Zallevo Blog/Blood Sugar/Metabolism and Brain Health: Understanding the Connection

Explore the profound link between metabolism and brain health, where glucose fuels cognitive function but disruptions threaten cognitive decline.

If you thought metabolism only affects your weight and body composition, think again! There is a strong relationship between metabolism and brain health, a combination crucial for overall well-being. The average adult's brain in a resting state uses about 20% of the body's energy—an enormous amount of resources dedicated to a single organ!

Metabolism, the process through which our bodies convert food into energy, is particularly significant for the brain and its large energy demands. Glucose, the energy the body derives from carbohydrates, stands as the brain's primary fuel source. However, disruptions in glucose metabolism, such as insulin resistance, pose a threat to cognitive function, potentially leading to impairments in memory and clarity of thought.

The stakes extend beyond just cognitive function. Emerging research indicates a profound correlation between metabolic health and neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. As up to 46% of people struggle with insulin resistance, it's critically important, now more than ever, to prioritize metabolic health.  

Ketones: The Alternate Energy Source

Amidst these metabolic challenges, there is an unsung hero waiting to jump into action: ketones. These molecules, produced by the body during periods of fasting or specific dietary practices, serve as an alternative energy source for the brain. 

Ketones enter the bloodstream when the body switches from burning glucose to burning fat as its primary energy source. Ideally, an individual can toggle between those two energy sources easily. This is called metabolic flexibility. By working to reverse insulin resistance and embracing this metabolic flexibility, we can potentially safeguard cognitive function and promote brain health.

3 Ways to Increase Ketones for Brain Health

Encouraging your body to produce ketones as a source of fuel for your brain can feel daunting if you don't know where to start.  Fortunately, there are simple steps we can take to switch from burning glucose to burning fat and utilizing ketones. To embark on a journey towards enhanced brain health, consider these metabolic health-focused steps:

1. Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is a fantastic strategy to enhance metabolic flexibility and promote brain health. Fasting gives your body a break from glucose and the accompanying surge of insulin. By incorporating periods of fasting into your routine, such as time-restricted eating or alternate-day fasting, you can optimize insulin sensitivity, increase ketone production, and support brain function. Remember to stay hydrated while fasting and to include an intermittent fasting aid to make the fasting period easier and ignite the fat burning process faster.

2. Low-Glycemic Eating

Adopting a low-glycemic diet rich in whole foods such as lean proteins, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds can also help lower blood sugar and increase ketones. These foods have a slower impact on blood sugar levels, promoting stable energy and supporting optimal metabolic function. Minimize consumption of refined carbohydrates and sugary snacks, which can disrupt blood sugar regulation and impair cognitive performance. Increasing the periods of time between consuming carbs will give your body a chance to bring down glucose and insulin levels, encouraging fat burning and ketone production. 

A great low-glycemic addition to your diet is a high-quality protein shake with healthy fats, quality protein, and no added sugars. In addition to adding quality nutrition to your day, this can also be helpful to curb your sweet tooth while keeping blood sugar low and remaining in ketosis. 

3. Exercise Regularly

Engage in regular physical activity to boost metabolic health and support brain function. Incorporate both aerobic exercise, such as walking, jogging, or cycling, and resistance training into your routine to promote muscle mass and metabolic efficiency. Be sure to prioritize protein intake to encourage muscle growth and, in turn, lower blood sugar and insulin.

Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise each week to reap the metabolic and cognitive benefits of physical activity.

By embracing these metabolic health-focused actions, we can take proactive steps towards optimizing brain health and overall well-being. By doing so, we empower ourselves to nurture metabolic balance through mindful dietary choices and physical activity, giving us the potential to protect cognitive function and enhance brain health now and in the future. 

Cai H, Cong WN, Ji S, Rothman S, Maudsley S, Martin B. Metabolic dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease and related neurodegenerative disorders. Curr Alzheimer Res. 2012 Jan;9(1):5-17. doi: 10.2174/156720512799015064. PMID: 22329649; PMCID: PMC4097094.

See more blog posts about:

Share this post:


The information contained on this site is provided for general educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as, and must not be understood or construed as, medical or health care advice, treatment, or instructions.​

Copyright © 2024 Zallevo Technologies, LLC - All Rights Reserved - Zallevo and logo are Trademarks of Zallevo Technologies, LLC