Blood sugar spikes occur when your blood sugar rises and then falls sharply after you eat.
In the short term, they can cause lethargy and hunger. Over time, your body may not be able to lower blood sugar effectively, which can lead to type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes is a rising health problem. In fact, 29 million Americans have diabetes, and 25% of them don’t even know they have it (1).
Blood sugar spikes can also cause your blood vessels to harden and narrow, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
This article looks at 12 simple things you can do to prevent blood sugar spikes.
1. Go Low-Carb
Carbohydrates (carbs) are what cause blood sugar to rise.
When you eat carbs, they are broken down into simple sugars. Those sugars then enter the bloodstream.
As your blood sugar levels rise, your pancreas releases a hormone called insulin, which prompts your cells to absorb sugar from the blood. This causes your blood sugar levels to drop.
Summary: A low-carb diet can help prevent blood sugar spikes and aid weight loss. Counting carbs can also help.
2. Eat Fewer Refined Carbs
Refined carbs, otherwise known as processed carbs, are sugars or refined grains.
Some common sources of refined carbs are table sugar, white bread, white rice, soda, candy, breakfast cereals and desserts.
Refined carbs have been stripped of almost all nutrients, vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Refined carbs are said to have a high glycemic index because they are very easily and quickly digested by the body. This leads to blood sugar spikes.
A large observational study of more than 91,000 women found that a diet high in high-glycemic-index carbs was associated with an increase in type 2 diabetes (10).
The glycemic index of carbs varies. It’s affected by a number of things, including ripeness, what else you eat and how the carbs are cooked or prepared.
Generally, whole-grain foods have a lower glycemic index, as do most fruits, non-starchy vegetables and legumes.
Summary: Refined carbs have almost no nutritional value and increase the risk of type 2 diabetes and weight gain.
3. Reduce Your Sugar Intake
The average American consumes 22 teaspoons (88 grams) of added sugar per day. That translates to around 350 calories (12).
While some of this is added as table sugar, most of it comes from processed and prepared foods, such as candy, cookies and sodas.
You have no nutritional need for added sugar like sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup. They are, in effect, just empty calories.
Your body breaks these simple sugars down very easily, causing an almost immediate spike in blood sugar.
Studies show that consuming sugars is associated with developing insulin resistance.
In 2016, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) changed the way foods have to be labeled in the US. Foods now have to display the amount of added sugars they contain in grams and as a percentage of the recommended daily maximum intake.
An alternative option to giving up sugar entirely is to replace it with natural sugar substitutes.
Summary: Sugar is effectively empty calories. It causes an immediate blood sugar spike and high intake is associated with insulin resistance.
4. Keep a Healthy Weight
At present, two out of three adults in the US are considered to be overweight or obese (15).
Being overweight or obese can make it more difficult for your body to use insulin and control blood sugar levels.
This can lead to blood sugar spikes and a corresponding higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Weight loss, on the other hand, has been shown to improve blood sugar control.
In one study, 35 obese people lost an average of 14.5 pounds (6.6 kg) over 12 weeks while they were on a diet of 1,600 calories a day. Their blood sugar dropped by an average of 14% (19).
In another study of people without diabetes, weight loss was found to decrease the incidence of developing type 2 diabetes by 58% (20).
Summary: Being overweight makes it difficult for your body to control blood sugar levels. Even losing a little weight can improve your blood sugar control.
5. Exercise More
Exercise helps control blood sugar spikes by increasing the sensitivity of your cells to the hormone insulin.
Exercise also causes muscle cells to absorb sugar from the blood, helping to lower blood sugar levels (21).
Both high-intensity and moderate-intensity exercise have been found to reduce blood sugar spikes.
One study found similar improvements in blood sugar control in 27 adults who carried out either medium- or high-intensity exercise (22).
Whether you exercise on an empty or full stomach could have an effect on blood sugar control.
One study found exercise performed before breakfast controlled blood sugar more effectively than exercise done after breakfast (23).
Increasing exercise also has the added benefit of helping with weight loss, a double whammy to combat blood sugar spikes.
Summary: Exercise increases insulin sensitivity and stimulates cells to remove sugar from the blood.
6. Eat More Fiber
Fiber is made up of the parts of plant food that your body can’t digest.
There are two main types of fiber: soluble and insoluble.
Soluble fiber, in particular, can help control blood sugar spikes.
Fiber can also make you feel full, reducing your appetite and food intake (26).
Good sources of soluble fiber include:
- Some fruits, such as apples, oranges and blueberries
- Many vegetables
Summary: Fiber can slow the absorption of carbs and the release of sugar into the blood. It can also reduce appetite and food intake.
7. Drink More Water
Not drinking enough water can lead to blood sugar spikes.
When you are dehydrated, your body produces a hormone called vasopressin. This encourages your kidneys to retain fluid and stop the body from flushing out excess sugar in your urine.
One study of 3,615 people found that those who drank at least 34 ounces (about 1 liter) of water a day were 21% less likely to develop high blood sugar than those who drank 16 ounces (473 ml) or less a day (28).
A long-term study on 4,742 people in Sweden found that, over 12.6 years, an increase of vasopressin in the blood was linked to an increase in insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes (30).
How much water you should drink is often up for discussion. Essentially, it depends on the individual.
Always make sure you drink as soon as you’re thirsty and increase your water intake during hot weather or while exercising.
Stick to water rather than sugary juice or sodas, since the sugar content will lead to blood sugar spikes.
Summary: Dehydration negatively affects blood sugar control. Over time, it can lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
8. Introduce Some Vinegar Into Your Diet
Vinegar, particularly apple cider vinegar, has been found to have many health benefits.
One study found vinegar significantly reduced blood sugar in participants who had just consumed a meal containing 50 grams of carbs. The study also found that the stronger the vinegar, the lower the blood sugar (31).
Another study looked into the effect of vinegar on blood sugar after participants consumed carbs. It found that vinegar increased insulin sensitivity by between 19% and 34% (37).
The addition of vinegar can also lower the glycemic index of a food, which can help reduce blood sugar spikes.
Summary: Vinegar has been shown to increase insulin response and help control blood sugar when taken with carbs.
9. Get Enough Chromium and Magnesium
Studies show both chromium and magnesium can be effective in controlling blood sugar spikes.
Chromium is a mineral that you need in small amounts.
It is thought to enhance the action of insulin. This could help control blood sugar spikes by encouraging the cells to absorb sugar from the blood.
In one small study, 13 healthy men were given 75 grams of white bread with or without chromium added. The addition of chromium resulted in about a 20% reduction in blood sugar following the meal (39).
However, findings on chromium and blood sugar control are mixed. An analysis of 15 studies concluded that there was no effect of chromium on blood sugar control in healthy people (40).
Recommended dietary intakes for chromium can be found here. Rich food sources include broccoli, egg yolks, shellfish, tomatoes and Brazil nuts.
Magnesium is another mineral that has been linked to blood sugar control.
In one study of 48 people, half were given a 600-mg magnesium supplement along with lifestyle advice, while the other half were just given lifestyle advice. Insulin sensitivity increased in the group given magnesium supplements (41).
Another study investigated the combined effects of supplementing with chromium and magnesium on blood sugar. They found that a combination of the two increased insulin sensitivity more than either supplement alone (42).
Recommended dietary intakes for magnesium can be found here. Rich food sources include spinach, almonds, avocados, cashews and peanuts.
Summary: Chromium and magnesium may help increase insulin sensitivity. Evidence shows they may be more effective together.
10. Add Some Spice to Your Life
Cinnamon and fenugreek have been used in alternative medicine for thousands of years. They have both been linked to blood sugar control.
The scientific evidence for the use of cinnamon in blood sugar control is mixed.
One of these studies followed 14 healthy people.
However, there are also studies that show cinnamon has no effect on blood sugar.
One review looked at 10 high-quality studies in a total of 577 people with diabetes. The review found no significant difference in blood sugar spikes after participants had taken cinnamon (47).
There are two types of cinnamon:
- Cassia: Can come from several different species of Cinnamomum trees. This is the type most commonly found in most supermarkets.
- Ceylon: Comes specifically from the Cinnamomum verum tree. It is more expensive, but may contain more antioxidants.
Cassia cinnamon contains a potentially harmful substance called coumarin.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has set the tolerable daily intake of coumarin at 0.045 mg per pound of body weight (0.1mg/kg). This is around half a teaspoon (1 gram) of Cassia cinnamon for a 165-pound (75-kg) person (48).
One of the physical properties of fenugreek is that the seeds are high in soluble fiber.
This helps prevent blood sugar spikes by slowing down the digestion and absorption of carbs.
However, it appears that blood sugar levels may benefit from more than just the seeds.
In one study, 20 healthy people were given powdered fenugreek leaves mixed with water before they ate. The study found the fenugreek reduced their blood sugar levels after eating by 13.4%, compared to the placebo (49).
An analysis of 10 studies found that fenugreek significantly reduced blood sugar two hours after eating (50).
Fenugreek may help reduce blood sugar spikes. It can be added to food, but it does have a quite a strong taste, so some people prefer to take it as a supplement.
Summary: Both cinnamon and fenugreek are relatively safe. They may have beneficial effects on your blood sugar if you take them with a meal that contains carbs.
11. Try Berberine
One study looked at 116 people with type 2 diabetes who either received berberine or a placebo for three months. Berberine reduced blood sugar spikes after a meal by 25% (58).
However, another study found berberine caused side effects in some people, such as diarrhea, constipation and gas (59).
Although berberine appears to be fairly safe, speak to your doctor before taking it if you have any medical conditions or are taking any medication.
Summary: Berberine has minimal side effects and studies have shown it can reduce blood sugar spikes by 25% after you eat it.
12. Consider These Lifestyle Factors
If you really want to reduce your blood sugar spikes, you should also consider these lifestyle factors that can affect blood sugar.
Stress can negatively affect your health in a number of ways, such as headaches, increased blood pressure and anxiety.
It has also been shown to affect blood sugar. As stress levels go up, your body releases certain hormones. The effect is to release stored energy in the form of sugar into your bloodstream for the fight-or-flight response (60).
One study of 241 Italian workers found an increase in work stress was directly linked to an increase in blood sugar levels (61).
Both too little and too much sleep have been associated with poor blood sugar control.
A study in 4,870 adults with type 2 diabetes found those who slept for the longest or shortest durations had the poorest blood sugar control. The best control was found in those who slept between 6.5 and 7.4 hours a night (63).
Even having one or two bad nights can have an effect on your blood sugar levels.
A study of nine healthy people who had their sleep restricted to four hours for one night found participants experienced increased insulin resistance. This resulted in higher blood sugar levels (64).
With sleep, quality is as important as quantity. A study found the deepest level of sleep (NREM) to be most important in terms of controlling blood sugar (65).
Alcoholic drinks often contain a lot of added sugar. This is particularly true for mixed drinks and cocktails, which can contain up to 30 grams of sugar per serving.
The sugar in alcoholic drinks will cause blood sugar spikes in the same way that added sugar in food will. Most alcoholic drinks also have little or no nutritional value. As with added sugar, they are effectively empty calories.
Furthermore, heavy drinking over time can decrease the effectiveness of insulin, which leads to high blood sugar and can eventually lead to type 2 diabetes (66).
However, studies show that moderate, controlled drinking can actually have a protective effect when it comes to blood sugar control and can also lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes (67, 68, 69).
Summary: Poor sleep, stress and high alcohol intake all negatively affect blood sugar. That’s why it is important to consider lifestyle interventions as well as diet.
The Bottom Line
Simple dietary changes, such as sticking to a low-carb, high-fiber diet and avoiding added sugars and refined grains, can help you avoid blood sugar spikes.
Exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight and drinking plenty of water can also have added benefits to your health beyond helping to control your blood sugar.
That said, if you have any medical conditions or are on any medications, speak to your doctor before making any changes to your diet.
For most people, making these simple diet and lifestyle changes is a great way to lower your risk of developing insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes.
A quick note from our founder-
Over the past year, my friend Dave at PaleoHacks has been working on a secret cookbook with world-renowned Le Cordon Bleu chef Peter Servold.
Well, today this new this new incredible Paleo Cookbook is finally available to be shipped right to your door for FREE
That's right -- as a special launch promotion, we're offering our brand new Paleo fat loss cookbook to you for free (Chef Pete lost 60 lbs using these recipes!) -- All you have to do is just cover a small shipping cost (international shipping is a bit more).
Get your FREE copy of Paleo Eats Here. (Grab this today, because we only ordered a small batch of these cookbooks for this freebie promotion, and they will sell out FAST!)
Help us create more awareness! Please SHARE this article...
I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat.
This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
If this “hidden” most powerful primal muscle is healthy, we are healthy.
d) Hip Flexors
Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!
P.S. Make sure you check out the next page to get to know the 10 simple moves that will bring vitality back into your life!
To begin, I apologize for the dark nature of today's email.
However I promise what you'll discover today will be completely worth it.
Imagine a rotting corpse draped over your body from head to toe...
...suffocating tissue, restricting blood flow, damaging joints and infecting your healthy cells.
Shockingly, that nightmare is a reality for most:
64% of women and 74% of men carry too much body fat according to the National Institutes of Health.
It's choking their organs, assaulting their metabolism and sucking their energy dry.
But here's the worst part:
For most, this bodyfat has become "calorie-resistant":
It's completely unaffected by even the strictest diets... and most intense exercises.
This zombie fat is essentially... "dead tissue".
That's important for those who have 10, 25 or 50 or more pounds to lose...
AND for those who aren't technically overweight, but have what's called "pocket obesity"...
...unsightly patches of fat that cling to specific places, like:
just above your hips, lower belly, where your butt and legs meet... and even arms, neck and face.
However, there's good news:
Obesity researchers have now discovered a "metabolic jumper cable":
It jolts dead bodyfat back to life.
This allows your metabolism to burn it as calories and re-energize your entire body.
First though, here's the #1 reason why bodyfat becomes calorie-resistant:
It lacks blood flow. This has 3 effects:
- Not enough oxygen or nutrients reach fat cells, so they become unresponsive..
- Released fat can't be sent to other tissues to be burned, so fat cells suck it back in...
- 3) Metabolic hormones carrying the "burn calories" message don't reach the fat cell...
All this means one thing:
Your body can't transform into energy, the 135,000+ of calories the average person stores as fat!
You become a metabolic zombie: NO energy to think. NO energy to move. NO energy to motivate.
Update: calorie-resistant bodyfat can be now removed...
The discovery of this "metabolic jumper cable" can now reverse this process:
- It wakes up un-responsive bodyfat with a powerful calorie-burning hormonal jolt....
- It pops open fat cells, sucks out the fat, sending it off before its yanked back in...
- It shuttles fat to your brain, heart, lungs, kidneys - even your bones - to be burned as energy.
Not only do those layers of "zombie fat" start coming off, but your entire body just works better.
Plus, as your whole body burns more calories, those patches of pocket obesity whittle away.
This "metabolic jumper cable" isn't any exercise, machine or pill.
It's a little-known, calorie-burning hormone we all have... just waiting for the right spark to come alive.
It's not thyroid, leptin, ghrelin, insulin, adiponectin, HGH or any other "fat loss" hormone you may know.
And on this next page, you'll find out precisely how to unleash its calorie-burning power:
PS - Studies show that not only can healthy levels of this powerful calorie-burning hormone devour bodyfat and fortify soft muscle, but it can also reduce your risk of diabetes by 53.7%, a heart attack by 83.3% and stroke by 51.4%. Here's more of the scientific proof...
In April, 2009, researchers stunned the medical community when they reported chronic inflammation as the root cause of several major diseases.
See, every year 610,000 people in the U.S. die of heart disease. Cancer claims another 584,000...stroke 130,000...Alzheimer's disease nearly 85,000 — and the list goes on.
Truth is, we now know... chronic inflammation is responsible for 7 out of the top 10 leading causes of death in the United States! Hundreds of studies and scientific reviews prove it.
Fortunately, newer research shows you can prevent-even reverse-most major diseases by "turning off" inflammation. And in our new book, we show you how to do just that.
If you or a loved one is suffering from a debilitating condition-and you"re not sure what the culprit is-now's the time to find out...while you can still do something about it!
--> Grab your FREE copy of this groundbreaking soft cover book today (while supplies still last.)
If you haven't heard of Claude Davis yet do yourself a huge favor and watch this video. He's going to be the talk of 2016.
One of the smartest guys I ever had the pleasure of meeting, Claude set-up a unique system that changed his life forever.
I already tried it myself and let me tell... you I was completely blown away... His surprising tactics could make your life easier and give you the peace of mind you deserve.
Don't just take my word for it... watch his short video and decide for yourself.
Is Bread Really the Staff of Life… or the Stuff of Disease?
For most us, there are few foods more comforting than bread.
Fluffy biscuits, crusty baguettes, flaky croissants… even a simple slice of toast topped with melted butter can taste like heaven.
And that smell… few scents are quite as pleasant as fresh bread baking in the oven.
But there is a lot of confusion as to where bread fits into a healthy diet.
The Bible practically commands followers to eat it: “Give us this day our daily bread…” The government put it at the base of the food pyramid. And for centuries, it has been called “the staff of life.”
Of course, there are some who disagree…
Well-known cardiologist, Dr. William Davis, calls wheat “the perfect chronic poison.”
And for a poison, we sure eat lots of it…
The average American consumes 55 pounds of wheat flour every year, making refined flour the #1 source of calories in the American Diet – a situation that nutrition expert Chris Kresser describes as, “a public health catastrophe.”
So, what is the truth about bread and wheat?
- Is it the perfect poison… or an essential daily food?
- Is “gluten-free” bread better for you than regular bread?
- And can you still eat bread… while maintaining a lean body and optimal health?
The answers to these questions may surprise you!
Be sure to read #5 – the biggest surprise of all!
Recently, Doctor of Naturopathy, weight-loss expert and best-selling Amazon author Liz Swann Miller, creator of the Red Smoothie Detox Factor, revealed 2 of the secrets to easy, steady weight loss. Secrets the big food corporations do their best to hide from us.
Secret #1: Enjoy real food. Don’t fall for the lie that you have to deprive yourself to lose weight.
Secret #2: stop eating out. You will automatically eat less without even noticing.
Then start detoxing your body with tasty, nourishing smoothies that are just as easy on your wallet as they are easy to make.
Because a single day of enjoying Liz’ smoothies demonstrated the radical power of her superfood-packed red smoothies to make me feel incredibly good.
Now prepare yourself for one of the biggest weight loss secrets there is. A secret that, when you use it properly, can transform your body and your health.
You probably know most of us eat too much processed food. What you may not know is that it’s full of toxic chemicals and substandard, dirt-cheap ingredients designed to make you eat more…and force you to gain weight.
Here’s how it works.
“That stuff is just a lot of calories your body can’t use,” Liz told me, “Some are poison. And all these foods are stripped of the anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories that help your body detox. The result? Your body expends huge amounts of calories to eliminate some toxins—the rest, it stores in your fat to protect you. This is why most people are hungry all the time. They’re not getting energy they need.”
“So… what’s going on with me? Why am I losing weight but not going hungry?”
Liz paused, then dropped the bombshell.
Your body is designed to burn fat. You just have to let it.
“What? I thought we were designed to store fat?!?” We were Skyping and I was practically shouting. Then I heard Liz say…
What good is a fat reserve if you can’t burn it?
Liz continued: “You’re drinking smoothies packed with phytonutrients, anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories that pull toxins out of you like a tractor beam. Allowing your body to burn those toxin-filled fat stores… and releasing tremendous amounts of stored energy.”
So that’s why I’m losing weight without going hungry.
Watch Liz’ free presentation. It’s packed with revolutionary weight loss information—information that works. Because it’s based on how nature.
Click the button only if you want to wear smaller clothes, breathe easier, move more freely and just plain feel better.
- Which calories help you lose weight…and which ones help you gain it…
- The “diet” foods…some of them vegetables…that lead to weight gain and diabetes…
- The “low-fat” foods that can dramatically increase your risk of cancer.
- And the superfoods that rescue your body from this assault by detoxing you…
Revitalizing your metabolism so you can Shed pounds as well as toxins, renew your body and reset your internal clock by up to 7 years.
Because until now, the Red Smoothie Detox Factor has been available only to Liz’ private clients. But now that she’s perfected it to work for almost everyone, almost every time, Liz is sharing it with rest of us so we can feel better and look better.
Get Red Smoothie Detox Factor before the price goes back up.
Because Liz offers a ridiculously good guarantee. You have 60 days to decide you love the Red Smoothie Detox Factor. If you don’t love it—for any reason, or even no reason at all —Liz will refund your money. 100%. No questions asked.
Sponsored Health Resources
In the years that I've been working on this website project I've come across some amazing resources by some very special people. I'd like to share them with you here.
NOTE: I update these links often so please check back to see what's new!
1) Everyone knows green smoothies are healthy right? Have you heard of a “red” smoothie? If not, check out this story…
2) Forget what you've read about 10-day lemonade cleanses, 7-day detoxes with green juices and Gwyneth's gruel. All you need to do, and this is perfect for Saturday or or anytime really, is a simple 1-day cleanse.
3) This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
4) I thought it was virtually impossible for a website to be able to tell me anything even a little bit insightful after only submitting my name and date of birth... I was wrong!
5) Turmeric is amazing. The problem is - It's hard to absorb!
6) Wonder why your stomach still sticks out even though you're hammering the core exercises every day? It's a common myth that bulging belly is due to weak abdominal muscles.
7) Even if you're the most active of athletes, you may still suffer from tight hip flexors due to the amount of time you spend each day planted to a chair.
Enjoy! Let me know how these work out for you. And if you run across anything I've missed please let me know.