4 Foods that Spike Blood Sugar Levels
Controlling blood sugar levels is important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, especially for people with type 2 diabetes. Certain foods, like simple carbohydrates, are broken down by the body into sugar, which then enters the bloodstream and leads to imbalanced glucose levels. This spike in blood sugar can not only make people with type 2 diabetes feel worse on a day-to-day basis, but may lead to complications such as high blood pressure, stroke, and more.
Here are some foods that spike blood sugar levels, and should ultimately be avoided or limited:
Sugary drinks, including soda:
It’s no secret that soda and other processed beverages are filled with sugar. When related to type 2 diabetes specifically, researchers found that people who drank 1-2 sugary drinks a day were at a 26% higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes than those who drank less than one 12 oz glass a month. Switching to unsweetened seltzer water, tea, or tap water could be an easy way to quench your thirst and help keep blood sugar levels in check.
Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health found that people who ate five or more servings of white rice a week increased their risk for developing type 2 diabetes. As an alternative, opt for brown rice instead. This same study found that people who replaced at least a third of their white-rice servings with brown rice lowered their risk by up to 16% due to its higher fiber count.
Processed red meat:
Processed meat may seem like a convenient and tasty choice when at the supermarket, but it can come with some serious health risks. This study showed that people who ate processed meat, such as sausage and bacon, once a day more than doubled their risk of type 2 diabetes. To help lessen this risk, opt for opportunities to lessen processed red meat intake, such as limiting red meat from your diet once a week, like following Meatless Monday.
It turns out that your body quickly digests foods made with refined flour, like white bread. This speedy digestion can then result in a spike in blood sugar levels. Not only have whole grain options proven to be a smarter choice than refined flours, but a beneficial food source for reducing risk of type 2 diabetes. In fact, researchers have found that a high whole grain intake—such as 100% whole grain bread—but not refined grains, is associated with reduced type 2 diabetes risk.
This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.