IT’S very normal for you blood sugar to rise after you eat or drink something and then dip again in the hours afterwards.
Drinking cow’s milk might help bring down your blood sugar levels, research shows[/caption]
Many of you will have heard blood sugar being talked about in connections to conditions like diabetes.
So if you don’t suffer from it, you might think that keeping your blood sugar in check in isn’t something that concerns you.
But according to gastroenterology dietitian Sammie Gill, “managing your blood sugar is important, whether or not you have diabetes.”
Not only can can large peaks and troughs lead to hunger and over-eating, sustained high blood sugar levels have also been linked to the development of certain health conditions.
Editor for the personalised nutrition platform ZOE, Tim Newman, explained that while our all cells need sugar molecules – glucose – work, high levels of it in the blood can damage heart health over time.
He wrote: “Exaggerated blood sugar responses over the years may increase the risk of plaque formation [in blood vessels] and, consequently, the risk of heart disease.”
Plaque buildup in your blood vessel walls in bad news, as it prevents blood from flowing freely around the body, eventually resulting in serious health conditions such as heart disease and stroke.
According to Tim, glucose spikes in your blood can play a part in firming the plaques up.
He added that consistently high blood pressure can also put you at risk of type 2 diabetes.
Writing for ZOE, Sammie said there isn’t one saviour drink that can bring down your blood sugar levels.
But there are some that result in slower and steadier increases and decreases in blood sugar, and some that don’t affect it at all.
Here are the four drinks Sammie discussed:
This might seem fairly obvious, but as water doesn’t contain any sugar, it won’t give you violent blood sugar spikes.
If you’re feeling thirsty and need energy, Sammie recommended you reach for a glass of water before going for the fizzy pop.
Plain old water might seem a little boring – so the dietitian suggested you flavour it with ingredients like mint, cucumber, ginger, lemon basil or even watermelon.
And if you have diabetes or prediabetes, staying hydrated is especially important, Sammie said, as as dehydration may lead to more sugar in your blood.
2. Green tea
Research suggests that green tea can favourably affect blood sugar levels, Sammie went on.
A 2019 review of 27 studies found that consuming green tea for a number of weeks – between three and 72 – lowered blood sugar levels in people when they hadn’t eaten. But it couldn’t bring them down after a meal.
By contrast, normal and decaf black tea had no effect on blood sugar levels at all.
3. Cow’s milk
Many of us nowadays drink non-dairy options such as oat or soy milk.
But Sammie said: “There’s now good evidence that the proteins in cow’s milk could play a key role in lowering blood sugar after eating for people with and without diabetes.”
She added that it can also make blood sugar rise more slowly after a meal, as milk can make your stomach empty more slowly.
Other research suggests kefir can have a similar effect.
And Sammie said unsweetened plant milk is generally better for managing blood sugar levels.
Sammie said there was mixed evidence regarding whether coffee was good for blood sugar levels.
She referred to a 2019 meta-analysis of six studies, which found that taking coffee extract as a supplement was linked to lower fasting blood sugar levels.
What drinks should I avoid?
There are some drinks you should avoid or limit if you’re trying to keep your blood sugar in check, as they contain added sugar.
According to Sammie, they include:
- sugary fizzy drinks
- fruit juices
- energy drinks
- sports drinks
- flavoured milks
- flavoured coffees
- hot chocolate
- iced tea
September 15, 2023 at 05:04PM
from The Sun