How To Control High Glucose Levels – High blood sugar levels in the long run can cause various complications such as impaired vision and foot ulcers. Here are some tips to avoid spikes in blood sugar and keep diabetes under control.
People with diabetes should take extra care to control their blood sugar levels. Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, is a condition that occurs when blood sugar is greater than 180 mg/dL. High blood sugar levels can be dangerous and cause long-term problems for people with diabetes. It can cause vision problems, foot ulcers, kidney failure, heart attack, nervous system damage and more. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise (especially strength training) and certain dietary recommendations can help maintain blood sugar levels in diabetics.
How To Control High Glucose Levels
1. Monitor your blood sugar regularly: The thing about high blood sugar is that it doesn’t show any symptoms until it reaches 200 mg/dL. For people with diabetes, it is important to check your blood sugar levels several times a day. A home glucose monitor is essential for people with diabetes.
Handling High And Low Blood Sugar Levels
2. Exercise regularly: Regular exercise improves insulin sensitivity and helps in weight loss. Improved insulin sensitivity helps your cells make better use of the sugar in your bloodstream. What’s more, exercise helps your muscles use blood sugar for muscle contraction and energy. Strength training, brisk walking, dancing, hiking, biking and swimming are good exercises to keep blood sugar under control.
3. Be careful with carbohydrates: The body breaks down carbohydrates into sugar, which it uses as energy. While some carbohydrates are essential for the body, others can cause spikes in blood sugar levels. To prevent blood sugar levels from rising, avoid consuming refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta, pizza, burgers, processed and packaged foods.
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4. Drink plenty of water: Besides keeping the body hydrated, drinking plenty of water also helps the kidneys excrete excess blood sugar through urine.
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5. Include low glycemic index foods in your diet: Research shows that eating low glycemic index foods can increase fasting blood sugar levels. Examples of low glycemic index foods include legumes, leafy greens, sweet potatoes, quinoa, meat, non-starchy vegetables, fish, and nuts and seeds.
6. Practice Portion Control: Portion control is key to weight management, weight loss and keeping blood sugar levels under control. Keeping your weight under control can prevent the risks of type 2 diabetes. Portion control is a practice that helps reduce calorie intake, thereby reducing blood sugar spikes. Weigh and measure your portions, use smaller plates, read food labels, check portion sizes, and eat slowly.
7. Eat more fiber: While avoiding excessive fiber intake, try to include fiber in your diet as it helps maintain blood sugar levels. Fiber-rich foods slow down the rate at which carbohydrates are broken down in the body, reducing the rate at which the body absorbs sugar from food. Soluble fiber helps keep blood sugar levels under control. Examples of soluble fiber foods are whole grains, fruits, legumes, and vegetables.
Disclaimer: This content provides general information only, including advice. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your doctor for more information. No responsibility is taken for this information.
Foods That Tend To Spike Blood Sugar
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In this article, we’ll take a closer look at which foods can help lower blood sugar both immediately and over time.
While there is no one food that will magically protect your body from developing diabetes, there are certain foods that research has proven can help promote healthy blood sugar levels over time. Read on to find out which foods help lower blood sugar and what foods to eat when your blood sugar is higher than you’d like.
*This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services. This article and the links therein provide general information for educational purposes only. The information provided in this article is not a substitute for medical care. It should not be used in place of the advice of your doctor or registered dietitian.*
Testing For Diabetes: Maintaining Normal Blood Sugar Levels
Before we begin, let’s review some definitions of what “normal blood sugar” means for people without diabetes:
If you have diabetes (any type), your doctor will talk to you about specific blood sugar goals. These goals may vary based on various factors.
Long-term strategies for lowering blood sugar in people with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes include a variety of things. Some are related to diet and some involve other lifestyle factors.
Most people think that lowering blood sugar is only about the foods you eat. But there are many other things that affect blood sugar levels. These include: activity level, stress levels, hormones and more. The following strategies have been shown to lower blood sugar levels over time:
How Fiber Helps Control High Blood Sugar
There are no foods that can quickly lower blood sugar at the moment, but if eaten consistently over time, certain foods have been shown to help promote stable blood sugar and lower average blood glucose levels.
I use oats in many recipes because they are a high fiber and high protein grain choice compared to traditional flours. Oats are rich in soluble fiber, which helps promote healthy blood sugar levels.
Like oats, beans are high in fiber and protein, two nutrients we know help improve blood sugar balance. And more specifically, they provide good amounts of soluble fiber (like oats) and resistant starch. Both types of carbohydrates take longer for our bodies to digest and thus help promote more stable blood sugar.
Fatty fish (such as salmon) and eggs are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and also provide a quality source of protein and fat. Protein and fat help moderate your body’s blood sugar response after a meal and promote stable blood sugar.
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Nuts, seeds and their butters offer quality sources of protein, vegetable fat and fiber…all three blood sugar-balancing nutrients we need! These foods have been proven to help promote healthy blood sugar levels, while keeping you more satisfied and fuller for longer.
Fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut and others contain probiotics. A diet rich in probiotics not only lowers blood glucose levels, but also lowers blood insulin levels according to some studies.
Leafy greens are a rich source of micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and fiber and can easily be added to everything from smoothies to omelets to salads. And as we discussed earlier, foods high in fiber can help promote healthy blood sugar levels.
One of the biggest myths about blood sugar management is that people who want to balance their blood sugar should not eat fruit. But the truth is, we have enough data to show that a diet that includes fruit not only protects against developing prediabetes or type 2 diabetes, but also helps manage existing diabetes. Specifically, research has shown that higher consumption of grapes, blueberries, and/or apples is associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
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Eating whole citrus fruits, such as oranges and grapefruit, can help promote healthy blood sugar and other related markers, such as insulin levels and hemoglobin A1c.
Avocado is not only delicious but also rich in vegetable fats and fiber. Both of these nutrients slow the absorption process and promote a steady supply of energy into the bloodstream…aka, blood sugar balance!
And in addition to the foods I listed above, there are many other foods that can help lower blood sugar over time.
Discussing which foods help lower blood sugar over time is not about what to do when blood sugar spikes. This discussion is most relevant to people with insulin (type 1 diabetes and insulin-dependent type 2 diabetes), but can apply to all types of diabetes.
Foods That Won’t Raise Blood Glucose
How to quickly lower your blood sugar in an instant depends on a variety of factors, but the following strategies are always helpful.*
*Extremely high blood sugar (>250mg/dL) with ketones can be life-threatening. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) can develop when blood sugar reaches this level. Discuss your plan of action with your doctor if/when this happens. This includes staying home and treating your blood sugar and knowing when you should go to the emergency room.
** Exercise is not recommended if blood sugar is 250 mg/dL. Discuss this with your doctor
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