It’s perfectly normal to indulge a little more than you would around Halloween time. In fact, it can be hard not to with all the processed treats hitting the market this time of year.
One thing to consider as you’re working your way through a bag of candy bars is your blood sugar level. You may not always take this into consideration, but it can be extremely beneficial to start thinking about your blood sugar to prevent it from spiking.
What is a blood sugar spike?
A blood sugar spike is a result of glucose buildup in the bloodstream. Glucose is a simple sugar that is an important energy source. When the body breaks down food, it converts it into glucose for energy.
Blood sugar spikes may happen after eating. When your blood sugar spikes you may experience:
- Dry mouth or extreme thirst
- Increased urination
- Dizziness or blurry vision
It is important to keep track of how often this happens because it could result in a prolonged period of high blood sugar, which may lead to other health concerns that you should ask your physician about.
If you have been eating more carbohydrates and sugary processed foods, a good rule of thumb is to increase your exercise and water intake. That said, there are other things you can do to lower your blood sugar levels and stay balanced. Let’s get into them!
3 ways to avoid blood sugar spikes after Halloween
Go low-carb, low sugar
Carbohydrates are what cause your blood sugar levels to spike. When you eat carbs your body breaks them down into simple sugars (or glucose) as you’re digesting.
Many studies have shown that reducing your intake of carbs may help prevent blood sugar spikes. Not to mention, low-carb diets are typically great for weight loss which is also necessary for those with higher blood sugar levels.
Have you ever counted calories? You can do the same thing with your carbohydrates. Keeping a food journal or using a carb-counting app may be beneficial if this is a new concept for you.
Most of our sugar intake comes from processed foods like candy, chips, cookies, and sodas. These foods have zero nutritional value and cause an almost immediate spike in blood sugar.
After a few candy-fueled days post-Halloween, it’s important to avoid these processed foods and focus on eating nutrient-dense foods to prevent increased blood sugar levels.
Increase your fiber intake
Fiber is a plant-based food that your body cannot digest. There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. You can read more about these types of fiber here.
Soluble fiber is the type that may help control blood sugar spikes. Soluble fiber turns into a gel-like substance that helps slow the absorption of carbs in the gut. We know that carbohydrates turn into simple sugars as they are digested, so the slower they are absorbed by the body, the more even your blood sugar levels remain.
Fiber can also help you from overeating because it keeps you feeling full for a longer period of time. Good sources of fiber include oats, whole wheat bread, nuts, legumes, vegetables, and some fruit such as berries.
Remember to take your magnesium
Magnesium is relevant in over 300 chemical reactions in your body. It’s an essential part of healthy living because of its massive number of benefits including better sleep and stronger muscles and bones.
Magnesium is also linked to blood sugar control. In fact, one study showed out of 48 people, half were given 600mg of magnesium while the other half did not. The half that did take the magnesium showed increased insulin sensitivity.
Insulin sensitivity refers to how sensitive the body’s cells are in response to insulin. Insulin itself is the hormone released when your blood sugar levels are high. If you have an increased insulin sensitivity it essentially means you require lower levels of insulin to return your blood sugar levels to normal.
In summary, taking magnesium may improve blood sugar spikes by increasing your insulin sensitivity. You can do this by taking a magnesium supplement or eating magnesium-rich foods.