What Does Eating Right Mean For You
If you have type 1 diabetes, carb counting is really important to keep your blood glucose levels steady. This is where you estimate how many carbs are in your meal and match it with how much insulin you need to take.
If you have type 2 and youre overweight, finding a way to lose weight is important as it really improves diabetes management. This is because it can help to lower your blood glucose and reduce your risk of other complications. There are different ways of doing this like the low-carb, Mediterranean or very low-calorie diets. Losing weight can help you lower your blood glucose levels, and we now know that substantial weight loss can even put some people’s type 2 diabetes into remission.
Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you might need to lose, gain or maintain your current weight but its important to make healthier food choices while youre doing this.
Portion sizes are important to think about whether you have type 1 or type 2. It makes calculating nutritional facts when youre carb counting or managing your weight a lot easier. Remember, portion sizes are different for everyone, so whats right for someone else might not be right for you.
If you feel overwhelmed about your feelings about food and diabetes, we have plenty of information to help you.
Choose The Healthiest Carbohydrates
Of the major nutrients found in food carbs, protein, and fat carbs have the biggest effect on your blood sugar. Thats because carbs are the most quickly broken down into glucose for energy. Having too many carbs, or the wrong type of carbs, can lead to spikes in your blood sugar.
The best way to figure out how the carbs you eat affect your blood sugar is to test your levels before and after meals. The American Diabetes Association recommends keeping track of the number of carbs you have per meal. The amount you should eat may vary depending on what it looks like to successfully manage your diabetes. Choose healthy, complex carbs such as whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, and lentils. Because they contain fiber and are less processed, these foods dont lead to as many swings in your blood sugar levels. Stay away from refined carbs such as soda, candy, white pasta, white rice, white bread, and other processed foods they can cause blood sugar to rise quickly.
Spinach Best Food For Diabetes
Spinach isrich in proteins and amino acids. One cup of spinach has approximately 5 gramsof proteins. It is abundant in minerals like iron, zinc, magnesium, calcium,and potassium which lower high blood pressure. The high fiber content in itsleaves helps to lower blood sugar. Protein, minerals, and fiber are magicingredients that balance insulin levels and keep you healthy.
How to add it to your diet:
- Add spinachto your salads and soups
- Makedelicious green smoothies
- Spinachcurries taste exotic
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Spread Out Your Carbs
In addition to eating small meals at night, it’s best to limit dishes piled high with pasta, rice, sugar, and other carbs. When you focus on whole-food carbs spread throughout the day, the less pressure there’s going to be on your pancreas to constantly chug out insulin, Wright says. You want your blood sugar to roll like hills over the course of the day rather than spike like mountain peaks and plummet to valleys, she adds.
How The Test Works
The A1C test estimates the average blood sugar level over the past 3 months. The test is able to measure this by identifying the percentage of glycosylated hemoglobin in the blood.
If there is more glucose present in the blood, more glucose is available to attach to hemoglobin. Therefore, if a person has a high percentage of glycosylated hemoglobin, it indicates that they have had high blood sugar for an extended period.
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Morning Rituals Proven To Lower Morning Blood Sugar Naturally
If youre a diabetic, you may find that your blood sugar levels are at their peak in the morning. This is due to the fasting period overnight. Its common for blood sugar tests to require a period of fasting beforehand to get the best natural levels.
You need to get your blood sugar levels down right away. The good news is you dont necessarily need to rely on medication. While you will want to take medication in the way that your doctor has prescribed, you will still want to follow these seven-morning rituals. It is possible to reverse type II diabetes and focus on a healthier and more natural lifestyle.
Even if youre not a diabetic, you will want to keep your morning blood sugar levels down. Here are the seven must-follow morning rituals that have proven to lower the blood sugar levels on a morning completely naturally.
Low Blood Sugar Levels In Diabetes
People with diabetes can have low blood sugar levels because of the medicines they have to take to manage their diabetes. They may need a hormone called or diabetes pills to help their bodies use the sugar in their blood.
These medicines help take the sugar out of the blood and get it into the body’s cells, which makes the blood sugar level go down. But sometimes it’s a tricky balancing act and blood sugar levels can get too low.
People with diabetes need to keep their blood sugars from getting too highor too low. Keeping blood sugar levels in a healthy range means balancing when and what they eat, and when they exercise with when they take medicines.
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/8remember To Get Back On Track
Lastly, do remember that while you focus on indulging in festival treats and eating to your heart’s desire in a healthy manner, ensure to get back to a proper eating schedule and not overindulge. If you have been focussed on following a disciplined diet, and eat out of schedule during the festivities, it may be a little difficult to get back on track, but make sure you go in slow, and make appropriate lifestyle modifications.
Opt For Squash In Your Meals
Remember how sweet potatoes were good for you? Well, the same applies to other fall and winter vegetables. Squash is one of the most commonly ignored but is highly useful. It doesnt matter what type of squash you have. If you hate preparing a large butternut squash, you can opt for a small acorn or spaghetti squash instead.
The benefits are offiber. Youll feel full quickly, keeping your calorie intake down, and boost your digestive systems. The metabolism will slow down the work on the glucose, balancing out the system completely.
Squash is another very simple ingredient to add to your meals. You can chop it up and add it to a frittata, or you could blend it with the spinach to create a slightly sweeter and creamier smoothie.
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Foods To Lower Blood Sugar
While a specific food cant lower high blood sugar, eating certain foods can help promote healthy blood sugar levels. Over time, eating healthy foods beneficial for blood sugar can help lower average blood sugar and improve glycemic control.
Carbohydrates have the biggest impact on blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Common carbohydrates sources include fruit, vegetables, grains, legumes, and dairy products like milk and yogurt. Carbohydrates are broken down into sugar , which enters the bloodstream. When someone with diabetes eats many carbohydrates at once, their blood sugar levels may be higher than their target or goal.
Fiber is a carbohydrate but does not affect blood sugar levels because it is not absorbed by the body. Fiber can also slow gastric emptying, meaning the food takes longer to be broken down into sugar, which is one way it can help diabetes. Eating fiber-rich foods can help avoid a blood sugar spike, which can occur when eating rapidly-digested carbohydrates such as white bread and refined sugar.
People with diabetes need varying ranges of carbohydrates based on individual needs and activity levels. In general, aiming for 30-60 grams of carbohydrates per meal and 15-20 grams of carbohydrates per snack is ideal. Aiming for 25-40 grams of dietary fiber per day is ideal for both blood sugar and heart health.
Eat Less Red And Processed Meat
If youre cutting down on carbs, you might start to have bigger portions of meat to fill you up. But its not a good idea to do this with red and processed meat, like ham, bacon, sausages, beef and lamb. These all have links with heart problems and cancers.
Try swapping red and processed meat for these:
- pulses such as beans and lentils
- poultry like chicken and turkey
- unsalted nuts
Beans, peas and lentils are also very high in fibre and dont affect your blood glucose levels too much making them a great swap for processed and red meat and keeping you feeling full. Most of us know that fish is good for us, but oily fish like salmon and mackerel are even better. These are rich in something called omega-3 oil, which helps protect your heart. Try and aim to eat two portions of oily fish a week.
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What Medications Can Cause Blood Sugar Levels To Elevate
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Eat More Fruit And Veg
We know eating fruit and veg is good for you. Its always a good thing aim to eat more at meal times and have them as snacks if youre hungry. This can help you get the vitamins, minerals and fibre your body needs every day to help keep you healthy.
You might be wondering about fruit and if you should avoid it because its sugary? The answer is no. Whole fruit is good for everyone and if you have diabetes, its no different. Fruits do contain sugar, but its natural sugar. This is different to the added sugar that are in things like chocolate, biscuits and cakes.
Products like fruit juices also count as added sugar, so go for whole fruit instead. This can be fresh, frozen, dried or tinned . And its best to eat it throughout the day instead of one bigger portion in one go.
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Can Certain Foods Lower Blood Sugar
When it comes to lowering blood sugar that’s already high, eating more food won’t lower it, but here are a few tips to keep in mind. “Foods can’t lower blood sugar once it is high, but you can exercise to help lower blood sugar,” says Shapiro. This is why you might have heard it’s a good idea to take a walk after meals, since walking is one way to help lower your blood sugar.
Be Smart About Sweets
Eating a diabetic diet doesnt mean eliminating sugar altogether, but like most of us, chances are you consume more sugar than is healthy. If you have diabetes, you can still enjoy a small serving of your favorite dessert now and then. The key is moderation.
Reduce your cravings for sweets by slowly reduce the sugar in your diet a little at a time to give your taste buds time to adjust.
Hold the bread if you want dessert. Eating sweets at a meal adds extra carbohydrates so cut back on the other carb-heavy foods at the same meal.
Add some healthy fat to your dessert. Fat slows down the digestive process, meaning blood sugar levels dont spike as quickly. That doesnt mean you should reach for the donuts, though. Think healthy fats, such as peanut butter, ricotta cheese, yogurt, or nuts.
Eat sweets with a meal, rather than as a stand-alone snack. When eaten on their own, sweets cause your blood sugar to spike. But if you eat them along with other healthy foods as part of your meal, your blood sugar wont rise as rapidly.
When you eat dessert, truly savor each bite. How many times have you mindlessly eaten your way through a bag of cookies or a huge piece of cake? Can you really say that you enjoyed each bite? Make your indulgence count by eating slowly and paying attention to the flavors and textures. Youll enjoy it more, plus youre less likely to overeat.
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Planning A Diabetes Diet
A diabetic diet doesnt have to be complicated and you dont have to give up all your favorite foods. The first step to making smarter choices is to separate the myths from the facts about eating to prevent or control diabetes.
|Myths and facts about diabetes and diet|
|Myth: You must avoid sugar at all costs.
Fact: You can enjoy your favorite treats as long as you plan properly and limit hidden sugars. Dessert doesnt have to be off limits, as long as its a part of a healthy meal plan.
|Myth: You have to cut way down on carbs.
Fact: The type of carbohydrates you eat as well as serving size is key. Focus on whole grain carbs instead of starchy carbs since theyre high in fiber and digested slowly, keeping blood sugar levels more even.
|Myth: Youll need special diabetic meals.
Fact: The principles of healthy eating are the samewhether or not youre diabetic. Expensive diabetic foods generally offer no special benefit.
|Myth: A high-protein diet is best.
Fact: Studies have shown that eating too much protein, especially animal protein, may actually cause insulin resistance, a key factor in diabetes. A healthy diet includes protein, carbohydrates, and fats. Our bodies need all three to function properly. The key is a balanced diet.
As with any healthy eating program, a diabetic diet is more about your overall dietary pattern rather than obsessing over specific foods. Aim to eat more natural, unprocessed food and less packaged and convenience foods.
How To Lower Morning Blood Sugar
I mean, it doesnt seem logical. After all, you havent eaten anything so it should be lower shouldnt it?
Its a common assumption and it would seem logical, but it is common for people with type 2 diabetes to have high blood sugar in the morning.
Because your body continues to produce glucose even when you dont eat. Its called gluconeogenesis.
This is a natural process for all of us. But in diabetes many people have increased gluconeogensis.
Another reason is that cortisol is the hormone that slowly increases in levels from around 3 am onwards to reach its peak early in the morning. Cortisol has a direct influence on blood sugar levels too elevating them.
Still, there are practical things you can do to lower morning blood sugar levels, heres how
About Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes is growing significantly in the United States, with the Centers for Disease Control stating that 9.4% of the country’s population has diabetes. Another 84 million have prediabetes, which can lead to full blown diabetes within 5 years if not treated.3
Diabetes can be silent, developing without any symptoms or indications that it is damaging the body’s organs. The complications from diabetes are numerous. Having diabetes puts one at significantly higher risk for heart disease and stroke. Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness. Circulation problems in the legs can develop because of diabetes, and in the worst instances, can lead to tissue death requiring amputation. Diabetes can also damage the nerves , causing tingling, numbness, and burning pain in the hands and feet. Diabetes also damages the filtering system in the kidneys, leading to kidney disease that could require dialysis or a kidney transplant. Symptoms of depression are more common in people with diabetes, which can affect diabetes management.
1 Diabetics Guide, 20 Foods That Lower Blood Sugar, March 23, 2018,
2 Harvard Health Publishing, Glycemic Index for 60+ foods, March 14, 2018,
3 Centers for Disease Control,