Raising Blood Sugar And Insulin Levels
Consuming excess sugar has been shown to increase blood sugar and insulin levels. When your insulin levels increase, your sympathetic nervous system is activated . When this happens, your heart rate increases and your blood vessels constrict. This raises your blood pressure .
Increased blood sugar levels can make your body more insulin resistant. In addition to diabetes, insulin resistance is linked to high blood pressure .
Diet Soda And Cholesterol Levels
It seems like the simple solution to this would be to swap out the regular soda for diet soda, which doesn’t have any calories, carbohydrates or fructose. But, unfortunately, the artificial sweeteners in diet soda that are used to replicate the sweet taste of fructose aren’t much better.
As one study that was published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition in April 2017 points out, aspartame, an artificial sweetener used to sweeten some of the most popular soda brands, can increase LDL cholesterol, even without a change in body weight or other parameters, like total cholesterol.
Another study that was published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition in August 2018 also found that artificial sweeteners could increase triglycerides, another important lipid to consider when it comes to heart disease. That same study also connected artificial sweeteners to increased waist circumference and higher fasting glucose levels, two factors involved in metabolic syndrome.
How Does Caffeine Affect Your Blood Sugar
One study looked at people with type 2 diabetes who took a 250-milligram caffeine pill at breakfast and another at lunchtime. Thatâs about the same amount as drinking two cups of coffee with each meal. The result: Their blood sugar was 8% higher than on days when they didnât have caffeine. Their reading also jumped by more after each meal.
Thatâs because caffeine can affect how your body responds to insulin, the hormone that allows sugar to enter your cells and get changed into energy.
Caffeine may lower your insulin sensitivity. That means your cells donât react to the hormone by as much as they once did. They donât absorb as much sugar from your blood after you eat or drink. This causes your body to make more insulin, so you have higher levels after meals.
If you have type 2 diabetes, your body already doesnât use insulin well. After meals, your blood sugar rises higher than normal. Caffeine may make it tougher to bring it down to a healthy point. This may lead to too-high blood sugar levels. Over time, this may raise your chance of diabetes complications, like nerve damage or heart disease.
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How To Raise Blood Sugar Levels Quickly And Safely
- To raise blood sugar levels quickly, eat or drink something containing about 15 grams of simple carbs for a quick boost to restore blood glucose.;
- Frequent low blood sugar episodes can cause a potentially dangerous condition called hypoglycemia unawareness, where there are no warning signs until more severe symptoms, like shakiness and confusion, set in.
- This article was medically reviewed by Scott Kaiser, MD, geriatrician and Director of Geriatric Cognitive Health for Pacific Neuroscience Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California.
- Visit Insider’s Health Reference library for more advice.
Hypoglycemia is a condition where blood sugar levels drop too low and need to be restored fast. If the condition isn’t treated quickly, you risk symptoms and complications like shakiness, confusion, seizures, or even death.
Here’s what you need to know about the causes and symptoms of hypoglycemia and the safest ways to raise blood sugar quickly.
What Can Cause Low Blood Sugar Levels
Some things that can make low blood sugar levels more likely are:
- skipping meals and snacks
- not eating enough food during a meal or snack
- exercising longer or harder than usual without eating some extra food
- getting too much insulin
- not timing the insulin doses properly with meals, snacks, and exercise
Also, some things may increase how quickly insulin gets absorbed into the bloodstream and can make hypoglycemia more likely. These include:
- taking a hot shower or bath right after having an insulin injection increases blood flow through the blood vessels in the skin, which can make the insulin be absorbed more quickly than usual
- injecting the shot into a muscle instead of the fatty layer under the skin
- injecting the insulin into a part of the body used a lot in a particular sport .
All of these situations increase the chances that a person may get hypoglycemia.
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Diet Soda Diabetes And Eye Disease
Unfortunately, increased mortality rates arent the only bad news surfacing from diet soda studies.
A 2018 study found that people with diabetes who consumed more than 4 cans of diet soda per week were two times more likely to develop a diabetes complication called proliferative diabetic retinopathy .
But if you read the entire study, the authors reported that those with increased risk of retinopathy were those with type 1 diabetes, had a greater BMI, 55 percent were current smokers, had elevated blood fat levels, and high blood pressure which can all contribute to the development of eye disease.
When authors adjusted the results for variables such as A1c levels , age, gender, smoking, etc., there was no difference in eye disease between the diet soda drinkers and the non-consumers except those with the highest consumption.
So, everything in moderation even no calorie soda is still a good motto to live by.
Sugary Sodas And Diabetes
High blood sugar is characteristic of diabetes.
If a person has diabetes, it is important to avoid drinks that contain excessive sugar, as they cause spikes in blood glucose.
One recent study posted in the BMJ found a link between drinking sugary drinks and the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Another study posted in Diabetes Care found that people who drink 1 or 2 sugar-sweetened drinks every day have a risk of developing type 2 diabetes that is 26 percent higher than those who do not.
Sodas can impact health in a range of harmful ways:
- Plaque loves soda: The bacteria that cause dental plaque need sugar to thrive. Soda washes the mouth in sugar with each gulp, making it a perfect breeding ground for plaque.
- Soda is acidic: Drinking soda regularly can make the mouth more acidic. This increases the risk of cavities, enamel decay, and gum disease.
- Soda provides empty calories: The average can of cola provides around 150 calories, while a 20 ounce bottle contains significantly more, and has very little nutritional value.
Address soda cravings with the following options:
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Foods And Drinks That Can Cause Blood Sugar Swings
Is your blood sugar up and down? Certain foods and drinks could be to blame.
Just when you think you’re making all the right food choices, your blood sugar takes a leap or dive. Foods and drinks can have an impact you might not expect, and these surprise blood-sugar changes can be harmful . Here are some things you should consider:
Don’t let bagels betray you. Counting carbs is a way of life when you have diabetes. Bread can really rack up those carbs, but not all bread is created equal.
Think there’s no difference between a bagel and an English muffin? One plain English muffin has 140 calories and 27 grams of carbohydrates. A bagel that’s 4Â½ inches in diameter serves up 294 calories and 58 grams of carbs. That’s about as many calories and even more carbs than a glazed donut.
“It’s about portion size. Some bagels are the size of a plate,” says Pamela Allweiss, MD, MPH. She’s a medical officer in the division of diabetes translation at the CDC.
A fruit in any other form may be twice as sweet. All fruits have sugar, but did you know that different forms of the same fruit have vastly different amounts?
Dried fruit packs a sugary punch compared with its fresh counterpart. Ten grapes, which weigh about 1.75 ounces, have 34 calories and 8 grams of sugar. They’re also full of water, which helps fill you up. A 1.5-ounce, single-serving box of raisins packs 129 calories and 15 grams of sugar, but none of the water.
Sugary Drinks And Health
When it comes to ranking beverages best for our health, sugary drinks fall at the bottom of the list because they provide so many calories and virtually no other nutrients. People who drink sugary beverages do not feel as full as if they had eaten the same calories from solid food, and research indicates they also dont compensate for the high caloric content of these beverages by eating less food. The average can of sugar-sweetened soda or fruit punch provides about 150 calories, almost all of them from added sugar. If you were to drink just one of these sugary drinks every day, and not cut back on calories elsewhere, you could gain up to 5 pounds in a year. Beyond weight gain, routinely drinking these sugar-loaded beverages can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic diseases. Furthermore, higher consumption of sugary beverages has been linked with an increased risk of premature death.
The more ounces of sugary beverages a person has each day, the more calories he or she takes in later in the day. This is the opposite of what happens with solid food, as people tend to compensate for a large meal by taking in fewer calories at a later meal. This compensatory effect doesnt seem to be present after consuming soft drinks, for several possible reasons:
Dozens of studies have explored possible links between soft drinks and weight, and they consistently show that increased consumption of soft drinks is associated with increased energy intake.
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What Happens To Your Body When You Drink Soda Sugar Affects Brain Heart Lungs And Teeth
The immediate effects of soda are well-documented. About 20 minutes after you finish the can, it hits you 100 percent of your recommended daily intake of sugar, or 10 teaspoons.
Your blood sugar spikes, causing an insulin burst that tricks the liver into converting all sugars into fat. Within 40 minutes, caffeine absorption is complete, and the rest of your body responds accordingly: Your pupils become dilated, your blood pressure rises, and the liver begins to dump even more sugar into your bloodstream.
Thats only the first hour. Over time, a couple of sodas a day will start to affect nearly all parts of your body. For example:
A daily can of soda has a negative effect on virtually every part of the body, including the heart, lungs, and brain. Photo Courtesy of Shutterstock
What Should I Do If My Blood Sugar Is High After Eating
Blood sugar spike: What to do. Its important to know the symptoms of hyperglycemia. If you suspect that you have high blood sugar, perform a finger stick to check your level. Exercising and drinking water after eating, particularly if youve consumed a lot of starchy carbs, can help lower your blood sugar.
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What Causes Blood Sugar And Insulin Levels To Rise
We have tightly controlled mechanisms to keep our blood sugar levels stable (
Blood sugar levels increase when we eat foods containing carbohydrates.
Potatoes, bread, pasta, cakes and sweets are some foods that are high in carbohydrates.
When digested, carbohydrates are broken down into sugar and absorbed into the bloodstream, leading to an increase in blood sugar levels.
When our blood sugar levels rise, our body releases insulin.
Insulin is a hormone that acts like a key. It allows blood sugar to leave the blood and enter our cells, where it can be used for energy or stored as fat.
But small amounts of insulin are also released before any sugar enters the bloodstream. This response is known as cephalic phase insulin release. It is triggered by the sight, smell, and taste of food, as well as chewing and swallowing .
If blood sugar levels drop too low, our livers release stored sugar to stabilize it. This happens when we fast for prolonged periods, like overnight.
There are theories on how artificial sweeteners may interfere with this process .
Risk: Stroke And Heart Disease
Patients with diabetes already face an increased risk of stroke and heart disease. Artificial sweeteners deal an added blow. An American Heart Association/American Stroke Association study found that drinking two or more artificially sweetened beverages per day increases the risk of stroke by 23 percent, and heart disease by 29 percent.
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Is Diet Soda Safe For Diabetes
Diet soda and diabetes
Managing blood sugar levels is an everyday goal for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
While eating sugar doesnt cause either type of diabetes, keeping tabs on carbohydrate and sugar intake is an important part of managing both types of diabetes. Eating healthfully and staying active can also reduce your risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
Being overweight or having obesity is linked to the development of type 2 diabetes. In fact, obesity is one of the leading causes of type 2 diabetes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , more than one-third of American adults have obesity. Obesity can put you at risk for diabetes and other health conditions.
Eating highly processed foods that are high in sugar, unhealthy fats, and empty calories increases your risk of gaining excess weight.
Drinking sugary drinks is also a risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes. If youre working to keep your blood sugar in check or manage your weight, you might choose diet soda.
Low in calories and sugar, diet sodas appear to be a good alternative to sugary drinks. Diet sodas are 99 percent water, and when checking the nutrition facts panel, you should see less than 5 to 10 calories and less than 1 gram of carbohydrate per serving.
Benefits Of Staying Hydrated
Staying hydrated is vital for general health, and even more so for people with diabetes. Drinking ample fluid throughout the day can help support glucose control by flushing out excess sugar in the blood through urine.
At the same time, being dehydrated is a common side effect of diabetes. When the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or becomes less sensitive to insulin , sugar can build up in the bloodstream, forcing the kidneys to work extra hard and increasing the production of urine .
Ultimately, the body becomes dehydrated as fluid is pulled from the organs and tissues. Keeping on top of your fluid intake can help support your kidneys and keep your other organs healthy, while at the same time stabilizing your glucose levels.
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What Are The Risks
While diet soft drinks are safe, they provide no nutrients. In addition to diet soda, the ADA recommends drinking water, unsweetened iced, or hot tea, and sparkling or infused water, which similarly have no calories and few nutrients.
Although they contain carbohydrates, milk and 100 percent fruit juices can be wise choices when you consider the nutrients they provide. Be sure to limit fruit juices due to their high natural sugar content.
A 2000 study published in Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine investigated the risks of drinking colas in youth.
The study found that drinking carbonated beverages was associated with bone fractures in teenage girls. Most of the girls drank regular sugar sweetened soda, while only 20 percent drank the diet version.
Although the same wasnt shown for boys, the study did raise concerns about replacing milk with soda during a critical time for bone development.
Diet soda consumption for adults only becomes problematic when the quantity consumed is very excessive. This can lead to higher intakes of caffeine if the beverages are caffeinated.
Replacing all water and dairy or 100 percent juice with diet soda in the diet can lead to missing essential nutrients.
The acceptable daily intake is the level of intake considered safe. For an adult weighing 150 pounds, the ADI is 20 twelve ounce soft drinks or 97 packets of no-calorie sweetener such as aspartame.
The negative press around aspartame is mostly based upon animal studies.
What Is The Healthiest Diet Soda 10 Options
Apart from the most popular coke zero, many other diet sodas out there can help you maintain your blood sugar levels and control diabetes.
Let us have a look at the 10 healthiest diet sodas that you can shift to today.
It is not just about keeping the blood sugar levels low and within control. There are a lot of effects of diabetes on the health accompanied by several symptoms.
All of this needs to be paid attention to and mitigated. Diet sodas do keep you away from the risks of spiking blood glucose levels. But on the other hand, there are other risks attached to it that can avoid proper control of diabetic health.
Diet sodas do lead to diabetic complications if not controlled. Researchers have seen a 67% chance of developing Type 2 diabetes in the average population who drink diet sodas daily.
Therefore, it all comes down to maintaining the consumption quantities and limiting to healthy and low amounts for preventing risks.
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