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Low Carb Blood Sugar Spikes

Carbohydrates And Blood Sugar

Carbohydrates And Blood Sugar

When people eat a food containing carbohydrates, the digestive system breaks down the digestible ones into sugar, which enters the blood. As blood sugar levels rise, the pancreas produces insulin, a hormone that prompts cells to absorb blood sugar for energy or storage. As cells absorb blood sugar, levels in the bloodstream begin to fall. When this happens, the pancreas start making glucagon, a hormone that signals the liver to start releasing stored sugar. This interplay of insulin and glucagon ensure that cells throughout the body, and especially in the brain, have a steady supply of blood sugar. Carbohydrate metabolism is important in the development of type 2 diabetes, which occurs when the body can’t make enough insulin or can’t properly use the insulin it makes. Type 2 diabetes usually develops gradually over a number of years, beginning when muscle and other cells stop responding to insulin. This condition, known as insulin resistance, causes blood sugar and insulin levels to stay high long after eating. Over time, the heavy demands made on the insulin-making cells wears them out, and insulin production eventually stops. Glycemic index In the past, carbohydrates were commonly classified as being either “simple” or “complex,” and described as follows: Simple carbohydrates: These carbohydrates are composed of sugars (such as fructose and glucose) which have simple chemical structures composed of only one sugar (monosaccharides) or two sugars (disaccharides). Simple carbohydrates are easily and quickly utilized for energy by the body because of their simple chemical structure, often leading to a faster rise in blood sugar and insulin secretion from the pancreas – which can have negative health effects. Complex carbohydrates: These carbohydrates have mo Continue reading >>

Top 3 Diabetes Myths, Busted: Fruit, Starchy Vegetables, And Blood Glucose

Top 3 Diabetes Myths, Busted: Fruit, Starchy Vegetables, And Blood Glucose

Almost 10 percent of Americans have diabetes and that number is growing. Unfortunately, the myths surrounding diabetes are as widespread as the disorder itself. Here we debunk the most common diabetes myths. For the past 50 years, people diagnosed with all forms of diabetes have been advised to eat low-carb diets high in fat and protein, and to avoid eating high-carbohydrate foods like fruits, potatoes, squash, corn, beans, lentils, and whole grains. Despite this popular opinion, more than 85 years of scientific research clearly demonstrates that a low-fat, plant-based whole foods diet is the single most effective dietary approach for managing type 1 and type 2 diabetes. This means that a low-fat diet—not a low-carb diet—has been shown across the board to minimize oral medication and insulin use, stabilize blood glucose, and dramatically reduce long-term disease risk in people with diabetes. Myth #1: You Develop Type 2 Diabetes From Eating Too Much Sugar Eating sweets is not a direct cause of type 2 diabetes. People develop type 2 diabetes over time by slowly developing a resistance to insulin, the hormone that escorts glucose out of your blood and into tissues like your muscle and liver. I like to think of type 2 diabetes as a very advanced form of insulin resistance in which glucose remains trapped in your blood because your body cannot use insulin properly. In this way, elevated blood glucose is a symptom of diabetes, and NOT the root cause. The real cause of insulin resistance is dietary fat. We discussed it at length in this article. People with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are told to eat foods that are low in carbohydrates and high in fat and protein simply because they don’t create an immediate need for insulin. But in the hours and days after a meal hi Continue reading >>

10 Foods That Lower Blood Sugars In Diabetics

10 Foods That Lower Blood Sugars In Diabetics

While a low carb diet appears to be useful on the whole, there are also many foods shown to help. Either by lowering blood sugars and/or improving insulin sensitivity. This articles looks at 10 of the best foods and supplements for lowering blood sugars, based on current research. Just know they should never be used in place of your diabetes medication, but rather alongside. 1. Resistant Starch Lowers Sugars After Meals Starches are long chains of glucose (sugar) found in oats, grains, bananas, potatoes and various other foods. Some varieties pass through digestion unchanged and are not absorbed as sugar into the blood. These are known as resistant starch. Many studies show resistant starch can greatly improve insulin sensitivity. That is, how well the body can move sugar out of the blood and into cells for energy. This is why it’s so useful for lowering blood sugar levels after meals (1, 2). The effect is so great that having resistant starch at lunch will reduce blood sugar spikes at dinner, known as the “second meal effect” (3). Problem is many foods high in resistant starch, such as potatoes, are also high in digestible carbs that can spike blood sugar. Therefore resistant starch in supplement form – without the extra carbs – is recommended. Summary: Supplemental resistant starch is a fantastic option for those struggling to control sugars or have hit a plateau. 2. Ceylon Cinnamon Several cinnamon compounds appear to prevent the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, minimising blood sugar spikes. It may also dramatically improve insulin sensitivity (4, 5). In a recent clinical trial, 25 poorly-controlled type 2 diabetics received either 1 gram per day of cinnamon or placebo (dummy supplement) for 12 weeks. Fasting blood sugar levels in the cinnamon gro Continue reading >>

Reactive Hypoglycemia

Reactive Hypoglycemia

Reactive hypoglycemia is a condition in which the body reacts to a perceived catastrophic drop in blood sugar. I say perceived because during an episode, the blood sugar readings may be in the normal range, but still "feel" like low blood sugar to the person having the reaction. In my experience, hypoglycemia happens to most people when first beginning a low carb, ketogenic diet. It may be especially strong in people who have already developed insulin resistance or pre-diabetes from a chronic excess of carbohydrate intake. There are different types of low blood sugar causes. Transient hypoglycemia normally happens when most people who have been eating a high carb diet drastically reduce carbohydrate intake for the first time. This type happens during the first several weeks of carb reduction because the body has not had time to create the enzymes or metabolic state to burn internal fat stores for fuel. Basically there is a gap in the amount of carbohydrate available for fuel, and the process of accessing fat stores for fuel. The lack of fuel sources results in transient low blood sugar. Reactive hypoglycemia is more of an acute reaction to a very high carb meal. For instance, when a person eats 2 or 3 glazed donuts, there is a huge spike in blood sugar and compensating insulin secretion after such a meal. The large insulin spike drives blood sugar very low several hours after the meal. How Reactive Hypoglycemia Happens Insulin, a hormone, is secreted from the pancreas in response to eating food, especially foods high in carbohydrates. Its main job is to move the sugar your body makes from the food you eat into your cells so that this excess sugar can be broken down for energy or stored. Insulin is a very powerful hormone, and it acts very quickly. The amount of insulin 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 >>

Low Carb Vs. High Carb - My Surprising 24-day Diabetes Diet Battle

Low Carb Vs. High Carb - My Surprising 24-day Diabetes Diet Battle

Twitter summary: What I learned from doubling my carb intake: the same average blood sugar, but four times as much hypoglycemia, more work, stress, & danger. As a teenager, I ate a high carb diet that included lots of Goldfish crackers, white sandwich bread, pasta, and white potatoes. It was tasty, but it put my blood sugars on a wild roller coaster every single day. Things turned around in college when I learned about nutrition, got on CGM, and spent time with health conscious friends. I soon realized that eating less than 30 grams of carbs at one time was a complete gamechanger. I’ve stuck with that approach ever since. But is this lower carb method actually better for my blood sugars, or have I just been fooling myself? To find out, I took on a somewhat terrifying self-tracking experiment: 12 days of my usual, lower-carb diet, which averaged 146 grams of carbs per day (21% of daily calories). My carbs were primarily from nuts, seeds, vegetables, and a bit of fruit. 12 days of a higher-carb, high whole-grain diet, which averaged 313 grams of carbs per day (43% of my daily calories). My sources of carbs were NOT junk food: plain oatmeal, whole wheat bread, quinoa, wild rice, and fruit. Neither of these was unrealistic. My lower-carb diet was nowhere near Atkins level (20 grams per day), and the higher-carb diet was consistent with the “average” 45% carb diet in people with diabetes (according to ADA). Even though this was a one-person (n=1) experiment, I wanted to be as scientific and fair as possible: eating whole, unprocessed foods in both periods; counting and tracking every single gram of carbohydrate (LoseIt! app); wearing CGM 24/7 and downloading the glucose data to document what happened (Dexcom G5 and Clarity); taking insulin before meals (5-15 minutes pr Continue reading >>

How Do Low-carb Diets Affect Blood Glucose Levels?

How Do Low-carb Diets Affect Blood Glucose Levels?

Low-carb diets are all about balancing blood sugar (blood glucose) levels. Beyond weight loss, we eat low-carb diets to keep our blood sugar normal and stable. To fully understand the connection, it's helpful to first familiarize yourself with how the body processes blood sugar in a normal state and even explore how that changes when there's a problem, such as in diabetics. What Do Carbohydrates Have to Do With Blood Glucose? Carbohydrates have everything to with blood glucose. All foods with carbohydrate -- whether rice, jelly beans, or watermelon -- break down to simple sugars in our bodies turning into glucose through metabolic processes. This process is what causes our blood glucose to rise. The carbohydrate in most starchy foods (potatoes, bread) is simply a collection of long chains of glucose, which break down quickly and raise blood sugar . What Do Our Bodies Do When Blood Sugar is High? When our blood sugar goes up, our body responds by secreting insulin to stabilize it. The sugar is then taken out of the blood and converted into fat; insulin's primary function is facilitating the storage of extra sugar in the blood as fat. Diabetics are unable to balance blood sugar when the process of converting food to energy takes place. When sugar levels are high, the ability of cells in the pancreas to make insulin goes down. The pancreas overcompensates for this lack of insulin and insulin levels stay high, as does blood sugar. Over time, the pancreas is permanently damaged and other bodily functions are affected such as hardened blood vessels, among other ailments. What are the Problems with Blood Sugar Going Up? However, for many people, this metabolic process works fine. Sometimes, though, people reach a point in their lives when it goes awry (or it doesn't work well Continue reading >>

How To Cut Carbs When You Suffer From Hypoglycemia

How To Cut Carbs When You Suffer From Hypoglycemia

How to Cut Carbs When You Suffer From Hypoglycemia How to Cut Carbs When You Suffer From Hypoglycemia So youre trying to lean out , and youre cutting down on carbs . But every time you swap out the rice for more greens and you hit the gym, you end up shaky, nauseous, cold, and clammy, and youre stuck with a killer migraine for the rest of the day. Sound familiar? You could be dealing with low blood sugar, also known as reactive hypoglycemia. As a nutritionist, I have many clients who struggle with this issuebut theyre often unsure how to manage it. When your blood sugar levels take a nosedive, dieting becomes difficult, if not impossible. Every time you try to eat less or exercise more, you crash hard and crave fast carbs to get your blood sugar up. If youre struggling with reactive hypoglycemia but still want to lose weight , heres how to make it work. Reactive hypoglycemia occurs when blood sugar levels drop too low about 3-4 hours after eating carbohydrates. This can be a result of your body consistently releasing too much insulin for the amount of carbohydrates you eat. When thats the case, every time your body signals for insulin release, it removes more carbohydrates from your bloodstream than you need. When blood sugar drops too low, symptoms like dizziness, nausea, and headaches can occur. These symptoms are alleviated by eating carbohydrates. The only problem: If youre cutting, eating more carbohydrates probably isnt part of your fat-loss strategy. Exercise is great for weight loss, but can be dangerous if you have hypoglycemia. In addition to overactive insulin release, hypoglycemia can also be caused by underactive glycogen release. Glycogen is your bodys storage form of carbohydrates, so your body releases it to keep your blood sugar at a safe level when yo Continue reading >>

Low Carb Vs. High Carb Ii – My Diabetes Diet Battle Continued

Low Carb Vs. High Carb Ii – My Diabetes Diet Battle Continued

Tripling my carbs --> 5 fewer hours in-range per day, 64% more insulin (!), & more lessons learned. I’ve discovered a therapy that: Keeps my blood sugar in range ~75-95% of the time with a low risk of hypoglycemia; Uses ~30-65% less insulin; Cuts my odds of taking the wrong dose of insulin and experiencing severe hypoglycemia; Requires less time spent on diabetes tasks; Eliminates lots of diabetes anxiety, frustration, and feelings of failure; Keeps my blood pressure, cholesterol, and weight in a healthy range; Counters what I was told at diagnosis, what the average diabetes diet looks like, and what the food environment encourages me to eat. And it’s only three words: eat fewer carbohydrates. I’ve been doing this for about six years now, and my Low Carb vs. High Carb article last fall showed some of these takeaways in a 24-day self-tracking experiment. Doubling my carb intake led to the same average blood sugar, but four times as much hypoglycemia, 34% more insulin, and a lot more diabetes work and feelings of failure. Since then, I’ve been dying to repeat the same experiment, but with two key tweaks: (i) eating even lower carb (to get more separation between the two phases); and (ii) dosing insulin slightly less aggressively during the high-carb phase (to cut the hypoglycemia). This article documents what happened after I tripled my carb intake, comparing six days of ~106 grams per day (“low carb”) to six days of ~331 g per day (“high carb”), or 15% vs. 50% of my daily calories from carbohydrate. For comparison, last fall I roughly doubled my daily carbs: 12 days of 146 g per day vs. 12 days of 313 g per day (21% vs. 43% of daily calories). The topline results were similar to version one, but even more in favor of low carb this time: On low carb, I spe Continue reading >>

Eat Carbs Last To Reduce After-meal Blood Sugar Spikes?

Eat Carbs Last To Reduce After-meal Blood Sugar Spikes?

Amazing but apparently true: Eating carbohydrates AFTER some protein, fat, or possibly fiber causes much lower after-meal blood sugar spikes than eating the carbs first. Two small new studies from Cornell University in New York and the University of Pisa in Italy, respectively, showed the same thing. At Cornell, two groups of people with Type 2 diabetes ate the same meal: some bread, fruit juice, meat, and green salad. One group started with the bread and juice; the other with the meat and salad. A third group ate everything together as a sandwich. At the beginning of the meal, and every 30 minutes thereafter for three hours, subjects had their glucose and insulin levels checked. The group that started with the bread had after-meal glucose spikes about 50% higher than the group that started with protein and vegetables. Those who ate everything together as a sandwich had about a 40% higher glucose spike than those who started with the protein and vegetables. All three groups repeated the meals in different orders after a week and again a week later, said lead researcher Alpana Shukla, MD. In all groups, eating protein first led to much smaller glucose spikes, “comparable to what we see with diabetes medication.” The Pisa study was longer-term and done “free-range,” not in a lab. Each group of people with Type 2 diabetes was given a meal plan and allowed to choose the specific foods they wanted, as long as the foods added up to the same number of calories. One group was told to eat their protein or fat food first, the other to eat their carbs first. After four months, the group that had been eating carbs last had an average HbA1c level (a measure of glucose control over the previous 2–3 months) about 0.3% lower than the group that ate carbs first. The carbs-last Continue reading >>

Will Low-carb Diets Cause Blood Sugar Levels To Drop?

Will Low-carb Diets Cause Blood Sugar Levels To Drop?

Video of the Day If you're accustomed to eating a very high-carb diet and suddenly switch to a very low-carb diet, you could experience rather dramatic drops in your blood sugar during the first few days or weeks of your transition. This low blood sugar can cause notably uncomfortable side effects and intense cravings. Carbs and Blood Sugar Your body converts consumed carbohydrates into glucose, a type of sugar. When the glucose enters your bloodstream, it leads to an increase in your blood sugar level. The pancreas produces insulin in response to spikes in blood sugar, which helps your body store the sugar for energy. This insulin release subsides when your cells absorb the sugar and your levels stabilize. In a healthy body, the surge of blood sugar and insulin is relatively moderate and keeps you evenly motoring through your day. When you eat lots of carbohydrates, your body's blood sugar remains consistently high and your system constantly pumps out insulin. This chronic elevation of blood sugar and release of insulin causes inflammation, an increase in fat storage and an inability to burn stored fat. Chronically high blood sugar levels increase your risk of disease, including heart disease and type 2 diabetes. You crave carbohydrates regularly for energy, because your body isn't efficient at using stored fat for fuel. How a Low-Carb Diet Impacts Blood Sugar If you regularly consume a large amount of carbohydrates, especially refined ones like white bread and soda, you may experience a notable drop in blood sugar when you drastically reduce your carb intake. In the first week of carb reduction, your body will seek to maintain your high sugar intake. You'll crave carbohydrates and may even feel weak because your body hasn't yet become efficient at burning fat for fuel Continue reading >>

Slow Carbs, Not Low Carbs: The Truth About Low-carb Diets

Slow Carbs, Not Low Carbs: The Truth About Low-carb Diets

The low-carb frenzy hit its zenith in the early 2000’s and has since ebbed and flowed in popularity. I’ve seen patients get impressive results doing very low-carb diets, but eventually many become burned out and regain the weight as the novelty of eating bacon and other formerly forbidden foods becomes monotonous. Traditional thinking suggests carbohydrates are bad for you. I have something surprising to say that might go against everything you’ve heard: Carbs are the single most important thing you can eat for health and weight loss. In fact, I often say my plan is a high-carb diet. But wait, you say, don’t carbs contribute to insulin resistance, heart disease, and other health concerns? Some do, but the truth is more complicated. You see, “carbohydrates” encompasses a huge category. A hot fudge sundae and cauliflower both fall into the “carbs” category, yet they are entirely different foods. In fact, almost all plant foods fall into the carbs category. These are what I refer to as slow carbs, which are low-glycemic and don’t spike your blood sugar or insulin. These slow carbs come loaded with nutrients, fiber, and amazing molecules called phytochemicals. When you eat a cornucopia of fresh fruits and vegetables teeming with phytonutrients — carotenoids, flavonoids, and polyphenols – they help improve nearly all health problems, including dementia, diabesity, and aging. Ideally, about 75% of your carb intake should come from non-starchy veggies plus low-glycemic fruits. By volume, most of your plate should be carbs. Note I said volume, not calories. Many plant-based carbs actually have very few calories. Why All Carbs Are Not Created Equally Carbs are necessary for long-term health and brain function. But not the doughnuts, breads, bagels, and swee Continue reading >>

Video: What Eating “high-fat” Or “keto” Does To Your Blood Sugar

Video: What Eating “high-fat” Or “keto” Does To Your Blood Sugar

What happens to your blood sugar when you eat fat? The steps you need to stabilize your blood sugar and increase your fat-burning hormones (by following a Fat Fueled, keto eating style). Up until I found keto (high-fat, low-carb living) I was in the “eat every 2-3 hours in order to control blood sugar” camp. What I didn’t know, was that the constant eating; generally of carbohydrates, was exactly what was causing my blood sugar irregularities – constant “hangry” feelings, hypoglycemia, insulin resistance, and more. After a couple of weeks of eating Fat Fueled, keto, I no longer struggled with hypoglycemia. It was as if my sugar lows just… disappeared. And I’m not the only one that’s experienced massive changes to blood sugar shortly after shifting to a Fat Fueled, keto life. I invited Dietitian Cassie on the show today to help explain exactly what happens to our blood sugar when we eat fat – the ins and outs of insulin resistance, actions that affect blood sugar, how to use carb-ups to heal insulin resistance and much more. Today’s keto video encourages us to use dietary fat as our ally, to rely on it to support balanced blood sugar, thriving hormones and a healthy body. For video transcription, scroll down. Highlights… What foods affect blood sugar How dietary fat affects your blood sugar If combining carbohydrates and fat is a good thing How fat cells are created How to get into fat-burning mode Signs and symptoms of insulin resistance and insulin sensitivity How cortisol (and a poor sleep) affects your blood sugar How carb cycling and carb refeeding can help bust through insulin resistance How to heal yourself from insulin resistance Resources… Watch the video: When to know it’s time to carb-up (and how to do it) Step-by-step guide on goin Continue reading >>

Low Carb - But High Sugars - Advice Please!

Low Carb - But High Sugars - Advice Please!

Diabetes Forum The Global Diabetes Community Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community Low carb - but high sugars - advice please! I wonder if I could get your thoughts. I'm T1, and had a bad hypo last year - following this I decided to go on a low carb diet, to limit the amount of insulin in my system at any one time. I'm much happier doing this, and can't now imagine going back to a high carb diet. I made the transition to low carb fairly slowly, and I did lose about 8kg in body weight (possibly as I wasn't really replacing the lost carb calories with protein/fat) - however, for the last 4/5 months, my average daily carb intake has been about 45-65g, and my weight loss seems to have now plateaued, as it's been fairly constant over this time. The low carb diet has certainly help control my sugar levels, with far less swing in the highs and lows, and generally confined to a narrower range - however, in the last month or so, I've found that I need much more insulin than normal, to maintain sugars in a good range. My long-standing ratio of 1u/10g carb just isn't working (by a long way), and sugars are frequently in the 12-15 range. Even if I take a 3 unit correction dose, the sugars might only reduce by say 2 or 3 mmol. This is very unusual for me - having been diabetic for around 15 years, I'm of course familiar with all the different factors that can cause insulin resistance or sensitivity, and clearly there are periods where you're going to be more or less sensitive than usual - but as my sugars have been high for around a month, I have to say I'm quite confused by this. I contacted my specialist diabetic dietician, who tells me that this is apparently a known issue with low carb diets - she tells me that people do quite often need to 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 >>

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