If you don’t have a family history of diabetes, chances are, you must be wondering why this article is of any interest to you. However, the fact is, eating unbalanced meals that cause blood sugar spikes can lead to the development of diabetes in your later years, family history notwithstanding.
A sure sign of your meals causing a blood glucose spike is if you feel particularly tired or drowsy after eating, since a higher than average blood glucose level does not make you more energetic, rather it’s exactly the opposite.
The reason you should care about that is because the constant high blood sugar level spikes can lead to dysfunction of insulin in your body and eventually lead to diabetes. You cannot change the fact that you will age, but you can change the way you eat. By making sure that your blood sugar remains at a healthy level at all times, you are a step closer to reducing the risk of having diabetes in your later adult years.
Why is a blood sugar spike bad?
As a result of a carbohydrate-rich or unbalanced meal, a blood sugar spike in a non-diabetic person basically sends the pancreas into overdrive. When the sugar (from carbohydrates, sugary drinks, or food) first hits the bloodstream, the pancreas releases the stored insulin to combat it and bring the blood glucose levels down. If you keep consuming a high-carb meal, then the pancreas has to make more insulin from scratch, putting it under stress. Repeated carb-rich meals can basically stress the pancreas to the point where it simply cannot make any more insulin and this is when a healthy person becomes a diabetic.
High blood sugar can increase the risk of turning into full-blown diabetes over the years and can also cause short-term downsides, such as a general sluggishness, fatigue, excessive thirst, and urination among other side effects.
Eat these to stabilize your blood sugar levels
1. Leafy Greens
Nutrient-dense and packed with the goodness of calcium and vitamins, leafy greens, such as spinach, broccoli, kale, chard, mustard, and fenugreek are a great for the body. You can add them raw to your salads and sandwiches or put them in stews, soups, and curries. You can even lightly sauté them with garlic and pepper. Their slow release of energy keeps you up and running, and your blood sugar at a happy constant level.
2. Lean Protein
The digestive system has to work hard to break down good, lean proteins, such as fish, eggs, and chicken. High-protein foods get broken down into cell-repairing amino acids and also keeps the insulin production at an optimum level, keeping you energetic throughout the day with a stable blood sugar level.
3. Fiber-Rich Foods
While we can eat fiber, our body cannot break it down or digest it. Eating fiber works in two ways – first, it helps us feel full more quickly, so we end up eating less. Second, fiber adds roughage to the intestine, helping the body with a healthy bowel movement. These, in turn, keep the digestive system healthy and the blood sugar at a stable level.
4. Whole Grains
Whole grains are complex carbohydrates and have a low glycemic index – meaning that while they do break down into energy aka glucose, the body has to work hard to do so and the process is slow. The slow breakdown of these carbohydrates leads to a slow release of glucose into the bloodstream, thus maintaining the optimum level of blood sugar.
5. Coffee & Cinnamon
Coffee increases the metabolism, which means it makes the body burn through the blood glucose fast. If you’ve had a high-carb meal, it’s a good idea to follow it up with coffee to stabilize the blood glucose levels. Cinnamon, too, has a similar impact to the body, and also helps in reducing triglycerides, as well as, cholesterol levels in the body.
Stay clear of refined carbohydrates, such as white breads and pastas, pastries, crackers, cookies, sugary drinks, juices, sodas, and processed foods with added sugar like flavored yogurt, candies, and desserts. Keep your blood sugar levels at a healthy constant with the tips provided above and your energy will be at an all-time high.