Types Of Proteins To Consider
Now that you know why protein is so significant in blood sugar balance, it seems like more would be better, right? Well, not exactly! One study shows that high-protein diets can have varied results depending on the type of protein you consume.
In this study very high-protein diets, consisting of mostly animal proteinâspecifically red meat and processed meatsâresulted in an increased risk of type 2 diabetes in both men and women. On the contrary, diets high in plant-based proteins like legumes and nuts were associated with lower risks of developing type 2 diabetes. That being said, these are not the only factors that contribute to diabetes and both animal and plant-based protein can be a part of an overall healthy diet.
So what should we include in our diet to help balance our blood sugar and avoid the risk of type 2 diabetes? Here are a few examples of both animal and plant-based protein that you can consider including in your diet to manage blood sugar:
Improving Hypo Awareness Signs
If you are suffering from impaired hypo unawareness, you may be advised to increase your window of blood glucose control for a period of time to get your numbers higher and prevent hypos from occurring so often.
Studies have found this method to be successful.
If you have frequent hypos you may need to test your blood sugar more often, to help get better control as well as to catch hypos earlier. Try to record which events lead to hypos so you can spot trends and prevent them in future.
High Calorie Foods May Or May Not Cause The Blood Sugar Level To Rise
Many people think that all high-calorie foods raise blood sugar level, but this is not always the case.
In general, foods that cause blood sugar level to rise the most are those that are high in carbohydrates, which are quickly converted into energy, such as rice, bread, fruits and sugar. Next are foods high in protein, such as meats, fish eggs, milk and dairy products, and oily foods. However, even though carbohydrates affect blood sugar levels, if you don’t eat them your diet will be unbalanced and you won’t feel satisfied after your meal, which can lead to excessive consumption of foods rich in protein and fat.
Food containing three major nutrients
Consume A Healthy Amount Of Protein
Getting the right amount of protein in your diet is essential. Still, many of us only get enough to prevent deficiency. Consuming more can help with several things, including but not limited to:
- Building muscle mass
- Promoting satiety and reducing cravings
- Adequate bone health, especially as we age
- Weight maintenance
Although protein is packed with benefits, some people will have to watch their intake and limit it. This can be due to health conditions like kidney disease, impaired liver function, and protein metabolism disorders.
So, how much protein is suitable for you? That depends on a few factors: your weight, activity level, and body composition goals, to name just a few. Older guidelines suggested 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight. However, this is now looked at as a minimum suggestion at best. Most healthy, active individuals will need around one to one and a half grams per kilogram of body weight to meet their daily needs. For example, an active 145-pound person could aim to consume 80-100 grams of protein a day.
To determine your individualized needs, it may be beneficial to work with a registered dietitian who can tailor your diet to meet your specific protein needs.
How Do I Detect Spikes In My Sugar Levels
The exact timing of blood sugar spikes can vary from person to person and meal to meal. However, on average, the post-meal peaks tend to be about one hour and 15 minutes after starting a meal.
The best way to measure post-meal patterns is by using a continuous glucose monitor or Flash monitors. These devices can give you a clear view, including graphs, of what happens with the glucose levels after meals without the need for finger pricking . You can ask your diabetes health team if they are available for you as they are not available to everybody.
If you are not using a CGM, then please speak to your healthcare team about the best way to do this for you with finger prick testing.
How do I know it is a spike?
There is no universal answer or specific guidelines on when a sugar level is too high after meals. However, if post-meal readings are consistently above your target range , then you should discuss whether it would be beneficial for you to address these spikes and how to do this, with your healthcare team .
If you are reviewing your post-breakfast sugar levels, you should also be aware of changes in your hormones in the morning, which cause increases in sugar levels . This Digibete video may help.
Some ways to reduce blood sugar spikes after meals
1. Choose low glycaemic index foods
When blood sugar levels are low or hypoglycaemic we need high glycaemic index foods , such as dextrose tablets or juice, that are absorbed quickly to raise our levels and to treat the hypo.
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Knowing Blood Sugar Levels
If you have diabetes, the frequency of testing your blood glucose level depends on your treatment plan, so follow your doctors advice on the appropriate times for you.
Common times to check are in the morning, before and after meals, before and after exercise, at bedtime, and if you feel sick. Some people may not need to check their blood sugar daily.
What you eat and what you do for physical activity affect your blood sugar. But theres no way to know what effect they have unless you test your blood sugar.
Blood glucose meters are used to test blood sugar levels so you can see if your levels are within the target range. Your doctor will also work with you on your individualized range.
What Is Low Blood Sugar
Low blood sugar is a level of sugar, or glucose, in the blood that is lower than normal. According to the American Diabetes Association, the cut-off value for Level 1 hypoglycemia, or moderately low blood sugar, is 70 mg/dl. However, you may not be regularly measuring your blood sugar if you have not been diagnosed with diabetes. Instead, you might suspect that you have hypoglycemia because of its symptoms. The fatigue, fuzzy thinking, and need to sit down are the result of your body being deprived of its main fuel source: glucose.
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When Blood Sugar Is Too Low
Glucose is a sugar that comes from the foods we eat, and its also formed and stored inside the body. Its the main source of energy for the cells of our body, and is carried to each cell through the bloodstream. Our brains depend on glucose to function, even when were sleeping.
The is the amount of glucose in the blood. When these levels drop too low, its called hypoglycemia . Very low blood sugar levels can cause serious symptoms that need to be treated right away.
Preventing Low Blood Sugar
Although sweets will always raise your blood sugar and cause the dips that come with it to some degree, there are some things you can do to prevent from your blood sugar from getting too low. Dont eat sweets on an empty stomach. The sugar in sweet foods digests really quickly and if you eat sugary foods on an empty stomach, there is nothing there to slow down this digestive process. As a result, your blood sugar will spike and youre more likely to experience a blood sugar crash shortly after. Instead, eat sweets after a meal that is rich in protein and healthy fats. Dont overdo it. Its probably not surprising that the more sugar you eat, the higher your blood sugar levels get . If you want to eat something sweet, pay attention to portion sizes, use them as an occasional treat , and dont eat too much.
The Type Of Protein Does Matter
If you want to reap the benefits of protein consumption, with regards to your blood sugar and overall health, the type of protein matters a lot.
Research shows that the risk of Type 2 diabetes is lower when consuming plant protein think beans, nuts, and vegan protein powders than animal protein sources. The reason being, many animal proteins, such as red meats and hot dogs, are either processed and/or high in fats. This is why even though a meal rich in animal protein may reduce blood glucose levels in the short term, it will likely increase the possibility of Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases in the long term. On the contrary, vegetable protein sources temporarily decrease blood glucose levels without incurring the risk of diabetes in the future.
The bottom line is, when choosing protein sources, its best to go vegan if you can. Aside from whole foods, you can also opt for plant protein supplements to get your daily dose of protein in the healthiest way possible.
Zen Principle® offers two types of high-quality, vegan-based protein powders:
Carbs Protein And Fats Their Effect On Glucose Levels
How do I know if a meal or snack is going to spike up my glucose levels?
Why does it seem like every time I eat a carbohydrate , foods my glucose levels skyrocket?
Why is it that some foods make my glucose levels high and other foods don’t?
These are just a few examples of questions that many persons with diabetes ask themselves daily, and it can be extremely frustrating when there appears to be a lack of consistency in terms of what foods that we eat affect glucose levels.
When thinking about how to better understand a food’s impact on our glucose levels, it’s best to start from the beginning. Let’s talk about macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein, and fat. All foods are made up of one of or a combination of these three nutrients. It’s important to understand how each one can impact glucose levels in order to make smart and educated choices when planning meals and snacks.
Carbohydrates supply the body’s primary fuel or energy source, glucose. Think of glucose like the gas we put in our cars – it’s what our bodies prefer to use for fuel! The two basic types of carbs are sugar and starches. Fiber is the third and will be discussed in more detail. .
So why am I outlining all of this? Because the combination of fiber-rich carbs + lean protein + heart-healthy fats can promote more stable glucose levels. Fiber, protein and fats help to slow down the digestion of carbs and delay their absorption into the blood. This helps to prevent spikes in glucose levels after eating.
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Rebound Hypoglycemia After Eating
If sugar comes from the food you eat, why would blood sugar be low after eating? It may be due to a phenomenon called reactive hypoglycemia. This refers to low levels of blood glucose that react to high levels. According to Mayo Clinic, it can occur within 4 hours of eating a meal.
Say breakfast includes pancakes, syrup, and fruit juice. The meal is full of carbs: starch in the pancakes, added sugar in the syrup, and natural sugar in the fruit juice. Those carbohydrates get absorbed fast.
Blood sugar can skyrocket, especially in people who have prediabetes or diabetes. You may feel a sugar high, or burst of energy, within minutes to an hour of eating. Thenthe crash. The higher they fly, the harder they fall, is spot-on for blood sugar. If it went up, up, up, it will go down, down down, possibly below normal levels and into the range of hypoglycemia.
Treating Low Blood Sugar
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 :
- Eat 15 to 30 grams of carbohydrate
- Wait 15 minutes and then recheck your blood sugar
- If your blood sugar is still less than 100 mg/dl, take another 15 grams of carbohydrate and retest your blood sugar in another 15 minutes. Repeat if necessary.
Important: If you have frequent low blood sugars speak to your doctor. You may need changes in your medication and/or meal plan.
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Carbohydrates And Blood Sugar
When people eat a food containing carbohydrates, the digestive system breaks down the digestible ones into sugar, which enters the blood.
- As blood sugar levels rise, the pancreas produces insulin, a hormone that prompts cells to absorb blood sugar for energy or storage.
- As cells absorb blood sugar, levels in the bloodstream begin to fall.
- When this happens, the pancreas start making glucagon, a hormone that signals the liver to start releasing stored sugar.
- This interplay of insulin and glucagon ensure that cells throughout the body, and especially in the brain, have a steady supply of blood sugar.
Carbohydrate metabolism is important in the development of type 2 diabetes, which occurs when the body cant make enough insulin or cant properly use the insulin it makes.
- Type 2 diabetes usually develops gradually over a number of years, beginning when muscle and other cells stop responding to insulin. This condition, known as insulin resistance, causes blood sugar and insulin levels to stay high long after eating. Over time, the heavy demands made on the insulin-making cells wears them out, and insulin production eventually stops.
Blood Glucose Levels High In Morning & Low After Eating
You may be puzzled by a high blood glucose reading in the morning despite going to bed with a good reading the night before. Or your postmeal blood glucose may be lower than the reading before you ate. Unusual blood glucose fluctuation can be frustrating for diabetics and is affected by many factors. Keeping a good record of your diet, medication and blood glucose can often help you solve the mystery.
If you consistently wake up with higher blood glucose levels despite being compliant with your meal plan, this could be a condition known as the dawn phenomenon, states the American Diabetes Association. Dawn phenomenon is a a sudden rise of blood glucose levels 10 to 20 milligrams per deciliter in the early morning between 2:00 and 8:00 a.m. It is caused by an increased release of hormones such as cortisol, glucagon and epinephrine while your body is preparing to wake up. These hormones increase insulin resistance and stimulate your liver to release glucose, causing blood glucose levels to rise. Insufficient insulin or medication, excessive carbohydrate snacks at bedtime or high-fat meals at dinner may also cause blood glucose to be elevated in the morning.
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Symptoms Of Low Blood Sugar
If you have low blood sugar after eating sweets, symptoms usually occur within 2 to 4 hours. Everyones body reacts differently to low blood sugar levels, but some of the most common symptoms include feelings of hunger, anxiety, dizziness/lightheadedness, headache, increased sweating, blurred vision, moodiness and an inability to concentrate. If blood sugar levels get really low, it can cause extreme hunger, personality changes, shaking and mental confusion. If you are diabetic and experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention.
How Is Hypoglycemia Treated
When your blood sugar levels are too low, eating carbohydrates is key. If you have diabetes, try to keep high carbohydrate snacks on hand.
The American Diabetes Association recommends that your snack have at least 15 grams of carbohydrates. Some good snacks to keep on hand are:
- hard candies
- jelly beans or gumdrops
- fresh or dried fruit
You also can take glucose tablets to rapidly raise your blood sugar if its low. These are available without a prescription. Its important to check how many grams are in each tablet before taking them. Aim to get 15 to 20 grams of carbohydrates.
Wait 15 minutes after eating or taking a glucose tablet and test your blood sugar again. If your blood sugar is not going up, eat another 15 grams of carbohydrates or take another dose of glucose tablets. Repeat this until your blood sugar level starts to rise.
Be sure not to overeat. This could lead to blood sugar levels that are too high.
If your blood sugar remains unresponsive, contact your doctor or emergency services right away. When in doubt, treat.
Symptoms of low blood sugar usually get worse if theyre left untreated. Make an appointment to see your doctor if you have diabetes and experience low blood sugar levels often, or if you have symptoms, even if you dont have diabetes.
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What To Eat During An Episode
If you have an episode of reactive hypoglycemia, you can use food to help restore normal blood sugar levels. This is accomplished with the “15-15 Rule,” which involves eating 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates and checking your blood sugar 15 minutes later to see if the levels have normalized.
Carbohydrates are essentially sugar molecules. Fast-acting carbohydrates are certain types offoods or beverages that can quickly raise the blood sugar level.
If the blood glucose level is still below 70 mg/dL after 15 minutes, you would eat another serving and check again in 15 minutes.