Food provides nutrients and energy for breathing, digesting, warming, cooling, and repairing the body tissues and immune system. Moreover, as per research, eating foods such as highly refined, ultra-processed foods, etc., that adversely impact your body can increase the risk of several chronic diseases. In contrast, eating well can reduce physical health problems and positively impact sleeping patterns and energy levels.
HealthifyPro 2.0 can be very helpful in ensuring that you are eating the right foods to reap maximum benefits. The innovative technology and the support of the Pro Coaches help find the relationship between blood glucose levels and dietary habits. People can be informed of the food variety or combination if there is a spike beyond the optimal levels with the help of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) technology. 24/7 glucose monitoring with a wearable CGM device called BIOS is the key factor. In addition, professional coaches will evaluate the impact of foods on your glucose levels. It can help identify the foods most suitable for your body, and a personalised diet plan will allow you to manage and normalise your glucose spikes.
Understanding Blood Sugar Spikes
All foods you eat break into glucose. Glucose is essential for the body to carry out several functions. However, without glucose entering cells, basic processes, like respiration and development, cannot be carried out. The hormone insulin is in charge of opening up cells so that glucose may enter them. High glucose levels will stay in your bloodstream if you don’t have enough insulin. Blood glucose (also known as blood sugar) levels rise in the bloodstream if glucose concentration increases over time; this is a blood sugar spike. It could occur after eating.
As per research, diet and the foods you eat play a significant role in maintaining blood sugar levels. Although blood sugar spikes frequently occur in people with diabetes (because their bodies cannot use insulin effectively), it doesn’t mean that people without diabetes don’t get blood sugar spikes. Studies suggest that when eating certain foods, blood sugar can spike equally high in people with diabetes and those without. Therefore, monitoring your food intake is vital to understanding how it impacts your blood glucose.
Adverse Effects of Spikes in Blood Sugar Levels
According to studies, consistently high blood glucose levels can damage blood vessels, nerves, and organs over time. It could result in a slower healing process, damaged neurons (peripheral neuropathy), and end-organ damage, including diabetic retinopathy in the eyes, as well as adverse effects on the kidneys (renal failure), brain (stroke), and heart (heart attack) (myocardial infarction).
Research proves that chronic blood sugar spikes after eating food can be a significant cause of an increase in the risk of cardiovascular disease.
In the long term, if your cells do not get the glucose required, they will use fat for fuel and produce by-products called ketones. As per studies, people with diabetes can develop diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), a potentially deadly condition that causes the blood to become too acidic. It can subsequently result in diabetic coma or death. People without diabetes can tolerate certain levels of ketones in the blood and usually do not go on to develop ketoacidosis. However, there are exceptions as per research. When blood sugar levels are normal in these patients, the diagnosis and treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis get delayed, increasing the mortality rate.
Impact of Foods on Blood Glucose
According to research, dietary factors (food and nutrition) significantly and clinically affect blood glucose regulation. It also shows that a strategic goal in managing and preventing type 2 diabetes is eating a healthy diet to support healthy blood sugar levels. The most crucial dietary intervention to look out for is high glycemic index (GI) food. The glycemic index categorises foods that include carbohydrates into groups based on how likely they cause blood sugar spikes.
Studies show that foods with a high Glycemic Index are more likely to result in a substantial blood sugar surge than foods with a lower Glycemic Index value. Foods with a high glycemic index (GI) induce a quick rise in blood sugar levels because they lead to a more significant insulin secretion to handle the high blood sugar levels. Conversely, sugar is slowly assimilated into the body when you consume low GI foods, causing a slow rise in blood sugar levels.
When you consume low GI foods, the proper quantity of insulin is released, and the tissues quickly absorb sugar. Therefore, knowing which foods have a low GI is crucial, allowing only a moderate amount of sugar absorption. In addition, blood sugar levels and a balanced diet are all impacted by ensuring that carbohydrates, an essential macronutrient, are digested in moderate amounts.
The HealthifyMe Note
It is important to remember that diabetes, also known as high blood sugar, is a metabolic disease mainly focused on lifestyle. The best way to prevent or manage this disease is to have a proper diet and lifestyle. The type of food you eat and how you eat it affects energy levels, mood, and degree of concentration. Eating foods high in sugar and saturated fat close to chronic difficulties might even worsen some mental health diseases like depression.
Foods Unlikely to Cause a Blood Sugar Spike
Research recommends that people pay attention to carbohydrate and fibre intake because they significantly impact blood glucose levels. It also holds relevance for the prevention and control of diabetes. Foods high in fibre and low GI values are fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds suitable for regular consumption.
Almonds and Other Nuts
As per research, almonds slow down the blood sugar response. It is mainly because nuts contain limited dietary carbohydrates, high in fibre and have little effect on blood glucose levels. Moreover, almonds reduce post-meal blood sugar level spikes and help increase insulin activity in people with pre-diabetes. Therefore, they are one of the best snack choices as a dietary method for improving insulin sensitivity and metabolic health. Accordingly, a small handful of almonds can pack a big nutritional pouch with a low carb count.
According to research, fresh whole tomatoes have an extremely low glycemic index. They are unlikely to cause a blood sugar spike because of their delayed release of sugar into the blood. Furthermore, tomato (fresh or cooked) is favourable for diabetic people because it decreases diabetes-induced oxidative stress. They are also non-starchy vegetables, providing an excellent nutrition source for people with diabetes.
According to research, garlic is an excellent food choice for people with a problem managing blood sugar levels. It is because garlic has a low glycemic index of 10 to 30. Thus, it contributes to preventing spikes in blood sugar levels. Additionally, it is a good source of vitamin B6 as it is involved in carbohydrate metabolism and has vitamin C, which plays a significant role in maintaining blood sugar levels, as per studies. Also, garlic is excellent anti-inflammatory food and helps prevent inflammation.
Eggs are an excellent source of protein. Since protein does not raise blood sugar levels and can make people feel satiated for longer, protein-rich diets are crucial for regulating blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
Research shows that eating eggs may help adults with pre and type II diabetes in terms of glycemic management and insulin sensitivity. It is also an added advantage that you can eat eggs as a part of a healthy diet without any negative impact on diabetes, aside from being a good manager of blood sugar levels.
Green Leafy Vegetables
As per research, people with diabetes are usually deficient in vitamin C and require a lot of vitamins which these green leafy veggies may offer. In addition, leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale and arugula are high in fibre and nutrients like vitamins, magnesium and iron that help lower blood sugar.
As a green vegetable, spinach is rich in fibre and helps prevent a spike in blood sugar levels since it has a very low glycemic index. Additionally, kale does not raise your blood sugar because it is a very rich source of vitamin C. Studies have linked consumption of vitamin C with decreased blood glucose levels. Therefore, they are non-starchy and diabetic-friendly vegetables that even people with diabetes can add to their diet.
Commonly used ancient herbs and spices for glucose management include cinnamon (Cinnamomum cassia), which has the most substantial impact. According to research, including cinnamon in your diet can help reduce your glucose levels and prevent blood sugar rises.
Studies show that even a single supplementation with cinnamon improved metabolism. Therefore, you should consume it to manage the condition since people with diabetes cannot utilise their insulin effectively and do not create enough of it, causing an accumulation of glucose in the blood.
Avocados are incredibly nutritious, full of vitamins, and high in fibre and healthy fats. Research demonstrates that it is a low GI food with a high amount of fibre beneficial for blood sugar stability. It is due to avocados’ capacity to increase insulin sensitivity and control glycolipid metabolism. The healthy fats in avocados can also improve insulin use and help you avoid diabetes complications like heart attack and stroke. Other studies show that they reduce blood glucose levels instead of causing spikes.
The HealthifyMe Note
Most blood sugar-spiking foods, such as rice, bread, fruits, sugar, fish, meat, oily foods, milk, and dairy products, are often high in carbs that easily convert to energy. Dehydration may also have a substantial impact on blood sugar spikes. However, if a person’s blood sugar is chronically high, they should see a doctor about changing their diet. Likewise, you should consult a doctor about better diabetes control if your blood sugar is surprisingly high even after dietary adjustments.
Foods to Avoid to Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes
Your blood glucose levels change throughout the day. For example, your blood glucose will rise immediately when you eat something high in sugar and refined carbs or a portion of food with a high GI value.
As per studies, dietary fat acutely increases glucose concentration in the bloodstream, causing spikes in blood sugar levels.
Another research says that caffeine adversely affects blood sugar and can cause spikes since it causes a reduction in insulin sensitivity, which impairs glucose tolerance. Therefore, you should limit the consumption of soda, energy drinks, and sugary coffee, especially if you are someone with diabetes.
So, you should avoid the following commonly eaten foods or reduce their consumption to avoid chronic spikes in your blood sugar levels. The foods mentioned below include high GI foods, fatty foods, and caffeine drinks.
- Fried meat
- Sugary beverages
- Regular cheese
- Packaged snack items
- White bread
- Canned food
- Coffee, soda and energy drinks
- Sweetened or flavoured yoghurt
It is essential to track and manage blood sugar levels since untreated blood sugar can lead to severe conditions like cardiovascular problems, kidney problems, neuropathy, retinopathy, and other chronic problems. Moreover, blood sugar management depends on dietary management because food plays a vital role due to its sugar content. The high sugar and refined foods you eat will turn into sugar and can cause spikes leading to poor metabolic health.
Along with dietary management, physical activity also plays a vital role in preventing blood sugar spikes. Skipping high GI and fatty foods and staying hydrated can be crucial in keeping your blood sugar levels from spiking. It is also vital to regularly avoid skipping meals. The diet people follow impacts their quality of life. So, it is essential to follow a healthy diet to support your health and wellness goals.