How Do Carbs Affect Blood Sugar
Carbs in food make your blood sugar levels go higher after you eat them than when you eat proteins or fats. You can still eat carbs if you have diabetes. The amount you can have and stay in your target blood sugar range depends on your age, weight, activity level, and other factors. Counting carbs in foods and drinks is an important tool for managing blood sugar levels. Make sure to talk to your health care team about the best carb goals for you.
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The 17 Best Foods To Lower Your Blood Sugar
For people with prediabetes, diabetes, or other conditions that affect blood sugar, diet is a major part of maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.
Although factors like body weight, activity, stress, and genetics also play a role in blood sugar maintenance, following a healthy diet is critical for blood sugar control .
While some foods, including items high in added sugar and refined carbs, can contribute to blood sugar fluctuations, others can optimize blood sugar control while promoting overall health (
Reduce Your Sugar Intake
The average American consumes 22 teaspoons of added sugar per day. That translates to around 350 calories .
While some of this is added as table sugar, most of it comes from processed and prepared foods, such as candy, cookies and sodas.
You have no nutritional need for added sugar like sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup. They are, in effect, just empty calories.
Your body breaks these simple sugars down very easily, causing an almost immediate spike in blood sugar.
Studies show that consuming sugars is associated with developing insulin resistance.
This is when the cells fail to respond as they should to the release of insulin, resulting in the body not being able to control blood sugar effectively .
In 2016, the US Food and Drug Administration changed the way foods have to be labeled in the US. Foods now have to display the amount of added sugars they contain in grams and as a percentage of the recommended daily maximum intake.
An alternative option to giving up sugar entirely is to replace it with sugar substitutes.
Sugar is effectively empty calories. It causes an immediate blood sugar spike and high intake is associated with insulin resistance.
What Are Blood Sugar Targets
A blood sugar target is the range you try to reach as much as possible. These are typical targets:
- Before a meal: 80 to 130 mg/dL.
- Two hours after the start of a meal: Less than 180 mg/dL.
Your blood sugar targets may be different depending on your age, any additional health problems you have, and other factors. Be sure to talk to your health care team about which targets are best for you.
Take The Medication Unless Your Doctor Tells You Otherwise
Your doctor isnt medicating you for the sake of it. There are certain health problems that will require medication to help you control your levels. This is the case with diabetes.
Its important to visit your doctor regularly. Arranged for morning appointments when you have your checks to get your morning levels recorded on a regular basis. This way your doctor can see if your medication is still needed and whether there are other things you can do instead.
Only stop taking your medication if your doctor tells you so. Youll get a good idea by your glucose levels. Track them yourself to see if theyre getting lower one week to the next. If you see a significant drop, talk to your doctor about your options for cutting back or out your medication and trying more holistic options.
If you believe you need a second opinion, dont be afraid to get one from someone reputable. Just follow the advice from those who have the degrees!
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What Should I Do If My Blood Sugar Gets Too Low
Low blood sugar is also called hypoglycemia . It means your blood sugar level drops below 70. Having low blood sugar is dangerous and needs to be treated right away. Anyone with diabetes can have low blood sugar. You have a greater chance of having low blood sugar if you take insulin or certain pills for diabetes.
Carry supplies for treating low blood sugar with you. If you feel shaky, sweaty, or very hungry, check your blood sugar. Even if you feel none of these things, but think you may have low blood sugar, check it.
If your meter shows that your blood sugar is lower than 70, do one of the following things right away:
- chew 4 glucose tablets
- drink 4 ounces of fruit juice
- drink 4 ounces of regular soda, not diet soda or
- chew 4 pieces of hard candy
After taking one of these treatments, wait for 15 minutes, then check your blood sugar again. Repeat these steps until your blood sugar is 70 or above. After your blood sugar gets back up to 70 or more, eat a snack if your next meal is 1 hour or more away.
If you often have low blood sugar, check your blood sugar before driving and treat it if it is low.
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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 dont even know they have it .
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.
How Is It Treated
If you have diabetes and notice any of the early signs of high blood sugar, test your blood sugar and call the doctor. They may ask you for the results of several readings. They could recommend the following changes:
Drink more water. Water helps remove excess sugar from your blood through urine, and it helps you avoid dehydration.
Exercise more. Working out can help lower your blood sugar. But under certain conditions, it can make blood sugar go even higher. Ask your doctor what kind of exercise is right for you.
Caution: If you have type 1 diabetes and your blood sugar is high, you need to check your urine for ketones. When you have ketones, do NOT exercise. If you havetype 2 diabetes and your blood sugar is high, you must also be sure that you have no ketones in your urine and that you are well-hydrated. Then your doctor might give you the OK to exercise with caution as long as you feel up to it.
Change your eating habits. You may need to meet with a dietitian to change the amount and types of foods you eat.
Switch medications. Your doctor may change the amount, timing, or type of diabetes medications you take. DonÃ¢t make changes without talking to them first.
If you have type 1 diabetes and your blood sugar is more than 250 mg/dL, your doctor may want you to test your urine or blood for ketones.
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Tips For Intermittent Fasting When You Have Diabetes
Diabetes UK recommends that you follow these tips if you have diabetes and plan to start an IF diet:
- Consult with your diabetes team about whether the diet is a good choice for you. Follow their advice on any changes to your medication schedule. You want to be sure to keep a healthy blood glucose level.
- Maintain a balanced diet during the fasting and non-fasting periods. Include foods from all of the food groups. Don’t overeat during the non-fasting periods.
- Just before you fast, eat foods that are more slowly absorbed. That includes those that are lower on the glycemic index scale. They’re often high in fiber and are digested slowly.
- Be sure to eat foods that fill you up and keep your blood sugar steady during the fast. Examples are fruits, vegetables, and fresh salads.
- When you break the fast, limit the amount of fatty or sugary foods you eat. Try grilling or baking instead of frying.
- Drink lots of fluids during the fast to avoid dehydration. Avoid sugary drinks.
- Test your blood glucose levels often.
- If you have symptoms of hypoglycemia, break the fast immediately. Use your action plan, such as taking glucose tablets followed by a snack. Talk to your healthcare provider before resuming the fast.
- If you have type 1 diabetes, watch for signs of hyperglycemia when you fast. These include fatigue, extreme thirst, and frequent urination. Contact your healthcare provider right away if you have these symptoms or your blood sugar level stays high.
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Complications Of High And Low Blood Sugar Levels
If you dont get treatment, high blood sugar levels can lead to long-term complications, including:
Before checking your blood glucose levels, make sure that you have:
- a finger-stick device to prick your finger, such as a lancet
- an alcohol swab to sterilize the puncture site
- a blood glucose monitor
- a bandage if bleeding continues beyond a few drops
Also, depending on the type of test youre taking, you may need to adjust your meal schedule or time it around your meal, depending on your doctors instructions.
Avoid Eating Large Meals
One way to keep carbs under control is by eating in moderation. I always tell my patients to spread their food out over the day, Weisenberger says. Dont eat small meals to save up for a big dinner. Feeding your body throughout the day helps regulate your blood sugar levels and prevents highs and lows, Crandall Snyder says.
Both Weisenberger and Crandall Snyder say to keep an eye on carbs, even while snacking. Classically, less than 15 g of carbs per snack is a good standard approach, Crandall Snyder says. Thats about whats found in 1 cup of fruit, she says.
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Recommended Blood Sugar Targets
For people with type 1 diabetes, the American Diabetes Association recommends that blood sugar targets be based on a person’s needs and goals. Talk to your doctor and diabetes educator about these goals. A general guideline is:
Before meals, your blood sugar should be:
- From 90 to 130 mg/dL for adults
- From 90 to 130 mg/dL for children, 13 to 19 years old
- From 90 to 180 mg/dL for children, 6 to 12 years old
- From 100 to 180 mg/dL for children under 6 years old
After meals , your blood sugar should be:
- Less than 180 mg/dL for adults
At bedtime, your blood sugar should be:
- From 90 to 150 mg/dL for adults
- From 90 to 150 mg/dL for children, 13 to 19 years old
- From 100 to 180 mg/dL for children, 6 to 12 years old
- From 110 to 200 mg/dL for children under 6 years old
For people with type 2 diabetes, the American Diabetes Association also recommends that blood sugar targets be individualized. Talk to your doctor and diabetes educator about your goals.
In general, before meals, your blood sugar should be:
- From 70 to 130 mg/dL for adults
After meals , your blood sugar should be:
- Less than 180 mg/dL for adults
S To Reduce High Fasting Blood Sugar Levels
Reducing the morning highs largely depends on how high your insulin levels fluctuate. Your diabetes doctor may recommend the following:
- Switching to a different medication
- Adjusting medication or doses of insulin
- Changing the time of the person taking long-acting insulin in the evening
- Switching to an insulin pump to help regulate the insulin dose
- Avoiding eating heavy amounts of carbs before bedtime
Apart from these, you gain diabetes control by regular monitoring. Get a glucometer preferably a smartphone glucometer so that you can get immediate inputs from the care team.
Most of diabetes care happens with self-care, which means with your vigilance and lifestyle modification you get diabetes treatment at home. However, you are not alone. For diabetes home healthcare: Enquire Now.
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Normal Ranges For Blood Sugar
People who dont have diabetes keep their blood sugars between 60 100 mg/dl overnight and before meals, and less than 140 mg/dl after meals. Although the ultimate goal of diabetes management is to return the blood sugar to the natural or non-diabetic level, this may be difficult without excessive low blood sugars or hypoglycemia.
Get Trendy With Apple Cider Vinegar
If you do a quick Google search, youll see that apple cider vinegar is good for pretty much everything. You can use it to tone your skin, clean your pipes, and possibly lower your blood sugar!
A clinical review found that taking ACV daily could reduce blood glucose levels. Unfortunately, most of the trials were very small and some had mixed results.
But since youve probably got it in your house anyway, try taking a swig or two before meals, testing yourself, and seeing if a little ACV shot works for you .
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Causes Of High Blood Sugar
Keeping your blood sugar levels in the optimal range is very important. If your blood sugar levels are too high or too low, they can lead to health problems, like kidney diseases, vision loss, and heart disease.
There are many quick and natural ways to lower your blood sugar levels. However, you’ll have to make some lifestyle changes to ensure your sugar levels don’t go above or below the standard range.
Hyperglycemia or high blood sugar levels can be due to many reasons. If you have type 2 diabetes, your body lacks the ability to use its natural insulin properly. As a result, there will be a high concentration of sugar in your blood since the body’s insulin is not breaking it down at the required rate.
Likewise, if you’re eating too many carbs and your body isn’t producing enough insulin, you may experience hyperglycemia. If you’re not as active as you used to be, that can also be the reason behind high blood sugar levels.
Besides this, physical and emotional stress can also lower your body’s sugar levels. For instance, if you have an infection or the flu, your blood sugar levels may be lower than average. Likewise, emotional stress from personal problems or family conflicts can also impact your blood sugar levels.
Six Natural Ways To Lower Your Fasting Blood Sugar
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Can You Decrease The Dawn Effect
For some individuals, the dawn effect may not be a concern. But if you feel it could contribute negatively to your health, what can you do to lessen it?15
- Exercise may help. Doing some form of physical exertion after dinner and first thing upon waking may reduce the degree and duration of the glucose increase.16
- Also, eating early in the morning can help reduce the dawn effect. This advice may seem paradoxical. Wouldnt eating raise blood sugar? Not in this case.
Remember, the dawn effect is caused by lower than usual insulin secretion in the morning to ensure adequate glucose levels. If you eat food, that will signal to your body that you have sufficient energy, and your insulin may respond appropriately. The result is enough insulin to help bring down your glucose level17
All medications, especially insulin, have potential side effects, including the risk of dangerously low blood sugar. You should discuss possible medication changes with your healthcare provider and ask for a thorough risk-benefit analysis.
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Eat More Fibre On A Morning
Like protein, fiber is a great way to lower blood sugar levels in a morning /natural way to lower blood sugar. This can be difficult to get, especially without added sugar. Think about the way you eat your oats. There are high chances that you pile on sugar refined or natural or bake it into a bar with dried fruits and other ingredients.
Its time to get your fiber in natural forms and consider low-GI options. That can mean cutting back on the fruit, especially first thing in a morning. Look for fruits that are lower on the glycaemic index to eat with your breakfast, such as apples and pears.
You should also look at enjoying oats with more savoury ingredients. Nuts and seeds are the perfect alternatives, packing your breakfast full of protein and fats, as well as fiber.
When you have these three ingredients working together, they will break down in the body slowly. You will find that they reduce the amount of glucose released into the body, so you dont have the same insulin response.
The extra fiber will also help you feel fuller for longer. This is important in the long term, as it will help you lose weight.
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