8 Tips To Avoid Blood Sugar Dips And Spikes
If you have type 2 diabetes and your blood sugar levels are racing up and down like a roller coaster, it's time to get off the ride. Big swings in your blood sugar can make you feel lousy. But even if you aren't aware of them, they can still increase your risk for a number of serious health problems. By making simple but specific adjustments to your lifestyle and diet, you can gain better blood-sugar control. Your body uses the sugar, also known as glucose, in the foods you eat for energy. Think of it as a fuel that keeps your body moving throughout the day. Blood Sugar Highs and Lows Type 2 diabetes decreases the body’s production of insulin, which is a hormone that regulates blood sugar. Without enough insulin, sugar builds up in the blood and can damage nerves and blood vessels. This increase of blood sugar also increases your risk for heart disease and stroke. Over time, high blood sugar, also known as hyperglycemia, can lead to more health problems, including kidney failure and blindness. "Keeping blood sugar stable can help prevent the long-term consequences of fluctuations," says Melissa Li-Ng, MD, an endocrinologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. Dr. Li-Ng explains that high blood sugar can cause a number of symptoms that include: Fatigue Increased thirst Blurry vision Frequent urination It's also important to know that you can have high blood sugar and still feel fine, but your body can still suffer damage, Li-Ng says. Symptoms of high blood sugar typically develop at levels above 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). "You can have high blood sugar that's between 150 and 199 and feel perfectly fine," Li-Ng says. Over time, your body can also get used to chronically high blood sugar levels, so you don’t feel the symptoms, she says. On the flip side, if you Continue reading >>
8 Sneaky Things That Raise Your Blood Sugar Levels
Skipping breakfast iStock/Thinkstock Overweight women who didn’t eat breakfast had higher insulin and blood sugar levels after they ate lunch a few hours later than they did on another day when they ate breakfast, a 2013 study found. Another study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that men who regularly skipped breakfast had a 21 percent higher chance of developing diabetes than those who didn’t. A morning meal—especially one that is rich in protein and healthy fat—seems to stabilize blood sugar levels throughout the day. Your breakfast is not one of the many foods that raise blood sugar. Here are some other things that happen to your body when you skip breakfast. Artificial sweeteners iStock/Thinkstock They have to be better for your blood sugar than, well, sugar, right? An interesting new Israeli study suggests that artificial sweeteners can still take a negative toll and are one of the foods that raise blood sugar. When researchers gave mice artificial sweeteners, they had higher blood sugar levels than mice who drank plain water—or even water with sugar! The researchers were able to bring the animals’ blood sugar levels down by treating them with antibiotics, which indicates that these fake sweeteners may alter gut bacteria, which in turn seems to affect how the body processes glucose. In a follow-up study of 400 people, the research team found that long-term users of artificial sweeteners were more likely to have higher fasting blood sugar levels, reported HealthDay. While study authors are by no means saying that sugary beverages are healthier, these findings do suggest that people who drink artificially sweetened beverages should do so in moderation as part of a healthy diet. Here's what else happens when you cut artificial sweetener Continue reading >>
Fruits That Raise Blood Sugar
Your body transforms the food you eat into fuel that helps it run smoothly. Its preferred fuel is glucose, a type of sugar that comes primarily from carbohydrates. Over time, too much sugar in the diet can trigger health problems, so it’s best to limit your sugar to natural sources like fruits, which also provide vitamin C and a wealth of other nutrients. Some fruits can raise blood sugar very quickly, however, and others have a more gradual effect. Processed foods with lots of added sugars – sodas, candy, desserts and baked goods – have the most immediate impact on your blood sugar levels. But even on what seems like a healthy diet, some of your food and beverage choices may negatively affect your blood sugar levels, causing them to peak and crash. When this happens, you might feel a brief burst of energy – a sugar rush – followed by a low point where you become tired and need to refuel. Keeping blood sugar levels on an even keel is key to overall good health, even if you aren’t diabetic or prediabetic. A balanced diet of regular meals that include some protein, carbs and fat helps you stay on track and avoid blood sugar levels that swing between being too high and too low. Dried Fruits Packed with minerals like iron and health-promoting phytonutrients, dried fruits are a smart addition to your diet. Because all the water is removed from them though, these fruits are concentrated bites of natural sugar. Pay attention to portion size when choosing dried fruits. A small box of raisins (1 ounce) looks like a modest serving that's super-convenient to bring with you to work, but it contains 20 grams of sugar. Apricots, currants and pineapple are other commonly dried fruits that may elevate your blood sugar. Another issue with dried fruits is that manufacturers m Continue reading >>
Six Common Foods That Raise Your Blood Sugar Levels
AFFECTING 1.8 Million Australian's, diabetes is the world's fastest growing chronic disease with two people developing the disease every 10 seconds. With National Diabetes Week around the corner (July 12-18), Good Price Pharmacy Warehouse pharmacist Carolyn Clementson, is dishing up the worst foods for your blood sugar. Carolyn Clementon says most people think they know what foods are high in sugar, but glucose can be hiding where we least expect it. "Everyone associated chocolate, soda and lollies with sugary danger foods when talking about diabetes, however the below foods are equally as risky and will cause a spike in your blood sugar," she said. Food made from refined white flour are easily digestible starch and which will raise your blood sugar level, instead it's best to opt for brown versions. 2. Chinese Food Dishes that are high-calorie, high fat, high-sodium, and high-carb can spike blood sugar dramatically. Dishes to avoid include fried entrees, orange chicken, sweet and sour dishes and anything served with a sugary sauce. If you are craving Chinese, prepare something at home using steamed veggies and low-sodium, low-fat condiments and flavourings. 3. Potatoes They might be a vegetable but they are far from healthy, potatoes are notorious for increasing blood sugar because they're digested into the bloodstream quickly. A healthier option is to swap potatoes for sweet potatoes. 4. Energy Bars Although energy bars can seem like a healthy snack it is important to read the label! Energy bars are often made from refined flours and sugars and can have a higher sugar content than a Mars Bar! Choose bars that are made with nuts, whole grains and fewer natural sweeteners. 5. Bananas and Melons Although seen as a healthy choice, not all fruits are created equal. Fruits Continue reading >>
7 Surprising Things That Make Blood Sugar Control Easier
Being asleep. Being awake. Hot weather. Cold weather. Seems there’s no end to the number of things that can raise your blood glucose levels. No wonder diabetes management can be such an obstacle course. But it’s not all doom and gloom. For every factor that unexpectedly sends your blood sugars spiralling out of control, there’s an equally unexpected – and often enjoyable – way to keep them under control. 1. Peanut butter We know that peanuts are great for people with diabetes. But one group of researchers from Brazil were more interested in peanut butter (and why wouldn’t they be). The team split participants into three groups: the first ate 1.5 ounces of peanuts; the second had three tablespoons of peanut butter with breakfast; and the third had no peanut butter or peanuts. They all ate the same lunch of white bread and strawberry jam. Interestingly, the researchers found that the peanut butter was better for blood glucose levels than the peanuts. The second group felt fuller for long, and had lower blood sugars when they were tested after lunch. Not all peanut butter is as good for you, of course. But the researchers found that the healthier brands can do you a lot of good. Turns out that peanut butter has a lovely combination of high protein, fibre and healthy oils. So you no longer have to feel ashamed for eating it straight from the jar with a tablespoon. I certainly won’t. 2. Red wine Red wine lowers blood sugars by stopping the intestines absorbing glucose. Recently, plenty of researchers have become very interested in the effects of red wine on weight loss and blood glucose levels. A number of studies reckon it could be beneficial. That said, drinking too much of it can cause problems (such as a build-up of fat around the liver), so everything in m Continue reading >>
Don't Be Afraid Of Fruit
Don't Be Afraid of Fruit by Berkeley Wellness | July 01, 2011 Eat more fruits and vegetables—who could argue with that simple advice? Well, amazingly enough, the fruit part is being questioned, mostly by advocates of low-carb diets, such as science writer Gary Taubes and lifestyle guru Tim Ferriss. Some warn that fruit is almost as “evil” as sugar and white bread when it comes to weight control and overall health. Fruit: guilt by association What scares some people about fruit is that not only do nearly all of its calories come from carbs, but most of those carbs are sugar, and much of that sugar is fructose. Say fructose and most people think high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)—our No. 1 sweetener, added to so many soft drinks and processed foods. HFCS is slightly more than half fructose; plain old table sugar (sucrose) is also half fructose, while honey is about 40 percent fructose. Some recent research suggests that fructose, at least in the large quantities many Americans are now consuming, can have adverse effects on blood cholesterol and triglycerides, worsen blood sugar control, promote abdominal weight gain and pose other health risks. But fresh fruits supply only a small fraction of the fructose Americans consume. You would have to eat several servings of fruit to get as much fructose as in a can of soda. Moreover, fruits are complicated foods, not just a serving of fructose. Their fiber and other components help slow the absorption of fructose, compared to sugary beverages. Some fruits, such as apples, pears and mangoes, are higher in fructose and other sugars and thus calories, but they’re still only moderate sources. Some are relatively high on the glycemic index (a measure of the effect of carbohydrates on blood sugar), but most are moderate. It’s h Continue reading >>
Do Apples Affect Diabetes And Blood Sugar Levels?
Apples are delicious, nutritious and convenient to eat. Studies have shown that they have several health benefits. Yet apples also contain carbs, which impact blood sugar levels. However, the carbs found in apples affect your body differently than the sugars found in junk foods. This article explains how apples affect blood sugar levels and how to incorporate them into your diet if you have diabetes. Apples are one of the most popular fruits in the world. They're also highly nutritious. In fact, apples are high in vitamin C, fiber and several antioxidants. One medium apple contains 95 calories, 25 grams of carbs and 14% of the daily value for vitamin C (1). Interestingly, a large part of an apple's nutrients is found in its colorful skin (2). Furthermore, apples contain large amounts of water and fiber, which make them surprisingly filling. You're likely to be satisfied after eating just one (3). Apples are a good source of fiber, vitamin C and antioxidants. They also help you feel full without consuming a lot of calories. If you have diabetes, keeping tabs on your carbohydrate intake is important. That's because of the three macronutrients — carbs, fat and protein — carbs affect your blood sugar levels the most. That being said, not all carbs are created equal. A medium apple contains 25 grams of carbs, but 4.4 of those are fiber (1). Fiber slows down the digestion and absorption of carbs, causing them to not spike your blood sugar levels nearly as quickly (4). Studies show that fiber is protective against type 2 diabetes, and that many types of fiber can improve blood sugar control (5, 6). Apples contain carbs, which can raise blood sugar levels. However, the fiber in apples helps stabilize blood sugar levels, in addition to providing other health benefits. Apples Continue reading >>
Treating Low Blood Sugar
You are at risk of having a low blood sugar reaction if you: Skip or delay a meal or snack Take too much insulin or eat too few carbohydrates Exercise Drink alcohol, especially without eating carbohydrates Check your blood sugar if you have any of these symptoms: Weakness and/or fatigue Headache Sweating Anxiety Dizziness Shaking Increased heartbeat If your blood sugar is less than 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl): Eat 15 to 30 grams of carbohydrate (sample foods listed below) Wait 15 minutes and then recheck your blood sugar If your blood sugar is still less than 100 mg/dl, take another 15 grams of carbohydrate and retest your blood sugar in another 15 minutes. Repeat if necessary. Important: If you have frequent low blood sugars speak to your doctor. You may need changes in your medication and/or meal plan. Quick Carbohydrate Guide for Treating Low Blood Sugars If your blood sugar is less than 70 mg/dl, you need 15 to 30 grams of a quickly absorbed carbohydrate, like the ones listed below. Each of the following servings provides 15 grams of carbohydrate. Candies and Other Sweets 5 small gum drops 12 gummy bears 6 large jelly beans 5 Life Savers 15 Skittles 1 Tablespoon honey, jam or jelly 1 Tablespoon sugar in water 4 Starburst Beverages 1/2 cup apple juice 1/2 cup orange or grapefruit juice 1/2 cup pineapple juice 1/2 cup regular soda (not diet) 1/3 cup grape juice 1/3 cup cranberry juice 1/3 cup prune juice 1 cup fat free milk Fruits 1/2 banana 1 small apple 1 small orange 1/2 cup applesauce 2 tablespoons of raisins 15 grapes Other 3 to 4 glucose tablets 1 tube glucose gel Note: The foods listed above are easily absorbed and will raise blood sugar levels quickly. Foods that contain protein or fat — such as chocolate, candy bars, ice cream, cookies, crackers and Continue reading >>
Foods That Don’t Raise Blood Sugar
When you know about all the right foods that don’t raise your blood sugar—it can actually become very easy to keep your blood sugars in check. Certain foods will make your blood sugar go up quite rapidly. Also known as high-glycemic foods, these foods include sweets like candy, cakes, muffins, cupcakes, doughnuts, crackers, chips, French fries, pizza dough, wraps, white bread, white pasta, croissants, white rice, sugar, fruit juices like orange juice and apple juice, sweets, cookies, syrup, hamburger buns, rolls, bagels, oatmeal, corn, quinoa, couscous, macaroni and cheese, fettuccini, spaghetti, soda, and honey. You'll want to steer clear of those foods, so that your blood sugar levels stay nice and balanced. Once you add in more foods that don't raise your blood sugar, you won't miss those foods. Here is a list of foods that don't raise blood sugar. This is a list of diabetic-safe foods that are both healthy and delicious. Vegetables Artichoke hearts, Asparagus, Bamboo Shoots, Bean sprouts, Beets, Brussel sprouts, Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Cucumber, Eggplant, Greens (collard, kale, mustard, turnip), Hearts of palm, Kohlrabi, Leeks, Mushrooms, Okra (not fried), Onions, Peppers (red, orange, yellow, green), Radishes, Rutabaga, Salad greens, Squash (summer, crookneck, spaghetti, zucchini), Sugar snap peas, Swiss chard, Turnips, and Water chestnuts. Proteins Greek yogurt, Cottage cheese, Eggs, Beef (steak, ground), Pork (chops, loin, ham), Chicken (breast, thigh), Turkey (breast, thigh), Fish (Tuna, halibut, Salmon, tilapia), Shrimp, Canadian bacon, Nuts (peanuts, almonds, cashews), Edamame (soybean), Tofu, and Low-carb protein powders. Fats Avocado, Almonds, Chia seeds, Vegetable Oil, Olive Oil, Flax seeds, Peanut butter (no sugar added), Cocon Continue reading >>
Type Ii Diabetes: 6 Fruits To Help Control Your Blood Sugar
Type II Diabetes: 6 Fruits to Help Control Your Blood Sugar Controlling your diabetes could be as easy as losing weight. There are many things that you can do to control you blood sugar and increasing your intake of certain fruits is one of them. Natural sugar is easier to break down than processed or man-made sugar. This is why adding fruit, a great source for natural sugar, to your diet in moderation could prevent your body from building an insulin intolerance. Here are our favorite fruits to add to your diet if you are looking to naturally control your blood sugar, or decrease the amount of insulin that you use each day. 1. Avocado Avocado is thought by many to be a vegetable. On the contrary, it is actually a fruit. This fruit is high in monounsaturated fats which are one of the healthy fats that you should ingest on a regular basis. These fruits also improve heart health. They have a very low percentage of low-quality carbohydrates and can improve the sensitivity you have to your insulin. This means that simply snacking on avocado, eating guacamole, or adding it to a sandwich could decrease the amount of insulin that you have to take. 2. Grapefruits Grapefruits are a great source of chromium. Recent studies have shown chromium to significantly lower blood sugar levels. A grapefruit with breakfast can help break down the dietary sugars that are in your cereal as well. It also contains a very low amount of carbohydrates but most of these carbohydrates are considered healthy fiber so they won’t cause a serious increase in blood sugar. 3. Pineapples Pineapple does not prevent blood sugar spikes. However, it has a low glycemic index, which means that it raises your blood sugar slower and does not cause rapid spikes. This means that when your blood sugar starts low, it Continue reading >>
Do Apples Raise Your Blood Sugar?
Apples are a quick, sweet and crunchy snack that can simultaneously satisfy your craving and deliver nutrients the body needs to function. Because they contain carbohydrates in the form of sugar, apples will, indeed, raise your blood sugar -- though only slightly. A medium apple is a low-glycemic-index food, meaning it releases sugar slowly into your bloodstream. If you are counting carbs due to concerns about blood sugar levels, eat your apple with the skin on. The fiber in the skin reduces the amount of net carbs in the apple. Video of the Day Starches and sugars are carbohydrates that raise your blood sugar, while fiber is a carb that doesn't. The skin on apples is made of insoluble fiber, which helps digestion. The amount of fiber is counted in the total carbs, but because fiber doesn't raise your blood sugar, the amount of fiber gets subtracted from the total carbs. One large apple contains 28 grams of carbs and 5.8 grams of fiber. Pairing carbs with high-protein foods -- like an apple with low-fat cheese -- is another way to keep them from raising your blood sugar too quickly. Continue reading >>
Diabetes Diet: Should I Avoid Sweet Fruits?
I've heard that you shouldn't eat sweet fruits such as strawberries or blueberries if you have diabetes. Is this true? Answers from M. Regina Castro, M.D. It's a common myth that if you have diabetes you shouldn't eat certain foods because they're "too sweet." Some fruits do contain more sugar than others, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't eat them if you have diabetes. The total amount of carbohydrates in a food affects blood sugar levels more than does the source of carbohydrates or whether the source is a starch or sugar. One serving of fruit should contain 15 grams of carbohydrates. The size of the serving depends on the carbohydrate content of the fruit. The advantage of eating a low-carbohydrate fruit is that you can consume a larger portion. But whether you eat a low-carb or high-carb fruit, as long as the serving size contains 15 grams of carbohydrates, the effect on your blood sugar is the same. The following fruit servings contain about 15 grams of carbohydrates: 1/2 medium apple or banana 1 cup blackberries 3/4 cup blueberries 1 cup raspberries 1 1/4 cup whole strawberries 1 cup cubed cantaloupe or honeydew melon Continue reading >>
3 Fruits That Won’t Give You A Sugar Spike
Fruit, of course, is a healthy go-to snack, and you should be eating a few servings of it every day. But not everything from the farmers’ market is created equal. Some of the most commonly purchased fruits are actually the highest in sugar, like bananas (18 grams of sugar per cup) and grapes (15 grams). Ditto tropics-born favorites like mango (23 grams) and pineapple (16 grams). To get a better idea of which fruits will be less likely to cause a blood sugar spike, nutritionist Katrin Lee, MS, RD, founder of Simply Nutrition NYC, recommends analyzing the rest of the nutrition facts. “Any fruits that have other major nutrients, like protein, fiber, or good fats will cause your blood sugar to spike slower because you’re also working to digest the other nutrients,” Lee explains. And while your body reacts to sugar whether it comes from a packet or a pineapple, eating the nutrient-dense food is always the better option. “Just control your portions and eat a variety of types, so you can get the extra nutritional benefits of different fruits.” If you’re really trying to cut back on the sweet stuff, you should know this: Overripe fruits contain more sugar. “The starch content turns into simple sugar, that’s why it tastes sweeter, too,” says Lee. So for fruits that don’t need to be super ripe, try to eat them before they’re overly soft and saccharine. To help guide your grocery shopping, here are three fruits we’re gushing over with relatively low sugar content and some seriously juicy nutritional benefits. —Amy Marturana and Jennifer Kass Berries Strawberries clock in at 7 grams per cup, while raspberries have a mere 5 grams—not to mention, a whopping 8 grams of fiber. When consumed at least three times a week, colorful berries are pretty powerful Continue reading >>
Stop Spiking Those Sugars!
Many people (and their doctors) use A1C and fasting blood glucose levels to gauge their diabetes control. But those numbers only tell half the story. To prevent organ damage, we also have to keep glucose from spiking after meals. How can we do that? Do You Spike? If you just check your blood glucose levels in the morning and maybe at bedtime, you will miss these spikes. Say your numbers at those times usually run about 125 mg/dl. If your blood sugar levels were like that all day, your A1C would be about 6.0%. But maybe when the doctor tests your A1C, it might be closer to 7.6%. You know then you are spiking after meals high enough to raise your average sugar to 170, which means spiking well over 200. You can find a good calculator for converting A1C to average glucose here. Glucose levels above 140 can lead to inflammation of blood vessels and organs. The higher the spike goes and the longer it lasts, the more damage there is likely to be. With any type of diabetes, we want to get those spikes down, and it takes a lot of monitoring and experimenting to get it right. Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE, who has Type 1, wrote here that for Type 1s, it’s about managing your insulin so that it peaks when blood glucose is peaking and drops off when glucose levels do. You can only do that with fast-acting insulin injections or a pump. But even then, you have to know how much a given meal is likely to raise your sugar to know how much to give and when to give it. Scheiner recommends testing about an hour after completing a meal or snack. That’s when sugar levels tend to be highest. Jenny Ruhl at Diabetes Update says different people and different foods spike differently. So to find the very highest spike, you might have to try different times. “Meals heavy in fat digest more slowly t Continue reading >>
Are Apples Good For Keeping Blood Sugar Steady?
Foods with carbohydrates affect your body's blood sugar levels differently, depending on their individual ingredients and nutrient profile. Foods rich in sugars and refined grains are more likely to raise your blood sugar levels, while foods rich in fiber are less likely to affect blood sugar levels, thus helping you keep your levels steady. Apples are rich in fiber and won't have a large effect on your blood sugar. Total carbohydrates in apples comprise starches, sugars and fiber. Sugars are the most abundant type of carbohydrate in apples, while starches are present in small amounts. One medium gala apple with skin contains 24 grams of total carbohydrates. Nearly 18 grams of that total are from sugar, and 4 grams are dietary fiber. The rest is starch. Green apples contain slightly fewer carbs, evident by their tarter taste. One medium Granny Smith apple contains a little less than 23 grams of total carbs. Of that total, 5 grams are fiber, 16 grams are sugar, and the rest is starch. Glycemic Index of Apples You can use the glycemic index to estimate how much of an impact a carbohydrate food will have on your blood sugar. The glycemic index is a scale from one to 100 that measures a food's effect on blood sugar compared to straight glucose, which has a rating of 100. A rating of 55 or less is low, meaning that food isn't likely to raise blood sugar levels significantly. Apples have an average rating of 39, which means they're a low-glycemic food. Comparison to Other Fruits Apples are one of the lowest-glycemic fruits you can choose, which means they're good news for your blood sugar levels. Ripe bananas are considerably higher on the glycemic index, with a rating of 62. Grapes are also higher, with an average rating of 59. Watermelon has one of the highest scores of all Continue reading >>