May 162012
 

How Diet Affects Your Blood Sugar

Blood sugar is greatly influenced by your diet and the amount of foods that your consume, as well as the types of foods you consume may affect your blood sugar levels. Food is comprised of protein, fat and carbohydrates, and each of these components are necessary elements of a healthy diet, Carbohydrates, however, typically have the most pronounced effect on blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates are found in foods such as potatoes, rice, bread, cereals and pasta. They are also found in milk, fruit, sweets and yogurt. In addition, carbohydrates can cause an excessive rise in blood sugar, especially after meals. People with diabetes need to keep track of their carbohydrate consumption and should spread out the consumption of carbohydrates throughout the day.

Protein typically has the least effect on blood sugar levels. The human body needs proteins in order to function at an optimal level, and proteins are found in meat and fish, dairy products, nuts and beans. Foods containing fat generally cause a decrease in blood sugar right after meals, however, they can cause a rise in blood sugar levels slightly higher longer after consuming a meal. Limiting high-fat food can help reduce the risk of heart disease, which is a major risk factor for people who have diabetes.

Foods high in sugar also raise blood sugar levels. Although sugary foods tend to temporarily raise levels of circulating blood sugar levels, they are not the cause of diabetes. A diet rich in lean protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables can help the body keep blood glucose levels stable and help your body metabolize glucose. Certain foods cause an abrupt spike in glucose levels such as sugars and fruits, where other foods provide slow and steady elevations and reductions in blood sugar levels, such as complex carbohydrates. People with diabetes should discuss their blood sugar levels with their physicians who can recommend a healthy diet and exercise plan to keep blood sugars at healthy levels.

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