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What Foods Affect Blood Sugar The Most?

How Many Factors Actually Affect Blood Glucose?

How Many Factors Actually Affect Blood Glucose?

A printable, colorful PDF version of this article can be found here. twitter summary: Adam identifies at least 22 things that affect blood glucose, including food, medication, activity, biological, & environmental factors. short summary: As patients, we tend to blame ourselves for out of range blood sugars – after all, the equation to “good diabetes management” is supposedly simple (eating, exercise, medication). But have you ever done everything right and still had a glucose that was too high or too low? In this article, I look into the wide variety of things that can actually affect blood glucose - at least 22! – including food, medication, activity, and both biological and environmental factors. The bottom line is that diabetes is very complicated, and for even the most educated and diligent patients, it’s nearly impossible to keep track of everything that affects blood glucose. So when you see an out-of-range glucose value, don’t judge yourself – use it as information to make better decisions. As a patient, I always fall into the trap of thinking I’m at fault for out of range blood sugars. By taking my medication, monitoring my blood glucose, watching what I eat, and exercising, I would like to have perfect in-range values all the time. But after 13 years of type 1 diabetes, I’ve learned it’s just not that simple. There are all kinds of factors that affect blood glucose, many of which are impossible to control, remember, or even account for. Based on personal experience, conversations with experts, and scientific research, here’s a non-exhaustive list of 22 factors that can affect blood glucose. They are separated into five areas – Food, Medication, Activity, Biological factors, and Environmental factors. I’ve provided arrows to show the ge Continue reading >>

List Of Foods That Will Quickly Raise Blood Sugars

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. Video of the Day 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. Get a Boost from Refined Grains White bread, cooked white pasta and rice, pancakes, soda crackers and breakfast cereals made with refined grains can quickly raise your blood sugar levels. Refined grain products typically raise your blood sugar levels faster than their whole grain counterparts because they are lower in dietary fiber, according to the Linus Pauling Institute. Rice cakes, hard pretzels, cornflakes and bagels are convenient choices to carry with you in case you begin experiencing symptoms of low blood sugar. Cooked carrots, potatoes and sweet potatoes can boost your blood sugar. Raw carrots have a lower GI. Nonstarchy vegetables, such as leafy greens, eggplant, zucchini and cucumbers, are lower in carbs and have very little effect on your blood sugar levels. Fat slows digestion and makes your blood sugar levels rise less quickly, so potatoes cooked wit Continue reading >>

8 Sneaky Things That Raise Your Blood Sugar Levels

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 >>

Top 10 Worst Foods For Diabetes

Top 10 Worst Foods For Diabetes

Candy Not only do high-sugar foods like candy, cookies, syrup, and soda lack nutritional value, but these low-quality carbohydrates also cause a dramatic spike in blood sugar levels and can contribute to weight gain, both of which can worsen diabetes complications. Learn to satisfy your sweet tooth by snacking on high-quality carbohydrates such as fresh fruit. Apples, berries, pears, grapes, and oranges all have sweet, juicy flavors and are packed with fiber to help slow the absorption of glucose, making them a much better choice for blood sugar control. When snacking on fruit, pair it with a protein food, such as a string cheese, nonfat yogurt, or handful of nuts, to further reduce the impact on your blood sugar. (For more sweet ideas, see my list of 20 Low-Sugar Snack ideas). Continue reading >>

Fruits That Raise Blood Sugar

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

Six Common Foods That Raise Your Blood Sugar Levels

Sweet foods raise my blood sugar, right? No, not always… Just because the food is not sweet does not mean that it does not contain sugar. So how do I know if food will cause my blood sugar to rise? The key is to know what foods contain the bad carbohydrates and sugar that cause your blood sugar to spike. And it is also very important to remember that what you drink can also cause this to happen. Let’s have a look at 6 of the most common foods that cause your blood sugar to go up: White Rice, Pasta, and Bread Food that is made from white flour is seen as starch that is very easy for the body to digest. The problem with this is that the sugar from the food gets absorbed into your bloodstream quickly and then causes your blood sugar to increase. Rather opt for brown or whole wheat options. For a FREE Diabetes eBook click HERE… Fast Food These foods are usually deep-fried, high in fat, as well as high in carbs and calories. The can easily cause your blood sugar to shoot up. Most people go for fast food because it is convenient, but there are healthy options that can be just as convenient and a lot better for your health. Potatoes Even though they might be classified as a vegetable, it is everything but healthy. Potatoes are well known for causing blood sugar problems because they are digested into the bloodstream soon after eating. Sweet potatoes are a much better option. Energy Bars Energy bars are usually perceived as healthy because they are associated with sports and fitness. The truth is that they are usually packed with sugar and carbs, and you might even be better off just having a normal candy bar! Make sure that you choose the natural options that are made with things like nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Sugary fruits like Bananas and Melons Yes, these are fru Continue reading >>

5 Surprising Food Habits That Raise Your Blood Sugar

5 Surprising Food Habits That Raise Your Blood Sugar

Taking care of your blood sugar is one of the most valuable things you can do for your mood, weight, and even your heart health. It’s essential for keeping your body’s chemicals (a.k.a. your hormones) in check and also helps stabilize your appetite. If you’re having a hard time finding some balance with your blood sugar, and constantly hungry no matter what, or jittery and shaky, then it’s time to turn to some tips for taking care of your blood sugar ASAP! Surprisingly, it’s not just the sugary white stuff that raises your blood sugar, and not even the fruit in your diet like some might say. It can also be caused by other factors that you’ll want to be aware of when going throughout your day. Your blood sugar really boils down to your insulin (the sugar hormone, as many call it), which also stores fat and secrets glucose into the cells. Your insulin isn’t your enemy when you care for it. It can help keep your energy stable, but the key is to slow it down for a steady walk, not send it on a rollercoaster ride. Here are some things you might not realize affect your blood sugar: 1. Too Much Caffeine Caffeine also raises insulin when consumed in excess. While a cup (or even two cups) of coffee a day is actually beneficial for your insulin, more than that can cause it to sky-rocket. Even when consumed from healthier sources like yerba mate or black tea, caffeine can make your insulin surge, which leaves you moody, shaky, irritable, and craving sweets. Then you become tired and exhausted when levels drop, which leads you to reach for more caffeine or more sugar, depending on your vice. See how to Eat Your Way to Energy: No Caffeine Needed here if you need some help, or these 14 Natural Caffeine-Free Choices to Help Mellow You Out if you’re stressed. 2. Sugar W Continue reading >>

13 Foods That Won’t Raise Blood Glucose

13 Foods That Won’t Raise Blood Glucose

Part 1 of 15 A healthy diet is essential to reversing prediabetes. There are no foods, herbs, drinks, or supplements that lower blood sugar. Only medication and exercise can. But there are things you can eat and drink that have a low Glycemic Index (GI). This means these foods won’t raise your blood sugar and may help you avoid a blood sugar spike. In addition to diet changes, staying or becoming active is also important. Learn which foods you can add to your diet plan. You may be able to prevent prediabetes or type 2 diabetes by adding more of these foods, spices, and drinks into your diet. Eat them as healthy alternatives to sugar, high GI carbohydrates, or other treats. Want more info like this? Sign up for our diabetes newsletter and get resources delivered right to your inbox » Part 2 of 15 Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) are important components of a healthy blood sugar eating plan. They can improve insulin sensitivity. They can also help increase feelings of satiety, and have a healthy impact on blood pressure and inflammation. MUFAs are a key nutrient in avocados. Studies have shown avocados can lower the risk of metabolic syndrome. This is a group of risk factors that can increase the risk of diabetes. It can also raise the risk of blood vessel disease like heart disease and stroke. Avocados also have a low GI. For a unique, diabetes-friendly dessert, try making Oh She Glow’s natural, no sugar added, raw avocado chocolate pudding. Part 3 of 15 Protein helps the body maintain and repair itself. Since protein doesn't impact blood sugar levels, it doesn't have a GI ranking and won’t raise blood sugar levels. Protein also increases satiety, so relying on protein to feel full instead of bread, rice, or pasta may be Continue reading >>

50 Foods That Won’t Spike Blood Sugar

50 Foods That Won’t Spike Blood Sugar

Blood sugar (or blood glucose) is most dependent on carbohydrate sources. But since carbohydrates embraces a wide variety of foods (whole grains, produce, milk, pastries, etc.), controlling blood sugars may be confusing and complex to manage. And with the effects of high blood sugar being harmful to health, regulating them takes high precedence. Effects of High Blood Sugar Though blood sugar spikes are oftentimes inevitable, they should not be a consistent phenomenon. Initial signs of high blood sugar (also known as hyperglycemia) consist of increased thirst and frequent urination. But constant and long-term spikes can create much bigger consequences and include cardiovascular (heart) disease, nerve damage (neuropathy), kidney damage (diabetic nephropathy) or failure, damage to the retina's blood vessels (diabetic retinopathy), poor blood circulation to the feet (potentially leading to infections or amputations), mouth and skin infections and non-healing wounds, along with bone and joint complications. More severe complications require emergency attention and include diabetic ketoacidosis and hyperglycemic hyperosmolar syndrome. How to Control Blood Sugar Spikes As mentioned above, constant high blood sugar and spikes can startle and damage the body and its systems. The glycemic index (GI) measures how foods affect blood sugars, based on a one to 100 number scale. Low GI foods have a mild effect on blood sugars while high GI foods have a much greater impact. So to keep blood sugars unshaken, stray away from highly sweetened items and go for non-carbohydrate or lower GI foods. Non-Carbohydrate Foods Meats, fats and oils are essentially absent of carbohydrates. Importantly, be mindful of the preparation method as breaded and battered meats will mostly contain some sort of Continue reading >>

Healthy Foods That Do Not Spike Blood Sugar

Healthy Foods That Do Not Spike Blood Sugar

Your blood sugar levels rise when you consume foods with easily accessible carbohydrates, potentially increasing your risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity or other health problems. Selecting foods based on their glycemic index, a system that ranks foods based on their potential effect on your blood sugar levels, helps you to find foods that keep your blood sugar levels low; the lower the GI ranking, the less of an impact on your blood sugar levels. Glycemic Index of 20 or Lower Foods without carbohydrates, including meats, eggs and fish, do not have a GI index ranking and do not have a notable impact on your blood sugar levels. Ranked foods with a score of less than 20 also have minimal impact. Such foods include carrots, eggplant, cauliflower, green beans, broccoli, peppers, onions, lettuce, zucchini, tomatoes, peanuts and walnuts. These foods are generally safe for you to eat at each meal without spiking your blood sugar. Cooking raw vegetables makes their carbohydrates more bioavailable and increases their GI ranking -- eat vegetables raw for the smallest impact on your blood sugar. Glycemic Index of 21 to 40 A GI ranking of 21 to 40 represents a small impact on your blood sugar levels. Many vegetables with an otherwise low GI ranking, such as carrots, jump into the 21 to 40 category when cooked. Examples of foods in this small-to-moderate category include peas, beans, lentils, whole wheat pasta, egg noodles, wheat tortillas, pearled barley, rye, cherries, plums, grapefruit, apples, apricots, milk, yogurt and soy milk. Enjoy these foods in moderation to keep your blood sugar in check. Glycemic Index of 41 to 60 Foods with a GI rank of 41 to 60 have a moderate impact on your blood sugar. Examples include rolled oats, kidney beans, chickpeas, popcorn, sweet potatoe Continue reading >>

12 Simple Tips To Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes

12 Simple Tips To Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes

Blood sugar spikes occur when your blood sugar rises and then falls sharply after you eat. In the short term, they can cause lethargy and hunger. Over time, your body may not be able to lower blood sugar effectively, which can lead to type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a rising health problem. In fact, 29 million Americans have diabetes, and 25% of them don't even know they have it (1). Blood sugar spikes can also cause your blood vessels to harden and narrow, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. This article looks at 12 simple things you can do to prevent blood sugar spikes. Carbohydrates (carbs) are what cause blood sugar to rise. When you eat carbs, they are broken down into simple sugars. Those sugars then enter the bloodstream. As your blood sugar levels rise, your pancreas releases a hormone called insulin, which prompts your cells to absorb sugar from the blood. This causes your blood sugar levels to drop. Many studies have shown that consuming a low-carb diet can help prevent blood sugar spikes (2, 3, 4, 5). Low-carb diets also have the added benefit of aiding weight loss, which can also reduce blood sugar spikes (6, 7, 8, 9). There are lots of ways to reduce your carb intake, including counting carbs. Here's a guide on how to do it. A low-carb diet can help prevent blood sugar spikes and aid weight loss. Counting carbs can also help. Refined carbs, otherwise known as processed carbs, are sugars or refined grains. Some common sources of refined carbs are table sugar, white bread, white rice, soda, candy, breakfast cereals and desserts. Refined carbs have been stripped of almost all nutrients, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Refined carbs are said to have a high glycemic index because they are very easily and quickly digested by the body. This leads to blood sugar Continue reading >>

Foods And Drinks That Can Cause Blood Sugar Swings

Foods And Drinks That Can Cause Blood Sugar Swings

Just when you think you're making all the right food choices, your blood sugar takes a leap or dive. Foods and drinks can have an impact you might not expect, and these surprise blood-sugar changes can be harmful (potentially causing low or high levels). Here are some things you should consider: Don't let bagels betray you. Counting carbs is a way of life when you have diabetes. Bread can really rack up those carbs, but not all bread is created equal. Think there's no difference between a bagel and an English muffin? One plain English muffin has 140 calories and 27 grams of carbohydrates. A bagel that's 4½ inches in diameter serves up 294 calories and 58 grams of carbs. That's about as many calories and even more carbs than a glazed donut. "It's about portion size. Some bagels are the size of a plate," says Pamela Allweiss, MD, MPH. She's a medical officer in the division of diabetes translation at the CDC. A fruit in any other form may be twice as sweet. All fruits have sugar, but did you know that different forms of the same fruit have vastly different amounts? Dried fruit packs a sugary punch compared with its fresh counterpart. Ten grapes, which weigh about 1.75 ounces, have 34 calories and 8 grams of sugar. They're also full of water, which helps fill you up. A 1.5-ounce, single-serving box of raisins packs 129 calories and 15 grams of sugar, but none of the water. "Without the water, the sugar is more concentrated in dried fruit. And with the smaller size, you're likely to eat many more of them," Allweiss says. Fruit juices are similarly deceptive. A 5-ounce Florida orange has 65 calories, 13 grams of sugar, and 3 grams of fiber. An 8-ounce glass of juice, though, has 112 calories, 24 grams of sugar, and no fiber. Sports drinks may not be so sporty. They may have Continue reading >>

6 Sneaky Foods That Raise Your Blood Sugar Levels The Most

6 Sneaky Foods That Raise Your Blood Sugar Levels The Most

The food you eat can have a direct impact on your blood sugar levels. Whether you have diabetes or just concerned about maintaining steady blood sugar levels, it is important to pay attention to what you eat. Let's quickly understand the science first. Your body creates blood sugar or blood glucose by digesting the carbohydrates from the food you eat and transforming some of it into sugar that travels through your bloodstream. This blood sugar is used by the body to generate energy and the part that remains unused is stored. Too much blood sugar in your body can be harmful and so can frequent spikes in your blood sugar levels and may even lead to diabetes. Here are six sneaky foods that are known to raise your blood sugar levels. It is often suggested to eat a combination of proteins, fats and fiber to slow down the digestion of carbohydrates and reduce the spike in your blood sugar levels after the meals. 1. Coffee: Your blood sugar may rise after a cup of coffee due to the presence of caffeine. The same goes for black tea or green tea. Although, caffeine affects different people differently, if you are diabetic you must limit your caffeine intake. (Also read: 7 Foods That Can Help Control Your Blood Sugar) Your blood sugar may rise after a cup of coffee due to the presence of caffeine​ 2. Dry Fruits: Dry fruits like raisins and cranberries contain sugar in more concentrated forms and therefore, are high in carbohydrates. A fruit in any other form than its natural form like juice or dried is known to have twice the amount of sugar. While they're known to be good for you, it is best to limit your daily intake of nuts and dry fruits to a handful or roughly 30 grams. Dry fruits like raisins and cranberries contain sugar in more concentrated forms. Photo Credit: Istock 3 Continue reading >>

What Foods Cause High Blood Sugar Levels?

What Foods Cause High Blood Sugar Levels?

Glucose is sugar from foods that’s formed in your body, used for energy and stored. It's your main energy source, but too much sugar in your blood, known as hyperglycemia, causes serious health consequences. Chronic hyperglycemia damages your blood vessels and tissues and increases your risk of heart disease, stroke, vision and nerve problems, kidney disease and diabetes. Reduce your risk for health problems by minimizing foods in your diet that spike blood sugar levels. Video of the Day Avoid Refined Grains Refined grains, including white rice, pastas and breads, are processed to remove their bran and germ, which also removes the fiber. Without fiber, your body converts the carbohydrate more rapidly into glucose, which quickly raises your blood sugar levels. Opt for whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa and whole-wheat breads and pastas. The fiber content causes a slower, steadier increase in blood sugar. Consuming enough fiber also reduces your risk for Type 2 diabetes, constipation, obesity and certain cancers. Select the least-processed whole grain to minimize blood sugar spikes even more. For example, choose steel-cut oats over instant oatmeal. Stick With Fresh Fruit Fruit is always a healthy option, but stick to fresh or frozen fruit. When fruits are dried, the natural sugar content becomes condensed, which spikes blood sugar levels, according to registered dietitian Joy Bauer. The American Diabetes Association states you can enjoy dried fruits occasionally, but keep portion sizes small. Watch out for fresh fruit, too -- according to Harvard School of Public Health, ripe fruit increases blood sugar faster than unripe fruit. Packaged desserts and snack cakes are very high in added sugars and refined flour. This combination rapidly elevates blood sugar levels a Continue reading >>

​​​​diabetes Nutrition: How Food Affects Your Blood Glucose

​​​​diabetes Nutrition: How Food Affects Your Blood Glucose

Ms Kala Adaikan, Senior Principal Dietitian, from the Department of Dietetics at Singapore General Hospital, a member of ​the SingHealth group, explains how different foods affect​ blood glucose levels.​ What to eat when you have diabetes? Nutrition is an integral part of diabetes care. Rather than a restrictive diet, a diet suitable for diabetes is simply a healthy eating plan that is individualised according to your requirements and lifestyle. People with diabetes do not need to go on a special diet. You may have to modify your diet, rather than overhaul it. If you have diabetes, your doctor would likely recommend that you see a Dietitian to guide you on dietary changes that can help you control your blood glucose levels and manage your weight. “It is important that you understand how different foods affect​ your blood glucose levels, especially carbohydrates, since it is the nutrient that has the greatest effect on your blood glucose levels,” says Ms Kala Adaikan, Senior Principal Dietitian, at the Department of Dietetics, Singapore Gene​ral Hospital​ (SGH), a member of the SingHealth group. 3 steps to effective diabetes nutrition Understand the role of the various food nutrients in diabetes management and how they affect blood glucose levels Keep track of the amount of carbohydrates you consume by using carbohydrate counting techniques Reduce and maintain weight within the desirable weight range to improve insulin resistance and achieve better blood glucose control Step 1: Understand how food affects blood glucose levels Carbohydrates Carbohydrates give you energy and should not be avoided. They should be included as part of a healthy eating plan. For optimal diabetes control, one must recognise that quantity and quality of carbohydrates are to be co Continue reading >>

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