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 (
Sweet Potatoes And Yams
Regular potatoes have a high GI score, but sweet potatoes and yams have low scores and are very nutritious.
Reporting the findings of an animal study, the researchers also note that sweet potato consumption may lower some markers of diabetes.
Although there is still no conclusive evidence to suggest that sweet potatoes can help stabilize or lower blood sugar levels in humans, they are undoubtedly a nutritious food with a low GI score.
People can substitute sweet potatoes or yams for potatoes in a variety of dishes, from fries to casseroles.
A Low Blood Sugar Level And Driving
You may still be allowed to drive if you have diabetes or you’re at risk of a low blood sugar level for another reason, but you’ll need to do things to reduce the chance of this happening while you’re driving.
You also need to tell the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency and your car insurance company about your condition.
For more information, see:
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Women: How Controlling Blood Sugar Benefits Your Heart
Controlling your blood sugar is one of the best things for womens heart health, along with maintaining healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
In many patients with diabetes who have no symptoms, diabetes, particularly when poorly controlled, is already harming their blood vessels and leading to hardening of the arteries, a precursor to heart disease. People may not even realize that they have diabetes until the disease progresses to the point where they have a heart attack.
Thats why its important to be aware of your blood glucose numbers, along with monitoring your overall weight and body fat.
Drink Plenty Of Water
Drinking water helps your kidneys flush out excess blood sugar through your urine. One study found that people who drank more water had a lower risk of developing hyperglycemia .
Can’t seem to drink enough? Or is water is just too plain for your taste buds? Try this R.D.’s go-to hydration strategies.
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The Blood Sugar Level Regulation Mechanism
When you eat rice, bread, or any other typical food high in carbohydrates, it is digested by the stomach and small intestine, where it is absorbed into the blood as glucose. Figure 1 shows how it is absorbed into the body.
When glucose enters the bloodstream, insulin facilitates its uptake into the body’s cells. When an excess of glucose is ingested, insulin over secretion occurs. Insulin increases the biosynthesis of fat and suppresses its breakdown. Thus, it becomes easier for fat to accumulate in body tissues.
Blood sugar level will not drop if the sugar in the blood is not properly processed due to, for example, too little insulin being secreted, or resistance to the action of insulin. If blood sugar levels have not decreased several hours after eating on a regular basis, this indicates a susceptibility to diabetes. To avoid this and stay healthy, we should eat types of foods that will not cause a sudden, extreme rise in blood sugar levels.
What is BMI?
What is a healthy blood sugar level
- Fasting blood sugar level 99mg/dL
- Postprandial blood sugar level 7.8mmol/L
Regulation Of Blood Glucose
Regulation of glucose in the body is done autonomically and constantly throughout each minute of the day. Normal BG levels should be between 60 and 140 mg/dL in order to supply cells of the body with its required energy. Brain cells dont require insulin to drive glucose into neurons however, there must still be normal amounts available. Too little glucose, called hypoglycemia, starves cells, and too much glucose creates a sticky, paralyzing effect on cells. Euglycemia, or blood sugar within the normal range, is naturally ideal for the bodys functions. A delicate balance between hormones of the pancreas, intestines, brain, and even adrenals is required to maintain normal BG levels.
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Techniques To Manage Your Blood Sugar In The Morning
Based on your glucose levels and trends, there are a few things you can do to manage your glucose levels so they dont run high in the morning. Some of these strategies focus on adjusting medications to better suit your needs. Other strategies include adjusting your exercise routine, as well as what and when you are eating before bed.
If your glucose levels are in range before bed, they may rise throughout the night without enough insulin. This can be especially true for people who take long-acting insulin in the morning, since it may be wearing off before your next dose.
Consider changing the time of day when you take your long-acting insulin. You may also benefit from switching to either twice-daily basal insulin or ultra-long-acting insulin, or from starting on an insulin pump. Read our article, Are You on the Right Kind of Insulin, to learn more.
Check your blood glucose during the night between 3 am and 8 am. If you are running high during these hours, you may be experiencing the dawn phenomenon.
Talk with your healthcare team about finding the best nighttime insulin regimen for you. If you take basal insulin, you may need to delay the timing of your dose to as close to bedtime as possible. Another option is to try an insulin pump or automated insulin delivery system. AID systems will automatically adjust your basal insulin doses throughout the night to help keep your glucose levels stable.
Hormones Of The Pancreas
Regulation of blood glucose is largely done through the endocrine hormones of the pancreas, a beautiful balance of hormones achieved through a negative feedback loop. The main hormones of the pancreas that affect blood glucose include insulin, glucagon, somatostatin, and amylin.
Insulin lowers BG levels, whereas glucagon elevates BG levels.
Somatostatin is formed in the delta cells of the pancreas and acts as the pancreatic policeman, balancing insulin and glucagon. It helps the pancreas alternate in turning on or turning off each opposing hormone.
Amylin is a hormone, made in a 1:100 ratio with insulin, that helps increase satiety, or satisfaction and state of fullness from a meal, to prevent overeating. It also helps slow the stomach contents from emptying too quickly, to avoid a quick spike in BG levels.
In a healthy liver, up to 10% of its total volume is used for glycogen stores. Skeletal muscle cells store about 1% of glycogen. The liver converts glycogen back to glucose when it is needed for energy and regulates the amount of glucose circulating between meals. Your liver is amazing in that it knows how much to store and keep, or break down and release, to maintain ideal plasma glucose levels. Imitation of this process is the goal of insulin therapy when glucose levels are managed externally. Basalbolus dosing is used as clinicians attempt to replicate this normal cycle.
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The Bottom Line: Take A Whole
No single food, supplement, or workout session is going to be the magic bullet. To maintain a healthy blood sugar level , start eating a minimally processed diet that contains fiber, protein, healthy fats, and high-quality carbohydrates get regular exercise make sure you’re hydrated and well-rested play around with meal composition and experiment with research-backed superfoods and supplements.
If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications, consult with your doctor before starting a supplement routine. It is always optimal to consult with a health care provider when considering what supplements are right for you.
Manage Your Stress Level
When youre stressed, your bodys adrenal glands release a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol triggers the fight-or-flight response, which results in physical changes such as your pupils dilating and heart rate increasing. Cortisol also increases your blood sugar levels and reduces insulin levels, according to a study.
The problem with chronic stress is that cortisol levels remain increased for much longer than is healthy. Prolonged stress can cause health problems, including the risk of having blood sugar spikes. Some studies have found that cortisol is associated with increased blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
RELATED: How To Naturally Reduce Cortisol Levels.
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How To Monitor And Test For Blood Sugar Levels
Blood sugar monitoring allows you to observe changes in your blood sugar levels in response to diet, exercise,medications, and stressors. These things can all cause blood sugar fluctuations.
Currently, there are four options to monitor your blood sugar level: glucometer, continuous glucose monitoring, fasting blood sugar, and hemoglobin A1c tests.
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.
Monitor Blood Sugar Levels Closely
High blood sugar levels often do not cause symptoms until they run well over 200 mg/dL. As such, it is essential for a person with diabetes to monitor their blood sugar several times a day. Doing so will mean that blood sugar levels never get that high.
A person with diabetes can use a home glucose monitor to check blood sugar levels. These are available for purchase online.
Recommendations for how frequently to check glucose levels during the day will vary from person to person. A doctor can make the best recommendations regarding blood sugar monitoring to a person with diabetes.
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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When Blood Sugar Is Too Low
Glucose is a sugar that comes from the foods we eat, and it’s also formed and stored inside the body. It’s 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 we’re sleeping.
The is the amount of glucose in the blood. When these levels drop too low, it’s called hypoglycemia . Very low blood sugar levels can cause serious symptoms that need to be treated right away.
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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How To Keep Blood Sugar Levels Even Throughout The Day
12/19/2021 08:00 AM
Whether you have diabetes or not, keeping blood sugar levels stable throughout the day is an essential part of your wellbeing. Drastic fluctuations in blood sugar levels can cause energy crashes, fatigue, headaches and nobody wants that. Luckily, with a few lifestyle and dietary changes, you can keep those blood sugar levels stable all day.
Eat Complex Carbohydrates
Simple carbohydrates such as candy, refined white bread, and sugary drinks can lead to a spike in blood sugar levels. The body digests these carbohydrates very quickly, meaning that these sugars enter the bloodstream all at once. Instead, incorporate more complex carbohydrates, such as whole-grain bread, quinoa, and oatmeal, into your diet. These complex carbs help stabilize blood sugar levels, and they will keep you satisfied for much longer because of their high fiber content. They also contain many vitamins and minerals that keep you healthy.
Increase Your Fiber Intake
Fiber-rich foods, such as veggies, fruits, beans, legumes, and complex carbohydrates, help stabilize blood sugar levels. The fiber slows the breakdown of carbohydrates, meaning that nutrients are slowly released into the bloodstream instead of all at once. Although fruit is good for you, be aware that these are simple sugars and can increase blood sugar levels.
Eat a Well-Balanced Diet
Don’t Skip Breakfast
Get Enough Sleep
How To Treat Low Blood Sugar
If you think you have low blood sugar, be sure to check it.
Keeping your blood sugar levels on target as much as possible can help prevent or delay long-term, serious health problems. While this is important, closely managing your blood sugar levels also increases your chance for low blood sugar . Blood sugar below 70 mg/dL is considered low. If you think you have low blood sugar, check it. If you arent able to check it, go ahead and treat it.
Untreated low blood sugar can be dangerous, so its important to know what to do about it and to treat it immediately.
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Eat The Right Carbohydrates
The two main kinds of carbohydrates simple and complex affect blood sugar levels differently.
Simple carbohydrates are mainly made up of one kind of sugar. They are found in foods, such as white bread, pasta, and candy. The body breaks these carbohydrates down into sugar very quickly, which causes blood sugar levels to rise rapidly.
Complex carbohydrates are made up of three or more sugars that are linked together. Because the chemical makeup of these kinds of carbohydrates is complicated, it takes the body longer to break them down.
As a result, sugar is released into the body more gradually, meaning that blood sugar levels do not rapidly rise after eating them. Examples of complex carbohydrates include whole grain oats and sweet potatoes.
Start The Day With A Breakfast High In Healthy Fat And Protein
Piggybacking off of tip #1 its ESPECIALLY important to keep blood sugar levels steady in the morning with a breakfast high in protein and healthy fat. Because maintaining balanced blood sugar levels in the morning will keep them steady through to lunch without the snack-attack or need for coffee.
And eating breakfast in itself is important for blood sugar regulation. When you skip out on breakfast, your body produces the stress hormones cortisol, which in turn elevates blood sugar levels.
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Strengthening Your Gut Lining
The microbiota in the gut are linked to a variety of metabolic diseases. They also influence body weight and blood sugar control.
Environmental factors can change your microbial composition and metabolism in a way that may cause metabolic diseases. Overgrowth of bad bacteria and a leaky gut can allow the bacteria toxins into the bloodstream, leading to metabolic endotoxemia or an intoxicated state from the toxins.
Metabolic endotoxemia causes chronic inflammation, which contributes to inflammation-related diseases, such as poor blood sugar control, high cholesterol, obesity, and dementia, among others. Probiotics, prebiotics, and healthy dietary habits are highlighted as factors that improve metabolic endotoxemia. Prebiotics, such as oligosaccharides, and their combinations with probiotics are helpful.
A leaky gut increases the variation in post-meal blood glucose levels, in turn negatively affecting metabolic controlwhich enables us to respond to signals by regulating enzymes in a pathway to increase or decrease their response to signals.
Factors that cause leaky gut or increase intestinal permeability include:
- Sugar and sodium chloride
- High-fat meals, especially saturated fats
- Low-fiber and low-polyphenol diets
A leaky gut may cause damaged pancreatic -cells to produce more cytokines, resulting in insulin resistance