Articles on blood sugar

7 Top Reasons to Kick Sugar Today

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Do you have a sweet tooth? Are you always craving for something sweet to complete your meals? Try not to be overwhelmed when you learn about the basketful of harmful effects of sugar on your body. Honestly speaking, there is nothing sweet about sugar, in fact sugar is bitter and vengeful in all the ways it takes a toll on your body.The sugar found in our food is of two kinds mainly – sucrose and fructose. Sucrose or the table sugar increases blood sugar levels and initiates the pancreas to release insulin forces the sugar into cells, thus contributing to fat formation. Fructose on the other hand acts upon the liver and hence no insulin is secreted. But fructose is more detrimental to health as it releases the hormone for hunger – ghrelin making us hungrier; one continues to eat, leading to weight gain. Fructose is found in corn syrup which is used to sweeten most processed and packed foods.Here are top 7 reasons why you should get away from this addictive white powder:Sugar and cancer: Over consumption of sugar has been found to cause cancer. Studies have linked elevated blood sugar levels to cancers in women. Moreover, pancreatic cancer uses fructose to initiate a particular process that aids rapid cell division. Extra sugar present in the bloodstream feeds the cancer cells.Impact on liver: Sugar overdose hits the liver and causes the liver cells to bloat up and become fatter. This leads to liver complications and conditions like fatty liver disease. Research shows that extra calories fatten the liver cells first by 27% while external body gains hardly 2% of fat.Hurts your Heart: Excess sugar in the diet contributes to heart diseases and may even damage your arteries. Sugar is known to deplete good cholesterol levels in the blood.Prolonged exposure of the arterial inner walls to sugar causes it to get irritated and less responsive to body’s healing mechanisms. This results in malabsorption of oxygen and other nutrients into the cells.Addictive properties of Sugar: Sugar evokes addictive responses within our body which make us crave for it even more. It is a never-ending struggle that is triggered by the feel good hormones like dopamine in our body. However, the receptors that release dopamine weaken over time and hence need more sugar to get activated which leaves us wanting for more.Aids in ageing: Fructose especially contributes to ageing by boosting cell damage and causing cells to die faster. Sugars can also cause wrinkles as they are capable of breaking down the collagen and elastin of skin, which are responsible for the tightness and glow of the skin.Causes mental anxiety: Kicking back on sugar will help you feel more relaxed and less stressed. Excess sugars can also cause depression and reduce cognitive abilities like memory and so on.Bad teeth and bones: Sugar binds with the bacteria of the mouth to form acid that diminishes the quality of your teeth. Similarly, sugar works to deplete vital minerals like Calcium which causes osteoporosis and bone loss.Lastly, sugar directly leads to weight gain and diabetes, the silent killer.

Healthy Blood Sugar Level

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Blood sugar, also referred as Blood Glucose is believed to be an important parameter for good health of an individual. Glucose level refers to the amount of glucose present in the blood. Glucose mainly comes from carbohydrate containing food. It’s the main source of energy used by the body. Normally blood sugar level increases quickly after we eat. This increase causes our pancreas to release insulin, so that blood glucose levels do not get too high and are utilized or stored as per requirement. High Blood glucose levels can damage eyes, kidneys, nerves and Blood Vessels. So, maintaining healthy blood sugar level is very important for human body and it’s also very important for the body’s performance. A Healthy range of Blood Glucose in human Body is considered to be 70-120 mg/dl. Too high and too low blood sugar levels in human cause some serious problems to the health. So, it’s very important to control and maintain your blood sugar level.To maintain your Blood Sugar Level you need to check the Blood Sugar Level in your Body. The Blood Sugar Test is Based on Several Factors:Type and severity of diabetes:  The difference is the Severity and in the amount of time that symptoms are present before treatment is sought. Type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in childhood and most people who are in their 20’s. In this case body makes little or no insulin.Type 2 diabetes is more common and makes most diabetes cases. In this pancreas doesn't make enough insulin to keep blood sugar level normal. There is another type called Gestational Diabetes, in which high blood glucose levels develop anytime during pregnancy in women, who don’t have diabetes.Risk Factors of DiabetesAge over 45 yearsGestational diabetes or delivering a baby weighing more than 9 poundsHeart diseaseHigh blood cholesterol levelObesityNot getting enough exercisePolycystic ovary or PCOS disease (in women)Previous impaired glucose toleranceApart from Diabetes, Hypoglycemia and Hyperglycemia are two main medical conditions that arise due to blood sugar level imbalance.Hypoglycemia: Hypoglycemia is caused when blood sugar levels are low. If Blood Sugar levels drop below 70 mg/dl, the condition is called hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is common in people with diabetes due to taking too much insulin or any other diabetes medicines. Hypoglycemia may also have other lifestyle based causes like alcohol, stomach problems, surgery, disease of pancreas, kidney etc.Symptoms of Hypoglycemia:HungerFatigueNervousnessHeadacheHeart ProblemDizziness Reasons of Hypoglycemia:Skipping mealsTaking too much insulin or diabetes MedicineToo much Workload and other activitiesDrinking too much AlcoholIf you have symptoms of low blood sugar, you need expert advice to maintain a healthy and balanced diet, without any long gaps between meals. Regular blood sugar level monitoring is also advised.Hyperglycemia:Hyperglycemia is a condition when an excessive amount of blood glucose Circulate in the body. It’s the first sign of Diabetes. There are two types of Hyperglycemia.1. Fasting Hyperglycemia:  Fasting Hyperglycemia is blood sugar levels greater than 90-130 mg/dl.2. Post Meal Hyperglycemia: Post Meal Hyperglycemia is blood sugar levels usually greater than 180 mg/dl. A healthy person’s post meal blood sugar usually measures 130-140 mg/dl.Symptoms of Hyperglycemia:ThirstHeadachePoor ConcentrationBlurred VisionFrequent UrinatingFatigueWeight Loss Reason of Hyperglycemia:Skipping medicineEating too much Carbohydrates and too much CaloriesIncreased in Stress LevelDrinking Too Much AlcoholHyperglycemia can damage the vessels that supply blood to vital organs, which can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, vision problems, and nerve problems in people with diabetes.To reduce levels in Hyperglycemia all you need to do is to control your blood sugar level. You can reduce your blood sugar level by:1. Drink more water. Excess amount of water will remove extra glucose from your body.2. Exercise: Regular exercise is also good in maintaining your sugar level. And also helps you in keeping fit.3. Change in your eating Habit:  You need a proper and healthy diet. A healthy diet and exercise is also good for maintaining blood sugar level.4. Take your medicine on time and Consult your Doctor.5. Go for regular monitoring of blood sugar levels.Maintained healthy Blood sugar level is very important for human health. Too high and too low sugar levels can lead to several medical conditions but by monitoring it and controlling the imbalanced sugar levels, you can maintain a healthy balance free from getting risk of such conditions. So, try to keep your blood sugar levels in normal range and Stay Healthy!

To Lose Weight & Control Blood Sugar - Eat Fruits Before Meals

Dr. Nikhil Prabhu, Diabetologist
Many fruits are rich in micronutrients, essential vitamins, fibre content and antioxidants. Along with that fruits occupy more space and less calories making your tummy full and giving you feeling of satiety or fullness.Most of the fruits have high fibre content, they come in soluble or insoluble form. Both forms are indigestible. They form a bulk & increase water content of stool, making it softer and easily movable in Gastrointestinal tract. High fibre diet reduces cardiovascular morbidity & mortality.Diabetic person should avoid eating fruits with high glycemic index i.e. those fruits which readily digest in stomach and raise your blood sugars more than others like Mango, Chickoo, Banana (Green), Grapes, Custard Apple, etc.Also, one should avoid drinking fruit juices as condensation process increases sugar content of juice. A glass of juice is roughly equivalent to eating 2-3 fruits at a time. It is always better to eat a fresh fruit instead of drinking a fruit juice added with or without preservatives.Managing blood sugars by a diabetic person is all about balancing food intake. For example, suppose Person (A) who is diabetic had four bread slices for breakfast at 9.00AM and his blood sugars are measured at 11.00AM were found out to be 300 mg/dl. If the same person (A) divides the breakfast into 2 halves and takes 2 bread slices at 8.00AM and 2 bread slices at 10.00 AM then his blood sugar roughly remains around 130 mg/dl. In this example the food intake is not decreased but instead it is divided into small quantity and consumed frequently.Normally we consume most of the meal in the first 20 mins of starting a meal so eating a fruit before the meal delays food intake and gives the feeling of fullness or satiety much earlier. That eventually leads to consumption of less food at meal time, so less calorie intake. Many colorful fruits like berries are rich in antioxidants ( Lycopene, Beta-carotene, etc.). In diabetes high bloood sugar values cause damage to nerves, retina, blood vessels and other systems via specific pathways. One of them is through generating free oxygen radical species, these anti-oxidants react with such harmful oxygen radicals and scavenge them, thus minimizing the tissue damage in diabetes.What fruits to eat in diabetes ?Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries etc. all berries are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and low in carbohydrates.Peaches are rich in vitamin A & C, potassium and fibre.An Apple a day keeps the doctor away. Apples are rich in fibre, vitamin C & low in carb. Don’t peel the skin as it contains antioxidants.Oranges are great in vitamin C, low in carb, contain potassium and folate, other citrus fruits like grapefruits are also equally good to eat.Pears are good in potassium and fibre. Other fruits like apricot, guava are also rich in vitamin A and good to eat .Eating fruits before meals helps you to loose weight & control your blood sugars. Making this as a habit helps obese individuals and known diabetic people.If you found this article useful, please share it with your friends & family. Awareness is Prevention.

High Blood Pressure Is a Silent Killer

Dr. Mubarak Raja, Diabetologist
In medical term Hypertension means HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE·       It is one of the most common cardio-vascular diseases.·       Many people have Hypertension for years without any symptoms.·       Uncontrolled pressure can cause significant damage to the body.·       It is otherwise called as “SILENT KILLER’’.FACTORSWHICH INCREASE BLOOD PRESSURE:LIFESTYLE:Lack of adequate physical exercise and a sedentary lifestyleincreases the risk of high blood pressureSTRESS:Physicaland emotional stress encountered in private life or work place increases Bloodpressure.OBESITY:Therisk of Hypertension increases with obesityAGE:HTmay be encountered at any age, but as one grows older , the chances of Developinghigh BP increases.DIETARY SALT INTAKE:an excessive amount of salt in the diet can cause high BPALCOHOL:  Regular and heavy consumption of alcohol increases BP. Generally there are no symptoms for mild to moderately high BP.The best way to check BP once in every three monthsIn few patients there may be symptoms like :Lack of sleepGiddinessBlurred visionBrain damageEye damageHeart attackKidney failurePatients with Diabetes and Hypertension need to be very careful as the above risks increase even further with Diabetes.§  Do not check BP immediately after taking food§  Do not check BP when you are tense§  Do not check Bp immediatelyafter urination§  Do not check BP immediately after you rush into a clinic. Wait till your breathing becomes normal.ü Drugs alone may not be sufficient to control BP.Lifestyle modifications arevery important to reduce BPAvoid excess strain andstress both in the office and at home.Should have a good sleep of6 - 8 hrs/dayReduce excessive salt indietAvoid pickles, pappads andsalty fish Avoid too spicy foodsAvoid oily and cholesterolrich foodsUse only Safflower,sunflower or refined oilsIncrease green leafyvegetables in foodFresh fruits can be taken inlarge quantitiesAvoid smoking and alcoholRegular aerobic exerciseWalking/Skipping/Jogging/Swimming daily ½ to 1 hr preferably in the morninghoursReduce weight if you areobeseWith all the above measures,Drugs(tablets) are important in controlling BPTake your medicines regularly as prescribed by the doctor

How Sugar Is Deteriorating Your Body

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Is sugar really that bad? Sugar has continued to play an increasingly important role in our food industry. It’s not just sugary foods, but sugar has made its way into practically everything we eat. You can become addicted to sugar. Refined sugar in particular provides only empty calories and lacks all the essential and natural nutrients that the body requires.Here is how sugar deteriorates your body:1. Sugar makes you fatA high sugar diet makes the liver store fat more efficiently and overtime it could lead to the deposition of fat globules in the liver and other parts of your body, which makes you gain weight.2. Sugar affects your Insulin levelsSugar is high on the glycemic index because of which it causes a spike in blood sugar levels, leading to increased insulin production. High intake of sugar stimulates the pancreas to produce more insulin to lower the blood sugar levels. Excess of Insulin in the body promotes fat storage.3. Sugar weakens your Immune systemSugar directly impacts the immune response. White blood cells accumulate Vitamin C in order to consume virus, bacteria or cancer cells but when we get overloaded with sugar, then white blood cells accumulate glucose and leave little room inside the cell, as Vitamin C and sugar have similar structures. Therefore, sugar slows your immune system down.4. Sugar reduces good cholesterol and raises bad cholesterolEmpty calories in sugar increase your risk of having high cholesterol. It raises the bad cholesterol, saturated fats and trans-fatty acids in the body which lead to heart diseases.5. Sugar leads to Type-3 diabetesSuzanne de lo Monte, a neuropathologist at Brown University had discovered the links between insulin resistance, high-fat diets and Alzheimer’s disease. In this type of diabetes, the insulin levels gets blocked in the brain due to which the brain’s ability to use glucose and produce energy is damaged.6. Sugar turns you into junkieEating sugar triggers the release of hormones like opioids and dopamine that makes your brain feel ‘pleasure’ and provides you a satiety value, due to which you will always look for junk food or high sugar foods.

7 More Reasons to Give Up Sugar

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Many of us are addicted to sugar and need some form of sugar every day. For most of us, sugar has become a mandatory food group and is a part of our daily diet. But we are not completely aware of the adverse effects of excess sugar consumption. Find below a list of some of the various adverse and negative side effects of excess sugar consumption.1.It accelerates aging according to one research. Sugar contains fructose, which is stronger than glucose in building up free radicals, due to which so many people across the world are facing health problems such as diabetes, heart ailments, etc. These ailments are detrimental to the body and ultimately accelerate aging.2. Daily overdose of sugar leads to ‘browning’ or ‘rusting’ of tissues. Overdosing of sugar will not only affect age but also lead to browning of tissues due to internal chemical reactions in our body, which proves to be harmful for our health.3. Excessive sugar intake will affect our hormonal system and balance. Sugar contains fructose , which if consumed in large quantities tricks our brain into believing that we haven’t eaten enough, even when we actually have. This leads to overeating and unnecessary cravings.4. Eating a diet high in refined sugar is a leading cause of obesity. Sugar is directly converted to fat by your body, and the more sugar you eat, the fatter you will be. Many people think that eating fatty food is the main cause of weight gain. But that is not true. Sugar is the main cause for fat gain, for most people.5. Sugar destroys your teeth and gums. The combination of sugar, saliva, and bacteria creates the perfect recipe for tooth decay. So, try to avoid consumption of sugar to maintain oral health.6. Sugar makes you fat and sick. When we eat sugar (actually, any refined carbohydrates) it gets turned into glucose. Excessive glucose converts into triglycerides in our livers and is then stored in fat cells. Sugar makes us fat. Again, as you can see, it isn’t necessarily dietary fat that makes us fat. It’s most likely sugar.7. Sugar leads to malnourishment. Sugar leeches minerals from the body and makes you over-weight. You become simultaneously malnourished and fat.To avoid excessive consumption of sugar, do read nutrition labels before buying packaged foods. Control sugar intake with cautious and smart grocery shopping.

Does the Blood Type Diet Actually Work?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Blood type diets were first popularized by Peter D’Adamo in 1996, in his best selling book, Eat Right 4 Your Type.The basic principle behind his dietary idea is that ABO blood type is the most important factor in determining a diet. He found separate diets for people with one of the four most common blood types (A, B, O or AB). The theory behind this concept is that the ABO blood type should match the dietary habits of our ancestors and people with different blood types process food differently. Each blood type diet includes 16 food groups which are divided into three categories: 1. Highly beneficial 2. Neutral 3. AvoidWhat D'Adamo recommends for each type:1. Type O blood: A high-protein diet. 2. Type A blood: A meat-free diet based on fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes, and whole grains -- ideally, organic and fresh, . 3. Type B blood: Avoid corn, wheat, buckwheat, lentils, tomatoes, peanuts, and sesame seeds. He encourages eating chicken, green vegetables, eggs, certain meats, and low-fat dairy. 4. Type AB blood: Foods to focus on include tofu, seafood, dairy, and green vegetables.According to the theory, people following a blood type diet can improve health and decrease risk of chronic illness such as cardiovascular diseases. And, if you eat food other than the food which is meant for you according to your blood type, you may experience many health problems, including slow metabolism, allergies, asthma, cancer, heart disease and chronic fatigue."Based on the data from research by El-Sohemy, there is no evidence found to support whether Blood Type Diet works or not. The person’s response to any diet has nothing to do with their blood type." In 2013, a comprehensive review published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found no evidence to support the 'blood-type' diet.There's no doubt that you would lose weight on this plan, as it's fairly low on calories. But the concern is about the healthy fibre and disease-protectiving antioxidants from fruits and vegetables that you would be missing out on.Rather than opting for a blood type diet you should focus on developing healthy eating and exercise habits that you can follow for a lifetime. Healthy, balanced meals will help you achieve healthy weight loss. You will also get all essential nutrients and be protected from most health disorders.

Your Brain Knows the Difference Between Real Sugar & Sugar Free Food

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
In today’s lifestyle, it has become a fad to substitute regular food with zero or low-caloric food products just to save a few calories. The most common is the use of sugar-free or artificial sweeteners instead of sugar. It seems logical to replace a sugar-loaded or based food item with a low calorie version of it, and which should automatically lead to weight loss. But according to many researchers, it’s been shown that such sugar-free foods are actually making you fat as compared to real sugar. Let’s see how artificial sweeteners make you fat.Sugar and sweeteners don’t chemically resemble each other; they belong to different classes of substances. Sugars are simple carbohydrates or glucose and are easily metabolized to energy. But sweeteners are prepared by synthetic procedure and act as a food additive for the sweetening effect. They are calorie-free or low-calorie but are up to 450 times sweeter than real sugar because they are made up of sweet-tasting compounds.When sugar is metabolized by the body cells, levels of dopamine hormone (a neuro-transmitter) rise, which leads to the feeling of satisfaction and satiety value. It sends a signal to the brain that the body’s energy needs are met. But when artificial sweetener is consumed, the brain keeps on waiting for the calories to come; it causes a drop in blood sugar which triggers hunger and cravings for more food. People are not metabolically satisfied after consuming them. Artificial sweeteners are also know to rapidly stimulate the release of insulin and Leptin hormones that are involved with satiety and fat storage, and may therefore lead to weight gain.So, next time think twice before reaching for your artificial sweetener. Instead eat the real thing but keep a check on the quantity. Instead of having two teaspoons of sugar in your tea, try one. Or you can switch to more natural sources like fruits to satisfy your sugar cravings without compromising on your health.

Diabetic? Don't Stress! Read These Top Diet Tips Which Help You Manage Blood Sugar

Ms. Ankita Gupta Sehgal, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Nutrition plays a crucial role in diabetes care. Eating with right amount and type of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, along with fiber, vitamins and minerals is essential for maintaining a steady blood sugar levels. Other factors of lifestyle like staying active, getting adequate sleep and minimal stress also play an equally important role.Hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar levels) and Hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar levels) are the two complications of diabetes which can make the diabetes management difficult. This can be managed by the choosing the right kind of dietary pattern and healthy and active lifestyle.Therefore, it is advised to:Increase the intake of low Glycemic Index (GI) carbohydrate foods. For example, low GI foods are oats, wheat bran, whole grains, oat bran, grounded wheat (dalia), brown riceIncrease fruits and vegetables intake. These can be included in the salad form as a mid-morning or mid-evening snack. Fruit juices must be avoided, as they are concentrated form of sugarReduce saturated fat intake. These include whole milk and milk products, meats, butter, fast foods etc. Opt for healthy fats like found in nuts, olive oil, oily fishes, sunflower oil, flaxseeds and canola oilReduce sugar intake in the form of sweets, candies, chocolates, ice-creams, cakes, cookies, custards etcReduce salt intake.Each meal should be a combination of low GI carbohydrates, good quality protein, and a dash of healthy fats as mentioned above.Eat at regular intervals with 3 main meals and 2-3 mini meals in between. This ensures that the blood sugar levels remain steady and chances of hypoglycaemia and hyperglycaemia are minimizedLimit alcohol consumption.Stay active throughout the day. Start with an exercise regime now. Also, do have a pre-workout meal in order to avoid chances of hypoglycemiaDiabetes is on the rise, yet most cases are preventable with healthy lifestyle changes. Some can even be reversed. Taking steps to prevent and control diabetes doesn't mean living in deprivation.While eating right is important, you don't have to give up sweets entirely or resign yourself to a lifetime of bland health food. With these tips, you can still enjoy your favorite foods and take pleasure from your meals without feeling hungry or deprived.If you are currently diagnosed with diabetes, or are at a high risk and want to prevent it, then this plan is for you. I will work with you to design a diet which is perfect for you and helps you to control your diabetes by eating healthy.