Guide to Predictable Blood Sugars
There are a variety of factors, both food related and non-food related that can either cause your blood sugar levels to increase or decrease. Knowing the facts on this subject can be helpful in understanding why blood sugar levels can be so unpredictable at times. This knowledge can help you to feel better about your overall diabetes control.
Food Related Factors:
- The carbohydrate content of a food and how much of this food is eaten have the greatest impact on blood sugar levels.
- Only a small amount of protein turns into sugar in the body. Protein has little effect on blood sugars unless you eat very large amounts.
- Dietary fat has little direct effect on blood sugars, but may slow digestion of carbohydrates and cause a delayed and possibly delayed rise in glucose levels.
- Alcohol can lead to low blood sugars.
- Dietary fiber is a carbohydrate that doesnít convert to sugar. Some fibers slow down the rate of digestion and lead to a delayed blood sugar rise after meals.
- The way a food is prepared (cooked or raw, whole or mashed) also affects the rate of digestion, absorption and the rate at which blood sugar levels are affected.
Other Factors That Affect Blood Sugar Levels
- Exercise most often lowers blood sugars. In fact, exercise really helps control blood sugars. However, sometimes, exercise may increase blood sugar levels. It helps to learn how exercise affects you. This way you can safely manage your blood sugars during and after exercise.
- The time of day that you eat can affect your insulin needs. If you take insulin, you may need more or less insulin at certain times of the day.
- Blood sugar response is also unique to each person. How much insulin you produce and how well it works in your body, affects blood sugar control. How you process medications and how you digest food are other factors. How healthy you are also matters.
- Sometimes factors outside of our control, like illness and infection will cause blood sugars to increase.
- Stress, positive or negative, and how you react to it, can also impact your blood sugars.
- Travel can wreak all kinds of havoc on blood sugar levels unless you have a good understanding of how to travel with diabetes and are prepared.
- Special occasions like holidays, birthdays or unplanned events like going to a ballgame, can also affect blood sugar levels.