Fruit And Fatty Liver Disease
Somewhere along the way, maybe you read that fructose in fruit causes everything from weight gain to fatty liver disease. When youre sucked into the chronic dieting vortex, a food as nourishing as a vitamin C-packed apples can be overshadowed by its sugar content. While studies suggest that high fructose intake may increase the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, consider which type of fructose is being tested: Naturally-occurring fructose vs. processed fructose. When it comes to weight gain, diabetes, and fatty liver disease, the bigger culprits are high-fructose corn syrup and table sugar. Fruit isnt the enemy. Its only when fruit is consumed in large quantitieswithout anything to slow blood sugar that the liver receives a cascade of fructose.
What To Eat And Drink To Lower Blood Sugar
If you have been told by your doctor that you have diabetes or prediabetes, or even if you are just concerned about developing diabetes in the future, you should think about your diet as a key element in keeping your blood sugar level. . Unfortunately, there are no foods that actually lower your blood sugar, but there are foods that do not spike your blood sugar quickly. Think about high fiber foods, carbohydrates that do not come from refined sugars, and carbohydrates that are slowly digested by your body, like those that come from vegetables and whole grains.
About Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes is growing significantly in the United States, with the Centers for Disease Control stating that 9.4% of the countrys population has diabetes. Another 84 million have prediabetes, which can lead to full blown diabetes within 5 years if not treated.3
Diabetes can be silent, developing without any symptoms or indications that it is damaging the bodys organs. The complications from diabetes are numerous. Having diabetes puts one at significantly higher risk for heart disease and stroke. Diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of blindness. Circulation problems in the legs can develop because of diabetes, and in the worst instances, can lead to tissue death requiring amputation. Diabetes can also damage the nerves , causing tingling, numbness, and burning pain in the hands and feet. Diabetes also damages the filtering system in the kidneys, leading to kidney disease that could require dialysis or a kidney transplant. Symptoms of depression are more common in people with diabetes, which can affect diabetes management.
1 Diabetics Guide, 20 Foods That Lower Blood Sugar, March 23, 2018,
2 Harvard Health Publishing, Glycemic Index for 60+ foods, March 14, 2018,
3 Centers for Disease Control,
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Start With These Tips To Lower Blood Sugar Levels
To help you get started on filling your plate with more blood sugar friendly foods that will help lower your blood sugar, start by removing refined sugar, refined grains, and most processed foods from your diet. Processed foods all contain chemicals and refined ingredients that our bodies dont recognize as real nutrients, so our cells never really get what they need and we feel hungry all the time as a result. This also leads to blood sugar swings and spikes that cause insulin to work less efficiently.
What helps insulin work best so that blood sugar stays in a stable place are foods that pack dense amounts of nutrition and contain amino acids , fiber , and healthy fats from real food.
Lets check out some foods that can help lower blood sugar levels by offering us these nutritional benefits, shall we?
What Is Medical Nutrition Therapy
Medical nutrition therapy is a service provided by an RD to create personal eating plans based on your needs and likes. For people with diabetes, medical nutrition therapy has been shown to improve diabetes management. Medicare pays for medical nutrition therapy for people with diabetes If you have insurance other than Medicare, ask if it covers medical nutrition therapy for diabetes.
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Ways To Better Control Blood Sugar After Eating
Do you find it difficult to stabilize your blood sugar levels after eating? Follow these mealtime tips to help keep your blood sugar in range.
When you have type 2 diabetes, life can often feel like a juggling act: You have to balance how much you eat, and when you eat it, with the right amount of exercise all while taking your medications consistently. Strike a good balance and your blood glucose can remain stable. If you don’t make it work, your risk of diabetes complications rises.
Food makes your blood sugar levels rise soon after eating. The particular food you eat, how much you eat, and the timing of your medication around the time you eat make a difference in your levels, too.
Damage to your body from high blood sugar can happen pretty quickly, and the higher the level, the greater your risk of complications, according to a 2015 review in the Diabetes & Metabolism Journal. The higher the blood sugar levels reach, the more likelihood for damage to vessels and other parts of the body.
And problems can develop when the numbers stay high for just a few days, according to the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. The specialty medical center advises making changes to your treatment plan if blood glucose levels stay over 180 mg/dl for three days in a row.
Additional reporting by Andrea Peirce
Why You Should Create A Healthy Lifestyle Plan
Nutrition is the biggest priority in maintaining blood sugar. Monitoring diet alone, though, doesnât cover everything you need for optimal blood sugar control.
In addition to an improved diet, you can support healthy blood sugar levels by:
- Drinking water to stay hydrated
- Exercising regularly
- Maintaining a healthy body weight
- Managing your stress levels
- Monitoring your glucose levels
Setting up a diet for healthier blood sugar levels is all about finding foods that work for you.
The 13 foods below can be your easy starting point to build a meal plan that keeps your blood sugar under control.
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Stay Safe When Blood Glucose Is High
If you have type 1 diabetes, avoid vigorous physical activity when you have ketones in your blood or urine. Ketones are chemicals your body might make when your blood glucose level is too high, a condition called hyperglycemia, and your insulin level is too low. If you are physically active when you have ketones in your blood or urine, your blood glucose level may go even higher. Ask your health care team what level of ketones are dangerous for you and how to test for them.Ketones are uncommon in people with type 2 diabetes.
How Food Impacts Your Blood Sugar Levels
All foods that you eat can impact blood sugar levels. Sugar and carbohydrates, however, have the most significant effect. Thatâs because after you eat carbs, your body breaks them down into sugar that enters your bloodstream, increasing your blood glucose levels.
But, that doesnât mean all digestible carbohydrates work the same. Our bodies digest high fiber foods slower, making the rise in blood sugar more gradual instead of one big spike. Soluble fiber also helps reduce blood sugar levels by improving insulin sensitivity. Processed carbohydrates, on the other hand, cause those sharp spikes in blood sugar and boost triglyceride levels.
Trying to digest all the information on how your body processes carbohydrates and sugars can be overwhelming. Thatâs where using the glycemic index can make it easier to understand. The glycemic index ranks foods on a scale from 0-100. The higher the number, the more your blood sugar will spike after eating.
This tool is especially helpful when evaluating foods you want to include in your overall healthy lifestyle plan. However, it is important to keep in mind that the glycemic index just predicts how someoneâs glucose will respond to food on average. After taking unique personal differences into account, some people may see a response higher or lower than the average.
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Get Your Free Diabetes Diet Plan
- 15 foods to naturally lower blood sugar levels
- 3 day sample meal plan
- Designed exclusively by our nutritionist
Low blood sugar is called hypoglycemia and occurs when blood sugar levels fall below 70 mg/dL. Low blood sugar can become life-threatening if it becomes severe, so its essential that people with diabetes and those caring for them know which foods to eat when low blood sugar occurs.
Suppose someone has repeated incidents of low blood sugar. In that case, they may develop hypoglycemia unawareness, which is when they dont notice low blood sugar symptoms as quickly as they once could. Hypoglycemia unawareness increases the risk of severe hypoglycemia, so treating and preventing hypoglycemia is very important for the health and safety of people with diabetes.
What Kind Of Diet Is Good For A Diabetic
wholefreshHere are some things you could try to reduce this occurrence:
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Ways To Lower Your Blood Sugar With Breakfast
Say goodbye to spikes and crashes before lunchtime.
High blood sugar, or hyperglycemia, can affect those with type 1 and 2 diabetes as well as prediabetes. It can happen when you eat something with too much sugar or too many simple carbs, forget to take your insulin, or even when youre sick or stressed.
Whatever the reason, everyone can agree the signs and symptoms of high blood sugar are no fun. According to the American Diabetes Association, indications that your blood sugar is too high include extreme thirst, a frequent need to urinate, and exhaustion. And if left untreated, high blood sugar can quickly develop into a life-threatening condition called ketoacidosis. Yikes!
Drink Water And Stay Hydrated
Drinking enough water could help you keep your blood sugar levels within healthy ranges.
In addition to preventing dehydration, it helps your kidneys flush out any excess sugar through urine.
One review of observational studies showed that those who drank more water had a lower risk of developing high blood sugar levels (
You can do so at home using a portable blood glucose meter, which is known as a glucometer. You can discuss this option with your doctor.
Keeping track allows you to determine whether you need to adjust your meals or medications. It also helps you learn how your body reacts to certain foods .
Try measuring your levels regularly every day and keeping track of the numbers in a log. Also, it may be more helpful to track your blood sugar in pairs for example, before and after exercise or before and 2 hours after a meal.
This can show you whether you need to make small changes to a meal if it spikes your blood sugar, rather than avoiding your favorite meals altogether. Some adjustments include swapping a starchy side for non-starchy veggies or limiting them to a handful.
Checking your blood glucose and maintaining a daily log enables you to adjust foods and medications when necessary to better manage your blood sugar levels.
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Sprinkle On The Cinnamon
Need another reason to love this sweet and comforting spice? Research has shown that cinnamon may increase insulin sensitivity and therefore help reduce blood sugar. Bonus: This powerful little spice may also help reduce bad cholesterol levels. So go ahead and sprinkle some into your coffee grounds before brewing, or shake some on top of your oatmeal.
What Is Your Blood Sugar
To put it simply, your blood sugar is the glucose content in your blood.
When we eat, our body gets sugar from the food we take in. The sugar changes to glucose. Then, the glucose is converted to energy for our body, including the muscles, nervous system, and organs.
The pancreas, liver, and small intestine work together to regulate the blood sugar throughout your body. The endocrine system regulates processes like tissue function, reproduction, and metabolism. Almost every cell and organ in the body are affected by the endocrine system.
The endocrine system is assisted by the organs like the kidney and heart, which have what are called secondary endocrine functions. One of the most common endocrine diseases is diabetes. This is when the body does not process glucose properly.
Why does this happen? There is either a lack of insulin in the body, or in the case that insulin is present, the body is not using it as it should. If there is not enough insulin in the body, glucose cannot enter the cells because insulin makes the cells ready to receive the glucose.
Sounds rather complicated, doesnt it? Lets look at a few questions that will simplify things. Then, well look at the best foods to lower your blood sugar.
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Nuts Seeds And Nut/seed Butters
Nuts, seeds, and their respective butters offer quality sources of protein, plant based fat, and fiberâ¦ all three of our blood sugar balancing nutrients we look for! These foods have been shown to not only help promote healthy blood sugar levels, but also keep you more satisfied and full for longer.
What To Eat When Your Blood Sugar Is High
Usually, you can still eat all the regular fat, fiber, and protein-rich foods youâd typically eat when your blood sugar is elevated. There is no need to restrict food or eliminate carbohydrates in these moments, but it does warrant being more aware of the foods youâre eating and really ensuring weâre filling your plate with complex carbohydrates and nutrient-rich protein sources. Next time your blood sugar is high and youâre wondering what foods help lower blood sugars or what to eat for your next meal try one of these meals:
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Treating Low Blood Sugar
You are at risk of having a low blood sugar reaction if you:
- Skip or delay a meal or snack
- Take too much insulin or eat too few carbohydrates
- Drink alcohol, especially without eating carbohydrates
Check your blood sugar if you have any of these symptoms:
- Weakness and/or fatigue
If your blood sugar is less than 70 milligrams per deciliter :
- Eat 15 to 30 grams of carbohydrate
- Wait 15 minutes and then recheck your blood sugar
- If your blood sugar is still less than 100 mg/dl, take another 15 grams of carbohydrate and retest your blood sugar in another 15 minutes. Repeat if necessary.
Important: If you have frequent low blood sugars speak to your doctor. You may need changes in your medication and/or meal plan.
What Else Do I Need To Know About Diabetic Diets
If you have diabetes, it’s important to eat the right amount of food every day. Your eating plan will include how much to eat, so that you get the right amount of carbs in each meal or snack. You’ll learn how to count carbs and measure your food.
Eating at the right times is also important. You will want to plan for regular, balanced meals to avoid high or low blood sugar levels. Eating about the same amount of carbs at each meal can be helpful.
Your eating plan will also teach you how to stick with your plan at home and when you eat out.
Eating healthy to control your blood sugar does take some effort. But the reward is a chance to live your healthiest life with diabetes.
NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
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Dont Stay Out In The Sun
You cant afford to spend too much time in the sun because it can affect your blood sugar. No, were not suggesting that you stay out of the sun entirely. When the weather warms up, especially during the summer, stay in the shade. If youre heading out, take a hat, sunglasses, and an umbrella with you. Dont forget to put on some sunscreen.
What Is The Glycemic Index
The glycemic index is a number given to foods to indicate how fast they will affect the glucose level in your blood . Dr. David Jenkins developed the glycemic index at the University of Toronto in 1981.5 Dr. Jenkins was conducting research on how people with Type 1 diabetes can control blood sugar, and that led him to understanding more about the role of carbohydrates in blood glucose levels. When you eat, your body converts the food to energy for the body, and one of those conversions is to provide sugar to the body. Foods that convert to sugar more slowly provide a more continuous source of energy, without the spikes in blood sugar that can lead to a crash, causing low energy and lethargy. The list below is incomplete, but it can help you start thinking about foods that that provide slow and steady energy to the body. Harvard has a longer list of foods and their glycemic index at this link2.
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Add Legumes To Your Meals
Beans, lentils, and peas make a high-fiber, high-protein addition to your diet. Legumes are also a very low-glycemic food, helping to prevent blood sugar and insulin spikes.
They have been shown to decrease blood pressure and lower LDL cholesterol levels. And, In one small 2014 study, participants with Type 2 diabetes who replaced red meat for legumes in their diets for eight weeks had decreased blood glucose, insulin, and LDL cholesterol compared to those not on a legume-based diet.
Working legumes into your diet, especially if you’re adhering to a Mediterranean diet, can also help bolster your cardiovascular health, provide antioxidants, and is associated with a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.