Understanding The Difference Between Starches Fiber And Sugars
Like fiber, starches are complex carbs, but our bodies can break these complex carbs down and turn them into glucose.
Fiber is a complex carb that our guts are unable to break down as easily as sugar. Fiber is made of long chains of carb molecules that come from plants. It holds things in the gut, such as cholesterol, simple carbs and water. Holding cholesterol in the gut makes fiber heart healthy, helping to fight atherosclerosis, which leads to plaque build-up in the arteries.
Keeping simple carbs from being digested also helps dull a spike in blood sugar. This is why consuming fruit juices isnt as healthy as real fruit. Juicing removes the pulp, which contains all of the fiber, and this leads to blood glucose spikes. Keeping water in the gut also allows for the smooth passage of stool and can help prevent colon cancer and diverticulosis, a condition that occurs when pouches form in the colon or large intestine. The recommended amount of fiber varies according to age and sex, but the average 2,000 daily calorie diet should include at least 28 grams of fiber per day.
Similar to fiber, sugar alcohols are a form of carbohydrates that are not readily digested. They are small molecules that have an alcohol added to them . Sugar alcohols often are used in sugar-free foods. They do contain calories, but much less than sugar and with less of an effect on insulin levels.
How To Treat A Low Blood Sugar Level Yourself
Follow these steps if your blood sugar level is less than 3.5mmol/L or you have hypo symptoms:
You do not usually need to get medical help once you’re feeling better if you only have a few hypos.
But tell your diabetes team if you keep having hypos or if you stop having symptoms when your blood sugar level is low.
Preventing Low Blood Sugar Levels
Here are some other tips to help you avoid low blood sugar levels:
- Eat all your meals and snacks on time and try not to skip any.
- Take the right amount of insulin.
- If you exercise longer or harder than usual, have an extra snack.
- Don’t take a hot bath or shower right after an insulin shot.
- Stick to your diabetes management plan.
- Check your blood sugar levels regularly, so you can tell if your blood sugars are running too low and your treatment plan needs adjustment.
- Carry something containing sugar with you at all times and take it right away if you have symptoms. Don’t wait to see if the symptoms will go away they may get worse!
Alcohol and drugs can cause major problems with your blood sugar levels, so avoiding them is another way to prevent diabetes problems. Drinking can be particularly dangerous even deadly for people with diabetes because it messes up the body’s ability to keep blood glucose in a normal range. This can cause a very rapid drop in blood glucose in people with diabetes. Drug or alcohol use is also dangerous because it may affect someone’s ability to sense low blood sugar levels.
Learning how to recognize the signs of low blood sugar levels and get them back to normal is an important part of caring for diabetes. Keeping track of your blood sugar levels and recording lows when they occur will help you and your diabetes health care team keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy range.
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Why Does Blood Sugar Rise Exactly
A number of things contribute to rises in blood sugar on a daily basis. Food is chief among those things.
“Simple carbohydrates, like sugary drinks or candy, will be digested and absorbed quickly, which will raise blood sugar more than a mixed meal with protein, high fiber carbohydrates, and fat,” says Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN, founder of NutritionStarringYOU.com and author of The Everything Easy Pre-Diabetes Cookbook.
Protein, fat, and fiber together will slow digestion and thus create a more blunted rise in blood sugar, with less drastic spikes, or even a steady elevation.
“For example, a bagel with jelly that’s nearly all carbohydrates should increase blood sugar more than an egg with whole-grain toast and berries, even if the calories are the same,” Harris-Pincus explains.
“It’s also important to know that all carbohydrates are not created equal, so certain foods like beans and oats, which contain soluble fiber, can help control blood sugar, and strawberries and wild blueberries have been shown to help with insulin resistance as well,” Harris-Pincus says.
Still, all bodies differ, so keep in mind this is just a general rule of thumb. It’s a good idea to monitor your blood sugar after meals for several weeks to gain a better understanding of how your blood sugar responds to foods.
“Every person has a unique body and will react differently, so it takes trial and error to learn how you respond,” she adds.
During Blood Sugar Testing
Everybody is different and the speed at which your blood sugar levels rise after eating depends on whether you are healthy, if you have diabetes or insulin resistance or if you exercise after your meal. If you are concerned with your blood sugar levels, ask your doctor for a prescription to get a glucometer to check your own blood sugar levels at home. Measure your blood sugars before eating and every 15 minutes to two hours after a meal to learn how your body responds to different foods.
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What Are Normal Blood Sugar Levels
Before we get started, letâs review some definitions of what ânormal blood sugarâ means for people without diabetes:
- A normal âfastingâ blood glucose taken first thing in the morning after waking up is 99 mg/dL or lower.
- A random blood glucose test taken anytime of the day without regard to the last time youâve eaten should be under 200 mg/dL.
If you have diabetes , your doctor will discuss specific blood sugar goals with you. These goals can vary based on a variety of factors.
Broccoli And Broccoli Sprouts
Sulforaphane is a type of isothiocyanate that has blood-sugar-reducing properties.
This plant chemical is produced when broccoli is chopped or chewed due to a reaction between a glucosinolate compound called glucoraphanin and the enzyme myrosinase, both of which are concentrated in broccoli .
Test-tube, animal, and human studies have shown that sulforaphane-rich broccoli extract has powerful antidiabetic effects, helping enhance insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar and markers of oxidative stress .
Broccoli sprouts are concentrated sources of glucosinolates like glucoraphanin, and theyve been shown to help promote insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes when supplemented as a powder or extract (
Keep in mind that the best way to enhance the availability of sulforaphane is to enjoy broccoli and broccoli sprouts raw or lightly steamed, or to add active sources of myrosinase like mustard seed powder to cooked broccoli (
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Can You Raise Blood Sugar Without Food
Two products glucose gel and chewable glucose tablets are also effective at quickly raising blood sugar. Theyre available without a prescription and are recommended for people who experience frequent episodes of low blood sugar.
If youve had severe low blood sugar symptoms in the past, speak with your doctor about whether a glucagon kit is right for you. Glucagon is a hormone that triggers your liver to release glucose into the bloodstream.
These kits are only available by prescription. Theyre used to raise your blood sugar when youre not able to eat or drink, such as in a state of unconsciousness. Therefore, someone else, like a friend or family member, typically administers this medication for you.
An episode of low blood sugar that necessitates assistance from another person is by definition severe hypoglycemia. The kits come with a syringe and needle that can be used to inject glucagon into your arm, thigh, or buttocks.
Be sure to ask your doctor when and how to use a glucagon kit. Also, let your family and friends know how to use it and how to recognize a hypoglycemic emergency.
There are many different factors that can cause a dip in your blood sugar levels. Here are some of the most common causes.
Glycemic Index And Glycemic Load
When it comes to assessing foods based on how they increase your blood sugar, there is a tool for that called the glycemic index. The glycemic index assigns a number value to foods based on how quickly and how high they raise your blood sugar. Foods with a high glycemic index increase blood sugar quickly.
Glycemic load accounts for both the glycemic index and the quantity of carbohydrates in a serving. While it is generally best to eat low-glycemic foods to manage blood sugar, glycemic load might be a better indicator when making food choices. For example, while watermelon is considered a high-glycemic food, it is low on glycemic load.
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Nuts Seeds And Nut/seed Butters
Nuts, seeds, and their respective butters offer quality sources of protein, plant based fat, and fiberâ¦ all three of our blood sugar balancing nutrients we look for! These foods have been shown to not only help promote healthy blood sugar levels, but also keep you more satisfied and full for longer.
Don’t Sit On The Couch Or Lie Down Right After A Meal
While you may want to plop on the couch and turn on the television after a long day of work and a satisfying meal, you should resist the urge to become sedentary.
“Sitting on the couch or laying down after a meal will likely make blood sugar worse because you are sedentary and your muscles aren’t burning off the extra glucose in your bloodstream,” Harris-Pincus explains.
Plus, it is a common GERD trigger, so be wary if you are prone to indigestion after eating a meal, especially one containing trigger foods, like acidic tomato sauce on pizza or pasta, for example. Wait a bit before nestling under the covers.
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Awesome Foods That Regulate Your Blood Sugar
Hypoglycemia, diabetes, or addictions to sugar can all cause blood sugar issues for people, but there are many foods that regulate your blood sugar that can help fight this problem naturally. I always hate to see people turn to medicine before food to fight high blood sugar problems, since there are so many wonderful foods that nature has given us that regulate your blood sugar. A healthy diet can fix an array of issues, and though no diet is perfect for all of us, there are some mainstay foods that help keep insulin levels down, and blood sugar level even. We should all be eating more of these, and focusing on the benefits they offer. I know it can be hard to turn down sweets, breads, unhealthy fats, and processed foods, but I promise itâs worth it. Eating foods that regulate your blood sugar helped me get rid of a lifelong addiction to sugar,fast food, and processed food, and even overcome a seizure condition. Add these delicious, nutritious foods to your diet and youâll see the effects almost immediately.
You are at risk of having a low blood sugar reaction if you:
- Skip or delay a meal or snack
- Take too much insulin or eat too few carbohydrates
- Drink alcohol, especially without eating carbohydrates
Check your blood sugar if you have any of these symptoms:
- Weakness and/or fatigue
If your blood sugar is less than 70 milligrams per deciliter :
Citrus Fruits Like Lemons Limes And Grapefruit
Not only are citrus fruits delicious, but they are lower in calories and carbohydrates than most other fruits. Theyre considered low glycemic fruits, which are excellent for people with diabetes.
Theyre also packed with fiber, vitamin C, minerals, and healthy antioxidants, and eating them regularly can help you regulate your blood sugars better!
Additionally, their high fiber content and plant compounds like naringenin contribute to their anti-diabetic properties, according to a 2019 study, which is super helpful in preventing the development of type 2 diabetes in people who have prediabetes, and helping to regulate blood sugars in people who already have diabetes.
Eating these delicious fruits regularly can help to improve ones insulin sensitivity, reduce both blood sugar spikes and HbA1c levels, and prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. Bon appétit!
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Pumpkin And Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are like gold coins. These seeds are packed with protein, healthy fats, fiber, and antioxidants.
One cup of unshelled pumpkin seeds only has about 6 grams of net carbohydrates , so most people do not have trouble bolusing insulin for them.
Pumpkin puree is similarly great for blood sugar control. The naturally sweet squash is high in fiber and Vitamins A and C, while low in calories and carbohydrates.
In countries like Mexico and Iran, pumpkins are even used as a medicinal food for people with diabetes.
A 2018 study found that people who consumed 2 ounces of pumpkin seeds enjoyed a post-meal blood sugar that was 35% lower compared to a control group. Dig in!
Go For A Walk After You Eat
Beyond avoiding the couch, there is something you can actually do to help your blood sugar levels after a meal. Lace up those sneakers, and go for a walk to help balance blood sugar levels further. Youll even walk off some of those calories, as an added perk.
Taking a walk after a meal will help to minimize the rise in blood sugar since your muscles will use that glucose for fuel, she explains.
Something quick, like 10 to 20 minutes, will do the trick, and its a bonus if you can get outdoors for some fresh air and exposure to nature, which may further boost your mood and help you de-stress.
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Easy Ways To Lower Blood Sugar Levels Naturally
Natural remedies can help reduce blood sugar levels. However, medical treatment may also be required if blood sugar levels remain consistently high. Hence, you must consult a doctor.
Some natural ways to control blood sugar levels include:
Tuna Halibut And Fish With Omega
Protein helps the body maintain and repair itself. Since protein doesnt impact blood sugar levels, it doesnt have a GI ranking and wont raise blood sugar levels. Protein also increases satiety, so relying on protein to feel full instead of bread, rice, or pasta may be a good way to manage your blood sugar.
Fish is a great source of protein. Its low in unhealthy fats and a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Good options include:
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Pick Fruit For Natural Sugars
Watermelon, pineapple, bananas and grapes are fruits with a high glycemic index that can quickly raise your blood sugar. The glycemic index, or GI, of processed foods tends to be higher than fresh foods. Dried fruits, such as raisins and dried dates, can quickly raise your blood sugar levels. Fruit juice raises your blood sugar more rapidly than fresh fruit. To help replenish your body’s energy stores, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach suggests that you consume 8 ounces of fruit juice within 30 minutes of finishing a workout.
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How To Avoid Low Blood Sugar Levels
Hypoglycaemia or low blood glucose level can lead to many symptoms and there are certain ways to prevent it. The best thing is to have small frequent meals and have a balanced diet. Skipping meals or doing excessive exercise without proper food intake should be avoided and care must be taken if you are a diabetic or have any other medical condition leading to low blood glucose levels. Here are a few things you can do to prevent a low blood glucose level:
1. Have a Protein Rich Breakfast
Breakfast is the first and definitely the most important meal of the day and skipping breakfast is bad for your health. People who do not take breakfast have higher levels of stress hormones in their blood. These hormones stimulate insulin, and as a result the blood sugar levels drop. Having a nutritious breakfast, especially one containing proteins like egg, sausages and bacon can keep the blood sugar levels stable for longer.
2. Incorporate Healthy Fats in your Diet
Not all fats are bad and recent studies have clearly indicated that a certain amount of fats is required by the body for optimal performance. The body takes longer to breakdown and digest fats as compared to carbohydrates. They provide satiety and you can avoid the nasty cravings and hunger pangs if you incorporate the good fats in your daily diet. All non processed fats like butter, coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil and egg yolks, etc are good sources of healthy fats.
3. Snack Right
4. Get Proper Sleep
5. Other Tips
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