7 Habits That Secretly Increase Blood Sugar

Too little sleep can affect blood sugar levels.

Photo: Mindscape studio / Shutterstock

In addition to the foods you eat, there are other lifestyle factors that can affect blood sugar levels. We take a look at the habits you may not have known that can raise your blood sugar.

1. Smoking

Mayo Clinic notes that Tobacco use can increase blood sugar levels and lead to insulin resistance. “Heavy smokers (more than 20 cigarettes a day) have nearly twice the risk of developing diabetes compared to nonsmokers.”

2. Drink alcohol

High alcohol consumption can cause chronic inflammation of the pancreas and impair its ability to secrete insulin, potentially leading to diabetes.

Drinking alcohol when you have diabetes does have some risks, because alcohol can interfere with the way the body uses blood sugar and can also interfere with certain diabetes medications.

Some alcoholic beverages such as beer and sugary mixed drinks are high in carbohydrates, which can cause a spike in blood sugar levels.

3. Skipping breakfast

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warn that skipping breakfast can increase blood sugar after lunch and dinner.

4. Not drinking enough water

Drinking water helps the kidneys remove excess sugar from the body in the urine. Less water in the body means that the sugar in the blood is more concentrated.

5. Not getting enough sleep

The CDC notes that even a single night of too little sleep can cause the body to use less insulin. Poor sleep can disrupt important metabolic hormones.

6. Not managing stress

Cleveland Clinic notes that stress hormones increase blood pressure, increase heart rate, and can cause blood sugar to rise. They also indicate that high blood sugar can make a person feel depressed or tired.

7. Not exercising

Exercising helps your muscles burn glucose and improves the way insulin works. This is why blood glucose levels often drop during exercise.

The American Diabetes Association notes that foods eaten before or during a workout can also contribute to a rise in glucose. “Eat too many carbs before you exercise, and your sweat session may not be enough to keep your blood glucose in your target range.”

It may interest you:
–5 ways to lower blood sugar in no time
–Vegetables yes, but not potatoes: why nutrition experts recommend skipping them
–What is the worst bread to eat for high blood sugar