A healthy diet is certainly no secret to having a healthy mind and body. The same is true in managing blood sugar levels.
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes you would have been told how the foods you eat impact your blood glucose levels. You would have also been told how much you eat and when you eat affects your levels too. Plus, the right combination of foods is also important.
Below are some basic tips that are important for managing your blood glucose levels through your diet.
Different Sugar Sources Affect You Differently
Anyone with blood sugar problems hears the word ‘sugar’ constantly. Two key factors are the total volume of sugar consumed, and the ratio of sugar in the meal – the percentage of total food consumed in that meal that is sugar or simple carbs.
It is this ratio that GI or glycemic index seeks to measure. The amount and type of sugar eaten in any one meal makes a significant difference to blood glucose levels.
There are some people who find it easy to eat a dozen donuts laden with sugar and wash it all down with their favorite soft drink, yet find it difficult to eat a couple of apples and follow it with a glass of water.
Both the donuts and the apples contain sugar. The difference is the apples have their sugar content mixed with a good amount of fiber. This slows the rate of sugar breakdown and subsequent absorption into the bloodstream, so does not cause a sugar spike.
The amount of sugar from the donuts that enters the blood increases at a rate much faster than the apples, thereby setting you up for a big sugar hit and subsequent crash.
Eat Balanced Meals – Containing the Right Foods
Foods that are loaded with sugar and are devoid of protein, fats, and fiber will be absorbed immediately into the bloodstream thereby causing the levels of blood sugar to surge and then drop soon afterward.
To maintain balanced blood glucose levels, eat foods that are high in protein, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and fiber. Your body will be able to utilize these foods for energy, and you won’t experience highs and lows. Your balanced meals also keep your blood sugar levels in balance.
Avoid Sugary Foods on an Empty Stomach
Another important food tip to remember is to never eat sugary foods on an empty stomach. If you choose to eat a dessert, make sure you do it after a good healthy, balanced meal.
If you already have protein, fiber, and/or healthy fats in your stomach, you will less likely suffer from a sugar spike by eating that dessert. The other food types will help slow down sugar assimilation. On an empty stomach, however, the digestive enzymes have no other target and will too quickly have all the sugar in your bloodstream.
However, that’s not a green light for you to overindulge in cakes and treats just because you’ve been good with your main meal. For optimum health, no dessert is still a better option.
Think of Simple Carbs and Sugars as Your Nemesis
If you are someone who has difficulty managing their blood sugar levels, you should treat simple carbohydrates and sugars as your nemesis or enemy.
This will help make it easier for you to avoid simple sugar in all its forms. Don’t even allow yourself to fall into the trap of eating “just a small amount” because it is too easy to eat more than you first set out to.
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