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Top 10 questions and answers about nutrition & diabetes

More than 2.500 people have used Clear.bio to improve their diet, blood sugar and health. Are you curious about their frequently asked questions and our answers to revert type 2 diabetes with precision nutrition? 👇

1. How is it possible that my sugar level rises at night without having eaten anything?

A rise in the sugar level in the early morning is also called the dawn effect. Without having eaten anything, your sugar level shows a rise between 4 and 8 AM. This happens due to a nightly rise in certain hormones, which causes the liver to produce glucose and your sugar level rises. Your body is less able to correct this at night. Therefore your value in the morning is (too) high. There is no 1-2-3 solution. However, a stable sugar level with as few peaks and troughs as possible can help. Therefore, adjust your diet, get a good night’s sleep, exercise regularly to make your body more sensitive to insulin and eat your last meal at 6 PM the latest.

2. Why does my sugar spike after oatmeal? Isn’t this a good choice?

Oatmeal is a whole grain cereal. It contains a lot of fiber, vitamins, minerals, proteins and carbohydrates that digest slowly. Sounds like a very good choice! In theory yes, but some Clear.bio users see a spike after eating oatmeal. This can be due to several things. First of all, the portion size. It is and remains a product with carbohydrates. The more carbohydrates you eat – however they slowly digest – the higher your sugar level rises. Second, it may depend on what you eat with it. If you eat it with unsweetened (vegetable) milk or yoghurt, your sugar level will rise less than if you add sugar, honey or raisins, or prepare it with water. If you prepare it with water, you will miss the proteins and fats that actually slow down the absorption of the carbohydrates from the oatmeal. Finally, the response of the sugar level is very personal. Do you get a spike after eating oatmeal? Then an oatmeal breakfast might not be a good idea for you. Then try something that works for you. Measure and know it with Clear.bio.

3. Why does my sugar level rise during or after exercise?

During exercise, your muscles need energy. When you exercise intensively, your body first uses the glucose supply from your muscles and not the glucose in your blood. The stock in your muscles is available much faster. Because sufficient glucose must be available to continue the exercise, your body may start to produce solid glucose itself. Your liver does this. This raises your sugar level. After exercise, your muscles use the glucose in your blood to replenish their stores. Eventually, your sugar level will drop. During moderately intensive sports such as walking, your muscles mainly use the glucose present in your blood. That’s why a walk after a meal is always a good idea, because your sugar level will immediately drop.

4. What should I do if my blood sugar level is too low?

If your sugar level falls too low – below 4 mmol/l – and you suffer from this, it is important to eat or drink something sweet quickly. So, if you start to sweat, tremble, have palpitations, are dizzy, cannot concentrate, have a headache or are suddenly very tired, drink a large glass of soda (not diet), eat a few tablets of glucose or a sports bar. As a result, your sugar level quickly rises to a level above 4 mmol/l. After a hypo, try to find out what may have been the cause, so that you can prevent it next time. Have you eaten too little or too late? Did you drink alcohol? Did you exercise? By regularly measuring your sugar levels, you gain insight and can adjust your lifestyle.

5. Am I not allowed to eat any carbohydrates anymore? 

Carbohydrates from food cause your blood sugar level to rise. It is therefore a logical thought to eat no carbohydrates at all to lower your sugar level. Besides the fact that this is very difficult – they are in almost everything you eat – carbohydrates also give your body energy. In addition, the reaction of your sugar level is very personal. Maybe your sugar level will remain stable after eating a whole-wheat sandwich or a piece of fruit. It is then not necessary for you to omit these products from your diet. Then you also miss the fiber, vitamins and minerals that your body can use.

6. Will I improve my sugar levels if I lose weight?

Overweight makes your body less responsive to insulin. Insulin is the hormone that ensures that the glucose in your blood is absorbed into your body cells. This lowers your sugar level. But if your body is less sensitive to insulin, your sugar levels will remain too high after eating a meal containing carbohydrates. By losing weight, the body responds better to insulin, which also improves your blood sugar levels. There is no standard diet because everyone reacts differently to food. So, determine carefully what works for you to lose weight.

7. Can I never eat anything with sugar again?

It is not forbidden to take cookies, sweets, pastries or soft drinks, but try to limit it. Sugar is quickly absorbed into your blood and therefore causes a rapid rise in your sugar level. Also, products with a lot of (added) sugars do not contain useful nutrients such as fiber, vitamins and minerals. Your body does not need these sugars. You are not full of it, so you easily eat or drink a lot of it, resulting in a sugar peak. Cutting out or moderating sugars keeps your sugar level more stable.

8. Can I still go out for dinner? 

Of course! Make conscious food and drink choices to prevent your sugar level from peaking. By all means, skip that basket of baguettes. You often only eat that because “it’s on the table” or because you are waiting for your starter. 3 pieces of baguette quickly contain as many carbohydrates as 1 slice of bread and are often also made of flour (fast carbohydrates). A pitty! Also keep an eye on your portion size. For example, choose a starter without carbohydrates and keep a varied meal for the main course: ¼ carbohydrates (eg (sweet) potatoes), ¼ proteins (such as fish, meat, tofu, tempeh, egg), and ½ vegetables. Does the dish contain no vegetables? Order a salad or another side dish of vegetables.

Finally, have you eaten enough carbohydrates with your starter and main course? Then don’t go for a dessert rich in sugar. Then choose, for example, a cheese board or coffee. Have you eaten little or no carbohydrates? Then you might want to have a scoop of ice cream.

9. Can I still eat fruit?

Fruit also contains sugar, fruit sugars, that raise your sugar level. In contrast to products with added sugars, fruit is very healthy. It contains many vitamins, minerals and fiber that makes your body happy. But don’t eat too much fruit at once, because the more fruit sugars you eat, the higher your sugar level gets. In addition, some types of fruit contain more fruit sugars than others. For example, rather eat raspberries or other red fruits than a mango or ripe banana. They contain a lot of sugar. And don’t make a smoothie from fresh orange juice, a banana, a kiwi and red fruit, because then you’ll get way too much sugar in one go. And because they are liquid, they are also very quickly absorbed into your blood. Therefore, it is better to eat your fruit instead of drinking it. And then eat a handful of nuts or some (vegetable) cottage cheese. You will feel fuller and your sugar level will rise less quickly if you combine carbohydrates with proteins and fats.

10. Can’t I eat white bread, white rice or white pasta?

Products such as white bread, white rice and white pasta contain almost no fiber and they do contain fast carbohydrates, which causes your sugar level to rise faster. The general advice is to replace it with a whole grain variant. Although this is not necessary per se. First of all, because everybody reacts differently. So, Measure it first, then you know exactly. Maybe you don’t react to white pasta at all. And if so, adjust your portion size. Eat less pasta and add some extra vegetables and proteins (meat, chicken, fish, cheese, tofu, tempeh, egg). Then you might be able to continue eating your favorite pasta dish and prevent a sugar spike!

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