Blood Sugar And Stomach Fat
Current research reveals an association between spikes in blood sugar and weight gain. Rumsey asserts that the blood sugar connection with stomach fat is related to insulin. “When our blood sugar rises, insulin is released to help get that sugar out of our bloodstream and into the rest of our body,” she says. “The higher your blood sugar goes, the more insulin is released. Insulin likes to store excess blood sugar as fat, particularly belly fat.”
Olansky believes the calories from carbohydrates may be mostly to blame for increased stomach fat. “It may be that the carbohydrates themselves lead to belly fat, but that’s difficult to be sure of,” she says. “We do know that eating low-carb leads to less weight gain. We also know that eating simple sugars that are rapidly absorbed often causes you to be more hungry shortly after, and those extra calories you consume can lead to belly fat.”
These three foods can help you regulate your blood sugar:
Foods That Spike Blood Sugar Levels
You probably already know that foods high in sugar cause blood sugar levels to skyrocket. So, to reduce blood sugar spikes, limiting foods like candies, cakes, and cookies is obvious. Less obvious are some of the other common foods that can lead to increased blood sugar levels. These include:
- Refined grains, such as white bread, bagels, pasta, and rice. Because these foods have had their fiber removed, they are digested more quickly, which can increase blood sugar levels soon after eating.
- Sugar-sweetened drinks, such as sodas, sweetened teas, and even fruit juice .
- Fast food is not only high in calories and fats, its also high in sugar and other refined carbohydrates. Surprisingly, some fast-food burgers contain as much sugar as a candy bar. The buns, breading, and condiments are all hidden sources of sugar. Add fries and a soda, and you can really see blood sugar levels spike.
Other foods that can raise blood sugar levels if overeaten include sweet fruits and starchy vegetables like corn, potatoes, and sweet peas. Dairy alternatives can also provide more of a blood sugar increase than many people expect. Oat milk, for example, can have a glycemic index thats as high as straight glucose.
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.
Don’t Miss: Is There Sugar In Smirnoff Ice
What Is Diabetic Ketoacidosis
If you think you may have low blood sugar, check it even if you dont have symptoms.
When too many ketones are produced too fast, they can build up in your body and cause diabetic ketoacidosis, or DKA. DKA is very serious and can cause a coma or even death. Common symptoms of DKA include:
- Fast, deep breathing.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Stomach pain.
If you think you may have DKA, test your urine for ketones. Follow the test kit directions, checking the color of the test strip against the color chart in the kit to see your ketone level. If your ketones are high, . DKA requires treatment in a hospital.
DKA happens most in people with type 1 diabetes and is sometimes the first sign of type 1 in people who havent yet been diagnosed. People with type 2 diabetes can also develop DKA, but its less common.
Whats The Best Diet For Diabetes
Whether youre trying to prevent or control diabetes, your nutritional needs are virtually the same as everyone else, so no special foods are necessary. But you do need to pay attention to some of your food choicesmost notably the carbohydrates you eat. While following a Mediterranean or other heart-healthy diet can help with this, the most important thing you can do is to lose a little weight.
Losing just 5% to 10% of your total weight can help you lower your blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. Losing weight and eating healthier can also have a profound effect on your mood, energy, and sense of wellbeing. People with diabetes have nearly double the risk of heart disease and are at a greater risk of developing mental health disorders such as depression.
But most cases of type 2 diabetes are preventable and some can even be reversed. Even if youve already developed diabetes, its not too late to make a positive change. By eating healthier, being more physically active, and losing weight, you can reduce your symptoms. Taking steps to prevent or control diabetes doesnt mean living in deprivation it means eating a tasty, balanced diet that will also boost your energy and improve your mood. You dont have to give up sweets entirely or resign yourself to a lifetime of bland food.
Read Also: What Tea Is Good For Blood Sugar
The Best Foods To Lower Blood Sugar And Manage Diabetes
- The best foods to eat to lower blood sugar include whole grains, fruits and vegetables, oatmeal, nuts, and garlic.
- If you have diabetes or may be at risk, it’s important to regulate your blood-sugar levels with a healthy diet and be aware of the glycemic index of the foods you eat.
- This article was medically reviewed by Samantha Cassetty, MS, RD, nutrition and wellness expert with a private practice based in New York City.
- This story is part of Insider’s guide to Diabetes.
For example, eating healthy carbohydrates, foods high in fiber, and healthy fats can help prevent blood-sugar spikes. But eating high-carbohydrate foods that contain lots of sugar can make it more difficult to control your diabetes, says Dr. Deena Adimoolam, an assistant professor of medicine, endocrinology, diabetes, and bone disease at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
Here’s which foods are best to eat if you want to lower blood sugar and keep it under control.
How Can I Check My Blood Sugar
Use a blood sugar meter or a continuous glucose monitor to check your blood sugar. A blood sugar meter measures the amount of sugar in a small sample of blood, usually from your fingertip. A CGM uses a sensor inserted under the skin to measure your blood sugar every few minutes. If you use a CGM, youll still need to test daily with a blood sugar meter to make sure your CGM readings are accurate.
Read Also: How Does Cinnamon Help With Blood Sugar
Symptoms Of High Blood Sugar
The medical term for high blood sugar is hyperglycemia and the term for low blood sugar is hypoglycemia. Having high blood sugar occasionally usually wont result in any symptoms.
Symptoms of high blood sugar tend to occur when blood sugar is very high for a prolonged period. This is why prediabetes and diabetes can go undiagnosed for years there arent immediate, noticeable symptoms.
Some of the early signs of chronic high blood sugar, which may tip someone off enough to visit with their healthcare provider, include:
For chronic hyperglycemia, more symptoms can occur, such as:
Poor wound healing: High blood sugar delays wound healing, which is one of the many reasons long-term diabetes can increase the risk of wounds requiring amputation.
- Numbness and tingling of the hands and feet: Prolonged periods of high blood sugar can cause nerve damage. One of the more well-known nerve damage types, peripheral neuropathy, can cause numbness or tingling sensation in the hands and feet and spreading to the arms and legs. Those with neuropathy may not feel a wound on their feet, leading to diabetic foot ulcers.
- Increased infections: High blood sugar interferes with the immune system, increasing susceptibility to illness and infection.
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.
Don’t Miss: Can Stress Lower Blood Sugar
Favor Foods With A Low Glycemic Index
The glycemic index identifies foods that increase blood sugar rapidly. This handy tool allows you to favor foods that have much less effect on blood sugar. High-glycemic-index foods include sugar itself, white potatoes, most wheat flour products, and most cold cereals, e.g., pumpernickel, rye, multigrain, or sourdough bread, old-fashioned oatmeal, bran cereals, grape-nuts, most fruits, sweet potatoes, pasta, rice, barley, couscous, beans, peas, lentils, most vegetables .
Other Ways To Naturally Regulate Blood Sugar
- Drink calorie-free beverages such as water, unsweetened teas, etc. and avoid sugary beverages such as soda, fruit juice, and sweetened coffee drinks.
- Get at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise most days of the week.
- Engage in weight or resistance training once or twice per week.
- Get adequate sleep .
- Eat balanced meals and snacks, similar to the plate method.
- Eat-in response to hunger and fullness cues, not based on what time it is.
- Read food labels to identify added sugars in foods and drinks.
- Consume low glycemic index food.
- Lower intake of processed foods and saturated fat.
- Consider using herbs, which have shown potential for improving blood sugar levels .
You May Like: What Is Blood Sugar Level
Additional Best Veggies For Diabetics
Here are some additional vegetables that can help you maintain blood glucose control and reduce inflammation:
Arugula is a leafy green from the Brassicaceae family that is packed with nutrients such as pro-vitamin A carotenoids and vitamins B9 and K.
Its also one of the best sources of dietary nitrates, a compound that turns into nitric oxide in your body, which may help increase blood flow and reduce blood pressure by widening your blood vessels.
Beetroot is a great source of fiber, folate , manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C.
Beetroot is very effective at lowering your blood pressure because it contains naturally occurring nitrates, which are converted into nitric oxide in your body.
Nitric oxide, in turn, helps to relax and dilate your blood vessels, improving blood flow and lowering your blood pressure.
However, if youre diabetic, use beets sparingly because of the high sugar content or, use organic beetroot powder instead.
Bell peppers are loaded with various vitamins and minerals including Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Vitamin K1, potassium, and folate.
Bell peppers also contain Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, and Vitamin A. Red bell peppers are high in pro-vitamin A , which your body converts into vitamin A .
Bell peppers come in various colors, such as red, yellow, orange, and green. Green peppers have a slightly bitter flavor compared to the other color peppers.
Tips For Healthy Eating With Diabetes
There are different types of diabetes, and no two people with diabetes are the same. So there isnt a one-size-fits-all ‘diabetes diet’ for everyone with diabetes. But weve come up with tips that you can use to help you make healthier food choices.
These healthy eating tips are general and can help you manage your blood glucose , blood pressure and cholesterol levels. They can also help you manage your weight and reduce the risk of diabetes complications, such as heart problems and strokes, and other health conditions including certain types of cancers.
Making healthier food choices is important to manage your diabetes and to reduce your risk of diabetes complications. We know that not everyone agrees on what is the best diet.
This is why weve reviewed all the evidence to put these tips together. Weve focused on specific foods, to make it easier for you to put these tips into practice and to complement whatever diet you decide to follow.
– Douglas Twenefour, Specialist Dietitian and Deputy Head of Care
We’ve based our tips on research involving people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. If you have a different type of diabetes, like gestational, cystic fibrosis-related diabetes or MODY, some of these tips are relevant to you. Its important, whatever kind of diabetes you have, to see your dietitian for specific advice.
Don’t Miss: Can Sugar Make Your Joints Hurt
What Are Blood Sugar Targets
A blood sugar target is the range you try to reach as much as possible. These are typical targets:
- Before a meal: 80 to 130 mg/dL.
- Two hours after the start of a meal: Less than 180 mg/dL.
Your blood sugar targets may be different depending on your age, any additional health problems you have, and other factors. Be sure to talk to your health care team about which targets are best for you.
Cut Down On Added Sugar
We know cutting out sugar can be really hard at the beginning, so small practical swaps are a good starting point when youre trying to cut down on excess sugar. Swapping sugary drinks, energy drinks and fruit juices with water, plain milk, or tea and coffee without sugar can be a good start.
You can always try low or zero-calorie sweeteners to help you cut back. Cutting out these added sugars can help you control your blood glucose levels and help keep your weight down. If your diabetes treatment means you get hypos, and you use sugary drinks to treat them, this is still important for your diabetes management and you shouldnt cut this out. However, if you are having regular hypos it is really important to discuss this with your diabetes team.
Also Check: How To Get Off Sugar And Carbs
Best Vegetables For Diabetics: Kale
Kale, like other members of the Brassica family, contains health-promoting phytochemicals, sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol to protect against prostate and colon cancers.
Kale is a very rich source of ß-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, vitamin A, vitamin K and the B-Complex vitamins.
Kale is also a rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.
Nutrients in kale offer protection from vitamin A deficiency, osteoporosis, iron-deficiency anemia, and are believed to protect the body from cardiovascular diseases, Type 2 diabetes, and colon and prostate cancers.
Dont Forget To Keep Moving
Being more physically active goes hand in hand with eating healthier. It can help you manage your diabetes and also reduce your risk of heart problems. This is because it increases the amount of glucose used by your muscles and helps the body use insulin more efficiently.
Try to aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week. This is any activity that raises your heart rate, makes you breathe faster and feel warmer. You should still be able to talk and only be slightly out of breath. And you dont have to do all 150 minutes in one go. Break it down into bite-size chunks of 10 minutes throughout the week or 30 minutes 5 times a week.
You May Like: Why Is Sugar Level Low
All It Takes Is One Boiled Egg To Control Sugar Levels In The Blood
Every time you eat, your blood sugar levels go up. This is especially true for individuals who have type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance. Having to learn how to control your blood sugar levels within a healthy range is by no means an easy task. It can take months for a newly diagnosed patient to learn what to eat and what to avoid. And during this period of time, someone with type 2 diabetes is likely to experience high blood sugar levels, which is detrimental to their overall health. Too much sugar in the blood for long periods of time can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, vision problems, and nerve problems.
When Blood Sugar Is Too Low
Glucose is a sugar that comes from the foods we eat, and it’s also formed and stored inside the body. It’s the main source of energy for the cells of our body, and is carried to each cell through the bloodstream. Our brains depend on glucose to function, even when we’re sleeping.
The is the amount of glucose in the blood. When these levels drop too low, it’s called hypoglycemia . Very low blood sugar levels can cause serious symptoms that need to be treated right away.
Read Also: What Can You Take To Lower Blood Sugar