The Best Foods To Keep Blood Sugar Steady
Were all familiar with the afternoon slump. Youre going about your day, feeling fine, but then 2 p.m. hitsand instead of thinking about a pre-dinner workout, youre suddenly thinking about a pre-dinner nap.
Thats about the time of day when many peoples blood sugar and energy levels drop. And while its natural for that level to change throughout the day, you dont have to accept major dips and spikes as a given. While your blood sugar level is impacted by many factorsincluding medications, stress, and your activity levelwhat you eat plays the biggest role. Keeping your blood glucose steady can benefit you both mentally and physically.
One way to do this is to eat carbohydrate-rich foods with a good amount of fiber together with foods that contain protein and healthy fats, says Bob Seebohar, a board-certified specialist in sports dietetics and former sports dietitian for Olympic Team USA. As soon as you eat carbs, your body starts working to break them down into glucose for energy. Simple carbohydrates that have added sugars or dont have fiber are broken down much faster than complex high-fiber carbs. They give you a quick burst of energy but also lead to a quick crash. Protein and fat both take longer to digest than carbs and eating them helps slow down how quickly carbs raise your blood sugar.
Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes By Following These Tips
Crisps, candy, cake: we love to snack, but we do try to do so in moderation. Yet in some cases thats easier said than done. For some people, its impossible to not eat anything for a few hours without getting shaky and grumpy. This might have something to do with your blood sugar levels not being stable.
If your blood sugar levels are stable, youll feel more energised and fit.
How To Reduce Blood Sugar Spikes
These tips can help people with and without type 2 diabetes keep their blood sugar spikes to a minimum:
Start your day the savoury way
While the long-held belief that breakfast is the âmost important meal of the dayâ is up for debate, thereâs no doubt that the breakfast you choose can set you up for the day simply based on how it affects your blood sugar. A sugary start will cause a big spike in your blood sugar levels, while a savoury meal will keep levels steadierâthis can determine your cravings and hunger pains for the rest of the day.
Lots of âhealthyâ breakfast cereals actually contain a lot of hidden sugar, so while you think youâve made a healthy choiceâmuesli and yoghurt for exampleâyour body will still be hit with a big rush of sugar. So, if youâre used to reaching for the cereal, a slice of toast with jam, or even a fruit smoothie, think about adding some savoury breakfasts to your morningâboiled or scrambled eggs on wholegrain toast, salmon and cream cheese bagels, avocado toast. Bonus points if you can sneak in a portion of whole fruit as well!
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Cut Back On Added Sugars
Sugary drinks arent the only sources of added sugar. According to researchers at the University of North Carolina, its estimated that 60% of packaged foods contain added sugar of some form.
Processed foods dont always appear unhealthy yogurt, cereal, bread, and other foods can contain hidden added sugar. Check the nutrition facts label when shopping to help cut back on hidden added sugars.
Blood Sugar And Exercise
There are a few ways that exercise lowers blood sugar:
- Insulin sensitivity is increased, so your muscle cells are better able to use any available insulin to take up glucose during and after activity.
- When your muscles contract during activity, your cells are able to take up glucose and use it for energy whether insulin is available or not.
This is how exercise can help lower blood sugar in the short term. And when you are active on a regular basis, it can also lower your A1C.
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The Ultimate Guide On How To Keep Blood Sugar Stable
How do you keep a stable blood sugar? Well, that is the question that everyone with diabetes has been asking themselves every day.
The key is considering all areas of life. Different aspects of life will have an impact on blood sugar in different ways. We have covered a few different areas of life in our other blog posts. For this reason, this blog post can be seen as a kind of Greatest Hits of the Hedia blog. Move along Abba Gold, now is the time to Lay All Your Love on Hedia.
Strap yourself in for a list of tips that includes some old Hedia wisdom along with some brand new tips!
Blood Sugar Targets After Eating
Your blood sugar goals might be different from other patients with diabetes. Your healthcare provider can help you identify your ideal blood sugar range based on factors such as other health conditions, your age, and your risk for low blood sugar.
In general, if your blood sugar levels increase quickly and are higher than 180 mg/dL, it can be considered a blood sugar spike. You might also consider a rapid change in blood sugar as a blood sugar spike, even if it doesnt go as high as 180 mg/dL or higher.
The goal for blood sugar levels after eating are as follows:
- Less than 180 mg/dL one to two hours after starting a meal
- Less than 140 mg/dL two hours after a meal
- For women withgestational diabetes: Less than 140 mg/dL one hour after a meal, and less than 120 mg/dL two hours after a meal
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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:
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Dont Neglect Good Sleeping Habits
Sleep deprivation can worsen insulin resistance and cause blood sugar spikes. Poor sleeping habits and shift work have been associated with increased blood sugar levels and are risk factors for developing diabetes.
Lack of sleep or a disrupted circadian rhythm seems to interfere with the bodys insulin response, leading to insulin resistance.
There are also several things you can do to improve sleep hygiene, such as:
- Limiting daytime naps
- Avoiding heavy, fatty, or spicy foods close to bedtime
- Being exposed to natural light during the day
- Keeping the sleeping environment comfortable, e.g., temperature between 60-67 degrees, using white noise machines, etc.
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More Ways To Manage Your Blood Sugar
While improving the quality of your diet is the most effective way to boost your energy naturally, there are other ways to help keep your blood glucose levels steady.
- Exercise regularly: It makes your body more sensitive to insulin so that glucose moves out of your blood and into your cells.
- Keep an eye on stress: When you feel stresswhether its because of life pressure or physical painyour body releases the fight-or-flight hormones cortisol and adrenaline, which raise your blood sugar. Try proven stress-busters like exercise, meditation, and deep breathing.
- Stay hydrated: The less water in your body, the more concentrated your blood sugar is. Youll know youre drinking enough when your urine is light yellow. Try an electrolyte replacement with no sugar like UCAN Hydrate to prevent dehydration when exercising without packing on extra calories.
How Do I Know If My Diabetes Is Under Control
Your doctor or diabetes health care team will tell you what your blood sugar levels should be.
The only way to know if your blood sugar level is in a healthy range is to check it several times a day with a glucose meter. Your diabetes health care team will help you figure out when and how often to check. Depending on how old you are and how long youâve been dealing with diabetes you might need help doing this.
Checking your blood sugar level tells you how much glucose is in your blood right this minute. But doctors can use another test to see how under control your blood sugar has been over the last 2 or 3 months. The HbA1C test can be done in your doctorâs office or in a lab. In general, the lower your HbA1C level, the better youâre doing controlling your blood sugar level.
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What Is A Blood Sugar Spike
If they happen frequently and over a long time, blood sugar spikes can cause health complications. Chronic high blood sugar causes the hardening of your arteries, which reduces blood flow to essential organs like your heart.
Blood sugar spikes are most common after eating, but they can occur at other times during the day as well. Blood sugar spikes happen when your body doesnt produce enough insulin , which raises your blood sugar level higher than what is considered healthy.
Some of the potential complications from frequent blood sugar spikes include heart disease, heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, vision loss, nerve damage, and more. These complications can occur with both type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
When Blood Sugar Levels Drop Too Low Its Called Hypoglycemia Hypoglycemia Can Happen To Anyone Who Has Diabetes Or Not Symptoms Of Blood Sugar
When blood sugar levels drop too low, its called hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia can happen to anyone who has diabetes or not. Symptoms of blood sugar being too low can be different for each person and can range from mild to severe. The most common symptoms are listed below. If you have any of these symptoms, check your blood sugar level immediately.
Irritability or mood changes
If you have severe hypoglycemia and cannot eat or drink, you may need an injection of glucagon. Glucagon is a hormone that raises blood sugar levels quickly. It is essential to always have glucagon with you in case of severe hypoglycemia. If you have questions about how to use glucagon, talk to your healthcare team.
Shaking is the most prevalent symptom of hypoglycemia, followed by perspiration, anxiety, heart palpitations, and feeling either too hot or too cold. In addition to them, additional symptoms may include a headache, hazy vision, nausea, weakness, and difficulty concentrating. Seizures, unconsciousness, and even death have been linked to hypoglycemia in its most severe forms.
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Sprinkle On Some Cinnamon
Research on cinnamon’s blood-sugar-stabilizing powers is a little mixed, and it may not be a wonder spice. But if you’re adding it to an already healthy diet, then it can have a subtle benefit, especially if you add a lot of it into your diet .* Some studies suggest that cinnamon promotes healthy blood sugar by increasing insulin sensitivity8, or making insulin more efficient at moving glucose into cells.* Try sprinkling it onto oatmeal or into low-sugar smoothies . Bonus: It tastes delicious!
Low Blood Sugar And Driving
Having a low blood sugar while driving could be dangerous for you and others.
You can usually still drive if youre at risk of low blood sugar. But youll need to take extra precautions to reduce the chance of this happening while driving.
You also need to tell the Driver & Vehicle Agency and your car insurance company about your condition.
For more information, see:
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Are You Riding The Blood Sugar Roller Coaster
- Depend on coffee for energy?
- Get hangry or irritable when meals are missed or delayed?
- Feel light-headed, get shaky or the jitters, have brain fog if meals are missed or delayed?
If yes, then your blood sugar levels are likely imbalanced going through a series of unhealthy spikes and crashes.
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If A Person Is Unconscious
If a person loses consciousness because of severe hypoglycaemia, they need to be put into the recovery position and given an injection of the hormone glucagon . The injection will raise their blood glucose level.
The injection should be carried out by a friend or family member who knows what theyre doing, or by a trained healthcare professional.
You should dial 999 to request an ambulance if:
- a glucagon injection kit isnt available
- theres nobody available whos trained to give the injection
- the injection is ineffective after 10 minutes
Never try to put food or drink into the mouth of someone whos unconscious as they could choke.
If youre able to give a glucagon injection and the person regains consciousness, they should eat some longer-acting carbohydrate food, such as a few biscuits, a cereal bar or a sandwich.
You should continue to monitor the person for signs of recurring symptoms in case they need to be treated again.
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Ways To Stabilize Blood Sugar With Meal Timing
When it comes to stabilizing your blood sugars, timing can be everything. From the hour of your first meal of the day to how late you eat at night, the timing of your meals can heavily dictate how well your blood sugars are managed on a daily basis. When my clients are in the habit of eating healthy still see peaks and valleys in their numbers, we sit down to re-evaluate when and how often they are eating. Here are five strategies to help you with better meal timing and keeping blood glucose in check:
1. Eat within the first few hours of rising
Among the majority of my new clients, breakfast is the most-skipped meal of the day. Many people feel they dont have time for breakfast, which is unfortunate because it truly is the most important meal especially if you have diabetes.
When youre sleeping, your body is in a fasting-like state. When you wake up, eating within the first couple of hours can help break that fast . And although it may seem like youre saving yourself from extra calories or spiking your blood sugars, skipping breakfast can end up backfiring. You may find yourself over-eating at your first meal or gravitating more toward starchy or sugary foods. Whats worse, if blood glucose levels indeed drop too low, the body will send out hormones to release stored glucose into the blood stream, spiking your sugars and making it even harder to regulate your numbers throughout the day when you do finally eat.
2. Avoid Eating Right Before Bedtime
What Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis
If you think you may have low blood sugar, check it even if you dont have symptoms.
When too many ketones are produced too fast, they can build up in your body and cause diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA. DKA is very serious and can cause a coma or even death. Common symptoms of DKA include:
- Fast, deep breathing.
- Nausea and vomiting.
If you think you may have DKA, test your urine for ketones. Follow the test kit directions, checking the color of the test strip against the color chart in the kit to see your ketone level. If your ketones are high, . DKA requires treatment in a hospital.
DKA happens most in people with type 1 diabetes and is sometimes the first sign of type 1 in people who havent yet been diagnosed. People with type 2 diabetes can also develop DKA, but its less common.
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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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