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Best Foods for Quick and Long-Term Blood Sugar Control

According to the 2020 National Diabetes Statistics Report, more than one in ten people have diabetes. When blood glucose or blood sugar levels are too high, diabetes develops. This disorder is caused by the body's inability to produce or utilize insulin, a hormone that aids the body's utilization of glucose from food.

There are three main types of diabetes: 

  • Diabetes type 1 is the most common type of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes causes the body to produce no insulin at all. As a result, individuals with this kind of diabetes must take insulin every day just to stay alive. Type 1 diabetes is usually discovered early in life, in childhood or early adulthood.

  • Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes. The most common type of diabetes is type 2 diabetes, which usually develops later in life. This type of diabetes causes the body to have difficulty producing and utilizing insulin effectively. Type 2 diabetes can sometimes be prevented or controlled by making lifestyle modifications. Eating a healthier diet, decreasing weight, and increasing physical activity are just a few of the changes that can be made.

  • Gestation Diabetes.  During pregnancy, some women develop diabetes. This is known as gestational diabetes, and it usually disappears once the baby is born. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, it does raise your risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future.

what makes this condition even more problematic is that an estimated 21.4 percent of adults with diabetes are completely unaware that they have it.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly three times as many adults have prediabetes (approximately 34.5 percent). Prediabetes is a condition in which your blood sugar levels are elevated but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes. This diabetes precursor is more common in persons who have some level of insulin resistance or sensitivity.

The Effects of a Too-High or Too-Low Blood Sugar Level

What happens if your blood sugar levels are consistently high? According to the Mayo Clinic, you may notice that you urinate a lot and are thirsty all of the time at first. Blurred vision, tiredness, and headaches are all possible side effects.

Symptoms of untreated high blood sugar include nausea, dry mouth, weakness, abdominal pain, and confusion. Severe high blood sugar levels might possibly result in coma.

Low blood sugar, on the other hand, can have negative consequences. Irregular or fast heartbeats, shakiness, and sweating are among them. Low blood sugar can also cause pale skin, anxiety, hunger, and irritability. Tingling or numbness in the face is also common (lips, cheeks, and tongue).

If you exercise, you should be aware of this. That’s because exercise pulls blood glucose to fuel the workout. Longer or more severe workouts might deplete blood sugar levels not only during the workout but also afterward.

How Food Improves Blood Sugar Stabilization When Exercising

Food provides you with the glucose you need to keep going during your workout. It helps to maintain blood sugar stability by ensuring that you have enough to support increased physical activity. This also keeps it from falling to dangerously low levels.

Perhaps you've had firsthand experience with this. Recall a time when you worked out after eating a tiny snack, compared to how you feel after a workout at the end of intermittent fasting. You've probably noticed differences in your energy levels and, possibly, your ability to recover after exercise.

Maybe you felt dizzy or uneasy after working out on an empty stomach. This could be due to a drop in blood sugar. Dietary changes can help reduce this effect, and some people do so with the help of the glycemic index.

The Glycemic Index

The glycemic index (GI) is a rating system that is used to measure a food's influence on blood sugar when eaten alone. The higher the rating of food, the more likely it is to trigger a blood sugar rise.

A scale of 0 to 100 is used in this system:

  • Foods with a glycemic index of 1 to 55 are considered low glycemic.

  • Foods with a glycemic index of 56 to 69 are considered medium glycemic.

  • Food with a glycemic index of 70 to 100 is considered high glycemic.

According to the National Library of Medicine, high GI meals can be problematic for diabetics. This is due to the fact that these foods make it more difficult to manage the disease. Rather, selecting foods with a lower glycemic index makes it easier to maintain blood sugar control.

Best Foods for Long-Term Blood Sugar Control

On the GI scale, there are a few foods that are low-to-medium. These can assist you in maintaining a healthy blood sugar level over time.

Complex Carbohydrates

While it may appear that any sort of carbohydrate is off-limits, this is not the case. Some carbohydrates are better for you than others. Complex carbohydrates, for example, are better for blood sugar regulation than refined carbohydrates.

Choosing high-fiber carbs can help you feel satisfied for longer. It also appears to postpone gastric emptying, according to research. This can help prevent blood sugar spikes. Your metabolic profile may even improve as a result of it. In one trial of type 2 diabetic patients, those who consumed soluble fiber saw metabolic improvements in just four weeks.

Chia seed is a carbohydrate with a lot of fiber. Around 10g of fiber is found in 6tsp. To put that in perspective, to acquire this quantity, you'd have to consume two apples.

What does a blood sugar-friendly carbohydrate diet look like? Half of your plate should include non-starchy vegetables. Cucumbers, tomatoes, and green beans are examples of this.

In addition, limit your intake of starchy vegetables. Corn, peas, and sweet potatoes are among these vegetables. Fruits that are high in starch should be avoided as well. Apples, strawberries, and cantaloupe are some examples.

Refined carbohydrates should be consumed in moderation. Refined carbs include things like cakes, cookies, and chips. So do white rice and carbonated beverages.

Healthy Fats

In a diabetic diet, fat is an important component. This is due to the fact that fat serves a variety of functions in the human body. It, for example, stores energy and promotes cell growth. It also keeps your body warm throughout the winter months by insulating your organs.

However, you don't want to increase your fat consumption with any fat. In an ideal scenario, you'd consume more unsaturated fats while consuming less trans and saturated fat. Unsaturated fats aid in the reduction of bad cholesterol while increasing the production of good cholesterol. This lowers your chances of developing heart disease or having a stroke.

Fatty fish is good high-fat food. Choose one that is high in omega 3 fatty acids, as this is healthy for your heart. Two servings per week are recommended.

Avocado, nuts, and, once again, chia seeds are all good sources of healthful fats. To improve your consumption of healthy fats, drizzle olive oil on your salads and cook with it.

Foods to Instantly Boost Blood Sugar

If your blood sugar drops too low, you'll want to get it back up as soon as possible. This may involve eating things that you would normally avoid due to their tendency to produce blood sugar spikes.

In situations like this, the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) suggests using one of the following options:

  • Some candies

  • 1 tablespoon honey (or sugar water)

  • half a cup of fruit juice or one cup of fat-free milk

  • Fruit with a higher sugar content (banana, apple, raisins)

If you want to raise blood sugar quickly, avoid foods that also include protein or fat, according to the USCF. When blood sugar levels are really low (below 70 mg/dl), certain foods do not raise blood sugar quickly enough.

If you want to learn more ways to modify your nutrition to live a healthy life, I offer nutrition coaching, with my education from the International sports science association, we together will work on your health and fitness goals. We will also discuss effective ways to improve health and wellness when a mental barrier is stopping you.

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