Learn More About How Nutrition Affects Parkinsons
A diet thats rich in whole grains, lean protein, and fibrous fruits and vegetables is useful for fighting fatigue and may also reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, all of which help you live well today with Parkinsons.
How have you found different foods affect your energy levels? Consider logging your diet and making notes about how you feel after eating and between meals. Let your experiences help guide you to make healthy modifications to your diet.
Download our Nutrition Worksheet and presentation slides about Nutrition & Parkinsons to stay informed.
How To Deal With Low Blood Sugar
“When blood sugars are low, the first goal is to bring them up to above 70 mg/dL with a simple and fast-acting source of sugar,” says Crean. “Once your blood sugar is above this goal, you want to eat a balanced meal or snack that contains some additional carbohydrates, plus protein and fat to help keep it stable.” Think: A handful of whole-grain crackers topped with a tablespoon of peanut butter.
The general rule of thumb is to consume 15 grams of carbs, then wait 15 minutes before checking your blood sugar again. If it’s still too low, repeat the process. “A good premeal blood sugar range to comfortably stay within would be 80 to 130 mg/dL,” says Crean.
Here are some super-convenient ways to get your blood sugar back on track, stat.
How To Stabilize Your Blood Sugar Overnight
The most important thing you can do to stabilize your blood sugar is monitor your glucose levels at bedtime, during the night, and when you wake up to look for patterns. This will help you determine whats going on in your body and how you can fix it. While there are many strategies people use to stabilize blood sugar at night, every person is different youll have to look for trends in your body, experiment with ways to lower glucose levels over a period of time, and learn what works best for your body.
Check your blood sugar before bed. If its already high, your blood sugar levels may remain high throughout the night. To address this, youll want to start by adjusting when you eat your evening meal and what it consists of, and how much mealtime insulin you take to cover it.
Avoid eating lots of food close to bedtime. For diaTribe writer Adam Brown, the key to staying in range overnight is low-carb, early dinners, with no snacking after dinner.
Consider eating less food at night and taking more basal insulin to cover your evening meal.
Check your blood sugar during the night, between midnight and 3am. If you were in range before bed but have high glucose levels between midnight and 3am, you may need to adjust your basal insulin dosage and timing. If you are low during that time, you may experience a rebound high blood sugar later on this is usually associated with overcorrecting the low.
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Simple Snacks To Stabilize Blood Sugar
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Trying to avoid a snack attack? Diabetics deserve simple, quick snacks that wont spike blood sugar. Dont worry, weve got your back!
Snack foods are usually highly processed. This means they often contain far too many calories, unhealthy fat, sugars, and sodium. These foods also tend to have little to no nutritional value.
This combination is especially dangerous for diabetics as it causes food to be digested more quickly. Without good fats and fiber to slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, sugar levels can skyrocket and blood pressure can increase.
Snacking is not evil, and does not have to negatively affect blood sugar. A snacks purpose is to prevent excessive hunger and to give the body an energy boost. Believe it or not, snacks can help to regulate blood sugar. The key is to choose the right foods!
Nuts are an excellent source of healthy fats, packing a seriously positive punch to your health. Research has shown that by eating a diet rich in good fats, you can reduce your risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and high cholesterol. In other words, go nuts!
Almonds, walnuts, macadamia, pecan and pistachio are all healthy little jewels of deliciousness. Cashews are quite tasty as well, however, consume them in moderation because they do have a higher carbohydrate content. Be sure to pair them with foods that contain fats and protein like a cheese stick!
Dont Rely On Supplements Or Vitamins
Theres no shortcut to maintaining good blood sugars. A supplement or vitamin alone will not give you healthy blood sugar levels and they can interact negatively with other medications. Speak to your healthcare provider and perhaps ask for a referral for a dietitian who specializes in blood sugar control before incorporating dietary supplements, shakes, or vitamins to achieve blood sugar control.
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When Should I Check My Blood Sugar
How often you check your blood sugar depends on the type of diabetes you have and if you take any diabetes medicines.
Typical times to check your blood sugar include:
- When you first wake up, before you eat or drink anything.
- Before a meal.
- Two hours after a meal.
- At bedtime.
If you have type 1 diabetes, have type 2 diabetes and take insulin, or often have low blood sugar, your doctor may want you to check your blood sugar more often, such as before and after youre physically active.
Hypoglycemia And Physical Activity
People taking insulin or insulin secretagogues are at risk for hypoglycemia if insulin dose or carbohydrate intake is not adjusted with exercise. Checking your blood sugar before doing any physical activity is important to prevent hypoglycemia . Talk to your diabetes care team to find out if you are at risk for hypoglycemia.
If you experience hypoglycemia during or after exercise, treat it immediately:
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Foods That Stabilize Blood Sugar
Your blood sugar levels and their fluctuations are intrinsically tied to your health. With recent research, it is becoming more evident than ever that foods that stabilize your blood sugar are important to eat on a regular basis, while foods that cause blood sugar spikes or fluctuations should be avoided. Your blood sugar levels are tied to a wide range of hormonal responses that can contribute to your body’s metabolism, your mood, energy levels, fat storage and more. Your body has a very different response when you eat a bagel compared to eating piece of broccoli, and this response is what you need to be concerned about. In general, when you eat foods that break down quickly and cause a spike in your blood sugar, like a bagel, you can become insulin resistant and gain weight more easily. Even worse, you can develop pre-diabetes or diabetes, so be sure to include these seven and other foods that stabilize blood sugar in your diet more frequently.
Strategies To Stabilize Blood Sugar
Getting your blood sugar to healthy levels may take trial and error, but there are steps to help you achieve it.
Having a daily routine is critical for good diabetes control,” Dr. Kassem says. “That means following your meal plan, exercising regularly, being consistent with blood sugar testing, and following up regularly with your doctor.” Tracking carbohydrates is particularly important. Big variations in carbohydrate intake from day to day can lead to fluctuations in blood sugars, she adds. For example, when you consume excess carbohydrates, the body digests them like sugar and sends them straight to the bloodstream, increasing the risk of blood sugar spikes.
Follow these specific strategies to help control blood sugar:
Exercise A regular exercise program has been shown to help manage blood sugar levels over time, and taking a varied approach to fitness is good for diabetes and health in general. Participants in a 12-week program who exercised for an hour three times a week using both aerobic and resistance training had improved diabetes management, according to research published in February 2015 in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness. So mix it up with strength training, aerobic workouts, and any other activities you enjoy.
Drinking Wisely Alcohol can cause an immediate rise in blood sugar and then a drop a few hours later. Its best to stick to moderate amounts and have some solid food with your beverage.
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Almonds Are One Of The Best Blood Sugar Stabilizing Foods
Almonds are high in monounsaturated fats which are associated with stable blood sugar levels. They are also a good source of several vitamins and minerals that can have a wide range of beneficial effects on the body. Magnesium is one mineral in particular that can lower your blood sugar. The fats in almonds are metabolized slowly by your body, as well as the protein and carbs. One cup of almonds has 45 grams of fat, 28 grams of which are healthy monounsaturated fat, 20 grams of protein, and 20 grams of carbohydrates. This is an excellent balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat which makes almonds almost like a small complete healthy meal. A perfect snack to keep your blood sugar stable throughout the day and keep you energized between meals without putting on weight.
How To Stabilize Blood Sugar With Your Meals And Snacks
How to Stabilize Blood Sugar with Your Meals and Snacks
Stabilizing blood sugar is important for those with blood sugar concerns such as those with prediabetes, PCOS, type 1 diabetes, or type 2 diabetes. However its also very important for the day to day life of all individuals because stabilizing blood sugar means that you will have more constant energy without any energy crashes and it can help prevent any long term damage to blood sugar control in individuals as well.
When it comes to controlling your blood sugar with your food, there are several things to consider. The first thing to consider is that all carbohydrates, regardless of fiber amount or nutrient amount will spike blood sugar in every individual. Carbohydrates include things like grains, fruit, beans, dessert items, sugary beverages, crackers, chips, sweeteners, starchy vegetables like corn and potatoes, and dairy products. Whenever anyone eats any of these foods, the carbohydrate amount in the food breaks down and causes a release of insulin in our body. Within these foods though, some contain higher amounts of nutrients and fiber that can help slow that digestion and release of insulin and can stabilize blood sugar instead of causing a large spike. These high fiber foods include whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal, and 100% whole wheat products. The fiber in these foods slows down the digestion process and can make them a healthier carbohydrate source.
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What To Do When Your Blood Sugar Is Too High
Much like raising your glucose shouldn’t be a rushed process, neither should lowering it. “We’re an instant society, and neither can happen instantly,” says Zappe. “Overtreating causes blood glucose to move too far in the opposite direction, causing more problems.”
To gradually lower your blood sugar , experts recommend the following.
What Causes Low Blood Sugar
Low blood sugar has many causes, including missing a meal, taking too much insulin, taking other diabetes medicines, exercising more than normal, and drinking alcohol. Blood sugar below 70 mg/dL is considered low.
Signs of low blood sugar are different for everyone. Common symptoms include:
Know what your individual symptoms are so you can catch low blood sugar early and treat it. If you think you may have low blood sugar, check it even if you dont have symptoms. Low blood sugar can be dangerous and should be treated as soon as possible.
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How To Maintain Normal Blood Sugar
If you are one of the millions of people who has prediabetes, diabetes, metabolic syndrome or any other form of insulin resistance, maintaining normal blood sugar levels can be challenging. Over the past several decades, these chronic disorders have swept through the U.S. and many other nations, reaching epidemic proportions and causing serious, but often preventable, side effects like nerve damage, fatigue, loss of vision, arterial damage and weight gain.
Elevated blood sugar levels maintained for an extended period of time can push someone who is prediabetic into having full-blown diabetes . Even for people who arent necessarily at a high risk for developing diabetes or heart complications, poorly managed blood sugar can lead to common complications, including fatigue, weight gain and sugar cravings. In extreme cases, elevated blood sugar can even contribute to strokes, amputations, coma and death in people with a history of insulin resistance.
Blood sugar is raised by glucose, which is the sugar we get from eating many different types of foods that contain carbohydrates. Although we usually think of normal blood sugar as being strictly reliant upon how many carbohydrates and added sugar someone eats, other factors also play a role. For example, stress can elevate cortisol levels, which interferes with how insulin is used, and the timing of meals can also affect how the body manages blood sugar.
Balance With Fiber And Protein
Fiber and protein are a winning combo to assist with your blood sugar. They slow down the release of sugars from food into the bloodstream and slow digestion to also keep you full longer throughout the day. The trick is to consume whole food sources of fiber in place of processed crackers, breads, etc. that dont come with as many benefits. Also go for plant protein versus animal protein, since many animal proteins can actually disrupt healthy insulin levels and increase the risk of diabetes.
Aim for at least 5-10 grams of fiber per meal and at least 10-15 grams of protein per meal for best results. A great option would be a protein-packed breakfast bowl, a green smoothie with plant protein added, roasted veggies and beans, or a veggie-packed salad with some hummus, seeds, or plant protein like tempeh.
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What It Is And How It Works
Medline Plus explains that acarbose is a drug doctors prescribe for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. It comes in a tablet, and you take it orally. Your prescription may be for a brand name version of the drug sold under the names Prandase and Precose.
According to Healthline, acarbose works by blocking the enzyme glycosidase. This enzyme turns complex carbohydrates that you consume into sugar within your body. The sugar then goes into the small intestine where it absorbs into your bloodstream and raises your blood sugar level.
Blueberries Are One Of The Best Blood Sugar Lowering Fruits
Blueberries are widely known to be a “superfood” for their dozens of health benefits. One of the top benefits of eating blueberries is the fact that they can help you normalize your blood sugar. Blueberries are an excellent source of soluble fiber and anthocyanins, which are pigments found in colorful fruits and vegetables. These pigments have many positive effects on the body. They inhibit certain digestive enzymes, which slows down digestion even after you’ve eaten a meal full of simple carbohydrates. In turn the spike in blood glucose that often occurs following a carbohydrate rich meal is minimized when you eat blueberries. A study also found that adding blueberries to the diet of obese people who were pre-diabetic resulted in improved insulin sensitivity after six weeks. The participants consumed two blueberry smoothies per day.
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Is It Safe To Sleep With High Blood Sugar
Glucose levels that are occasionally a little high at night generally dont pose serious, immediate health concerns. Most people with diabetes cannot avoid some high glucose levels. However, frequent or long-term highs particularly extremely high levels can be dangerous. It is important for people with diabetes to reduce high blood sugar as much as possible for two key reasons:
Frequent hyperglycemia can lead to major health complications caused by damage to blood vessels and nerves, which can affect your eyes, heart, kidneys, and other organs. This occurs when glucose levels are too high over a long period of time.
Very high glucose levels can be a sign of diabetic ketoacidosis . This occurs mainly in people with type 1 diabetes and can be life-threatening. For more information on DKA, read Ketosis vs. Ketoacidosis: Whats the Difference.
Why Does Blood Sugar Go Up At Night
There are many factors that can cause your blood sugar to increase at night. For example: what food you ate during the day, how much and when you exercised, whether you ate snacks before bed, the timing of your insulin doses, and your stress level. You can experience different patterns of high blood sugar at night. You may start with high glucose when you go to bed, start the night in range but go high several hours later, or spend most of the night in range until the hours just before you wake up. By identifying your bodys patterns, you can figure out what is causing your high blood sugar and how to address it.
Common causes of a glucose increase at night include:
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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.