These Unexpected Factors That Can Raise Your Blood Sugar Levels

When you first found out you had diabetes, you tested your blood sugar often to understand how food, activity, stress, and illness could affect your blood sugar levels. By now, you’ve got it figured out for the most part. But then—bam! Something makes your blood sugar zoom up. You try to adjust it with food or activity or insulin, and it dips really low. You’re on a rollercoaster no one with diabetes wants to ride.

Knowledge is power! Look out for these surprising triggers that can send your blood sugar soaring:

Skipping breakfast

Overweight women who didn’t eat breakfast had higher insulin and blood sugar levels after they ate lunch a few hours later than they did on another day when they ate breakfast, a 2013 study found. Another study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that men who regularly skipped breakfast had a 21 per cent higher chance of developing diabetes than those who didn’t. A morning meal—especially one that is rich in protein and healthy fat—seems to stabilize blood sugar levels throughout the day.

Artificial sweeteners

They have to be better for your blood sugar than, well, sugar, right? An interesting new Israeli study suggests that artificial sweeteners can still take a negative toll. When researchers gave mice artificial sweeteners, they had higher blood sugar levels than mice who drank plain water—or even water with sugar!

The researchers were able to bring the animals’ blood sugar levels down by treating them with antibiotics, which indicates that these fake sweeteners may alter gut bacteria, which in turn seems to affect how the body processes glucose.

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