What is diabetes? Diabetes is a condition where the body does not properly process food to create energy. A diabetic person tends to have high blood sugar or high blood glucose consistently. In this article, we’ll learn about what is normal and diabetes blood sugar after eating? Moreover, we’ll also discuss foods to eat and avoid. However, before we jump in, let’s find out the symptoms of diabetes.
Signs and Symptoms of Diabetes
If you feel that you have been experiencing some of the below-mentioned symptoms, then there is a possibility that you may have diabetes. If so, we recommend you consult your doctor and get diagnosed at the earliest.
- You urinate a lot, especially at night.
- You feel thirsty a lot.
- You feel numbness and tingling sensations in your hands or feet from time to time.
- You lose weight frequently without really trying to lose it.
- You suffer from blurry vision.
- You suffer from infections frequently.
- You feel hungry more often.
- You quickly get tired and worn out.
- You have dehydrated skin.
- You suffer from sores that take more than usual time to heal.
People with type 1 diabetes also suffer from vomiting, abdominal pain, and nausea. Usually, Type 1 diabetes starts developing at a young age, but it can also happen at the lateral stage. People with type 2 diabetes are hard to diagnose because the symptoms are difficult to spot. Moreover, the symptoms of type 2 diabetes take years to develop. Type 2 diabetes is more likely to develop in adults, but children can also develop it in some cases. So, you must be wondering what is normal and diabetes blood sugar after eating? Keep reading to find more about normal and diabetes blood sugar.
What is the Normal Blood Sugar Level?
The normal blood sugar levels are after eating and before eating are not the same. It becomes essential to know what the normal blood sugar levels are after eating and before eating. After eating the food, the blood sugar levels are less than 140 mg/dL for 2 hours. But when you are on an empty stomach or have been fasting for more than 8 hours, the blood sugar levels are less than 100 mg/dL.
What is Diabetes Blood Sugar Level?
As per various medical associations, the diabetes blood sugar level is 70 to 130 mg/dL before a meal. However, after a meal, the diabetes blood sugar level is less than 180 mg/dL.
The Importance of Maintaining Good Blood Sugar Levels
You must look after the blood glucose levels to ensure that it is in control. Not maintaining good blood sugar levels may prove risky for your health and might result in an increased risk of diabetes complications. Moreover, alarmingly high blood sugar levels may also increase the risk of health issues such as Nerve damage, Kidney problems, Retinal disease, and cardiovascular diseases.
Eating healthy and exercising daily can help you stay fit and maintain good blood sugar levels. Additionally, you must ask your doctor or diabetes educator to provide you with a proper plan for your treatment.
Individuals with diabetes must be careful about the food they eat; otherwise, their health might take a toll. Some foods can enhance the health of diabetic patients, whereas some might deteriorate it and make them suffer. So, let’s find out foods that diabetic patients should eat or avoid to stay healthy.
What Are The Best Foods to Eat for Maintaining Good Blood Sugar Levels?
Whole grains are rich in fiber and nutrients. For people with diabetes, consuming fiber-rich foods is important because fiber helps slow the digestion process. Blood sugar levels are stable when absorption of nutrients is slow. Whole grains and whole wheat have a low glycemic index as compared to white rice and bread. As a result, they have shown less influence on blood sugar.
Whole grains you can include in your diet are below-
- Whole grain bread
- Whole grain pasta
- Brown rice
Green Leafy Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables have very high fiber and do not have much fat or salt unless added. Green leafy vegetables are rich in potassium, calcium, vitamin A and protein. In addition, these vegetables have starch digesting enzymes and antioxidant content. Some of the green leafy vegetables that you should include in your diet are given below-
- Bok choy
- Collard greens
Moreover, it has been proven that kale juice is good for regulating blood sugar levels. People suffering from subclinical hypertension may also consume it to improve their blood pressure.
Further, green leafy vegetables can be savored as a side dish in the form of soup as well as salads.
You can include fatty fish in your diet as they’re generally considered healthy. Fatty fishes have omega-3 fatty acid that contains healthy fat. The human body needs healthy fats for good body functionality and good heart and brain condition. Many doctors recommend fatty fish to help their patients maintain good blood sugar levels.
Moreover, some fishes such as salmon, mackerels, sardine, trout, and albacore tuna are rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats can help people with diabetes to improve their blood lipids and blood sugar control.
Many doctors suggest including beans in the diet for people with diabetes. It is considered that including beans in a diet is an excellent choice for people with diabetes. Moreover, beans are rich in protein and can satisfy your hunger. Beans are best for blood sugar regulation in comparison to other foods containing starch. Some beans are rich in magnesium, potassium, and iron.
Some of the best beans to include in your diet are-
- Pinto beans
- Black beans
- Navy beans
- Adzuki beans
- Kidney beans
Citrus fruits such as grapefruits, oranges, and lemons have an anti-diabetic effect, which is very helpful for people with diabetes. So, this has been suggested by many doctors. Consuming citrus fruit is one of the best ways to get minerals and vitamins without carbohydrates. Also, citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, potassium, and folate. So, you must include them in your diet.
Probiotics are good bacteria that reside in the gut and help in improving digestion and overall health. People with type 2 diabetes should consume probiotic yogurt because it could improve their cholesterol levels. Moreover, Consuming probiotic yogurts may also help reduce the risk of heart diseases. Probiotic-rich foods may help in the reduction of oxidative stress and inflammation. In addition, they may also help in increasing insulin sensitivity.
Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 and antioxidants, which are often referred to as a superfood. It is also a good source of fiber and protein. It is also believed that chia seeds are very helpful in managing type 2 diabetes. So, you must include them in your diet.
Sweet potatoes contain a low glycemic index as compared to regular white potatoes. Also, sweet potatoes do not raise blood sugar levels and release sugar slowly compared to white potatoes. This makes sweet potatoes an excellent alternative for people with diabetes.
Moreover, sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, and potassium. Unsurprisingly, sweet potatoes can be savored in various ways, including baked, roasted, boiled, and smashed. So, you can also eat them along with some salad or green leafy vegetables to make it a balanced meal.
Nuts are good to keep your heart healthy as it contains beneficial fatty acids. Walnuts especially contain alpha-lipoic acid, which is a type of omega-3 fatty acid. People with diabetes have a high chance of getting heart disease or conditions such as stroke. Hence, consumption of Alpha-lipoic acid is essential as it helps to keep the heart healthy.
Moreover, walnuts are highly rich in protein, magnesium, iron, and vitamin B-6.
Oxidative stress is connected to an extensive range of health issues such as heart disease and cancers. And it can be perilous for people with diabetes. When there is an imbalance between unstable molecules (known as radicals) and antioxidants, oxidative stress occurs in the body. Here, Berries help prevent oxidative stress as it has a high concentration of antioxidants.
Moreover, berries are rich in vitamin C, Vitamin K, potassium, and magnesium. Even some berries are rich in antioxidants and fibers. These are-
What are the Foods that You Should Avoid for Maintaining Good Blood Sugar Levels?
People with diabetes should strictly avoid sugary beverages. Sugary beverages are highly rich in carbs, which increase your blood sugar level. The Sugary beverages include-
- Sugar added juice
- Carbonated drinks with added sugar
- Sweetened iced tea
Sugary beverages contain a considerable amount of fructose, which acts as insulin resistance in the body. Moreover, a sugary beverage with a high level of fructose leads to metabolic changes in the human body that promote harmful cholesterol levels. And also, it encourages stomach fat. Fatty liver condition is one diabetes-induced condition, which can occur due to intake of sugary beverages.
White Bread, Pasta, and White Rice
White bread, pasta, and white rice have high concentrations of carbs. People with type 2 and type 1 diabetes have been observed experiencing increased blood sugar levels by eating bread and other floured food. Also, it is found that people with type 2 diabetes experience decreasing brain functionality along with increasing blood sugar levels when they consume food with high carbs. So, you must avoid eating white bread, pasta, and white rice.
The worst food to include in the diet of people with diabetes is sweetened cereals that are taken as breakfast. Despite being claimed as healthy, most cereals are processed and contain very high carbs. So, you must avoid sweetened cereals to maintain your blood sugar level.
Honey, Maple Syrup, and Agave Nectar
Natural sugar such as maple syrup, honey, and agave nectar can increase blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Natural sugars are not processed, but these sugars contain high carbs like white sugar, and some may contain even more. So, it is best to avoid these.
Fruits are a great source of many essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. A high level of water concentration is reduced when fruits are processed into dried fruit. As a result, nutrient concentration, as well as sugar concentration, increases in them. So, you must avoid having dried fruits in your diet.
Packed and Stacked Food
Diabetes patients should be cautious while choosing snacks. Snacks such as crackers, pretzels, and some other packed snacks should be avoided. Most of the snacks are processed food made from flour and don’t provide many nutrients. Also, they contain enough carbs that can result in a rapid increase in blood sugar levels.
In most health conditions, fruit juices are recommended as a healthy beverage. But in the case of people with diabetes, it should be strictly avoided. Fruit juice with added sugar and fruit juice with no added sugar (100% pure juice) should be avoided by people with diabetes. This is because most of the fruits are rich in carbs and sugar.
In some fruits, sugar and carbs content is even higher than soda. Fruit juices have high fructose content, resulting in weight gain and raising the risk of complex heart conditions and disease. Insulin resistance can also worsen due to fructose. So, you must avoid them.
People with diabetes should avoid unsaturated fats such as trans fats. Trans fats are present in many foods such as-
- Frozen foods
- Peanut butter
- Baked goods- crackers, muffins, etc.
Trans fats increase inflammation, stomach fat, and insulin resistance. Trans fats also cause the lowering of good cholesterol such as HDL and impairing arterial functions. For people with diabetes, it is better to avoid any market product in which “partially hydrogenated” is specifically mentioned.
People with diabetes should avoid consuming French fries. Potatoes alone have a very high carbs content. And, once fried in oil, it may cause much more harm than only increasing blood sugar levels in your body.
Large amounts of toxic compounds such as aldehydes and advanced glycation end products (AGEs) have been found in most deep-fried food. These compounds increase the risk of heart disease and conditions and also cause inflammation.
Flavored Coffee Drinks
Consuming coffee has many health benefits, in which reduction in risk of having diabetes is also included. However, the consumption of flavored coffee is not considered healthy for people with diabetes. It should be categorized as a traditional dessert beverage. Flavored drinks are high in carbs.
Moreover, the human brain treats solid and liquid foods differently. Hence when you consume liquid calories, you can’t satisfy your hunger. As a result, you can quickly gain weight. Some of the flavored coffee to avoid are-
- Caramel Frappuccino
Knowing what is normal and diabetes blood sugar after eating can help you stay fit and take better care of your health. Moreover, having appropriate knowledge about foods to eat and avoid can help people with diabetes maintain their blood sugar levels.