With almost 40 million Americans currently living with diabetes¹, of which 90-95% of them are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, many are now looking to wearable technology to spotlight positive change and target specific health conditions—most notably, blood sugar.
Continuing to build upon its penchant for smart software and scientific insight, Hello Inside has launched a dedicated program specific to blood glucose. Currently available in the UK and the rest of Europe, the Hello Sugar Program combines a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) with the Hello Inside App to give users unlimited access to their blood sugar levels on a real-time basis. The CGM used is a small, waterproof skin sensor (a little larger than the size of a nickel) that sits on your arm to constantly monitor your glucose levels and learn more about what your body needs to feel its best.
waterdrop® sat down with Hello Inside’s Head of Nutrition Marie-Luise Huber to discuss Hello Sugar.
What was your inspiration behind the Hello Sugar Program?
Using a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) is highly personal—every day you learn more about your body and its reaction to what you eat and do. Hello Inside wanted to support our users to look beyond the blood glucose data points and show how their decisions impact their wellbeing and daily energy levels. Blood sugar is a complex topic, so we created a program to guide our users on their journey to look inside and change their habits—for the better—to experience optimal blood sugar levels.
Let’s talk Hello Sugar.
The end of 2022 saw Hello Inside publish a new program called ‘Hello Sugar’ in our Hello Inside App. The program lasts two weeks and, as the name suggests, focuses on the topic of sugar. During these two weeks, a user’s understanding and knowledge around sugar should be strengthened, and as a result, should better understand their body’s reaction to sugar and how it makes them feel. And by looking at specific foods, we support the user by deciphering nutritional facts and more importantly, where sugar is hiding. There are also readily-prepared tips to help a user better balance their blood sugar with key focuses around energy and concentration, cravings and weight control.
The objective here isn’t to completely eliminate or ‘ban’ sugar from a user’s diet; it’s about finding balance and a ‘sweet spot’, and being mindful of what’s going into their body. Everyone should be able to indulge in a piece of cake or chocolate without having a guilty conscience—for us, it’s about smart combinations and small adjustments to an individual’s habits.
What surprised you most?
This is a tough question! Using the monitor and the app every single day, I’ve learned so much—and continue doing so. But if I had to choose, it is the importance of the order in which you eat your food. It’s super cool to see how one small change like this can have such a big impact on my blood sugar. And the best part is that if I eat my foods in the right order, my beloved chocolate as a dessert has little to no impact on my blood sugar levels.
And also, it was surprising to see how different types and intensities of exercise impact my blood sugar, in that even a five-minute walk after a meal helped to stabilize my blood glucose response.
How long can people use the sensor for?
We are currently using CGM sensors from our partner Abbott. These can be used for 14 days each. Depending on the Hello Inside Program you choose, you will receive the correct number of sensors to cover your experience.
Does it hurt when you first put the sensor on?
No. Some people report mild discomfort when putting the sensor on the arm, but there is no pain. You can easily apply it yourself. Click here to see how it’s done.
Are you working on any more digital inspiration (recipes, lessons etc)?
We’re continuously working to improve our product, including new recipes and experiments. Currently, we’re in the midst of looking into different program ideas. We want to keep our users engaged, and make others curious about the importance of blood glucose in their day-to-day health and wellbeing. Stay tuned for more.
What other developments can we look forward to in the future?
A lot! A big focus is on the improvement of our feedback. It’s our goal to make the insights easy to understand so our users can make changes that personally work for them. We’re also exploring different formats of our educational content, such as new programs and resources. And we fell in love with our team and community experiments—adding comparisons to our individualized experiments, for example, how to drink your coffee. This really shows how personal health actually is—and that there is no one size fits all.
How does hydration benefit your blood sugar level?
Staying hydrated is vital for many of our bodily processes. So it’s no surprise that it also impacts blood sugar level. Your body needs enough water to transport glucose throughout the bloodstream. A lack of adequate fluids can cause blood sugar to become too concentrated and increase your blood sugar levels. So drinking enough positively impacts your blood sugar and thus your health. We think about hydration as an internal shower we take our body to—every day.
How did you come across waterdrop®?
After a long hike I was craving a flavored and satisfying drink, but learned that juices and also a mix of water and juice can spike blood glucose. I came across Microlyte by waterdrop®—grapefruit being my favorite flavor—which was not only very tasty, but also kept my blood glucose stable.