Have you been diagnosed with diabetes? If so, you will want to read on to learn how you can be successful at managing diabetes with food choices and journaling.
How Does Food Affect Blood Sugar?
Every type of food you eat will raise blood glucose levels. Some raise it slightly, while others cause drastic high levels of blood sugar. Today we’re going to go into detail on which foods do what to your body.
Proteins include meat, poultry, pork, beans, lentils, tofu and other meat substitutes, cheeses, fish, and eggs.
Protein actually helps to stabilize your blood sugar levels. If you douse the protein in sugary sauces or marinades, that’s another story, but most proteins simply level out your blood sugar levels and keep you fuller, longer.
If you are hooked up to a continuous blood glucose monitoring system, when you eat protein, you will see a roughly steady, consistent line on the graph.
Fats include oils, butter, margarine, bacon, nut butters, fried foods, avocado and items like that.
Unlike its counterpart, carbohydrate, fat actually slows down the digestion and absorption of carbs into your blood stream.
If you eat carbs with fat, you will still get a blood sugar spike, but it will occur 2-3 hours after the meal instead of 15-30 minutes after.
Carbs include grains, breads, sweets, candy, baked goods, sugar, honey, syrups, fruit, yogurt and milk. Peas, corn, potatoes, and other starchy vegetables have carbohydrates as well, so be sure to count those with your other carbs.
Carbohydrates will cause a quick spike in blood sugar levels. This is because glucose is a building block of carbohydrates. These foods break down quickly in your digestive tract and pour glucose into your blood stream.
Depending on the type of carbohydrate you eat, the spike in blood sugar will differ. For instance, if you eat a whole grain bread, which has fiber, the spike in blood glucose will be low and slow because fiber helps stabilize blood sugars. However, if you eat a plate of white rice or drink a glass of milk, the spike will be high and fast.
Try to eat high fiber foods or pair your carbohydrates with protein to stabilize the absorption of the carbs. It will help keep your blood glucose under control and help you with managing diabetes.
Other Factors that Affect Blood Sugar
Here is where the frustration of managing diabetes comes in. Almost anything can affect your blood glucose levels. According to Adam Brown of DiaTribe.org, there are 42 factors that affect blood sugar. HERE is a link to his .pdf file. Common factors include:
- Waking up (Dawn Phenomenon-the hormone that wakes you up causes high blood glucose)
- Time of Day
- Eating too much or too little
- Relationship problems
- Other medications
- Too much or too little exercise
- Not enough sleep
As you can see, there are factors that are out of your control, so you should not blame yourself or get down on yourself if your blood sugars are too high or too low. It’s not always your fault. To read more details about diabetes, check out my other blog HERE.
The important thing is to continue monitoring your blood glucose and take notes. Notes should include the following:
- What were you doing before you checked your blood sugar?
- If you ate, what did you eat?
- Did you exercise?
- Are you feeling ill?
- Print out the PDF file from the link I gave you and put it on the fridge. If anything fits, put it in your journal.
If you keep track of your food, exercise, and anything that might have affected your blood glucose, it will help your doctor see patterns and adjust your insulin or medications to compensate.
Remember that diabetes is as unique as the person who has it. Not all of the factors listed above will affect you. It’s a good idea to keep track of your symptoms and see what patterns you can come up with.
If you need a little natural help with your blood glucose, try Bioterra Herbs’ Blood Glucose supplement. It’s full of herbs that are known to help keep your blood sugars stabilized. Click the image below to learn more about and purchase the product!