What To Eat To Maintain Blood Sugar Levels At Night
If you’re hungry at night, eat a low-carb snack to keep your blood sugar from spiking. If you’re managing the Somogyi effect, you’ll likely need to include some carbohydrates to prevent low blood sugar and the resulting rebound hyperglycemia. Rizzotto says an evening snack should be eaten about two hours before bed.
Protein does not spike blood sugar or insulin levels, making it an ideal bedtime food choice. Protein also slows the body’s ability to metabolize carbohydrates, according to a June 2015 systematic review published in Diabetes Care. The slower the body absorbs carbs, the less your blood sugar levels will rise. Smart high-protein options include a hard-boiled egg, tofu, low-fat yogurt or a few slices of low-fat deli meat, such as turkey.
Fats also play an important role in controlling blood sugar levels. According to the National Institute on Aging, they give the body energy without raising blood sugars. They also help the body absorb essential vitamins. Therefore, it’s wise to include a small amount of healthy fat in your evening snack.
Healthy fats are found in low-fat cheeses, seeds, nuts, avocados and olive oil. But though these fat sources are nutritious, it’s important that you enjoy them in moderation so as to avoid consuming too many calories and gaining weight. A healthy serving size for nuts, seeds and cheese is about an ounce, or 1 to 2 tablespoons.
Cocoa In Dark Chocolate
The cocoa in chocolate comes from the cocoa plant.
However, whether dark chocolate itself is beneficial is debatable, because it does still contain a small amount of sugar. I view it as a somewhat neutral treat and great alternative for diabetics.
But the chocolate must be really dark, typically 85% cocoa or more. Anything less is too high in sugar.
The studies that found benefits used either dark chocolate or a cocoa extract equivalent to 500-1000 mg of flavanols per day. This is roughly 25-40 grams of 85% dark chocolate.
Summary: Those who regularly eat chocolate must swap to 85% dark chocolate or more. This will be neutral for health at worst, and beneficial for blood sugar control at best.
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.
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How To Lower Blood Sugar Immediately
Michael Menna, DO, is a board-certified, active attending emergency medicine physician at White Plains Hospital in White Plains, New York.
If you have high blood sugar, a condition also known as hyperglycemia, theres too much sugar in your blood and not enough insulin in your body to lower it. In people with diabetes, hyperglycemia can be caused by things like eating too many carbohydrates, lack of physical activity, stress from an illness or infection, nondiabetes medications , or skipping or not taking enough glucose-lowering medication.
Hyperglycemia requires immediate treatment to prevent serious complications, including nerve, tissue, and organ damage diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome . While taking rapid-acting insulin is the quickest way to lower your blood sugar, there are other ways like exercising and staying hydrated that can help. In cases of an emergency, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
Eat Foods With A Low To Medium Gi Score
Look for foods with a low to medium glycemic index score. These are foods that your body absorbs slowly and decrease spikes in blood sugar. Some people pair low and high GI foods in order to balance their blood sugar. Another way to think about foods that lower blood glucose are ones that do not provide fast energy but give you more energy over a longer period of time. Foods with a low glycemic index have many health benefits besides their effects on blood sugar, so eating a diet high in protein, fatty acids, and fiber will benefit your whole family, not just those actively trying to achieve glycemic control.
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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.
Get More Quality Shuteye
Poor or limited sleep affects body chemistry, and getting more slumber helps with blood sugar control, Weisenberger says. Chronic lack of sleep may contribute to the risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a small study published in Diabetologia in February 2015. Healthy volunteers who slept only four hours for three nights in a row had higher levels of fatty acids in their blood, which reduced insulins ability to regulate blood sugar by about 23 percent, the researchers found. Lack of sleep is also linked with other health conditions, including obesity, heart disease, and stroke, according to the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends aiming for seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep per night.
Having sleep troubles? Follow these recommendations from the National Sleep Foundation:
- Sleep in a cool, dark room.
- Avoid consuming alcohol or caffeine in the hours before bed.
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on the weekends.
- Dont look at screens for at least a half hour before bedtime, including TV, tablets, cell phones, and computers.
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Superfoods That Lowers Your Blood Sugar Levels
A lack of insulin production or an inability to use insulin can result in a spike in blood sugar levels leading to diabetes. The constant spike in the blood sugar levels can result in damaged blood vessels and nerve cells. Not only that, but it can also affect other body organs leading to vision loss, kidney damage and a higher risk of disease and stroke. This situation can only be controlled by lowering blood sugar levels through a healthy diet, exercise and proper intake of medicines at regular timings. Diet plays a vital role in the management of Diabetes mellitus. A diabetic persons diet should consist of everyday foods included in amounts needed to maintain an ideal body weight and control blood sugar levels. The following foods should be incorporated into the diet to maintain a healthy blood sugar level
- Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are a rich source of antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber and magnesium. All these are important nutrients to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and the complications of diabetes. One ounce of chia seeds provides 10 g of fiber. It is advisable for an adult to consume 24 33 g of fibers depending on their age and sex.
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Whole Grain Bread
Whole grains have higher protein and nutrient content and are also rich in minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. Studies have shown that consuming whole grain bread especially sprouted grain bread have shown to improve blood sugar levels in people with obesity.
Get Your Free Diabetes Diet Plan
- 15 foods to naturally lower blood sugar levels
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One of the most helpful lifestyle changes is to work on eating a healthy diet. Eating a diet rich in foods that help promote stable blood sugars can help improve peoples health and well-being with blood sugar level problems.
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Foods That Lower Blood Sugar
When your bodyâs blood sugar levels get too high, important cellular functions can be disrupted and â over the long-term â this can place your health and well-being in serious jeopardy. Thatâs why, ideally, your blood sugar levels â or blood glucose levels â should fall within a healthy, normal range.
Blood sugar levels that are consistently high can lead to the development of diabetes. People with diabetes can face a number of different symptoms when their body does not produce enough insulin . When this occurs, the body begins to accumulate glucose, andâin severe casesâthis can even lead to heart disease.
To keep your blood sugar levels well within a healthy range, experts recommend that you get regular exercise â as well as making a few dietary changes .
There are several foods that lower blood sugar for some peopleâso eating the right healthy foods can be a particularly effective way to keep your blood sugar levels in check.
Butâif youâre wondering how to lower blood sugar naturallyâwhat foods are the ârightâ foods? Find out by reading this list of foods that lower blood sugar levels in the body .
How To Get Started
The single best tip is go slowly. If you are used to a diet high in sugar you will find it hard to cut it out all at once, making it more likely you will cave and soon be reaching for that chocolate. Start by identifying where you consume the most sugar is it soft drinks, in hot drinks, sugary snacks or a nightly dessert? Then, cut out just one of these things at a time until your diet is 100% sugar free. Depending on your level of consumption, give yourself one to two months to achieve this.
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When Should I Eat If I Have Diabetes
Some people with diabetes need to eat at about the same time each day. Others can be more flexible with the timing of their meals. Depending on your diabetes medicines or type of insulin, you may need to eat the same amount of carbohydrates at the same time each day. If you take mealtime insulin, your eating schedule can be more flexible.
If you use certain diabetes medicines or insulin and you skip or delay a meal, your blood glucose level can drop too low. Ask your health care team when you should eat and whether you should eat before and after physical activity.
Go For Whole Fruit Over Juice
A glass of orange juice is not the same as eating a whole orange. “People generally drink more juice and therefore consume more calories and sugar than they would by just eating fruit,” says Wylie-Rosett. Plus, you get more fiber from the whole fruit. For instance, there’s about 4 grams in a large orange, compared to less than 1 gram in 8 ounces of juice. A small amount of juice is OK, but it shouldn’t be your go-to beverage, she says. When you do drink it, make sure you’re serving it up in an actual juice glass rather than a large cup.
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Resistant Starch Lowers Sugars After Meals
Starches are long chains of glucose found in oats, grains, bananas, potatoes and various other foods.
Some varieties pass through digestion unchanged and are not absorbed as sugar into the blood. These are known as resistant starch.
Many studies show resistant starch can greatly improve insulin sensitivity. That is, how well the body can move sugar out of the blood and into cells for energy.
This is why its so useful for lowering blood sugar levels after meals .
The effect is so great that having resistant starch at lunch will reduce blood sugar spikes at dinner, known as the second meal effect .
Problem is many foods high in resistant starch, such as potatoes, are also high in digestible carbs that can spike blood sugar. Therefore resistant starch in supplement form without the extra carbs is recommended.
Summary: Supplemental resistant starch is a fantastic option for those struggling to control sugars or have hit a plateau.
How Diet Can Improve Blood Glucose Levels
A big part of achieving a healthy blood sugar level is eating a balanced diet. A diet rich in healthy fat, vegetables, protein, grains, and healthy carbohydrates with minimal amounts of processed foods that contain added sugar is key for regulating blood glucose levels. Sugary foods and processed products are known to cause spikes and dips in blood glucose levels, which is why they should be avoided when trying to control blood sugar.
Also, if you are experiencing warning signs of prediabetes or are already diabetic, knowing the glycemic index of foods you eat can help you take steps to regulate your blood sugar level.
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Beware Of The Label Sugar
Grocery shopping can be confusing, since at first glance, many foods may seem healthier than they are. Smart food choices can be hard to make. Watch out for sugar-free alternatives, which are better than the real-sugar versions, but hardly healthy.
In addition, says Champion, just because a food is labeled sugar free, reduced sugar, or no sugar added doesnt mean its carbohydrate free, too. This means the food can still cause your blood sugar to rise. Your best bet is to look at the Nutrition Facts panel and ingredient label on the back of the package, she says. Dont rely on advertising claims on the front of the package.
The ADA suggests that rather than just looking at the sugar content, always check the total amount of carbohydrates in a product which includes the amounts of starch, fiber, sugar, and sugar alcohols. This total will give you a more accurate idea of how a food may actually affect your blood sugar levels.
Importance Of Eating Foods To Lower Blood Sugar Naturally
It is advised to adopt a low sugar diet, especially for diabetics. However, our body needs sugar for a number of reasons, some of them are:
On the contrary, excess sugar in food can give rise to hyperglycemia which may further lead to dry skin and blurred vision. This may even cause tooth decay, diabetes and obesity.
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Never Skip Eating Breakfast
Weve all heard that breakfast is the days most important meal. This is especially true for those who have diabetes. I think eating breakfast is important, especially with potential risk for hypoglycemia and avoiding potential highs related to fasting for too long a period of time, Crandall Snyder says.
A high-protein breakfast has an edge over breakfasts that are high in carbohydrates, according to research from The University of Missouri-Columbia. In the research, women ages 18 to 55 consumed meals with similar calories, fat, and fiber contents but differing amounts of protein. Researchers monitored the amount of glucose and insulin in the participants blood for four hours after they ate breakfast. The best breakfasts contained 39 g of protein and led to lower post-meal glucose spikes than the meals with less protein, the researchers found.
Besides, eating breakfast may help overweight people with type 2 diabetes shed extra pounds. Of the participants in the National Weight Control Registry who maintained at least a 30-pound weight loss for at least one year, 78 percent said they eat breakfast daily.