Never Skip Eating Breakfast
Weve all heard that breakfast is the days most important meal. This is especially true for those who have diabetes. I think eating breakfast is important, especially with potential risk for hypoglycemia and avoiding potential highs related to fasting for too long a period of time, Crandall Snyder says.
A high-protein breakfast has an edge over breakfasts that are high in carbohydrates, according to research from The University of Missouri-Columbia. In the research, women ages 18 to 55 consumed meals with similar calories, fat, and fiber contents but differing amounts of protein. Researchers monitored the amount of glucose and insulin in the participants blood for four hours after they ate breakfast. The best breakfasts contained 39 g of protein and led to lower post-meal glucose spikes than the meals with less protein, the researchers found.
Besides, eating breakfast may help overweight people with type 2 diabetes shed extra pounds. Of the participants in the National Weight Control Registry who maintained at least a 30-pound weight loss for at least one year, 78 percent said they eat breakfast daily.
Choose Low Glycemic Index Foods
The glycemic index measures and ranks various foods by how much they cause blood sugar levels to rise. Research shows that following a low glycemic index diet decreases fasting blood sugar levels.
Low glycemic index foods are those that score below 55 on the glycemic index. Examples of low glycemic foods include:
- sweet potatoes
When To See A Doctor
According to the University of Michigan, blood sugar levels of 300 mg/dL or more can be dangerous. They recommend calling a doctor if you have two readings in a row of 300 or more.
See your doctor if you have consistently high blood sugar levels. Symptoms of this include:
- increased thirst
- high levels of sugar in urine
Ask your doctor how often to check your blood sugar and about your ideal blood sugar levels.
If you dont currently see a doctor who specializes in diabetes, known as an endocrinologist, you can find one by searching the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists website.
You can find a certified diabetes educator by visiting the American Diabetes Associations website and searching by zip code.
Talk to your doctor if you have consistently high blood sugar readings or symptoms of chronic hyperglycemia.
Checking your blood sugar and then treating hyperglycemia early will help prevent any complications.
Health problems can arise when someone has high blood sugar regularly and without treatment.
Examples of complications include:
- nerve damage, called diabetic neuropathy, that may affect sensations in the feet and hands
- diabetic retinopathy, or damage to the blood vessels in the eyes that affects vision
- increased risks for kidney problems
- increased risks for heart problems
Taking steps to keep your blood sugar at target levels can help to minimize the likelihood that these complications will occur.
Stick To Your Medication And Insulin Regimen
Skipping a dose of medication or insulin can be harmful to your body and increase your blood sugar levels.
Its important to stick to your treatment plan and follow your doctors instructions for taking your medication.
Healthful lifestyle habits can help people manage their blood sugar levels over the long term, such as eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, staying hydrated, and getting good sleep.
Foods That Lower Blood Sugar
Food can be a wonderful tonic for your overall good health and well-being or it can be devastating to your health. Taking the time and effort to make good choices can save you from a lot of pain and suffering in the future. Here is a list of foods that are great for your health, and especially good for maintaining healthy sugar levels.
Eat Smaller More Frequent Meals
It’s recommended that people with diabetes eat 4-5 small meals per day rather than larger meals.
A simple way to control portions is to use the Diabetes Plate Method. Start with a 9-inch plate or similar size. Make half the plate non-starchy vegetables, one quarter lean protein, and the rest whole grains or starchy vegetables. For snacks, try to buy individually packed snacks or pre-portion your own, such as a cup of yogurt, cheese sticks, or a small apple. For a more decadent treat that’s still nutritionally balanced, try this sunflower butter strawberry toast.
Add Herbs To Your Diet To Lower Blood Sugar
Its not just easy, but also tasty to add spices and herbs that lower blood sugar to your diet. Most of these can be used in everyday recipes. If you are looking for inspiration on how to start cooking with these, try out these recipes from our recipe section Mushroom-stuffed Turkey, Stuffed Peppers, Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Pizza, Courgette Carrot & Tomato Frittata, Moussaka, Vegetable Stir Fry, and Roasted Butternut Squash
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Raw Cooked Or Roasted Vegetables
These add color, flavor, and texture to a meal. Choose tasty, low-carb veggies, like mushrooms, onions, eggplant, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, and low-carb squashes, like zucchini.
Try them with dips such as low-fat dressings, hummus, guacamole, and salsa, or roasted with different seasonings such as rosemary, cayenne pepper, or garlic.
Treating Low Blood Sugar
You are at risk of having a low blood sugar reaction if you:
- Skip or delay a meal or snack
- Take too much insulin or eat too few carbohydrates
- Drink alcohol, especially without eating carbohydrates
Check your blood sugar if you have any of these symptoms:
- Weakness and/or fatigue
If your blood sugar is less than 70 milligrams per deciliter :
- Eat 15 to 30 grams of carbohydrate
- Wait 15 minutes and then recheck your blood sugar
- If your blood sugar is still less than 100 mg/dl, take another 15 grams of carbohydrate and retest your blood sugar in another 15 minutes. Repeat if necessary.
Important: If you have frequent low blood sugars speak to your doctor. You may need changes in your medication and/or meal plan.
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Stay Hydrated With Water
Up to 60% of the human body is water, so it makes sense that drinking plenty of h-two-oh remains necessary for good health. Water lubricates the joints, forms saliva and mucus, helps keep skin elastic, cushions the brain and spinal cord, regulates body temperature, flushes toxins, and helps maintain blood pressure.
Calorie-free and exactly what your body needs, water prevents dehydration and helps your kidneys flush out excess glucose. One study showed that those who drank more water were less likely to develop hyperglycemia20 .
Add More Resistant Starch To Your Plate
Resistant starch found in some potatoes and beans bypasses the small intestine and ferments in the large intestine, which means it doesnt raise glucose levels and promotes the growth of good bacteria in the body, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Its a fiber-filled starch and helps with glycemic control, says Joelle Malinowski, RD, a certified diabetes care and education specialist with Ellis Medicine in Schenectady, New York. And the effect will last through your next meal, Weisenberger says. Its called the second-meal effect, she says.
Interestingly, resistant starch can change with heat, and some foods, like rice, are higher in resistant starch when cooked and cooled than when cooked and served warm, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Resistant starches are also found in:
Just be sure to keep carb count in mind when incorporating foods with resistant starch into your diet.
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Which Foods Keep Your Sugar Levels In Control
Carbohydrates need to be consistent. You dont want to eat all of your daily carb count in one meal. That will cause your blood sugar to spike, and then drop during the other meals. Giving your body a steady amount of carbohydrates will provide a stable amount of energy. It will also help your body make enough insulin to keep your blood sugar at a healthy number.
The easiest way to make sure that your carb intake is appropriate is to count carbohydrates. It is a simplified way to evaluate foods based on their nutritional value. The best place to start when counting is to aim for 45 to 60 grams of carbohydrates per meal and roughly 15 to 30 grams for each snack in between meals. You may have to adjust this based on your individual needs and your blood sugar readings. It is a lot easier to calculate the carbohydrates when you have a food with a label, but many foods do not. Check the serving size on the label to be sure that you are counting correctly. The US Department of Agriculture has a website that allows you to type in any food and it will give you the nutritional values. Check it out at . A few examples of 15 grams of carbs include:
- 1 slice of bread
- ½ cup of oatmeal
- 1 small piece of fresh fruit
It is important that you pay attention to nutrients other than the carbs too. Be sure to have adequate protein and fiber, while keeping lots of fat to a minimum.
Eat Less Sugar/refined Carbohydrates
The best way to keep blood sugar levels down without medication is to eat less sugar. The less sugar you consume, the smaller the metabolic response will bekeeping your pancreas and insulin levels healthy. You can cut back on sugars by limiting your intake of processed foods, sauces, fruit juices, candy, and soda, and paying attention to nutrition labels.
In turn, boosting your intake of fruits and veggies can have major benefits. Instead of sauces, opt for sugar-free seasonings and rubs, and try to drink water in place of other beverages. All of this can have immediate benefits for lower blood sugar.
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Other Steps For How To Reduce Blood Sugar Level Immediately
While insulin is what will mainly help, there are other methods that can be used in both severe and less so severe cases of hyperglycemia. Alternative methods are especially helpful for those with non-insulin-dependent diabetes.
In severe cases , its advisable for healthcare professionals to take care of you.
First, they will likely inject insulin to your veins . In addition to this, they will rehydrate you with fluids, usually directly to your veins too. They will also give you nutrients at the same time, in the same manner.
This treatment gives some clues as to how to reduce blood sugar level immediately in less severe cases:
1) Stay hydrated drink water. Since being thirsty is a symptom of hyperglycemia/high blood glucose, youll probably want to be drinking plenty of water anyway. This helps with flushing out excess glucose.
2) Stay nourished. This is less straightforward, since eating food can often lead to even higher levels of blood glucose. But because youll be drinking a great deal of water , youll also be flushing out nutrients at the same time.
So, its worth considering eating something nourishing after youve lowered your blood sugar. Or, if you want to keep up your nutrients during hyperglycemia, consider drinking fluids without carbs and with electrolytes.
Increase Your Fiber Intake
High fiber is key to the foods that lower blood sugar, so increasing your soluble fiber intake will help you lower your blood sugar. Focus on eating foods that stabilize blood sugar such as unrefined carbohydrates like whole grain bread or pasta, sweet potatoes, legumes, lentils, nuts, and non-starchy vegetables.
Another perk? High fiber foods can help you feel fuller. That can help you avoid overeating or craving foods that can negatively affect your blood sugar. Men should aim for 30 to 38 grams daily, and women 21 to 25 grams daily, according to the Mayo Clinic.
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Get Trendy With Apple Cider Vinegar
If you do a quick Google search, youll see that apple cider vinegar is good for pretty much everything. You can use it to tone your skin, clean your pipes, and possibly lower your blood sugar!
A clinical review found that taking ACV daily could reduce blood glucose levels. Unfortunately, most of the trials were very small and some had mixed results.
But since youve probably got it in your house anyway, try taking a swig or two before meals, testing yourself, and seeing if a little ACV shot works for you .
How To Prevent High Blood Sugar And Type 2 Diabetes
There are two key factors that will help regulate your blood sugar and greatly reduce your risk of Type 2 Diabetes. You guessed it: diet and exercise. These elements are key to overall good health and the prevention of most chronic disease, including Diabetes. Lose excess weight, eat a healthy, well balanced diet, and exercise regularly. Below are some tips to help you out.
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What Is A Normal Blood Sugar Reading
A normal blood sugar reading for the A1C test is 5.7%. Your doctor will diagnose you with prediabetes if your A1C is between 5.7% and 6.4%, or with diabetes if your A1C is 6.5% or higher.
If you take the random blood sugar test, you will be diagnosed with diabetes if your blood sugar level is 200 milligrams per deciliter or higher.
Dr. Raja says, A normal fasting blood sugar reading should be < 200 mg/dL.
A normal blood sugar reading for the fasting test is less than 100 mg/dL. A reading between 100 and 125 mg/dL may be diagnosed as prediabetes, and a reading of 126 mg/dL or higher may be diagnosed as diabetes.
If you take the oral glucose tolerance test, a normal reading is anything lower than 140 mg/dL. A reading between 140 and 199 mg/dL is prediabetes, and a reading of 200 mg/dL or higher is diabetes.
Eat Every 3 To 6 Hours
Have breakfast within an hour or two of waking up and then eat a snack or meal every three to six hours after that, says Rebecca Denison, RD, doctor of integrative medicine and diabetes educator at Greater Baltimore Medical Centers Geckle Diabetes and Nutrition Center. This will add up to three to six total meals and snacks daily. It takes about four to six hours for your body to digest a meal. You want to eat just a teeny bit before you actually need it so that your body doesnt have to figure out how to keep your blood sugar stable, Denison explains.
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Natural Herbs And Vitamins That Lower Blood Sugar
You dont have to be a diabetic to benefit from having a lower blood sugar. When you have too much sugar in your blood, your body wont function as well as it could. The sugars interact with your nervous system and can cause pain. They can interact with your kidneys, increasing your risk of forming a disease. High sugar levels can even be a contributing factor to the development of urinary tract infections or thrush if left unchecked.
If you have been diagnosed with Type II diabetes, it can be a struggle to ensure your blood sugar levels stay in your targeted range. Your levels could be higher than they should be, but not high enough to take the medication you have to lower your blood sugar. That leaves you in an uncomfortable position, doesnt it?
Thankfully there are a number of natural herbs and vitamins that can help to lower your blood sugar by as many as 40 points. If you are a diabetic, youll want to discuss these options with your doctor so that you can be properly monitored. After all, having blood sugar that is too low can be problematic as well. When diagnosed as a diabetic, you show your blood sugar levels as a little outside of normal. However, you can lower your blood sugar in as little as 1 hour.
Choose Foods With Low Glycemic Index
The glycemic index ranks and measures multiple foods by how much blood sugar they rise in the body. Your fasting blood sugar levels are significantly reduced if you opt for foods with a low glycemic index. It is also helpful for people who are searching for how to lower blood sugar fast without medication.
- Green leafy vegetables
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Food Fitness And Prevention Of Diabetes
Bottom Line: There is much we can do with a healthy lifestyle alone, no medications needed, to prevent diabetes, states Dr. James Barnard, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at UCLA and author of more than 200 studies on the relationship between lifestyle habits and chronic diseases like diabetes.
In fact, a healthy lifestyle has proven more effective than medication in staving off diabetes.
Lifestyle changes, like those taught at the Pritikin Center, are nearly twice as effective as medication in preventing pre-diabetes from turning into diabetes.
In a landmark study, the NIH-sponsored Diabetes Prevention Program2, scientists followed 3,234 men and women with pre-diabetes for three years.
One-third of them adopted lifestyle changes that were similar to the Pritikin Program: a daily eating plan of low-calorie-dense, high-fiber foods exercising for at least 30 minutes five days a week and a 7% weight loss.
Another third of these pre-diabetics took a drug metformin .
The remaining third, the control group, took a placebo.
The results? Those on the lifestyle-change plan reduced the progression to full-blown type 2 diabetes by 58% compared to the control group. The reduction was even greater 71% among those aged 60 years or older.
Treatment with the drug metformin reduced the progression to type 2 diabetes by just 31%.
Put simply, lifestyle changes were nearly twice as effective as medication in preventing pre-diabetes from turning into diabetes.