Lets talk about insulin spiking foods and why you should know about them.
You have probably been told you are what you eat, and there is a lot of truth to that. Every day we make decisions as to which foods we are going to consume, but many people don’t realize the foods they choose will either improve or decrease their health. Some foods will improve metabolic function, helping you lose weight, cut cravings, balance hormones and even decrease inflammation. Then there are the foods which do all the opposite, leading to more serious conditions, such as diabetes. In this article, we will explore the top insulin spiking foods that you need to watch out for and the conditions they cause.
Insulin Spiking Foods Cause Diabetes Type 2
“Insulin is a hormone that helps the body absorb glucose and keeps blood sugar levels balanced,”(2). Insulin resistance is when insulin does not absorb properly in the body. As a result, it is harder for the body’s cells to use sugar effectively. Unfortunately, a diagnosis of prediabetes and diabetes mellitus (also known as type 2 diabetes) often results when people have insulin resistance. Diabetes is a very common health problem. In fact, “29 million Americans have diabetes, and 25% of them are not even aware that they have it,”(1). Eventually diabetes mellitus can cause many different issues; this is known as metabolic syndrome. Some of those issues include:
- High blood sugar levels
- Damage to organs, muscles, limbs, and eyes
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
- Risk for liver damage and heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Weight gain
- High cholestrol
Excessive Blood Sugar Leads Ketoacidosis
If left untreated, high blood sugar levels build up in your bloodstream. This causes cells to use fat for fuel. Once that happens, ketones are produced. This is a very unhealthy and needs to be differentiated from healthy keto, induced by following the ketogenic diet.
- Diabetics can develop ketoacidosis which is a potentially fatal condition where the blood becomes too acidic. When ketones are not checked regularly, they can rise to dangerous levels very quickly.
- People who are not diabetic can tolerate levels of ketones in the blood. This is known as ketosis. They will not develop ketoacidosis because their bodies can still tolerate glucose and insulin properly.
Symptoms and Signs of Ketoacidosis
Ketoacidosis is very serious and should be considered an emergency situation. If you have any of the below symptoms, please seek help immediately.
- Sweet or fruity smelling breath
- Nausea or vomiting
- Severe dry mouth
- Trouble breathing
- Pain in the abdominal area
Importance of Diet
Proper diet is essential to controlling diabetes. Many of the same foods can still be eaten; however, you must pay attention to certain details (3). In the case of reversing diabetes type two, your diet is going to be the sharpest tool in your shed. You must double down on your diet and make sure it does nothing to further promote insulin resistance.
Eating foods such as low quality carbohydrates will cause glucose levels to rise. Some sources of carbohydrates are high sugar fruit, starchy foods (such as bread and rice), and processed snack foods from the grocery store. Certain carbohydrates may raise blood glucose more than others. This is why it is very important to control your diet when you are diagnosed with diabetes. Diabetic patients need to make smart choices and eat balanced diets, avoiding insulin spiking foods. There are also nutritional supplements available that are research proven to help balance out the insulin in the body.
Foods That Do Not Spike Insulin
When considering foods you should eat, think of whole foods. Think of lots of fresh greens with a healthy protein. This should be the basis of every meal for those who are serious about keeping their insulin levels low. Here are some general guidlines as to which foods are best when trying to avoid insulin spiking foods.
- Low glycemic fruits such as blueberries, raspberries, blackberries
- Quality high fat foods such as cheese, avocados, and eggs.
- Quality proteins such as poultry, fish, grass fed beef, and wild game
- Foods and drinks with no added sugar
- Cruciferous vegetables
Insulin Spiking Foods
Insulin spiking foods typically carry many of the same characteristics. They are often highly processed, contain enormous amounts of added sugars, and lastly, have minimal to no nutrient density. Take into consideration how many of the insulin spiking foods listed below fall into this category.
Some of these foods are:
- Sugary drinks, such as teas, sodas, and juices
- Sugary foods, such as flavored yogurt, condiments, and “healthy” bars
- Refined carbohydrates, such as white pasta, white rice, white breads, and bagels
- Overconsumption of proteins
- High sugar fruits such as mangoes, bananas, and red apples (5)
Lifestyle choices also can increase insulin. Stress and poor eating patterns can cause a spike in insulin. “During stressful situations, adrenaline, glucagon, growth hormone, and cortisol play a role in blood sugar levels. Stressful situations include infections, serious illness, or significant emotional stress (6).” Finding ways to decrease stress in your life will not only help decrease cortisol and blood sugar levels, but it will also provide an increased quality of life. Here are some top recommendations on how to decrease stress.
Eating patterns are also proven to affect insulin levels. “The data suggests that eating fewer, larger meals- a hearty breakfast and lunch-can be healthy and beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes,” said Hana Kahleova, MD, Phd, researcher at the Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine in Prague (7). This is why intermittent fasting is such a powerful eating pattern for those with high insulin levels. I can’t stress this topic enough.
Blood Sugar Spike Symptoms
It is important to recognize symptoms of hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) as well. Typically, symptoms begin when blood glucose goes above 250 milligrams per deciliter (4).
- Frequent urination
- Increased thirst
- Blurred vision
In conclusion, diabetes mellitus is a condition that needs to be taken seriously. Over-consumption of foods that spike insulin levels leads to the current health crisis that we face as a nation today. Many people suffer from chronic health conditions that could be avoided. Diabetes can be reversed if we avoid the variables that spike insulin levels out of control (5).