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 (
Even Healthful Foods Can Set Off A Major Blood Sugar Spike Here Are Some Common Culprits That People Living With Diabetes Should Know About
Living with diabetes requires you to become something of an expert on nutrition, since knowing how different foods affect your blood sugar levels is a crucial part of staying healthy.
Typically, the best way to do that is to test your blood sugar before and after eating. That helps you find out which foods or food combinations work best with your goals and which dont, says Erin Palinski-Wade, C.D.E., a New Jerseybased registered dietitian and author of 2 Day Diabetes Diet.
Sometimes its easy to predict which foods will send your blood sugar levels soaring things like doughnuts, candy, or fruit juice, for instance. But other times you may be surprised, says Tara Smith, M.S., a diabetes care specialist and senior project manager at Beyond Type 2.
Another thing that might surprise you: You dont always have to avoid foods that make your blood sugar spike, Smith says. It just takes making adjustments to make those foods work for you.
This might mean limiting your portions, switching to unsweetened versions, or combining certain foods with others that are higher in fiber, protein, and healthy fats, which will reduce how quickly your body processes them and help level out your blood sugar.
Here, experts share six unexpected foods and drinks that tend to spike blood sugar levels and how to tweak your approach to keep things stable.
Easy Ways To Lower Blood Sugar Levels Naturally
Natural remedies can help reduce blood sugar levels. However, medical treatment may also be required if blood sugar levels remain consistently high. Hence, you must consult a doctor.
Some natural ways to control blood sugar levels include:
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Pick Fruit For Natural Sugars
Watermelon, pineapple, bananas and grapes are fruits with a high glycemic index that can quickly raise your blood sugar. The glycemic index, or GI, of processed foods tends to be higher than fresh foods. Dried fruits, such as raisins and dried dates, can quickly raise your blood sugar levels. Fruit juice raises your blood sugar more rapidly than fresh fruit. To help replenish your body’s energy stores, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach suggests that you consume 8 ounces of fruit juice within 30 minutes of finishing a workout.
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How Do The Foods I Eat Affect My Blood Sugar Levels
The sugar in your blood comes from certain foods called carbohydrates, or “carbs.” Foods that are high in carbs include candy and sweets, sodas, breads, tortillas, and white rice. The more carbs you eat, the higher your blood sugar level will be.
Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, making the right food choices is an important way to keep your blood sugar at a healthy level. When you control your blood sugar, you lower your chance of having serious health problems from diabetes, such as vision loss and heart problems.
And if you have prediabetes or are at risk for diabetes, eating foods that keep your blood sugar levels healthy may help prevent type 2 diabetes later on.
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What To Eat To Better Regulate Your Blood Sugar
Dr. Danielle Weiss is the founder of the Center for Hormonal Health and Well-Being, a personalized, proactive, patient-centered medical practice with a unique focus on integrative endocrinology. She enjoys giving lectures and writing articles for both the lay public and medical audiences.
While high blood sugar is the characteristic symptom of diabetes, your blood sugar can also be high even if you dont have the condition. To avoid making high blood sugar worse, it is important to make good dietary choices and choose foods that can help you regulate your blood sugar.
Verywell / Danie Drankwalter
Unexpectedly High Blood Sugar Readings Can Be A Bummer
If youre living with type 2 diabetes, your doctor has probably told you time and time again that maintaining control over your blood sugar is essential.
Controlling blood sugar is important for two main reasons, says Lynn Grieger, RD, CDCES, a certified personal trainer in Prescott, Arizona, and a medical reviewer for Everyday Health. On a day-to-day basis, people just feel better when their blood sugar stays in a healthy range. Over the long term, its the best thing you can do to prevent complications of diabetes from occurring. Diabetes complications include nerve damage, kidney disease, skin conditions, eye damage, heart disease, and stroke, according to the American Diabetes Association.
One of the main and most frequently discussed contributors to high blood sugar is a diet too rich in carbohydrates, which once digested turn into sugar . Certain high-carb foods are among the most common foods that spike blood sugar, she explains.
There are some triggers of high blood sugar, however, that are out of your control or can sneak up on you. Such triggers can make it difficult to manage blood sugar levels even when you think youre doing everything right.
Here are 10 surprising yet common causes of high blood sugar, or hyperglycemia.
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Red Meats And Poultry With Skin
Red meat in small amounts is good for your health but try to limit its consumption. You must especially avoid processed meat they are considered to be a carcinogen by the WHO and cause several health problems such as heart diseases and obesity. The poultry skin is high in fats hence it can be harmful to people with diabetes.
The poultry skin is high in fats hence it can be harmful to people with diabetes.
- Chicken breast, salmon, oily fishes, tofu, tempeh, mushrooms, ground turkey, eggs, country chicken.
Harmful effects of consuming red meats and poultry with skin:
- Red meats tend to have both saturated fats and cholesterol levels, which increase the risk of heart diseases.
- The type of red meat you choose also affects your blood glucose levels.
- These are also associated with an elevated risk of colon and liver diseases.
Add Legumes To Your Meals
Beans, lentils, and peas make a high-fiber, high-protein addition to your diet. Legumes are also a very low-glycemic food, helping to prevent blood sugar and insulin spikes.
They have been shown to decrease blood pressure and lower LDL cholesterol levels. And, In one small 2014 study, participants with Type 2 diabetes who replaced red meat for legumes in their diets for eight weeks had decreased blood glucose, insulin, and LDL cholesterol compared to those not on a legume-based diet.
Working legumes into your diet, especially if you’re adhering to a Mediterranean diet, can also help bolster your cardiovascular health, provide antioxidants, and is associated with a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
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Other Ways To Treat Low Blood Sugar
Glucose tabs and glucose gel may be eaten to help raise blood sugar levels, or you can administer a glucagon injection. Glucagon is a hormone that tells your liver to release stored glucose into the bloodstream.
Typically, your pancreas releases glucagon when your blood sugar levels are too low. People with diabetes can get a prescription for glucagon kits.
If they ever lose consciousness due to low blood sugar, a glucagon injection is the best way to bring their levels back to normal. Friends and family should also know how to use a kit in case of an emergency.
If you have frequent episodes of hypoglycemia, talk to your doctor. If you have diabetes, you may need to reduce your diabetes medicines, says Barnathan. You’ll also want to make sure you are eating three meals a day.
Repeated episodes of hypoglycemia can cause hypoglycemia unawareness, where you no longer have early symptoms like shakiness or irregular heartbeat. Without those warning signs, you may not notice your blood sugar is low until more severe symptoms set in.
If you don’t have diabetes but frequently have low blood sugar, you and your doctor need to check for other possible causes.
Surprising Things That Can Spike Your Blood Sugar
When you first found out you had diabetes, you tested your blood sugar often. Doing so helped you understand how food, activity, stress, and illness could affect your blood sugar levels. By now, youve got it figured out for the most part. But thenbam! Something makes your blood sugar zoom up. You try to adjust it with food or activity or insulin, and it dips really low. Youre on a roller coaster no one with diabetes wants to ride.
Do you know all these blood sugar triggers?
Knowledge is power! Look out for these surprising triggers that can send your blood sugar soaring:
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Hormonal Changes In Menstruation Tend To Mess With Blood Sugar Levels
Widely known menstruation symptoms include low mood and certain food cravings, but did you know that the menstrual cycle can also cause blood sugar level swings? Blood sugar spikes during the ovulatory phase for a few days and then increases again in the last week of the cycle the days prior to the onset of a period, explains Dodell. This is due to peak levels of estrogen and progesterone. Also worth noting: Women in perimenopause, when hormone levels and menstrual periods are often irregular, are likely to find their blood sugar levels to be unpredictable, says Grieger.
If your menstrual cycle seems to affect your blood sugar levels, you may find it helpful to look for a monthly pattern in your blood sugar readings, the Mayo Clinic recommends. A pattern would allow you to predict changes in your blood sugar and to work with your doctor to adjust your treatment approach as needed throughout your cycle.
How To Follow A Diabetes Diet
Bissell emphasizes that one size fits all doesnt exist with diabetes diets.
Many people incorrectly believe they need to cut out all carbs or white foods, she says, but you dont have to eliminate just limit carbohydrate portions to amounts that work for you. And try to choose more complex carbs in the right portion sizes.
To make the most of your diabetes diet, try the following tips, too:
- Eat fewer processed foods.
- Include vegetables at most meals.
- Be mindful of portion sizes.
While you may have to do some trial and error, Bissell says these strategies can help increase your chance for success:
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What Foods Should I Limit To Control My Blood Sugar
To keep your blood sugar under control, you may need to cut back on foods and drinks that are high in carbs. This doesn’t mean that you can never enjoy them. But you will need to have them less often or in smaller amounts.
The high-carb foods and drinks you should limit include:
- Sugary foods, such as candy, cookies, cake, ice cream, sweetened cereals, and canned fruits with added sugar
- Drinks with added sugars, such as juice, regular soda, and regular sports or energy drinks
- White rice, tortillas, breads and pasta – especially those made with white flour
- Starchy vegetables, such as white potatoes, corn, and peas
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.
List Of Foods That Will Quickly Raise Blood Sugars
Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar levels, can make you feel weak or tired. You can often prevent or treat the condition and restore your blood sugar to normal levels by eating high-glycemic foods, which are carbohydrate-containing foods that quickly raise your blood sugar levels. Contact your doctor if you suspect that you have a serious underlying condition.
How To Lower Blood Sugar
Most people assume that lowering blood sugar levels is only related to the food you eat. But, there are many other things that can impact blood sugar levels. These include: activity level, stress levels, hormones, and more. The following strategies have been proven to help reduce blood sugar levels over time:
- Be physically active on a regular basis.
- Consistently eat fiber rich carbohydrates.
- Drink water throughout the day.
- Manage stress levels.
Letâs take a closer look at each of these foodsâ¦
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Healthy Snacks That Wont Raise Your Blood Sugar
Protein is generally considered the most filling macronutrient, or in other words the part of the food that will make you feel satisfied for the longest amount of time â an effective energy bridge to the next meal. Even better, it has the most even and least extreme effect on blood glucose levels. So, you may notice a theme among these snack options: most are high in protein, some in protein and fat, and a few just in fat, but the key idea is that all have manageable levels of carbohydrates, which ultimately become a quick source of glucose in the blood. Among carbohydrates, we would recommend in addition to low overall levels a bias towards complex carbs that take longer to digest, all to minimize the blood sugar spike as much as possible.
In general, you would also want to choose snacks that are nutrient-dense (put differently: as many nutrients per calorie as possible, and often this means choosing snacks in their whole food state. Processed food as a category tends to be calorie-dense and nutrient-poor. This is because processing typically involves discarding indigestible or simply unappealing parts of food from a pure taste perspective. Our digestive system, unfortunately, has yet to catch up with the highly processed food culture we find ourselves living in, so this can cause short-term derangements in blood glucose levels as well as deprive your body of the balance between nutrients and calories it has come to expect over tens of thousands of years.