More than ever before, we are being told by media outlets about the importance of looking after our health. However, these warnings usually focus on our external appearance, as opposed to concentrating on what is going on inside our bodies. Your blood sugar level is one of many things that are not discussed much in the media but are incredibly important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
When we have too much sugar in our blood, the cells in our pancreas slowly erode and stop creating the insulin we need to function. Insulin is an important hormone that sends signals to our other organs to absorb glucose. To keep our pancreas healthy, we should maintain a normal blood sugar level at all times. Generally, foods that are high in carb will cause blood sugar to spike as carbohydrate is converted into glucose in the body.
Here are five foods that can cause blood sugar level spikes.
Although white rice is a staple in many countries around the world, studies have shown that consuming white rice regularly can lead to a spike in blood sugar levels. A better alternative is brown rice, which has fewer grams of carbohydrate and contains more fibre. Fibre helps to stabilise blood sugar levels and white rice simply doesn’t have enough to make it worth eating. Switch white rice for delicious, nutty brown rice and your body will thank you.
Yet another every day staple bites the dust. I bet you never thought your toast in the morning was putting you at risk of diabetes. Well, now you know. Time to throw out your white bread and replace it with wholegrain bread. Some people find it hard to adjust to wholegrain bread as it has a slightly different taste, but it is infinitely better for your health. Alternatively, cut bread out of your diet altogether and find an alternative to sandwiches at lunchtime.
Red and Processed Meats
You know that juicy steak you have sitting in the fridge? Well you might want to think twice before you fry it up for yourself. Research shows that processed meats, such as bacon and cold cuts, and red meat can cause your blood sugar levels to spike. In fact, those who ate either red or processed meat every day, double their chance of getting diabetes. Try replacing these meats with a healthier source of protein, such as eggs, low-fat dairy or nuts.
This one might surprise you. We are normally told that milk is good for us. However, whole milk dairy products are jammed full of saturated fats. Not only can this cause your blood sugar level to rise, but a diet rich in saturated fats is also a big factor causing obesity. Switch your whole milk to semi-skimmed or fat-free milk and you will benefit from all the calcium, without worrying about the negative effects of the fat. You will also reduce the number of calories you consume along with your milk.
Ok this one isn’t technically a food, but it is something we consume far too regularly so it’s on the list. These drinks contain heaps of sugar and can send our blood sugar level through the roof. Studies have shown that people who drink one or two fizzy drinks a day will be 26% more likely to suffer from diabetes than those who only consumed one glass a month. Try replacing fizzy drinks with cordials or water. These will keep you well hydrated without filling your body with unnecessary sugar.