Eat Fiber And Protein Whenever You Have Carbohydrates
Adding fiber and good quality protein slows down sugar metabolism. Any sugar you eat including carbs moves into your blood. Your pancreas makes insulin to absorb the sugar to use as fuel now or store for later. Blood sugar levels fall as cells absorb the sugar.
When its time, your pancreas makes the hormone glucagon to tell your liver to release some of the stored sugar. Insulin and glucagon go back and forth this way working to ensure a steady supply of glucose to both your body and your brain. Simple carbohydrates cookies, fruit juice, honey, etc. are broken down so quickly that they can jack up both blood sugar and insulin production too fast. That leads to a rapid drop in blood glucose after that big spike.
Complex carbs like vegetables, whole grains and even potatoes, have enough fiber that it takes longer to break them down, slowing the process and preventing a blood sugar spike. Protein is different and, along with fat, it keeps blood glucose stable. A diet of 30% protein, 40% carbs and 30% fat can lower the absorption rate of sugar even in people who already have type 2 diabetes. Well-balanced meals help you achieve the 30-40-30 ratio but be careful with snacks which can be sugar-filled.
The 17 Best Foods To Lower Your Blood Sugar
For people with prediabetes, diabetes, or other conditions that affect blood sugar, diet is a major part of maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.
Although factors like body weight, activity, stress, and genetics also play a role in blood sugar maintenance, following a healthy diet is critical for blood sugar control .
While some foods, including items high in added sugar and refined carbs, can contribute to blood sugar fluctuations, others can optimize blood sugar control while promoting overall health (
Why Does Blood Sugar Matter
Weight gain, diabetes, and insulin resistance, collectively known as diabesity, are the single biggest global health epidemics of our time. Diabesity is a leading cause of heart disease, dementia, cancer, and premature death and is almost entirely caused by environmental and lifestyle factors . It is also nearly 100 percent preventable and curable.
There is a common denominator in diabesity: high blood sugar levels. Lets start at the source!
High blood sugar and blood sugar that rollercoasters throughout the day and night, fluctuating outside of optimal ranges, is the biggest reason I see that people struggle with diabesity, weight loss, energy spikes and dips, hanger, and even sleep disruptions at night. If left uncontrolled, high blood sugar can have serious health consequences.
Blood sugar is your bodys main fuel source. For healthy weight and energy, your body needs a steady level of glucose to keep your blood sugar relatively stable: not too much, and not too little. We get glucose from the food we eat, mainly carbohydrates that become sugar as the body breaks them down after you eat them. . This sugar is an energy source that provides you with nutrients. The absorption, storage, and production of glucose is tightly regulated by complex processes involving the small intestine, liver, and pancreas.
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Things That Can Help To Balance Your Blood Sugar
- Daily Exercise: Regular exercise can help increase insulin sensitivity and help your muscles use glucose effectively. This is great for those trying to lose weight, as this way you can guide the carbs and sugar toward providing energy for your workouts instead of letting that sugar float around your bloodstream.
- Low carb/High fat diet: Im not suggesting everyone hop on the Keto train. Keto is definitely not for everyone! I tried it in the past and found I was still eating too many calories. I have found a healthy medium by simply minimizing my carbs and eating a bit more satiating fat. Those are things like avocado or extra virgin olive oil. Carbs break down into sugars . If your body cant store this sugar for energy, your blood sugar levels tend to rise. Studies* show that a low carb diet helps reduce blood sugar levels and prevent blood sugar spikes. That is why it is commonly prescribed to those who are already diabetic.
Lastly, if you can, monitor your blood sugar levels. I know this is not possible for everyone. Unless you have health coverage like I do, this can be extremely pricey.
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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Healthy Eating For Blood Sugar Control
If you have diabetes, a healthy eating plan for you is not that different from a healthy eating plan for people without diabetes. The American Diabetes Association echoes the dietary guidelines recommended for the general public that is, a diet centered on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes , and low-fat dairy products.
However, you’ll want to pay special attention to your carbohydrate intake.
Vegetables, fruits, and whole grains provide more nutrition per calorie than refined carbohydrates and tend to be rich in fiber. Your body digests high-fiber foods more slowly which means a more moderate rise in blood sugar.
For most people with diabetes, carbohydrates should account for about 45% to 55% of the total calories you eat each day. Choose your carbohydrates wisely ideally, from vegetables, whole grains, and fruits. Avoid highly refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta, and rice, as well as candy, sugary soft drinks, and sweets. Refined carbohydrates tend to cause sharp spikes in blood sugar, and can boost blood triglyceride levels.
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Treatment For Diabetic Ulcers
When someone identifies an ulcer, they should seek medical care to prevent its progression. The primary goal of treatment is to promote healing as soon as possible. Treatment will often depend on the grade of the ulcer.
If an infection is present, a doctor will likely prescribe antibiotics. They may require a tissue sample to identify the cause of the infection. The antibiotic type and dosage a doctor suggests will depend on the infection organism and the severity of the infection.
In some cases, surgical options may be necessary to help encourage healing, relieve pressure on the area, and prevent further complications. These options may include:
- education on foot care and control of blood sugar levels
- medications for blood sugar control
- offloading pressure from the ulcer by using crutches, a wheelchair, or a non-removable cast to promote healing
- medicines to help improve blood circulation
- topical medications and dressings
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Simple Tips To Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes
Blood sugar spikes occur when your blood sugar rises and then falls sharply after you eat.
In the short term, they can cause lethargy and hunger. Over time, your body may not be able to lower blood sugar effectively, which can lead to type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes is a rising health problem. In fact, 29 million Americans have diabetes, and 25% of them dont even know they have it .
Blood sugar spikes can also cause your blood vessels to harden and narrow, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
This article looks at 12 simple things you can do to prevent blood sugar spikes.
Eat Several Meals Throughout The Day
Eating small meals frequently throughout the day is a great way to keep satiety up and keep blood sugar levels balanced, said Dr. Oz on his blog. Oz recommends eating in “three’s,” meaning eating a snack every three hours throughout the day, as that is the time when people start to feel hungry and should reach for something nourishing to fill their bellies.
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Treating An Episode Of Hypoglycaemia
The immediate treatment for hypoglycaemia is to have some sugary food or drink to end the attack.
For example, this could be:
- a glass of fruit juice or non-diet soft drink
- between three and five dextrose tablets
- a handful of sweets
At first you should avoid fatty foods and drinks, such as chocolate and milk, because they don’t usually contain as much sugar and the sugar they do contain may be absorbed more slowly.
After having something sugary, you should have a longer-acting carbohydrate food, such as a few biscuits, a cereal bar, a piece of fruit or a sandwich.
It will usually take around 15 minutes to recover from a mild episode of hypoglycaemia. If you have a blood glucose meter, measure your blood sugar again after 15 to 20 minutes. If it’s still too low , you should have some more sugary food or a drink before testing your levels again in another 15 to 20 minutes.
When treating someone else with hypoglycaemia, if the above treatment isn’t effective, you may be able to help them by applying glucose gel to the inside of their cheeks, and gently massaging the outside of their cheeks.
It may take 10 to 15 minutes before they feel better. This shouldn’t be done if the person is drowsy or unconscious because of the risk of choking.
Use Supplements When Needed
When used according to your diet plan and doctors advice, supplements can be instrumental in helping you keep your blood sugar on the right track. It should be noted that what works for some people may not work for another. So, you may have to try a few different supplements to find what works for you.
Ask your doctor if supplements may be right for you. And, to learn about some of the best supplements to use to lower your blood sugar, check out this helpful guide!
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Natural Remedies To Lower Blood Sugar That Need More Evidence
Asterino-McGeean says to be careful about natural remedies promising to lower blood sugar. Unfortunately, when you read into a lot of them, theres no research backing their effectiveness and safety, she notes. Plus, it can be dangerous to take supplements or herbals said to lower sugar when youre on diabetes medications. Talk to your provider before starting any medications or natural remedies to be safe.
Check Your Blood Glucose Levels
For many people with diabetes, checking their blood glucose level each day is an important way to manage their diabetes. Monitoring your blood glucose level is most important if you take insulin. The results of blood glucose monitoring can help you make decisions about food, physical activity, and medicines.
The most common way to check your blood glucose level at home is with a blood glucose meter. You get a drop of blood by pricking the side of your fingertip with a lancet. Then you apply the blood to a test strip. The meter will show you how much glucose is in your blood at the moment.
Ask your health care team how often you should check your blood glucose levels. Make sure to keep a record of your blood glucose self-checks. You can print copies of this glucose self-check chart. Take these records with you when you visit your health care team.
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Diabetes And Dementia Life Expectancy
Diabetes and dementia are both complex conditions, meaning that various factors can affect someones life expectancy. For example, someone with diabetes who does not manage their glucose levels properly or care for themselves will likely have a shorter life expectancy than someone with well-managed diabetes.
People with diabetes and dementia often have other chronic conditions that can further complicate their health.
Having both conditions appears to shorten life expectancy. A 2019 study linked diabetes with a higher dementia and mortality risk. During the 12-year follow-up of 8,328 participants, the researchers associated diabetes with an increased risk of dementia and a lower dementia-free life expectancy. Dementia-free life expectancy for a 70-year-old with diabetes was 13.4 years for females and 16.1 years for males. Among those without the condition, the results were 16.5 years and 19.6 years for females and males, respectively.
People living with diabetes and dementia require special care and management. Therefore, working with a doctor to develop a comprehensive treatment plan is important.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to managing diabetes and dementia . However, caregivers must understand the impact of dementia on a persons understanding of their diabetes. The individual may not undertake self-care tasks, such as managing their medication and monitoring their blood glucose levels.
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 they’re doing, or by a trained healthcare professional.
You should dial 999 to request an ambulance if:
- a glucagon injection kit isn’t available
- there’s nobody available who’s trained to give the injection
- the injection is ineffective after 10 minutes
Never try to put food or drink into the mouth of someone who’s unconscious as they could choke.
If you’re 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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When To Go To The Er
High blood sugar can be very concerning because your body can start burning fat for energy instead of blood glucose.
This can cause conditions such as DKA and hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome . These conditions are medical emergencies and can be fatal if left untreated.
DKA is a serious complication of type 1 diabetes. Its rare in people with type 2 diabetes, but can occur.
Symptoms that can indicate you should go to the emergency room include:
- ketones in your urine, as diagnosed using a urine dipstick test
High blood sugar levels can cause a fluid imbalance in the body and can cause the blood to become acidic in a manner that doesnt support life.
Medical treatments for these conditions include administering intravenous insulin on a continuous basis and IV fluids to correct dehydration.
High blood sugar can become a medical emergency. Go to the ER if you suspect DKA or HHS.
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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What Does It Mean To Have Low Blood Sugar
Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, is another imbalance you could be dealing with. According to the National Institutes of Health, hypoglycemia is:
defined by a plasma glucose concentration below 70 mg/dL however, signs and symptoms may not occur until plasma glucose concentrations drop below 55 mg/dL.
People get hypoglycemia from eating a diet high in sugar and processed carbohydrates, whether thats white sugar or flour, cookies, donuts, fruit juice, rice crackers, quinoa puffs, or even some protein powders.
After eating a meal containing such foods, blood sugar levels first go up and then they drop below optimal, manifesting in symptoms listed below.
Chronic hypoglycemia leads to pre-diabetes and eventually, diabetes. Its important to get a handle on your blood sugar levels early on so that the imbalance doesnt progress to the point of diabetes.
Pair Protein With Carbohydrates
The number one way to lower high blood sugar quickly is to eat protein with carbohydrates. Any time you are consuming something with carbohydrates it is important to eat it with a good protein source. Preferably an animal protein source that is more bio available in our bodies.
Some snack options include:
- Organic Fruit Juice
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What Are The Recommended Targets For Blood Glucose Levels
Many people with diabetes aim to keep their blood glucose at these normal levels:
- Before a meal: 80 to 130 mg/dL
- About 2 hours after a meal starts: less than 180 mg/dL
Talk with your health care team about the best target range for you. Be sure to tell your health care professional if your glucose levels often go above or below your target range.