Diabetes: 5 things you should do to manage post-lunch sugar spikes
Managing post-lunch sugar spikes can be challenging. Here are five lifestyle changes that can help control blood sugar levels.
Keeping blood sugar spikes in check is an integral part of diabetes management. High blood sugar levels over a long period of time can lead to many diabetes complications. Apart from medication, making mindful choices and following healthy habits can also help manage diabetes effectively. According to American Diabetes Association (ADA), people with diabetes should check their blood sugar levels before eating and then repeat after 1 or 2 hours after finishing the meal. Keeping this record over some time can help you guide which food works the best for your blood sugar levels. One can also walk a few steps post meals as that can also help with postprandial blood sugar management. (Also read: High blood sugar? 11 lifestyle changes to prevent or manage diabetes)
"When it comes to a disease like diabetes, it is crucial to prioritize the health and well-being of people with diabetes, considering the nature of this disease. Post-lunch sugar spikes can be challenging, requiring proactive care and maintaining stable blood sugar levels," says Gautam Chopra, Founder and CEO, BeatO.
Here are the five essential lifestyle changes which can help when it comes to managing spikes effectively:
1. Mindful carbohydrate choices
Selecting the right carbohydrates is very important in managing post-lunch sugar spikes. Choosing complex carbohydrates with a low glycaemic index (GI) that are digested and absorbed more slowly leads to a rise in blood sugar levels. Whole grains, legumes, and non-starchy vegetables are ideal choices, while refined grains and sugary foods should be avoided strictly.
2. Portion control
A registered dietitian or diabetes educator can provide guidance on appropriate portion sizes, ensuring that meals are balanced and tailored to individual needs. Dividing meals into smaller, more frequent portions throughout the day can also help prevent sharp spikes. Keeping portion sizes in check is crucial to prevent drastic blood sugar fluctuations.
3. Regular physical activity
Daily exercise, cycling, and running could be some powerful tools for managing blood sugar levels effectively. Walks or light exercises, especially post meals, can be particularly beneficial in controlling blood sugar levels and reducing spikes. Physical activity helps improve insulin sensitivity, allowing glucose to be utilised more efficiently.
Drinking water throughout the day helps flush out the excess sugar from the bloodstream and could be helpful in reducing the likelihood of spikes. Avoid beverages that are sugary. Water, coconut water, or unsweetened beverages could be the best choice.
5. Regular blood glucose monitoring
Monitoring blood sugar levels, especially after meals, is essential to understand how meals impact individual glucose levels. Monitoring blood sugar levels pre- and post-meals can provide valuable insights into how specific foods affect blood sugar. Individuals can make informed choices and adjust their diet and medication as necessary.
"The above tips could be helpful in managing diabetes, especially in men, as a recent study says approximately 9.1% of adult men in India are affected by this condition. These strategies are not one-size-fits-all. Fluctuating sugar levels may impact different age groups and demographics differently. It's important to consult with a healthcare professional or a certified diabetes educator to develop a personalized plan tailored to individual needs and circumstances," says the expert.