A big rise in blood sugar levels is an issue for everyone. Of course, this is most important to those who suffer from diabetes or have any risk factors associated with the disease.
Besides the sweets and sugar-filled desserts we all think about when we think of sugar, there are some surprising factors and other foods that can, especially over time, prevent the body from balancing its blood sugar levels. This post will explain the foods and habits you should avoid, as well as those which you can take to help balance your glucose levels.
Surprisingly enough and completely unfair, sugar-free foods can cause a spike in our blood sugar levels. A lot of these foods contain carbs, starch, and fat. Carbs alone are known to spike the blood sugar levels and can cause organ damage for those suffering from diabetes.
Fat-rich foods can keep the blood sugar levels higher for a longer period of time. Chinese food (especially in fast-food restaurants) contains a lot of oil as well as sugar, and so is probably not a good combination if you're diabetic or want a lower blood sugar level. This isn't to say that common oil foods like fries or pizza are a good idea either.
Yes, unfortunately there are situations outside of our control that can spike our blood sugar levels. The extreme loss of fluid that happens when battling a cold creates a spike in the blood sugar levels. But that's not all, medicine such as antibiotics can also shift the sugar balance in the body. That is why you should drink more and eat even less sugar and carbs at this time.
Stress, from whatever source (work, personal life), can cause the body to release "stress hormones", which usually elevates the amount of sugar in the blood. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and meditation can alleviate the tension and reduce the sugar levels back to their proper levels.
Yes, buns. How are they different to regular bread? Well, buns usually have a better taste than regular bread, and that's because they contain quite a bit more sugar. It's better to stick to full wheat bread.
Sports drinks were initially made to allow the body to absorb liquid easily and quickly after a physical workout. But two things are important to consider: first, they are full of sugar, and second, they are not made for the average person. They are made for athletes and runners.
Eating fruit is a very healthy choice, but not in all forms. In the case of lowering your blood sugar levels, dry fruit isn't recommended as they contain a lot of sugar. A handful of dry fruit is enough to spike your blood sugar levels.
Allergies, as well as asthma, osteoporosis, rash and many other medical problems are treated with steroids. However, you should be aware that certain types of steroids may encourage the onset of diabetes. It doesn't mean you shouldn't get what the doctor ordered, but pointing out this fact to them and mentioning that you are at risk of diabetes can't hurt.
Factors aiding the balance of blood sugar levels
To keep a balanced level of sugar in our blood, here are a couple of tricks that can help:
Continuous mild physical activity
We're not talking about daily trips to the gym, but even daily tasks such as cleaning the house or working in the garden. This kind of ongoing activity has an excellent influence on the blood sugar levels and can significantly reduce them.
Yogurt contains pro-biotic agents - bacteria that helps our digestion. The aid to our digestive system ultimately leads to a reduction of the sugar levels in our bloodstream. Warning: One can destroy this benefit by mixing sweet or fruit-flavored yogurts.
A Vegetarian Diet
Studies have found that people who gave up meat, dairy products and eggs have had better control over their blood sugar levels, and needed less insulin. One of the theories about this effect is that plant food, high in fiber, can slow the deconstruction of carbs and so brings about a slower, more controlled absorption of the sugar into the blood, as opposed to spiking it.
Other than the fact that cinnamon has been, for years now, considered a home remedy that lowers the risk of diabetes, recent studies have confirmed this. Cinnamon contains natural chemicals that improve the function of insulin and help maintain a reasonable level of sugar in the blood. In order to enjoy these advantages, add a little to every meal.
A few important notes:
- Studies have found that birth control pills can affect blood sugar levels.
- Those who suffer from type 1 diabetes may experience a drop during the night and should consider having a little snack before, or even during bed time.
- High-intensity physical training can cause a 'roller coaster' of blood sugar levels, meaning a spike and then a quick drop. It's important to record your blood sugar levels before, during and after a workout.
- Drinking alcoholic drinks can have the same 'roller coaster' effect. You should eat something when you drink.
- Heat can also play a role in spikes and drops in blood sugar levels. It's best to stay in cool places during hot hours, and of course - drink a lot of water.
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