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Foods That Keep Blood Sugar Steady

The 4 Foods That Will Steady Your Blood Sugar

The 4 Foods That Will Steady Your Blood Sugar

Wondering what blood sugar has to do with you, if you don’t have diabetes? Keeping your blood sugar levels as steady as possiblenow may help you avoid getting diabetes later. “As you get older, your risk for type 2 diabetes goes up,” says Alissa Rumsey, Registered Dietitian and Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “Since you can’t modify your age, it is important to take other steps to lower your risk, including maintaining a healthy weight, getting enough exercise, and balancing your diet to prevent spikes in blood sugar.” Controlling your blood sugar will also just make you feel better. “It’s best to control blood sugar—it keeps your energy stable,” says Leann Olansky, M.D., an endocrinologist at the Cleveland Clinic. “If your blood sugar doesn’t vary that much before and after a meal, that’s a healthier way to be.” Unrelated to diabetes, symptoms of occasional high blood sugar aren’t life-threatening, but rather unpleasant and only potentially dangerous if you suffer from other health problems. “When your blood sugar is too high, it can make you feel sluggish,” says Dr. Olansky. “When it’s higher still, it can lead to dehydration and make your blood pressure unstable, and cause you to urinate more often, especially at night.” But when your blood sugar remains chronically high, insulin, a hormone that’s supposed to help your body store sugar as energy, stops working as it should. “Prolonged high blood sugar levels can lead to insulin resistance, meaning your body isn’t able to use insulin properly,” says Rumsey. “Over time this insulin resistance can develop into diabetes, when insulin isn’t able to keep your blood sugar within normal levels.” Current research reveals an association between spik Continue reading >>

Food Combinations To Steady Blood Sugar & Raise Metabolism

Food Combinations To Steady Blood Sugar & Raise Metabolism

Keeping your blood sugar levels steady can not only help you prevent type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases, it can also help you have more even energy levels and feel more satiated between meals. A diet that allows you to maintain stable blood sugar levels will also help you feel less hungry and reduce your cravings for unhealthy foods. You can also improve your metabolism with the foods you choose to eat, which is key to making weight loss and maintenance easier. Your total carbohydrate intake at a meal is the main factor influencing your blood sugar levels, independently of the foods you combine your carbs with. If you want to stabilize your blood sugar levels, avoid choosing foods that are high in carbohydrates, or limit your serving size of high-carb foods. Be careful with foods that contain flour or sugar, such as breads, rice, pasta, soft drinks and desserts because of their high carbohydrate content. Both the starches and sugars found in these foods are converted into glucose, the main sugar circulating in your blood, during the digestion process. Low-Glycemic Carbohydrates The carbohydrates that you include at each of your meals and snacks should be low-glycemic carbohydrates. Carbohydrate foods that have a low glycemic index take more time to metabolize, which helps to keep your blood sugar levels steady for hours after your meal. Choose non-starchy vegetables, such as leafy greens, cauliflower and red bell peppers; fruits; nuts; sweet potato; quinoa; steel-cut oats; and sourdough bread to combine with protein and fat at each meal. Avoid high-glycemic carbohydrates, such as white potatoes, white and whole-wheat breads, corn flakes and puffed rice breakfast cereals, granola bars and baked goods, all of which can make your blood sugar levels increase rapidly Continue reading >>

7 Ways To Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels

7 Ways To Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar Levels

Enjoy Mediterranean meals iStock/Thinkstock According to studies involving 140,000 people, the odds of developing diabetes are 21 percent lower for those who follow a Mediterranean diet—building meals around plant-based foods, including fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts, whole grains, and olive oil. Fish and chicken are eaten regularly but not red meat, butter, or sweets. Phytonutrients and fiber in the plant foods help with blood sugar control, and the olive oil might reduce inflammation. Go blue iStock/Thinkstock Eating more anthocyanins—the nutrients that give grapes and berries their bright red and blue colors—was linked to better blood sugar control in a new British study. One portion a day of grapes or berries can have the same impact on blood sugar as a one-point reduction in your body mass index, says researcher Aedin Cassidy of Norwich Medical School. Don't skip breakfast If you frequently miss a morning meal, you'll be more likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Eating breakfast may help stabilize blood sugar throughout the day. Prepare a healthy blend of protein, complex carbs, and fat—yogurt mixed with fruit and nuts, for example. Starting the day with lots of simple carbs (such as a bagel and OJ) is just as bad for your blood sugar as skipping the meal, according to experiments at the University of Minnesota. Sweat and strengthen iStock/Thinkstock Women who did both cardio (at least two and a half hours) and strength training (at least one hour) every week had the lowest diabetes risk—about one third less than that of non-exercisers. After an exercise session, your muscles take up more glucose from the bloodstream. As you become more fit over time, cells become more sensitive to insulin. Step away from the desk (and the TV) Hemera, iStock, Photodisc/ Continue reading >>

The 3 Worst Foods For Blood Sugar (& 6 Healthy Foods To Eat Instead)

The 3 Worst Foods For Blood Sugar (& 6 Healthy Foods To Eat Instead)

Blood sugar is a relatively common concept for many Americans. But for those who aren’t actively dealing with diabetes, it can be a bit of a murky subject. Discovering more about blood sugar’s role in the body is key to your health, even if you aren’t currently diabetic. What Is Blood Sugar? Blood sugar, or glucose, is sugar carried through the bloodstream to provide energy to the body. Glucose increases when we eat – particularly foods that contain refined carbohydrates, vegetable oils, and sugar. Protein, but not fat, can be converted to glucose when needed, too. (1) Since organs function best with balance, the body tries to maintain stable blood sugar levels. This internal balance is referred to as homeostasis. When we eat carbohydrates, they are broken down into simple sugars during the digestion process. Glucose is the primary simple sugar that fuels the body. (2) Blood sugar levels rise after eating, but then typically return to homeostatic levels within an hour. Blood sugar is at its lowest levels in the morning after fasting during the night. Are you struggling to lose weight, craving foods you shouldn’t, and finding yourself fatigued and unable to focus? Chances are, your Hormones are out of whack. Get our FREE Guide to fixing your Hormones through the Paleo diet here! After glucose is broken down during digestion, it needs to be received into the cells. Insulin is a hormone that allows glucose to enter the cells for energy. Without insulin, the cells would not be able to receive glucose. Insulin releases when glucose is present. When blood sugar levels are high, like with diabetes, insulin can’t always keep up with glucose absorption. In other cases, the pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin to keep up with demands, as is common with type 1, or Continue reading >>

10 Foods That Can Help Prevent Diabetes

10 Foods That Can Help Prevent Diabetes

Diabetes is an epidemic in the United States, with about 29 million people who have it, another 8 million who are undiagnosed and 86 million who are considered pre-diabetic, according to the American Diabetes Association. Type 2 diabetes, the most common form, is a disease in which the body’s cells don’t use insulin properly. At first, the pancreas makes more insulin to get glucose into the cells, but over time, the pancreas can’t make enough to keep blood glucose levels normal and the result is type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes increases a person’s risk for several health conditions including high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. It’s also responsible for as many as 12 percent of deaths in the U.S., three times higher than previous estimates, a January 2017 study in the journal PLOS ONE found. Although genetics can increase your chances of developing type 2 diabetes, both diet and exercise also play a big role. In fact, people with pre-diabetes who lost just 5 to 7 percent of their body weight reduced their risk by 54 percent, a study out of John Hopkins in July 2013 found. Here, experts weigh in with 10 foods that balance your blood sugar and can prevent diabetes: 1. Apples You might think fruit is off the menu because of its sugar content, but fruit is filled with vitamins and nutrients that can help ward off diabetes. Apples are one of the best fruits you can eat because they’re rich in quercetin, a plant pigment. Quercetin helps the body secrete insulin more efficiently and wards off insulin resistance, which occurs when the body has to make more and more insulin to help glucose enter the cells. Insulin resistance is the hallmark characteristic of type 2 diabetes. “It’s filled with antioxidants, and also there’s fiber in the fruit that nat Continue reading >>

10 Ways To Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar

10 Ways To Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar

At a recent health retreat in Utah with the awesome team of Albion Fit, I hosted a nutrition lecture and had several questions come up about blood sugars and the dreaded 2-4pm energy slump. Regardless of your current health, everyone can benefit from knowing how to maintain healthy blood sugar from diet and lifestyle and using these tools for life. Reducing the overall amount of sugar in our diet is crucial to our health, but what about balancing our blood sugars as a whole? Remember, carbohydrates aren’t bad, it’s all about knowing how to balance of them, strategically use them, and the quality. Let’s dive into what you can do today to reduce the rollercoaster of high and low blood sugars. 10 Ways To Maintain Healthy Blood Sugar No. 1 Don’t fear the fat. In a nutshell (ha, pun intended) healthy fats from nuts, seeds, avocados, coconut oil, etc. take longer to digest which helps our body slow the absorption of sugars found in carbohydrates. Fats also don’t cause our insulin levels to spike, which isn’t necessarily a “bad” thing and there’s always a time and place, but overall we want our body to maintain nice, steady insulin levels. Many of my clients, if not all, who deal with sugar cravings, digestive issues, or are trying to reverse/prevent blood sugar issues, are on higher fat, moderate protein, lower carbohydrate diets. With these diets they see significant improvements in their HA1c (a measure of blood sugar levels overtime) and non-clinical based outcomes like how they feel, energy, sleep, weight loss, etc. Give healthy fats (mainly from plants) a chance if you want to maintain healthy blood sugars and receptive insulin! No. 2 Bulk up on fiber. Fiber, like healthy fats, takes longer to digest which helps our body slowly absorb sugars found in th Continue reading >>

Nature's Best Sugar Blockers

Nature's Best Sugar Blockers

You may have heard that whole grain products are high in fiber. However, the starch in grains quickly turns to sugar and overwhelms any blood sugar-blocking effect the fiber might have. Of course, all fruits and vegetables contain sugar; that's what makes them carbohydrates. Nevertheless, most contain proportionately more soluble fiber than sugar, so they don't raise blood sugar as much as grain products and other refined carbohydrates do. Keeping blood sugar steady is an important tool for preventing insulin spikes, which can lock fat into your cells and prevent it from being used for energy. The substance in our diet that's most responsible for these blood sugar surges is starch. But the good news is you can blunt the blood sugar-raising effects by taking advantage of natural substances in foods—like fiber in fruits and veggies—that slow carbohydrate digestion and entry into the bloodstream. You can tell which fruits and vegetables have the best balance of fiber to sugar by looking at their glycemic loads (Not sure what that means? See Glycemic Impact 101.). All of the carbohydrates that have been associated with increased risk of obesity or diabetes have glycemic loads greater than 100. On the other hand, fruits and vegetables with glycemic loads less than 100 have been associated with reduced risk. Thus, you should avoid fruits or vegetables with glycemic loads higher than 100, even though they contain soluble fiber. Fruits and vegetables whose glycemic loads are between 50 and 100 are themselves acceptable to eat, but they release enough glucose to nullify their usefulness as sugar blockers. The best fruit and vegetable sugar blockers are those with glycemic loads less than 50. It takes about 10 grams of fiber to reduce the after-meal blood sugar surge from a s Continue reading >>

> When Blood Sugar Is Too Low

> When Blood Sugar Is Too Low

No matter what we're doing — even when we're sleeping — our brains depend on glucose to function. 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 it's carried to each cell through the bloodstream. The blood glucose level is the amount of glucose in the blood. When blood glucose levels (also called blood sugar levels) drop too low, it's called hypoglycemia (pronounced: hi-po-gly-SEE-me-uh). Very low blood sugar levels can cause severe symptoms that need to be treated right away. People with diabetes can have low blood sugar levels because of the medicines they have to take to manage their diabetes. They may need a hormone called insulin or diabetes pills (or both) to help their bodies use the sugar in their blood. These medicines help take the sugar out of the blood and get it into the body's cells, which makes the level of sugar in the blood go down. But sometimes it's a tricky balancing act and blood sugar levels can get too low. People with diabetes need to keep their blood sugars from getting too high or too low. Part of keeping blood sugar levels in a healthy range is having good timing, and balancing when and what they eat and when they exercise with when they take medicines. Some things that can make low blood sugar levels more likely to happen are: skipping meals and snacks not eating enough food at a meal or snack exercising longer or harder than usual without eating some extra food getting too much insulin not timing the insulin doses properly with meals, snacks, and exercise Also, certain things may increase how quickly insulin gets absorbed into the bloodstream and can make hypoglycemia more likely to occur. For example, taking a hot shower Continue reading >>

Carb Counting For Diabetes: Meal Planning To Manage Blood Sugar

Carb Counting For Diabetes: Meal Planning To Manage Blood Sugar

Carb counting is one form of meal planning that can help people with diabetes manage their blood sugar levels. Diabetes is an incurable, yet manageable, medical condition where the body's blood sugar levels are too high. This happens when there is not enough insulin in the body, or the insulin does not work properly. Insulin is a hormone that is made by the pancreas. It helps the body to process glucose (the simplest form of sugar), which is used by the cells to create energy. When this doesn't happen, sugar stays in the bloodstream. This can lead to serious health problems. This article explores carb counting as a meal planning method that can help people with any form of diabetes manage their blood sugar levels. Diabetes and the role of carbohydrates In the United States in 2014, approximately 9 percent of Americans, totaling nearly 29 million people, were found to have diabetes. Diabetes is classified into different types and includes: Type 1 diabetes: In this type, the body does not produce insulin. This is due to the body attacking its own insulin producing cells within the pancreas. It is most commonly diagnosed in children and young adults. Type 2 diabetes: In this type, insulin is either not made in high enough quantities or not used efficiently. This form of diabetes affects people of all ages and is the most common type. Gestational diabetes: Some pregnant women will develop a typically temporary form of diabetes called gestational diabetes. This raises their risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Most times, once the baby is born, this form of diabetes disappears. What happens after carbohydrates are eaten? The digestive system breaks down the carbohydrates into sugar. This enters the bloodstream and is used by the body's cells for energy. Typicall Continue reading >>

10 Secrets To Balance Your Blood Sugar To Promote Weight Loss & Boost Energy

10 Secrets To Balance Your Blood Sugar To Promote Weight Loss & Boost Energy

Knowing how to maintain balanced blood-sugar is one of the biggest keys to unlocking better health, all around. You will naturally increase your metabolism, ward off unhealthy cravings, have more energy throughout the day and maybe even shed a pound or two each week without even knowing it. With consistently even blood-glucose levels, you’ll have better concentration and memory, and just generally feed good. Most importantly, having healthy blood-sugar is one of the best ways to lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease. Read on to learn 10 ways that you can reap all of the benefits of balanced blood-sugar and naturally improve your whole-body health every day and keep it that way. 1. Increase Your Protein Intake When you eat a high-carbohydrate, low-protein meal – especially one loaded with simple sugars – your digestive tract quickly and easily converts those carbs into glucose. The resulting blood-sugar spike (aka “sugar-high”) triggers the pancreas to flood your system with insulin in order to flush all of that excess glucose out of your blood stream (also known as a “sugar crash”). The easiest way to avoid this blood-sugar roller coaster ride is to cut back on carbohydrates and eat more lean protein with your snacks and meals. Protein slows down the digestion and uptake of sugar into the blood stream, meaning that your blood-sugar will remain level for several hours instead of rapidly rising and falling right after every meal. Fish, poultry, eggs, tofu and tempeh, nuts, seeds, and many dairy products are all excellent sources of protein. (Check out this article to learn about one of our favorite protein-rich foods that is also among the healthiest foods in the natural world!) 2. Eat Low Glycemic Index Foods Most fruits, vegetables, grains and legu Continue reading >>

Type 1 Diabetes Diet

Type 1 Diabetes Diet

Type 1 diabetes diet definition and facts In Type 1 diabetes the pancreas can do longer release insulin. The high blood sugar that results can lead to complications such as kidney, nerve, and eye damage, and cardiovascular disease. Glycemic index and glycemic load are scientific terms used to measure he impact of a food on blood sugar. Foods with low glycemic load (index) raise blood sugar modestly, and thus are better choices for people with diabetes. Meal timing is very important for people with type 1 diabetes. Meals must match insulin doses. Eating meals with a low glycemic load (index) makes meal timing easier. Low glycemic load meals raise blood sugar slowly and steadily, leaving plenty of time for the body (or the injected insulin dose) to respond. Skipping a meal or eating late puts a person at risk for low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). Foods to eat for a type 1 diabetic diet include complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, whole wheat, quinoa, oatmeal, fruits, vegetables, beans, and lentils. Foods to avoid for a type 1 diabetes diet include sodas (both diet and regular), simple carbohydrates - processed/refined sugars (white bread, pastries, chips, cookies, pastas), trans fats (anything with the word hydrogenated on the label), and high-fat animal products. Fats don't have much of a direct effect on blood sugar but they can be useful in slowing the absorption of carbohydrates. Protein provides steady energy with little effect on blood sugar. It keeps blood sugar stable, and can help with sugar cravings and feeling full after eating. Protein-packed foods to include on your menu are beans, legumes, eggs, seafood, dairy, peas, tofu, and lean meats and poultry. The Mediterranean diet plan is often recommended for people with type 1 diabetes because it is full of nut Continue reading >>

Balance Your Blood Sugar, Keep Off The Weight

Balance Your Blood Sugar, Keep Off The Weight

Your Video is Loading Guess what percentage of dieters keeps the weight off for more than two years: 75%? 60%? 50%? The sad truth is only 15-20% of dieters keep the weight off, with 80-85% of people who lose weight regaining it (plus some!) after two years. It’s time to shift your mindset when it comes to dieting. By focusing less on fads and more on maintaining a healthy balance of what you eat, you’ll impact your body on a level most diets don’t even consider: Stabilizing your blood sugar. Your blood sugar level is the amount of glucose from what you eat that’s circulating in your bloodstream to provide energy to cells immediately or be stored for future use. A well-balanced blood sugar level is crucial to your overall fitness and well-being, regulating your hormones, triggering your body to burn stored fat, and increasing your metabolism to help you lose weight. Unfortunately, most people’s blood sugar is not properly balanced. If you’re getting too much glucose, it leads to high blood-sugar levels, which your body can’t break down and stores as fat. Ironically, not getting enough sugar can also lead to putting on extra pounds! Eating too little glucose can lead to a low blood sugar level, causing your body to go into “starvation mode” where it burns your lean muscle instead of the fat – a double whammy to your system and your diet. Fortunately, nutritionist Mark MacDonald and Dr. Oz have a 6-step plan to balance your blood sugar, allowing you to lose weight and keep it off! Step 1: Eat in 3s What’s the key to eating in 3s? It’s easy! Eat every 3 hours, and divide your plate into thirds: one-third protein, one-third fat, and one-third carbs. Our bodies “want” to eat every 3 hours, as it’s their natural eating schedule dating back from ea Continue reading >>

Top 6 Foods That Balance Your Blood Sugar And Protect Your Bones

Top 6 Foods That Balance Your Blood Sugar And Protect Your Bones

In light of the recent horrendous events, our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of the victims, the people of Paris as well as everyone who was affected by them. The Save Our Bones team, our community, and myself are hopeful for a more peaceful future. Stable blood sugar is an important yet often ignored aspect of bone health. Spikes and crashes in blood glucose levels can harm bones in various ways, such as inducing cravings for sugary foods and, due to a metabolic process called the Maillard reaction, actually destroying collagen. Instead of a list of sugary foods to avoid, I’m excited to share with you today six delicious foods (most of which are Foundation Foods) that help keep blood sugar stable and nourish your bones with rejuvenating nutrients at the same time. Blood sugar actually has a lot to do with bone health, so we’ll start with a brief explanation on… How Blood Glucose Levels Affect Bones When simple sugars react non-enzymatically with proteins and lipids in the body, it prompts the Maillard reaction. The sugars, proteins and lipids combine to form Advanced Glycation End products, or AGEs. While AGEs are excreted via the kidneys and an insulin-dependent process, excessive amounts may not be efficiently cleared and therefore remain in the body. They are irreversible molecules (meaning that they can’t be converted into another less deleterious substance) that damage collagen, which is the primary substance that makes up bone (bone is comprised of 65% mineralized collagen and 35% collagen matrix). High blood sugar also depletes the body of bone-building nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and copper. And last but not least, fluctuating blood sugar levels stimulate cravings for sugary, carbohydrate-rich foods, setting the stage for 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 >>

12 Healthy Ways To Lower Your Blood Sugar

12 Healthy Ways To Lower Your Blood Sugar

Make these simple lifestyle tweaks to feel great all day. Whether you have diabetes or prediabetes—or just generally suffer ill effects from crazy blood sugar swings—you want to know what really works to control your sugar levels. It can make all the difference in living well and staying off the blood sugar roller coaster that can drag down your mood and energy and skew your hunger levels. Here are a dozen tips that will help your blood sugar and your overall health. (If you have diabetes, remember you should always work with your health care team first.) Being naturally thin is not license to stay on your butt. Even for adults at a healthy weight, those who classify as couch potatoes have higher blood sugar than those who are more active, according to a 2017 study from the University of Florida. That can put you at risk for prediabetes, even if you have a normal BMI. Take the stairs, head to the grocery store on foot (if possible), keep that promise to your dog to take him on a walk, and go for that weekend bike ride. Aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. In your effort to eat more quinoa, you might have forgotten about an oldie-but-goodie carb: barley. This whole grain is packed with fiber that tamps down your appetite and can help decrease blood sugar, according to a Swedish study published in the journal Cell Metabolism. Why? Your gut bacteria interacts with barley, which may in turn help your body metabolize glucose (sugar). Besides, 1 cup contains 6 grams of fiber, which helps to mute blood sugar spikes. Don't be afraid to toss it in soups, on a roasted veggie salad, or have it as a side to fish or chicken. Exercise is a great way to boost your body's ability to manage blood sugar, but making sure it's a heart-pumping workout will help e Continue reading >>

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