How does eating affect your blood sugar?
on 09 January 2020 by Droobi
We hear a lot about food and its impact on blood sugars, but we don’t always get the full story.
What is blood sugar?
Blood sugar, or blood glucose, is the main sugar found in the blood. Your body breaks down some of the food you eat into sugar that circulates in your blood. This sugar is an important source of energy and provides nutrients to the body's organs, muscles and nervous system. The sugar that isn’t needed to fuel your body right away gets stored in cells for later use.
Type 2 diabetes is a serious chronic disease where your blood glucose levels are too high, above the normal limits. Over a long period of time, unmanaged diabetes can lead to problems with your heart, kidneys, eyes, and blood vessels.
Knowing how food will affect blood sugar, can help you protect yourself against diabetes-related complications.
What happens when you eat?
When you eat any food, your body breaks it down into carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins, other nutrients…and absorbs it.
Carbohydrates will have the biggest impact on blood sugars as it will be turning into sugar in the body. The more carbohydrates you eat, the higher your blood sugar levels will be. Protein, fat, water, vitamins, and minerals don’t contain carbohydrates.
Amongst carbohydrate foods, some can be absorbed quickly like the liquid form (soda, juice…), and some can be absorbed slowly like the high fibre choices (whole grain bread, pasta, oatmeal…).
If you have diabetes, your carbohydrate intake is the most important part of your diet to consider when it comes to managing your blood sugar levels.
Knowing blood sugar levels
If you have diabetes, food, exercise, stress, illness and medication, can all affect your blood sugars. The only way to know its impact is by testing your blood sugar levels.
The frequency of testing will depend on your treatment plan and your doctor’s advice. It could be in the morning, before and 2 hours after meals, before and after exercise, at bedtime, or anytime you feel unwell. Some people don’t need to test at all.
Your doctor will personalize a plan for you. Use your glucometer and strips to monitor your blood sugars at home and adapt your lifestyle accordingly! Start by eating smarter and healthier.