A Guide To Healthy Low Carb Eating With Diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects many people across the globe.
Currently, more than 400 million people have diabetes worldwide .
Although diabetes is a complicated disease, maintaining good blood sugar levels can greatly reduce the risk of complications .
One of the ways to achieve better blood sugar levels is to follow a low carb diet.
This article provides a detailed overview of very low carb diets for managing diabetes.
With diabetes, the body cant effectively process carbohydrates.
Normally, when you eat carbs, theyre broken down into small units of glucose, which end up as blood sugar.
When blood sugar levels go up, the pancreas responds by producing the hormone insulin. This hormone allows blood sugar to enter cells.
In people without diabetes, blood sugar levels remain within a narrow range throughout the day. For those who have diabetes, however, this system doesnt work in the same way.
This is a big problem, because having both too high and too low blood sugar levels can cause severe harm.
There are several types of diabetes, but the two most common ones are type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Both of these conditions can occur at any age.
In type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune process destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. People with diabetes take insulin several times a day to ensure that glucose gets into the cells and stays at a healthy level in the bloodstream .
Do Some Physical Activity
Physical activity, whether its walking, jogging, bicycling, or dancing helps lower blood sugars both in the short-term and long-term. When you move, your cells take up glucose from the blood to be used as energy, thereby lowering blood sugars. You dont have to rush to the gym, either going for a walk, marching in place, or turning on the tunes and dancing at home can do wonders for your blood sugars. However, if you take insulin and your blood sugars are above 250 mg/dl, you should first check your urine for ketones using ketone strips. If you have ketones, dont exercise , and contact your provider.
How To Lower High Blood Sugar Naturally
People living with certain health conditions, such as the autoimmune disorder Type 1 diabetes, cant lower their blood sugar naturally.
With Type 1 diabetes, your pancreas doesnt make insulin, a hormone that helps regulate your blood sugar levels. After being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, you need insulin injections or insulin pump therapy for the rest of your life in order to stay alive.
Here are seven effective strategiesAsterino-McGeean recommends if you fall into the latter category:
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Dinner: Salmon With Veggies
- 1/2 cup sautéed zucchini
- 1 cup sautéed mushrooms
To complement your meal and for dessert:
Total digestible carbs: 14 grams
Total digestible carbs for the day: 37 grams
A meal plan to manage diabetes should space carbs evenly over three meals. Each meal should contain a balance of protein, healthy fats, and a small amount of carbs, mostly from vegetables.
Exercise To Lower Your Blood Sugar Quickly 10 Minute Routine
Burn excess glucose, lower a glucose spike, stabilize blood sugar, improve insulin sensitivity all in 10 minutes? Yup. Get ready to lower your blood sugar quickly with this 10-minute low-impact routine. Im Caroline Jordan your certified health and fitness coach and this video is what I call a micro workout full of compound movements guaranteed to get you the best results in a short amount of time. Research has shown that circuit training increases insulin sensitivity. Ive designed this video to combine resistance and cardio exercises together in a way that keeps your heart rate up AND improves your health. Fit this video into your day whenever you need to lower your blood sugar and keep your health in check. We have 10 minutes, click on the video below and lets get started.
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Preventing High Blood Sugars
Everyone with diabetes experiences high blood sugars sometimes there are simply too many variables in the human body out of your control to prevent them altogether.
That being said, there are a few blood sugar management guidelines we can all follow to minimize the frequency of high blood sugars:
- Avoid full-sugar beverages including soda, juice, coffee drinks, iced tea, etc.
- Choose your carbohydrates carefully starchy carbs from pasta, candy, bread, desserts, etc. will spike your blood sugar the most
- Take your medications as prescribed and contact your healthcare team if you miss a dose to determine if you can take it late
- Exercise daily even a 20-minute walk makes a big difference on a daily basis
- Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration
And of course, if youre experiencing high blood sugars are a daily basis and youre unsure of the cause, talk to your healthcare team about making adjustments in your diabetes management regimen. A slight increase in your medications can have a big impact!
What Is Excessive Sweating
Excessive sweating is a term that describes extreme, abnormal sweating that is usually unrelated to body temperature or exercise.
Diabetic people tend to sweat more excessively in the upper body than in the lower body. You may experience underarm, neck, chest, and facial sweating that could soak through your clothes or drip off your hands. It is more worrisome when this happens on a chilly, snowy day or at night when you are engaged in little or no physical activities.
Although profuse sweating can be a strong indicator of diabetes, there are a few other causes that aren’t due to underlying disease. Examples include rigorous exercise, a sauna session, a hot environment, or a response to emotional stress.
The two major causes of unusual sweating in people with diabetes are low blood sugar levels and diabetic nervous system damage.
When low blood sugars hit as low as 70 milligrams per deciliter , your sweat hormones are forced to produce more sweat. When your blood glucose levels stay high for too long, your nerve functions could be affected, leading to diabetic neuropathy.
Unfortunately, over 50% of diabetic people are affected by nerve damage which can ultimately affect sweat glands’ nerves, causing them to sweat too much or too little when they ordinarily shouldn’t.
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When To Call For Medical Advice
It is important to note that very high blood glucose levels can be dangerous and it is important to be aware of the symptoms and risk factors of the following conditions:
- Diabetic ketoacidosis a short term complication most commonly associated with type 1 diabetes
- Hyperosmolar Hyperglycaemic State a short term complication most commonly associated with type 2 diabetes
If you are struggling to keep your blood glucose levels under control, speak to your GP or consultant who can advise you or refer you onto a diabetes education course.
Add More Resistant Starch To Your Plate
Not all carbohydrates are equal. Simple sugars digest quickly, and the glucose hits your blood fast, causing a spike in blood sugars. Resistant starches with complex carbohydrates take longer to break down. Your blood sugar levels will rise slowly and not get quite as high.
Some examples of resistant starches include:
- Rice and potatoes, served cooked but cold
- Whole grains such as barley and oats
- Plantains, underripe bananas
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Take A Correction Insulin Dose
For those who take fast or rapid-acting insulin Novolog, Humalog, Apidra, Fiasp, Admelog, Afrezza you can take a correction dose to bring a high blood sugar down.
A correction factor is determined with support from your healthcare team. This number tells you how much 1 unit of fast or rapid-acting insulin will lower your blood sugar. For example, a correction factor of 1:50 means that 1 unit of insulin will lower your blood sugar by 50 points.
Its important to keep in mind how much insulin you may already have on board in your bloodstream before taking an additional dose of insulin.
Most fast and rapid-acting insulin stays in your system for approximately 3 to 4 hours, which means taking an additional dose of insulin to correct a high could lead to a severe low blood sugar if you already have a significant amount of insulin from your most recent dose still in your bloodstream.
Also, remember to give that correction dose of insulin at least two hours to make an impact on your blood sugar before getting frustrated and taking another injection. You wont see a significant improvement in your blood sugar until its been in your system for at least 1 to 2 hours .
Dont Rely On Supplements Or Vitamins
Theres no shortcut to maintaining good blood sugars. A supplement or vitamin alone will not give you healthy blood sugar levels and they can interact negatively with other medications. Speak to your healthcare provider and perhaps ask for a referral for a dietitian who specializes in blood sugar control before incorporating dietary supplements, shakes, or vitamins to achieve blood sugar control.
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What Is High Blood Sugar
Your blood sugar level can be determined by taking a blood sample, either in a fasted state, or two hours after eating.
- If your blood sugar is less than 100 mg/dL after an eight-hour fast or less than 140 mg/dL two hours after eating, youre in the normal range.
- If you conduct a test in the morning, after sleeping for eight hours, and your blood sugar is at 126 mg/dL or higher, youve got high blood sugar.
An estimated 29 million people in the U.S. have type 2 diabetes, which is the result of blood sugar levels being consistently high. Another 86 million have prediabetes, which can lead to type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Prediabetes, however, can be reversed by finding ways to naturally lower blood sugar.
High Blood Sugar Levels: An Overview
The amount of sugar or glucose in your blood is called blood sugar. If your blood sugar is over 126 mg/dl before eating or over 200 mg/dl two hours after eating, its called high blood sugar or hyperglycemia.
If its not treated promptly and properly, high blood sugar can cause a build-up of glucose content, which increases the risk of diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.
You will know that you are suffering from high blood sugar with the following symptoms:
- Frequent urination
- Difficulty in concentration
The ranges for high blood sugar differ for each person, depending on age, how long diabetes has been present, and if other health issues are present. Therefore, keeping blood sugar levels within the range set by your healthcare team is vital.
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What Are The Symptoms Of High Blood Sugar
A dangerously high amount might cause dizziness, lightheadedness, and trembling. If the condition worsens quickly, you can also experience shock or breathing issues. As soon as feasible, call 911, start an IV in the arm , and give insulin intravenously until the patient’s blood glucose level falls below 200 mg/dL.
The most typical signs of hyperglycemia include:
- Increased hunger or thirst
- Gum and tooth infections
Diabetes: 10 Foods And Drinks To Help Manage Blood Sugar
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Diabetes friendly food options are as close as your kitchen.
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5 MIN. READ
When you have prediabetes or diabetes, a healthy diabetes meal plan is key to managing your blood sugar. Sometimes it can be tricky to know which foods and drinks are good choices, but these 10 picks can help keep your numbers in check.
Whether they’re lentils, kidney, pinto, black or garbanzo, beans are a low-glycemic index food. That means their carbohydrates are gradually released so they’re less likely to cause blood sugar spikes. They’re so beneficial that one study found that eating a daily cup of beans for three months as part of a low-glycemic index diet lowered HbA1c by half a percentage point.
Try it! Swap in beans for half the meat in tacos or your favorite chili recipe.
You might think that there’s no room in a diabetic meal plan for fruit, but apples are also low glycemic. Aiming for foods like apples that are low or medium on the glycemic index is one way to manage blood sugar levels. And eating an apple a day has its benefits they are high in fiber, vitamin C as well as fat-free! Not to mention a portable and easy snack option.
Try it! Toss an apple in your lunch bag or grab one between meals. Bake them and add cinnamon for warm treat.
Try it! For healthy snacking on-the-go, pack one-ounce portions of almonds into single-serve containers.
5. Chia Seeds
6. Glucerna® Shakes and Bars
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Maintain Regular Meals & Healthy Snacks
Eating regular meals at the same time each day will help you maintain consistent energy throughout the day and avoid highs from skipping or overeating between meals. Plus, healthy snacks are vital in preventing high blood sugar since they also keep you fuller longer than sugary snacks would, so its less likely that youll indulge again soon after eating them.
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When To Avoid Exercise
People with blood sugar levels above 240 mg/dL should check their urine for ketones before engaging in physical activity. If ketones are present, do not exercise. Ketones are the result of stored fat being broken down for energy. Your liver starts breaking down fat when theres not enough insulin in your bloodstream to absorb blood sugar into cells. When too many ketones are quickly produced, they can cause DKA. In this state, ketones may actually make your blood sugar level go even higher and you may need intravenous fluids to rebalance.
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Get More Quality Shuteye
Getting good sleep is our best weapon against any illness. Many otherwise healthy individuals develop chronic ailments simply because they are not getting enough sleep. These same individuals develop insomnia, turning the problem into a vicious cycle.
In one study by the Harvard Medical Center, volunteers sleeping only for hours per night had more cholesterol in their blood. High cholesterol reduces insulins ability to regulate blood sugar. High cholesterol also leads to obesity, heart disease, and strokes.
Before making other significant changes, ensure you get 7-9 hours of sleep every night. You will likely notice an improvement in multiple areas of your life.
Control How Much Sugar You Eat
While this one may seem obvious to some, donât scroll past just yet. How closely do you read ingredient labels? You likely buy and eat some processed foods unless you make all foods including sauces, dressings, and condiments, from scratch.
Thatâs OK youâre a modern-day human and convenience and cost matter. But, most packaged or pre-made foods contain added sugar or artificial sweeteners. Select carefully and, as an example, buy big tubs of steel-cut oats or quick-cooking oats over the flavored, sugary oatmeal in a box or cup.
Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist, professor, and specialist in childhood obesity, believes that sugar is so toxic to health that he recommends federal regulation against marketing sugar-laden products to children and even adding taxes to processed foods that contain added sugar.
These ideas may seem radical but are similar to rules that govern marketing alcohol to minors, and similar to the extra taxes consumers pay to purchase alcohol and tobacco products. Just as booze and cigarettes can be addictive for some, sugar can hook you and make you want more .
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When To Call 911 Or See A Doctor
If youre feeling lightheaded or shaky, its a good idea to call 911 and get emergency help. If your blood sugar is over 250mg/dL, then go to the ER for treatment right away. Otherwise, how long you wait before going to see a doctor depends on how high your levels are as well as how quickly theyve been rising in general. Consistently high blood sugar levels can wreak havoc on your pancreas, nervous system, and other organ functions.
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Avocado Salad With Ginger
Here’s a refreshing salad that you can have ready in a matter of minutes, using San-J Tamari. The recipe has a variety of textures, from the crunchy cucumber to the cool and creamy avocado. San-J Tamari Organic Soy Sauce has a richer and more complex taste than typical soy sauce and it’s non-GMO and gluten-free!
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Manage Your Carb Intake
Your carb intake strongly influences your blood sugar levels .
Your body breaks carbs down into sugars, mainly glucose. Then, insulin helps your body use and store it for energy.
When you eat too many carbs or have insulin-function problems, this process fails, and blood glucose levels can rise.
Thats why the American Diabetes Association recommends that people with diabetes manage their carb intake by counting carbs and being aware of how many they need .
Some studies find that this can help you plan your meals appropriately, further improving blood sugar management (
Foods that are high in fiber include:
The recommended daily intake of fiber is about 25 grams for women and 35 grams for men. Thats about 14 grams for every 1,000 calories .
Eating plenty of fiber can aid blood sugar management. Soluble dietary fiber appears to be more effective than insoluble fiber for this purpose.