“I’m sorry for what I said when I was hungry.”

You’ve probably noticed this quote plastered on all sorts of products, from T-shirts and coffee mugs to bumper stickers.

“Hanger” or being “hangry” has definitely become a popular saying in recent years. If you haven’t heard of it before, maybe you’ve experienced it…

hang·er
ˈhaNGər/
noun
1. The irrational state of anger induced by hunger.

Although it’s a slang term and often joked about, there’s perfectly reasonable science behind why we get “hangry”.

When you experience “hanger,” your body’s basically saying “OMG my blood sugar levels are so low and I need to get them up now. Like RIGHT NOW!” Your body is starting to enter emergency mode. This is why we not only experience anger but also a lack of concentration or coordination when blood sugar levels fall.

And as blood sugar levels fall, the brain signals a counter-response. This includes signaling the release of glucagon (stored glucose) from the pancreas as well as the hormones adrenaline and cortisol to help drive the brain and body while it is trying to bring blood sugar levels back into balance. Well adrenaline and cortisol are stress hormones, and so can contribute to feeling “hangry.”

Being “hangry” is a clear indication that blood sugar levels are imbalanced.

The solution to “hanger” isn’t just to make sure you eat frequently enough to not get hungry — it’s to work on keeping blood sugar levels balanced. This is such a critically important, absolutely vital aspect of nutrition and health that we all need to focus on — not just diabetics. I really can’t overemphasize that enough. Because elevated and erratic blood sugar levels promote inflammation, a slow metabolism, suppressed immune function, weight gain, heart disease, cancer growth, and so much more.

And it’s extreme spikes in blood sugar that cause blood sugar levels to plummet or crash to “hanger”-causing lows. So the goal need to be keeping blood sugar levels steady by preventing both highs and lows.

How can we maintain balanced blood sugar levels?

It’s a matter of making small teaks to your diet! Check out these 6 Simple Tips to Keep Blood Sugar Levels Steady.

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