart attacks, and comas. [3]

In people with type 2 diabetes, the ability to regulate the body’s blood glucose is impaired because of reduced sensitivity to insulin – a hormone vital in reducing blood glucose levels.[4] Due to this, those with type 2 diabetes need to consider the factors influencing glucose levels as this will help to negate the chances of secondary health consequences.

Why do blood glucose levels fluctuate?

While it is expected for your blood glucose levels to vary throughout the day slightly, factors such as poor activity levels, dehydration and stress can cause them to fluctuate more.

One of the biggest influences on glucose levels is nutrition, especially carbohydrate consumption. Carbohydrates directly influence glucose levels, so eating too many carb-rich foods can dramatically increase blood glucose. Although other macronutrients can also affect your blood glucose, carbohydrates remain the most influential.


How can you improve your blood glucose levels?

An effective way to manage blood glucose levels is by regulating the number of carbohydrates we eat. In particular, reducing the amount of starchy and sugary carbohydrates in our diet, while increasing the amount of protein, healthy fats, and fibre all help lower high blood sugar levels and minimise blood glucose fluctuations.[5]


1) Bacha TE, Luz MRMP, and Da Poian AT. (2010). Dynamic adaptation of nutrient utilisation in humans. Nature Education, 3(9): 8.

2) Zhang X, Yang S, Chen J, and Su Z. (2019). Unravelling the regulation of hepatic gluconeogenesis. Frontiers in Endocrinology, 9. doi:10.3389/fendo.2018.00802.

3) Kanter JE and Bornfeldt KE. (2016). Impact of diabetes mellitus. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, 36: 1049-1053.

4) Galicia-Garcia U, Benito-Vicente A, Jebari S, Larrea-Sebal A, Siddiqi H, Uribe KB, Ostolaza H, and Martín C. (2020). Pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes mellitus. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 21(17): 6275.

5) Goldenberg JZ, Day A, Brinkworth GD, Sato J, Yamada S, Jönsson T, Beardsley J, Johnson JA, Thabane L, and Johnston BC. (2021). Efficacy and safety of low and very low carbohydrate diets for type 2 diabetes remission: systematic review and meta-analysis of published and unpublished randomized trial data. BMJ.  doi: 10.1136/bmj.m4743.