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What Foods Do Not Raise Blood Sugar?

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 >>

Diabetic Diet: Foods That Raise Your Blood Sugar Levels

Diabetic Diet: Foods That Raise Your Blood Sugar Levels

There is no single diabetes diet, meal plan, or diet that is diabetes-friendly that can serve as a correct meal plan for all patients with diabetes (type 2, gestational, or type 1 diabetes). Glycemic index, carbohydrate counting, the MyPlate method, and the TLC diet plan are all methods for determining healthy eating habits for diabetes management. The exact type and times of meals on a diabetic meal plan depend upon a person's age and gender, how much exercise you get and your activity level, and the need to gain, lose, or maintain optimal weight. Most diabetic meal plans allow the person with diabetes to eat the same foods as the rest of the family, with attention to portion size and timing of meals and snacks. Eating a high-fiber diet can help improve blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. Glycemic index is a way to classify carbohydrates in terms of the amount that they raise blood sugar. High glycemic index foods raise blood sugar more than lower index foods. Some patients with type 2 use supplements as complementary medicine to treat their disease. However, there is limited evidence on the effectiveness of supplements in treating the disease. A diabetes meal plan (diabetes diet) is a nutritional guide for people with diabetes that helps them decide when to consume meals and snacks as well as what type of foods to eat. There is no one predetermined diabetes diet that works for all people with diabetes. The goal of any diabetic meal plan is to achieve and maintain good control over the disease, including control of blood glucose and blood lipid levels as well as to maintaining a healthy weight and good nutrition. Health care professionals and nutritionists can offer advice to help you create the best meal plan to manage your diabe Continue reading >>

How To Maintain Normal Blood Sugar

How To Maintain Normal Blood Sugar

If you are one of the millions of people who has prediabetes, diabetes, metabolic syndrome or any other form of “insulin resistance,” maintaining normal blood sugar levels can be challenging. Over the past several decades, these chronic disorders have swept through the U.S. and many other nations, reaching epidemic proportions and causing serious, but often preventable, side effects like nerve damage, fatigue, loss of vision, arterial damage and weight gain. Elevated blood sugar levels maintained for an extended period of time can push someone who is “prediabetic” into having full-blown diabetes (which now affects about one in every three adults in the U.S.). (1) Even for people who aren’t necessarily at a high risk for developing diabetes or heart complications, poorly managed blood sugar can lead to common complications, including fatigue, weight gain and sugar cravings. In extreme cases, elevated blood sugar can even contribute to strokes, amputations, coma and death in people with a history of insulin resistance. Blood sugar is raised by glucose, which is the sugar we get from eating many different types of foods that contain carbohydrates. Although we usually think of normal blood sugar as being strictly reliant upon how many carbohydrates and added sugar someone eats, other factors also play a role. For example, stress can elevate cortisol levels, which interferes with how insulin is used, and the timing of meals can also affect how the body manages blood sugar. (2) What can you do to help avoid dangerous blood sugar swings and lower diabetes symptoms? As you’ll learn, normal blood sugar levels are sustained through a combination of eating a balanced, low-processed diet, getting regular exercise and managing the body’s most important hormones in othe Continue reading >>

The Glycemic Index

The Glycemic Index

The glycemic index ranks foods on how they affect our blood sugar levels. This index measures how much your blood sugar increases after you eat. When you make use of the glycemic index to prepare healthy meals, it helps to keep your blood sugar levels under control. This is especially important for people with diabetes, although athletes and people who are overweight also stand to benefit from knowing about this relatively new concept in good nutrition. Recent studies of large numbers of people with diabetes show that those who keep their blood sugar under tight control best avoid the complications that this disease can lead to. The experts agree that what works best for people with diabetes—and probably everyone—is regular exercise, little saturated and trans fat, and a high-fiber diet. That is excellent advice—as far as it goes. The real problem is carbohydrates, and that's what the glycemic index is all about. Foods high in fat or protein don’t cause your blood sugar level to rise much. The official consensus remains that a high-carbohydrate diet is best for people with diabetes. However, some experts recommend a low-carbohydrate diet, because carbohydrates break down quickly during digestion and can raise blood sugar to dangerous levels. A low-glycemic diet avoids both extremes. Many carbohydrate-rich foods have high glycemic indexes, and certainly are not good in any substantial quantity for people with diabetes. Other carbohydrates break down more slowly, releasing glucose gradually into our blood streams and are said to have lower glycemic indexes. The really shocking results of G.I. studies are in which foods produce the highest glycemic response. They include many of the starchy foods we eat a lot of, including most bread, most breakfast cereals, and ba Continue reading >>

Does Red Meat Raise Blood Sugars?

Does Red Meat Raise Blood Sugars?

Recently I have heard more and more people use the phrase “I don’t eat red meat because it bad for my blood sugars.” As red meat- along with any other cuts of meat- is a food made up of only fat and protein, eating red meat will have no immediate effect on your blood sugar. Crash course in macro-nutrients Foods can be broken up into three macro-nutrient categories: Carbohydrate, Fat and Protein. Blood sugars increase when we consume Carbohydrate foods- fruits, rice, beans, pastas, breads, milk, and starchy vegetables such as corn, potatoes and winter squash. As these foods are digested into their basic components- glucose is released into the bloodstream. This glucose is what causes blood sugars to raise after eating a food containing Carbohydrates. Protein foods however do not have glucose as part of their elemental structure, instead they break down into amino acids. Amino acids aid in building muscle and repairing cells in your body. Fats can be either saturated or unsaturated fats and fuel cells providing a required source of energy for our brains for survival. Red meat Foods are often a combination of these three macronutrients. Take red meat for example: Beef contains both protein and fat, but no carbohydrates. Where then does the misconception that red meat hurts blood sugars come from? Red meat is typically high in fats, especially saturated fatty acids. Foods containing fat are higher in calories which may lead to poor weight control if eaten in excess. As mentioned before, fats are essential for brain and cell health, but the American Diabetes Association recommends limiting fats to less than 30% of total calorie consumption with saturated fats making up less than 10% calorie consumption. Saturated fatty acids are the types of fat that stay solid at room Continue reading >>

Thirteen Foods That Won't Raise Blood Glucose

Thirteen Foods That Won't Raise Blood Glucose

By Christine Case-Lo and Ana Gotter Article last reviewed by Wed 8 March 2017. Visit our Nutrition / Diet category page for the latest news on this subject, or sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest updates on Nutrition / Diet. All references are available in the References tab. Continue reading >>

Diabetes & Diet: 7 Foods That Control Blood Sugar

Diabetes & Diet: 7 Foods That Control Blood Sugar

When you have type 2 diabetes, what you eat can help you control your blood sugar, stave off hunger, and feel full longer. “Diabetes is when your blood sugar or glucose levels are higher than normal. It’s carbohydrate foods like breads, cereals, rice, pasta, fruits, milk, and desserts that can cause this rise," says Maggie Powers, PhD, president-elect of Health Care & Education at the American Diabetes Association. Your eating plan should focus on the amount and type of carbs you put on your plate throughout the day, Powers says. But it’s also important to have foods you enjoy. You want to eat enough so you feel satisfied and avoid overeating and poor choices. Here are seven foods that Powers says can help keep your blood sugar in check and make you happy and healthy to boot. These add color, flavor, and texture to a meal. Choose tasty, low-carb veggies, like mushrooms, onions, eggplant, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, and low-carb squashes, like zucchini. Try them with dips such as low-fat dressings, hummus, guacamole, and salsa, or roasted with different seasonings such as rosemary, cayenne pepper, or garlic. Go beyond your regular salad and try kale, spinach, and chard. They’re healthy, delicious, and low-carb, Powers says. Roast kale leaves in the oven with olive oil for quick, crunchy chips. You can also mix greens in with roasted veggies to add texture and a different flavor, or serve them with a little protein, like salmon. Plain water is always good, but water infused with fruits and vegetables is more interesting. Cut up a lemon or cucumber and put it in your water, or make ice cubes with some flavoring in them. If you’re not a hot tea drinker, try cold tea with lemon or a cinnamon stick. “Not only are these beverages low-carb, they can also help fill y Continue reading >>

Reader’s Digest Says Pasta Doesn’t Spike Your Blood Sugar

Reader’s Digest Says Pasta Doesn’t Spike Your Blood Sugar

At the start of every new year, lists abound detailing what we should and should not eat. These how-to eat-healthy headlines beckon as the one thing standing between us and perfection. Thankfully the lists target everyone, not solely those of us with diabetes, but I’d had enough when I spied a Reader’s Digest article touting the 50 Best Healthy-Eating Tips of All Time. The phrase “of all time” is probably what threw me over the edge. The problem with making big sweeping statements about what we should eat is that we are all radically different. Regardless of the commonalities we might share––taking insulin, watching our weight, avoiding gluten––we are of different genetic makeup, weight, age and gender. Tufts University recently came out with a study that showed that low glycemic and high glycemic foods react differently in different people. I always assumed that if two people ate a ripe banana they would have the same basic reaction: their blood sugar would rise quickly. But, in “repeated tests involving 63 healthy adults, researchers found that individual blood sugar responses after consuming a fixed amount of white bread could range across all three glycemic index categories (low, medium, or high).” A similar study out of Israel that tracked the blood sugars of 800 people after eating certain good and bad meals, came to similar conclusions. “The huge differences that we found in the rise of blood sugar levels among different people who consumed identical meals highlights why personalized eating choices are more likely to help people stay healthy than universal dietary advice,” said Professor Eran Segal of the Weizmann Institute of Science, which conducted the study. Interesting right? Even what we think is definitive isn’t, and even the stud Continue reading >>

Carbohydrates & Blood Sugar Control For People With Diabetes

Carbohydrates & Blood Sugar Control For People With Diabetes

Contrary to popular thinking, people with diabetes can enjoy moderate amounts of carbohydrates in their diets. The emphasis is on carbohydrate control NOT carbohydrate avoidance. Actually, carbohydrates are the body's preferred energy source, and roughly half of your daily calorie intake should come from carbohydrate foods. Carbohydrates are the starches and sugars in food. They are found in grains, starchy vegetables, fruit, milk, and sweets. What is carbohydrate counting? Carbohydrate counting is a meal planning approach that evenly distributes your carbohydrate calories throughout your day by counting out the right amount of carbohydrate foods for each meal and snack. The emphasis with carbohydrate counting is on how much carbohydrate you eat at any one time, NOT on which type of carbohydrate you choose. Stay away from fad diets that restrict the amount of carbohydrates you can eat. What about sugar? Research has shown that sugar does not raise blood sugar levels any more than starches do. This means you can eat sugary foods (cookies, cakes, pies, and candy) as long as you count them as part of your total carbohydrate intake. Keep in mind that foods high in sugar are often high in fat and calories, and if eaten in excess might elevate sugar and triglyceride levels, and can lead to weight gain. A sugar substitute is a sweetener that is used in place of sugar. The sugar substitutes approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are aspartame, saccharin, acesulfame potassium, sucralose, and neotame. All can be safely consumed in moderation. Sugar substitutes do not need to be counted in your meal plan. If they are used as a sweetener in food that contains few calories and no other carbohydrate (such as sugar-free soft drinks or sugar-free gelatin), that food is cons 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 >>

Treating Low Blood Sugar

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 >>

Why Some Sugar-free Products Raise Blood Sugar

Why Some Sugar-free Products Raise Blood Sugar

In the latest “Really?” column, Anahad O’Connor explores why some foods labeled “sugar free” may still raise blood sugar. The culprits are sugar alcohols that are sometimes paired with artificial sweeteners. He writes: Sugar alcohols get their name from their structure, which looks like a cross between a molecule of alcohol and sugar but is technically neither. Companies have added them to more and more “sugar free” products, like cookies, chewing gum, hard candy and chocolate. For people trying to manage their blood sugar, this can make interpreting nutritional labels a little tricky. While sugar alcohols provide fewer calories than regular sugar — in general about 1.5 to 3 calories per gram, compared with 4 calories per gram of sugar — they can still slightly raise your blood sugar. To learn more, read the full column, “The Claim: Artificial Sweeteners Can Raise Blood Sugar,” then please join the discussion below. Continue reading >>

How To Eat To Avoid Insulin Spikes

How To Eat To Avoid Insulin Spikes

Food is the most potent weapon in your fight against diabetes, says Mark Hyman, MD, author of The Blood Sugar Solution (Little, Brown and Company). Evidence shows that eating the right foods can manage your blood sugar level and, according to Hyman, even help reverse diabetes. It's easier than you might think. Consistently tune into the following factors when choosing your foods and you'll be rewarded with stable blood sugar, insulin, and energy levels throughout the day. Glycemic Load Glycemic load (GL) measures how much carbohydrates in a food affect your blood sugar level. (Carbohydrates is the food group that impacts blood sugar the most; protein and fat don't as much.) Factors such as fiber content, serving size, and even shape come into play when the body is breaking down food into sugar molecules. The more challenging a food is to break down, the slower it digests and the more stable your blood sugar will be. Foods made with refined carbs, such as white pasta, are digested quickly and have a higher GL that causes blood sugar to rise rapidly, but foods made with complex carbs, such as whole-wheat pasta, have a lower GL that has a much smaller affect on blood sugar. Portion Size "Excessive portion sizes can impact blood sugar," says Amy Jamieson-Petonic, RD, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and director of coaching at the Cleveland Clinic. A large meal means more sugar (from carbohydrates) enters the bloodstream at one time. Eating smaller portions beefed up by low GL snacks, such as nuts, keeps your blood sugar even throughout the day. Shape of Food Food that's in its full "package," such as a whole grain, takes longer to digest than food that's been partially or fully processed. Whole barley, for instance, has a GL that's less than half th Continue reading >>

Foods That Don’t Raise Blood Sugar

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 >>

Common Questions About Blood Sugar

Common Questions About Blood Sugar

How often should I test my blood sugar? This is a very common question, and the answer isn't the same for everyone. In general, you should test as often as you need to get helpful information. There's no point in testing if the information you get doesn't help you manage your diabetes. If you've been told to test at certain times, but you don't know why or what to do with the test results, then testing won't seem very meaningful. Here are some general guidelines for deciding how often to test: If you can only test once a day, then do it before breakfast. Keep a written record so that you can see the pattern of the numbers. If you control your blood sugar by diet and exercise only, this once-a-day test might be enough. If you take medicine (diabetes pills or insulin), you will probably want to know how well that medicine is working. The general rule is to test before meals and keep a record. If you want to know how your meals affect your blood sugar, testing about 2 hours after eating can be helpful. Test whenever you feel your blood sugar is either too high or too low. Testing will give you important information about what you need to do to raise or lower your blood sugar. If you take more than 2 insulin shots a day or use an insulin pump, you should test 4 to 6 times a day. You should test more often if you're having unusually high or low readings, if you're sick, under more stress than usual, or are pregnant. If you change your schedule or travel, you should also test your blood sugar more often than usual. Talk to a member of your health care team about how often to test based on your personal care plan. What should my test numbers be? There isn't one blood sugar target that's right for everyone with diabetes. It's important to work with your health care team to set Continue reading >>

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