Manage Your Carb Intake
Your carb intake strongly influences your blood sugar levels .
Your body breaks carbs down into sugars, mainly glucose. Then, insulin helps your body use and store it for energy.
When you eat too many carbs or have insulin-function problems, this process fails, and blood glucose levels can rise.
Thats why the American Diabetes Association recommends that people with diabetes manage their carb intake by counting carbs and being aware of how many they need .
Some studies find that this can help you plan your meals appropriately, further improving blood sugar management (
Foods that are high in fiber include:
The recommended daily intake of fiber is about 25 grams for women and 35 grams for men. Thats about 14 grams for every 1,000 calories .
Eating plenty of fiber can aid blood sugar management. Soluble dietary fiber appears to be more effective than insoluble fiber for this purpose.
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Best Foods For Steady Blood Sugar
The most obvious reason to keep your blood sugar steady and controlled throughout the day is to avoid the risk of diabetes, Seebohar says. But its not the only reason. Blood sugar thats too high or low can affect the bodys energy usage, which can affect both physical performance and cognitive functioning, he says. Well-controlled blood sugar can make it easier to concentrate and make decisions, and it also may be good for your mood, as better mood and energy is associated with well-controlled blood sugar.
Certain foods or combinations of foods are especially good at keeping your blood sugar steady. Theyre also more likely to leave you feeling fullerso youll be less likely to reach for a sweet or salty snack. Try adding the following to your diet:
1. UCANs LIVSTEADY
This low-glycemic complex carbohydrate made from non-GMO corn starch provides steady, long-lasting energy and is available in UCAN products in the form of powders, granola, energy bars, and more. The starch has been scientifically proven to stabilize blood sugar and doesnt signal an insulin spike, which can improve your bodys ability to use fat for energy, says Seebohar. For athletes and active people, this is an ideal choice to keep blood sugar steady instead of a sugary snack. Try the Edge energy gel or Energy Bars for a sustained energy boost on-the-go.
7. Oats and oat bran
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What Happens If My Blood Glucose Level Becomes Too Low
Sometimes blood glucose levels drop below where they should be, which is called hypoglycemia. For most people with diabetes, the blood glucose level is too low when it is below 70 mg/dL.
Hypoglycemia can be life threatening and needs to be treated right away. Learn more about how to recognize and treat hypoglycemia.
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How Much Does Blood Sugar Drop Overnight
Low blood glucose at night When blood glucose levels fall below 70 mg/dl while sleeping at night, the person experiences a condition called nocturnal hypoglycemia. Studies suggest that almost half of all episodes of low blood glucose and more than half of all severe episodes occur at night during sleep.
How Do Glucose Levels Change Overnight
A persons blood sugar levels change during the night, mainly, because of two processes:
A person can identify how their glucose levels change during the night by taking various readings.
- The dawn phenomenon. Between roughly 3:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m., blood sugar levels surge as part of the process of waking up. This causes high blood sugar levels in the morning.
- The Somogyi effect. Glucose levels drop significantly between 2:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. The body responds by releasing hormones that raise blood sugar levels again. It can release too much of these hormones, leading to high blood sugar levels in the morning.
Eating a bedtime snack can prevent blood glucose levels from dropping very low during the night and lessen the Somogyi effect.
A person can determine how their glucose levels change throughout the night by taking readings at various points, such as just before bed, between 2:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m., and again when waking up.
Understanding how the body is processing blood sugar is the first step toward picking more healthful snacks in the evening and before bed.
According to the American Diabetes Association , being overweight or having obesity increases the risk of diabetes-related complications. A variety of bedtime snacks can fit into a balanced, healthful diet.
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What Do The Results Mean
Doctors measure the amount of glucose in a persons blood in milligrams per deciliter .
For a random glucose test, a result of 200 mg/dl or above indicates that a person may have diabetes. However, the doctor will usually repeat the test on another day for a more reliable diagnosis.
To help confirm the diagnosis, the doctor may also order a different type of test, such as a fasting glucose test or an OGTT.
Results of a fasting glucose test indicate the following:
- Normal: less than 100 mg/dl
- Prediabetes: 100125 mg/dl
- Diabetes: 126 mg/dl or above
Results of an OGTT
- Diabetes: 200 mg/dl or above
One 2015 study suggests that one random glucose test with a reading of over 100 mg/dl is a greater risk factor for diabetes than traditional factors, such as obesity.
Prediabetes means that a persons blood glucose levels are higher than usual, but doctors do not yet consider that they have diabetes. Doctors sometimes call this impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose .
People with prediabetes are at increased risk of developing diabetes. Lifestyle modifications, such as weight loss and exercise, and certain medications can help reduce this risk.
Spice Up Your Life With Cinnamon
A meta-analysis published in the Journal of Medicinal Food that concluded that cinnamon lowers fasting blood glucose by a 3-5%. This is a modest amount, but it is still very interesting and can be helpful!
But dont go too crazy with this spice cinnamon contains coumarin, which can damage the liver when consumed in excessive amounts. According to the daily tolerable intake set by the European Food Safety Authority, the limit for an adult who is sensitive to coumarin is about a teaspoon a day. But if you have liver issues, its best to only use cinnamon sparsely.
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Eat The Majority Of Your Calories Early In The Day
Dinner may be thought of as the biggest meal of the day, but if you have elevated blood sugar, you should stop thinking of things that way. And don’t “save” your calories for a big meal either.
“Eating more of your calories earlier in the day can improve blood sugar levels since our bodies follow a circadian rhythm where we process food better during daylight hours,” Harris-Pincus explains. “People who eat a larger breakfast and lunch with a smaller dinner have been shown to improve blood sugar more than people consuming the same amount of calories but during evening hours.”
Plus, when you jam everything in later in the evening at dinner, especially if you eat dinner close to bedtime, your belly might feel too full, and GI distress could prevent you from falling asleep comfortably.
Be Aware Of The Dawn Phenomenon
When you live with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you might experience something that experts named the dawn phenomenon or the dawn effect.
Early in the morning, often between the hours of 2 a.m. and 8 a.m., your blood sugar might spike. This means that your blood sugar may be high in the morning, even before you eat anything.
A few things can cause this surge in blood sugar, including:
- hormone release early in the morning that increases insulin resistance
- insufficient insulin or medication left in your body from the night before
- high carbohydrate consumption at supper or before bed
- glucose release into your blood from your liver
Food can affect different peoples blood sugar in different ways. If youre curious about how a certain bedtime snack may affect your blood sugar, you can do some extra testing.
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How To Lower Your Blood Sugar Naturally
Nearly 10% of the U.S. population has diabetes, and globally rates are expected to double by 2030. Significant evidence shows you can lower your blood sugar quickly, and even reverse diabetes by adopting a healthy lifestyle:
- In the United Kingdom, researchers successfully lowered blood sugar and reverse diabetes by implementing a combination of a lifestyle change and weight loss.
- In urban locations in Africa, scientists have found educational programs help prediabetic adults alter their lifestyle to effectively lower blood sugar levels.
- The most extensive study was completed in the United States and was called the Diabetes Prevention Program Randomized Trail. The study observed 3,234 men and women with pre-diabetes over a three-year period. The researchers found a healthy lifestyle was more effective than medication in preventing the onset of type 2 diabetes. One third of the adults took a placebo, another took metformin , while the final third of the adults adopted lifestyle changes that were similar to the Pritikin Program . Adults who adopted a lifestyle change were twice as likely to reduce the progression of their pre-diabetes into type 2 diabetes than the control group.
Adopting a healthy lifestyle, such as the Pritikin lifestyle, is twice as effective as medication in preventing the onset of type 2 diabetes.
Sleep Habits And Diabetes
While diet and obesity are big contributors to your odds of having diabetes, studies have found that sleep habits are, too, probably because over time, they can affect how well your cells respond to insulin.
In one study, more than 4,000 people reported the amount of sleep they got each night. Those who got less than 6 hours were twice as likely to have cells that were less sensitive to insulin or to have full-blown diabetes. This was true even after the researchers took other lifestyle habits into account.
Other sleep disruptions and disorders, such as sleep apnea, also seem to raise a personâs odds of having diabetes.
But the risk goes up at the other end of the spectrum, too. For reasons that arenât clear, people who sleep too much — more than 9 hours a night — might also have higher chances of getting diabetes.
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What Is Continuous Glucose Monitoring
Continuous glucose monitoring is another way to check your glucose levels. Most CGM systems use a tiny sensor that you insert under your skin. The sensor measures glucose levels in the fluids between your bodys cells every few minutes and can show changes in your glucose level throughout the day and night. If the CGM system shows that your glucose is too high or too low, you should check your glucose with a blood glucose meter before making any changes to your eating plan, physical activity, or medicines. A CGM system is especially useful for people who use insulin and have problems with low blood glucose.
Get A Good Nights Sleep
While this is an important tip for good health generally, it especially supports blood sugar regulation.
Lack of sleep drastically reduces glucose tolerance. This makes it more difficult for cells to uptake glucose, causing elevated blood sugar levels. This connection is so significant that researchers found that less than 1 week of sleep restriction can result in a prediabetic state in young, healthy subjects.
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Tips To Prevent Blood Sugar From Dropping At Night
Hypoglycemia, also known as low blood sugar or low blood glucose, occurs when blood glucose levels drop below normalwhich is typically below a level of 70 milligrams per deciliter . With levels more commonly dipping at nighttime, otherwise referred to as nighttime hypoglycemia, this condition affects mostly patients with diabetes.
Foods That Stabilize Blood Sugar
Your blood sugar levels and their fluctuations are intrinsically tied to your health. With recent research, it is becoming more evident than ever that foods that stabilize your blood sugar are important to eat on a regular basis, while foods that cause blood sugar spikes or fluctuations should be avoided. Your blood sugar levels are tied to a wide range of hormonal responses that can contribute to your bodys metabolism, your mood, energy levels, fat storage and more. Your body has a very different response when you eat a bagel compared to eating piece of broccoli, and this response is what you need to be concerned about. In general, when you eat foods that break down quickly and cause a spike in your blood sugar, like a bagel, you can become insulin resistant and gain weight more easily. Even worse, you can develop pre-diabetes or diabetes, so be sure to include these seven and other foods that stabilize blood sugar in your diet more frequently.
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Balance With Fiber And Protein
Fiber and protein are a winning combo to assist with your blood sugar. They slow down the release of sugars from food into the bloodstream and slow digestion to also keep you full longer throughout the day. The trick is to consume whole food sources of fiber in place of processed crackers, breads, etc. that dont come with as many benefits. Also go for plant protein versus animal protein, since many animal proteins can actually disrupt healthy insulin levels and increase the risk of diabetes.
Aim for at least 5-10 grams of fiber per meal and at least 10-15 grams of protein per meal for best results. A great option would be a protein-packed breakfast bowl, a green smoothie with plant protein added, roasted veggies and beans, or aveggie-packed salad with some hummus, seeds, or plant protein like tempeh.
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Symptoms Of High Blood Sugar
People with diabetes may have some of these symptoms< sup> 9< /sup> when their blood sugar is high:
- increased thirst
However, if you donât have diabetes, you likely will not experience symptoms related to high blood sugar. Why? Because your body manages glucose appropriately. You wonât have the same symptoms as a person with diabetes who struggles to manage the excess glucose.
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Check Your Blood Sugar Level
Regular blood sugar checks are a big part of managing your diabetes. You may already be checking your blood sugar at different times of the day, including in the morning before eating, before all meals in general, and 1 to 2 hours after a meal.
Bedtime is another good time to test. Its a good idea to keep our blood sugar goal at bedtime in the range of 80 to 180 milligrams per deciliter .
Its natural for blood sugar to be on the higher end of that range if youve eaten a meal in the last 2 hours. If its on the lower end of that range, you may consider having a snack to prevent blood sugar from going too low.
Testing at bedtime for at least 1 or 2 weeks can allow you to see some patterns.
If your blood sugar level is high before bed, its more likely to stay high overnight and be above target in the morning. Having the occasional high blood sugar before bed can happen to anyone with diabetes.
If you start to notice that your blood sugar is often above target before bed, there are things you can do. Talk with your doctor about managing blood sugar at this time of the day.
Here are some steps that may help lower blood sugar in the evening:
- Change the type, timing, or dose of medications or insulin.
- Eat supper earlier.
Don’t Shortchange Your Sleep
Getting enough sleep at night is crucial for overall health and wellbeing, but especially for blood sugar control. Sure, one night of shortened or interrupted sleep may not have a detrimental effect, but don’t kid yourself that you can get away with too little shut-eye regularly without it causing an imbalance in blood sugar levels.
“It’s recommended that we snooze for seven to nine hours per night, and missing out on quality sleep can trigger stress hormones that increase blood sugar levels,” Harris-Pincus explains.
Plus, stress is unhealthy in general, and it can lead to an increase in cravings, moodiness, physical discomfort, GI distress, and higher risk of disease, among other various concerns.
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Ways To Prevent Low Blood Sugar At Night
Detecting nighttime dips in blood sugar can be tricky, but these simple strategies can help you prevent nighttime hypoglycemia and sleep without worry.
Nighttime dips in blood sugar levels are common among people with diabetes. Authors of a study published in June 2013 in Quality of Life Research noted that people with diabetes type 1 or type 2 experience low blood sugar during sleep more frequently than many doctors realize.
Nighttime hypoglycemia can be caused by a number of different factors, from exercising too close to bedtime to drinking alcohol in the evening. If untreated, low overnight blood sugar levels can lead to headaches and loss of sleep and in extreme cases, seizures or even death. The good news is that preventing low blood sugar while you sleep can be achieved with a few simple steps:
What It Is And How It Works
Medline Plus explains that acarbose is a drug doctors prescribe for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. It comes in a tablet, and you take it orally. Your prescription may be for a brand name version of the drug sold under the names Prandase and Precose.
According to Healthline, acarbose works by blocking the enzyme glycosidase. This enzyme turns complex carbohydrates that you consume into sugar within your body. The sugar then goes into the small intestine where it absorbs into your bloodstream and raises your blood sugar level.
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