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Factors Which Can Influence Our Blood Sugar Levels

 A big increase in blood sugar levels is an issue for everyone of us. However, it is obviously more of an issue for those who suffer from diabetes or have any risk factors associated with this disease. 
 
Apart from the sweets and sugar-filled desserts we all think about when we think of sugar, there are some surprising factors and other foods that can, especially over a period of time, prevent your body from balancing its blood sugar levels.
 
This post will explain the foods and habits you should avoid, as well as those which you can take up to help balance your glucose levels: 
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Sugar-free Products
Sugar-free foods, surprisingly enough, can cause an increase in our blood sugar levels. A lot of these foods contain carbohydrates, starches, and fats. Carbohydrates are known to increase blood sugar levels and can cause organ damage for those suffering from diabetes.

Chinese Food
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Fat-rich foods can keep the blood sugar levels higher for a longer period of time. Chinese food (especially in fast-food restaurants) contains a lot of oil as well as sugar, and so is probably not a good combination if you're diabetic or want lower blood sugar levels. This isn't to say that common oily foods such as fries or pizza are a good idea either.

The Flu
Yes, unfortunately there are situations outside of our control that can enhance our blood sugar levels. The extreme loss of fluid that happens when we are battling a cold creates a spike in blood sugar levels.  But that's not all, medicine such as antibiotics can also shift the sugar balance in the body. That is why you should drink more and eat even less sugar and carbohydrates when you are ill.​

Mental Stress
Stress can cause the body to release "stress hormones", which usually elevate the amount of sugar in our blood. Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and meditation can alleviate the tension and reduce your sugar levels back to normal. 

Buns
Yes, buns. How are they different to regular bread? Well, buns usually have a better taste than regular bread, and that's because they contain quite a bit more sugar. It's better to stick to whole wheat bread.

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Sports drinks were initially made to allow the body to absorb liquid easily and quickly after a physical workout. But two things are important to consider: first, they are full of sugar, and second, they are not made for the average person. They are made for athletes and runners. 

Dried Fruit
Eating fruit is a very healthy choice, but not in all forms. In the case of lowering your blood sugar levels, dried fruit isn't recommended as they contain a lot of sugar. Just a handful of dried fruit is enough to increase your blood sugar levels.

Steroids
Allergies, as well as asthma, osteoporosis, rashes and many other medical problems are treated with steroids. However, you should be aware that certain types of steroids may encourage the onset of diabetes. It doesn't mean you shouldn't get what the doctor prescribed, but pointing out this fact to them and mentioning that you are at risk of diabetes will not hurt.

Factors Aiding the Balance of Blood Sugar Levels 
Here are a couple of tricks that can help us keep a balanced blood sugar level:

Continuous Mild Physical Activity
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We're not just talking about daily trips to the gym, as even daily tasks such as cleaning the house or working in the garden can significantly reduce your blood sugar levels. 

Yogurt
Some yogurts contain probiotics which are bacteria that help to regulate our digestive system and, in the process of doing so, reduce the sugar levels in our bloodstream. Please note: This benefit of probiotic yogurts can be destroyed by mixing them with sweet or fruit-flavored yogurts.
A Vegetarian Diet
Studies have found that people who do not eat meat, dairy products and eggs have better control over their blood sugar levels and, as a result, need less insulin. One of the theories about this effect is that plant food, as it is high in fiber, can slow the deconstruction of carbohydrates and brings about a slower, more controlled absorption of the sugar into the blood, as opposed to increasing it.

Cinnamon
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Recent studies have confirmed that cinnamon lowers the risk of diabetes. Cinnamon contains natural chemicals that improve the function of insulin and helps to maintain a reasonable level of sugar in the blood. In order to enjoy these advantages, add a little to every meal.

A Few Important Notes
  • Studies have found that birth control pills can have an effect on blood sugar levels
  • .Those who suffer from type 1 diabetes may experience a drop during the night and should consider having a little snack before, or even during bed time.
  • High-intensity physical training can cause a 'roller coaster' of blood sugar levels, meaning a spike and then a quick drop. It's important to record your blood sugar levels before, during and after a workout.
  • Drinking alcoholic drinks can have the same 'roller coaster' effect. Therefore, you should always eat something when you drink.
  • Heat can also play a role in increases and decreases in your blood sugar levels. It's best to stay in cool places during hot hours, and of course - drink a lot of water.

     

​Photos courtesy of: depositphotos and pixabay

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