We know the secrets to longevity. The catch? Many of the things that correlate strongly with longevity can’t be changed. Being born with the right genetics, as a female, and into affluence will increase your chances of becoming a centenarian. But this information won’t be very useful once you’ve already come into existence.
Then there is an assortment of factors that positively correlate with longevity such as exercise, healthy BMI, good nutrition, regular sleep, and mental wellbeing. So, in the spirit of mental wellbeing, here’s some good news. Every one of these factors can be evaluated in real time with one simple metric: blood sugar levels.
Tracking your blood sugar alone won’t directly add years to your life. But trying to increase your longevity without tracking your blood sugar is like trying to drive across Europe without a fuel gauge. It’s a necessary tool.
Good nutrition is crucial to longevity. So an aspiring health nut should really go for nuts. Numerous studies have shown that nuts are significantly linked to longevity. Another good, antiinflammatory food is the spice, Turmeric. Plant-based foods increase longevity through antioxidants. Moderate consumption of tea and coffee will also help. Good nutrition will increase the levels of glucose in the bloodstream without causing spikes which can be dangerous. You can see the gradual increase in your blood sugar monitor and get real time gratification for your responsible eating choices!
What you eat matters. But also “when” and “how much” affect your longevity. Blood sugar levels fluctuate throughout the day but spike especially after meals. Some scientists advise not skipping breakfast to avoid a larger spike after lunch. But this may not be for you. Some people may regulate their blood sugar levels with short term calorie restriction or intermittent fasting but it’s important to avoid a crash which can lead to nausea and dizziness. Calorie restriction and intermittent fasting are exciting new areas of longevity research but the benefits are highly variable by person. So it’s important to know your own “normal” when it comes to blood sugar.
A recent study has shown that short bursts of exercise contribute to longevity. This study joins plenty of others in underscoring the importance of physical fitness on cardiovascular health and lengthier lifespans. One of the most important benefits of exercise is its effect on blood sugar levels. Exercise is an expedient way to lower your blood sugar if you start to see a spike since muscles draw from glucose in the bloodstream. This helps time your workouts so they are most effective. Low blood sugar levels may make you dizzy and faint, and a workout may not be advised. A high blood sugar level means it’s time to get out and walk the dog.
Beauty sleep is a real thing. Good shut-eye affects just about every aspect of life, including how long it is. Regular, quality sleep will increase your lifespan. Less than ideal sleep will decrease the efficacy of insulin and lead to blood sugar surges. The goldilocks amount of sleep is 8 hours. But just like pillow preferences: every human has their own needs. Blood sugar is an effective way to track the health of your personal sleep cycle. So when it comes to tracking your personal health, don’t fall asleep at the wheel.
Perhaps the most important key to longevity is mental wellbeing. Happy people may live up to 18% longer. Pessimists have a 42% higher risk of early death than optimists. So cheer up! See that glass of prune juice as half full. Mental health is not just about the individual. Maintaining good social networks can help you live 50% longer. This extends into morality too. One study found that children considered more “conscientious” lived 11% longer than their peers. So do good for good’s sake but also because you’ll have more years of life to do good! Since mood is directly linked to blood sugar, understanding and regulating your blood sugar levels can greatly improve your mental wellbeing and thus, your lifespan.
Now if you’re looking to shorten your lifespan, the best way to go about it would be to overeat, smoke, and drink heavily. All of these are commonly observed coping mechanisms for stress which is also linked with shorter lifespans. So, arguably, perhaps mental health is most important of the factors linked with longevity.
Assuming you’d rather see more years than less, you should take your health into your own hands, or arm, to be exact. Blood glucose monitors are safe, cheap, and effective for giving you real time feedback on so many contributors to longevity. They also make real and present the often far-off consequences of every day actions. Humans are notoriously bad with long term planning. But a glucose monitor makes your longevity considerations a matter of the present. Blood sugar monitors are a great way of improving your life in the future by tracking your health right now.