Sugar High: 5 Unusual Foods That Make Blood Sugar Levels High
Constant hunger, irritability, and lethargy, particularly after mealtimes, are prime indicators of an elevated, uncontrolled blood sugar. Sugar has a way of sneaking into meals despite diligently following a diabetes treatment and diet plan. Here are 5 of the most unusual foods that might secretly be raising your blood sugar levels, aside from the classic white glucose-raising culprit.
While 1-2 cups of coffee a day may actually stimulate insulin production or improve its glucose-breakdown function, any more than this-even from healthy sources like black tea-can have an adverse effect on your blood glucose levels.
This is because excess caffeine stimulates the release of adrenaline (the fight-or-flight hormone), which in turn raises blood sugar levels, while also preventing its removal from the bloodstream. The rapid surge is then followed by a sudden blood sugar drop, resulting in fatigue and lethargy, which is again compensated for with more caffeine.
Plain pizza has been proven to increase blood sugar levels at a faster and higher rate than it’s fully-topped counterpart. However, the carbohydrates consumed from a deluxe pizza do make their way into the bloodstream eventually, only much slower.
Dubbed as the ‘Pizza Effect’, the fat and protein-content in the toppings decelerates carbohydrate absorption, which is why the rise in blood glucose levels isn’t detectable via your Glu-Sage blood sugar monitor soon after eating. Instead, levels spike 2-5 hours later and may stay elevated for up to 2 days afterward.
3. Fruit Juice
While all pre-packaged juices are an absolute no-go for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes due to their high sugar content, pure home squeezed fruit juices may not be any different.
Despite containing more nutrition than artificial sugary drinks, the naturally occurring fruit sugars become highly concentrated in juice form, resulting in a sharp blood sugar spike. Also, the high protein content that makes whole fruits extremely filling, and hence the perfect diabetes snack, is minimized in juice-form, resulting in excess consumption.
4. Chinese Food
Most diabetes diet plans propagate low-carbohydrate meals to control daytime and fasting blood glucose levels. Low on grease and carbohydrates, Chinese food is the perfect example of a diabetes meal plan. However, most take this as a signal to overeat, causing the intestinal cells to expand greatly. The intestinal hormones then signal the release of large amounts of insulin, which in turn drops blood glucose to dangerously low levels. Anticipating this drop, the pancreas then releases the hormone Glucagon to normalize blood sugar levels, which in diabetics results in a higher-than-expected blood sugar elevation due to insulin resistance (low or no response to insulin).
5. Excess Protein
In addition to weight loss, the appetite satiating nature of protein-rich foods like lean meats, leafy green vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains aids in blood sugar control by preventing needless snacking-making them highly beneficial for both type 1 and type 2 diabetics. However, like low-carbohydrate foods, consuming too much protein in a single serving or 1 day only adds to the already high concentration of blood glucose, because the body only requires 0.5-1 grams of protein per kg of body weight per day, resulting in unexpected blood sugar spikes.
While regular blood sugar monitoring and following a targeted diet plan are essential components of diabetes self-care, remember to also adhere to daily recommended amounts in order to avoid unexpected health complications.