Time To Strike High Blood Glucose
Given the many short- and long-term benefits of post-meal blood glucose control, it is certainly worth the effort to start measuring and evaluating your after-meal control. If your blood glucose levels are higher than they should be, talk with your healthcare team about new or different medical treatments that might help. And take a look at your personal choices in terms of food and activity. Even without a perfectly functioning pancreas, there is still a multitude of options for tackling those high blood glucose spikes!
Disclaimer of Medical Advice: Statements and opinions expressed on this Web site are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the publishers or advertisers. The information, which comes from qualified medical writers, does not constitute medical advice or recommendation of any kind, and you should not rely on any information contained in such posts or comments to replace consultations with your qualified health care professionals to meet your individual needs.
People With Type 1 Diabetes
People diagnosed with type 1 diabetes were born without the ability to produce their own insulin, and require insulin medication.
Many patients use an insulin pump which releases doses throughout the day to keep blood sugar stable. If blood sugar spikes after eating a meal, it may be necessary to take fast-acting insulin, which takes around 15 minutes to start working.
Anyone diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes should follow the care plan provided by their doctor.
What Foods High In Protein Are Good For Type 2 Diabetes
The American Diabetes Association recommends lean proteins low in saturated fat for people with diabetes. If youre following a vegan or vegetarian diet, getting enough and the right balance of protein may be more challenging, but you can rely on foods like beans , nuts and nut spreads, tempeh, and tofu to get your fix, notes the Cleveland Clinic. Just be sure to keep portion size in mind when snacking on nuts, as they are also high in fat and calories, according to Harvard Health. The American Heart Association counts a small handful of whole nuts as one serving. If you opt for unsalted almonds, 1.5 ounces will provide 258 calories and nearly 23 g of fat, per estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture .
Meanwhile, processed or packaged foods should be avoided or limited in your diabetes diet because, in addition to added sugars and processed carbohydrates, these foods are often high in sodium, according to the AHA. Getting too much sodium in your diet can increase your blood pressure and, in turn, the risk of heart disease or stroke, notes Harvard Health. And heart disease and stroke are two common complications of diabetes, according to the Mayo Clinic. Its important to keep your blood pressure in check when managing diabetes.
Best options, according to the ADA:
Best options , per the ADA and the NIDDK:
- Wild or brown rice
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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
Whats A Spike And Why Do They Happen
After-meal, or postprandial, spikes are temporary high blood glucose levels that occur soon after eating. It is normal for the level of glucose in the blood to rise a small amount after eating, even in people who do not have diabetes. However, if the rise is too high, it can affect your quality of life today and contribute to serious health problems down the road.
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What Causes High Morning Blood Sugars
Two main culprits prompt morning highs: the dawn phenomenon and waning insulin. A third, much rarer cause, known as the Somogyi effect, may also be to blame.
The occasional morning high will have little impact on your A1C, a measure of your average blood sugar levels over time that indicates how well managed your diabetes is. But if those highs become consistent, they could push your A1C up into dangerous territory.
People With Type 2 Diabetes
People diagnosed with type 2 diabetes still have some insulin, but theyâve lost the ability to successfully clear extra sugar out of the bloodstream.3
Depending on the progression and severity of type 2 diabetes, insulin medication may be needed to help bring blood sugar down. Blood sugar spikes treated with fast-acting insulin can normalize blood glucose numbers within 15 minutes.
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Why You Should Keep An Eye On It
When your blood sugar is high, you can get symptoms like a foggy-headed feeling that makes it hard to focus or think clearly. Your energy may also take a dive, and you may feel nervous or moody.
If your levels go too low, you could even pass out. In the long run, if your blood sugar stays up, you could be at risk for heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, or other problems.
How To Measure Your Spikes
The American Diabetes Association recommends you check your blood sugar levels right before mealtime with a blood sample from a finger stick. Then do it again 1 to 2 hours after that first bite of food.
Keep this up for a week or so. Write down the time and the blood sugar number. Make a note about anything you think might affect your levels, like medicine or exercise. And don’t forget to log exactly what you ate, along with portion sizes and the amount of carbs.What levels are too high after a meal? Experts vary on what the number should be, but the ADA says a general goal is a blood sugar level under 180 mg/dL, 1 to 2 hours after a meal. Talk to your doctor about what you should aim for, and don’t adjust your medicine without speaking to them first.
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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.
Why You Should Rethink Whey Protein
Lactose is a common ingredient in whey protein, so many people dislike it. The sugar lactose is present in milk, and many people find it difficult to digest. It can also cause symptoms such as diarrhea, gas, and bloating. The majority of these side effects, however, are caused by lactose intolerance.
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Only You Can Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes
Its annoying but true: The best way to lower your blood sugar is to avoid a spike in the first place.
Eating whole foods that are low in sugar and exercising regularly will help keep your blood sugar in check. This can be beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes, but medications may also be necessary to keep blood sugar in a healthy range.
To avoid food-based spikes, try to steer clear of added sugars in your diet. The FDA recommends consuming less than 200 calories a day from added sugars.
That sounds pretty simple, but when you realize that 16 ounces of orange juice has 240 calories , its easy to see how sugar consumption gets out of hand.
Its best to avoid all sugary drinks and check the labels. There are hidden sugars in everything from bread to turkey slices, so double-check your favorite foods to make sure you arent getting any unnecessary sweetness.
Take Diabetes Medication As Prescribed
If you dont take enough insulin, you may be more prone to having blood sugar spikes. Mealtime insulin is meant to be taken before meals to help avoid blood sugar spikes, so its important to remember to take it with you when traveling or eating meals outside your home.
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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
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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Why Are Blood Sugar Spikes A Problem
Even though the spike is temporary, all of those spikes throughout the day can raise your HbA1c. Research has shown that for those with an A1c below 7.5%, post-meal readings actually have a greater influence on A1c than fasting blood sugars. In other words, managing pre-meal readings will only get you so far. If you want tight control, you need to pay attention to the after-meal glucose as well.
The long-term effects of postprandial hyperglycemia have been studied extensively. For those with type 1 diabetes, significant post-meal rises have been shown to produce earlier onset of kidney disease and accelerate the progression of existing eye problems . And like a dagger through the heart, post-meal hyperglycemia is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular problems. Recently, post-meal spikes and glucose variability have been associated with diminished brain function and an increased risk of dementia.
But the problems are not limited to long-term health issues. Any time blood sugars rise particularly high, even temporarily, our quality of life suffers. Energy decreases, cognitive ability falters, physical/athletic abilities become diminished, and moods become altered. And dont forget: What goes up must come down. The rapid blood sugar decline that usually follows a post-meal spike can cause false hypoglycemic symptoms.
Dietary Whey Protein Lessens
Furthermore, studies have shown that whey protein has a number of health benefits such as blood pressure reduction, inflammation reduction, and oxidative stress reduction.
Whey protein, a byproduct of cheese production, can help you maintain a healthy weight and is plentiful in the dairy industry. Whey protein causes a reduction in appetite the next hour of feeding, whereas egg-albumin, soy protein, and casein cause a reduction in appetite the next hour. Its effects on body weight and insulin sensitivity are greater than those of red meat. There are thirty healthy adults in this group. Harlan Industries purchased a number of rats , including the Sprague-Dawley. Rats were kept in wire-bottom cages with humidity and temperature controls in a humidity and temperature-controlled room. In our lab, we fed semipurified powder diets to all rats.
All rats died in the study when they were decapitated. Rat trunk blood was collected from each rat and analyzed for gluc-1, pYY, CCK, and leptin. Another method of determining body weight was to measure food intake three times per week. Rats were placed in metabolic chambers for 6 days. VO2, CO2, and RQ levels were continuously measured between 3 and 7 days ago. Linco Research kits that measured total GLP-1, PYY, CCK, and leptin in addition to total GLP-1, PYY, CCK, and leptin were used. In the HP-W group and HP-S groups, body weight gains were lower at the end of the experiment than at the beginning.
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Causes And Risk Factors
As your body goes between fed and unfed states throughout the day, your blood sugar levels will naturally fluctuate up and down. In someone without diabetes, blood sugar levels are regulated by insulin and stored glycogen to stay within normal ranges.
If you have diabetes, you are at a higher risk of having a blood sugar spike than people without diabetes. Eating foods high in simple carbohydrates, like desserts, sugar-sweetened beverages, and refined-grain pasta and bread, are the main cause of blood sugar spikes.
However, there are additional causes for high blood sugar levels, such as:
- Eating more than planned
- Over-treating low blood sugar levels
- Dawn phenomenon: This is a natural surge in blood sugar early in the morning. It can be higher in people with diabetes who have insulin resistance.
- Somogyi effect: This is high early morning blood sugar levels caused by a rebound effect from low blood sugar levels in the middle of the night and your body triggering a release of hormones to raise blood sugar levels.
Resistance Training Is A Friend Of Your Blood Sugar
When you burn more energy in the day, your glycogen levels can replenish with more sugar.
Although any type of movement, including walking 10,000 steps a day helps, lifting weights and HIIT workouts are optimal for improving insulin sensitivity, since they require a lot of energy.
Just move more.
Go take our quick Live Lean Body Quiz to find the best program for you, based on your goals, fitness level, and access to equipment.
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Simple Ways To Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes After Meals
Lets talk about blood sugar, or blood glucose. Maybe youve been diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes and youre not sure where to start. Or maybe youve just been hearing some buzz about blood sugar-friendly foods and youre wondering if you should pay attention.
When blood sugar spikes after eating, it can leave you feeling tired, lethargic and moody. Over time, chronic blood sugar issues can put you at risk for conditions like kidney disease, heart disease and even dementia.
The good news is, you can improve your blood sugar control today with a few simple steps.