Manage Your Carb Intake
Your carb intake strongly influences your blood sugar levels .
Your body breaks carbs down into sugars, mainly glucose. Then, insulin helps your body use and store it for energy.
When you eat too many carbs or have insulin-function problems, this process fails, and blood glucose levels can rise.
Thats why the American Diabetes Association recommends that people with diabetes manage their carb intake by counting carbs and being aware of how many they need .
Some studies find that this can help you plan your meals appropriately, further improving blood sugar management (
Foods that are high in fiber include:
- whole grains
The recommended daily intake of fiber is about 25 grams for women and 35 grams for men. Thats about 14 grams for every 1,000 calories .
Eating plenty of fiber can aid blood sugar management. Soluble dietary fiber appears to be more effective than insoluble fiber for this purpose.
Easy Ways To Lower Blood Sugar Levels Naturally
High blood sugar, also known as hyperglycemia, is associated with diabetes and prediabetes. Prediabetes is when your blood sugar is high, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes.
Your body usually manages your blood sugar levels by producing insulin, a hormone that allows your cells to use the circulating sugar in your blood. As such, insulin is the most important regulator of blood sugar levels .
However, multiple factors can impair blood sugar management and lead to hyperglycemia.
Internal causes for high blood sugar include when your liver produces too much glucose, your body makes too little insulin, or your body cant effectively use insulin. The latter is known as insulin resistance (
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 13% of U.S. adults live with diabetes and that another 34.5% have prediabetes. This means that close to 50% of all U.S. adults have diabetes or prediabetes .
Blood sugar management is especially important for people with diabetes, as chronically high blood sugar levels can lead to limb and life threatening complications (
Increased insulin sensitivity means your cells can more effectively use the available sugar in your bloodstream.
Exercise also helps your muscles use blood sugar for energy and muscle contraction .
Whats more, researchers recommend doing so-called exercise snacks to lower blood sugar and prevent the damage that sitting all day can do .
Get More Quality Shuteye
Poor or limited sleep affects body chemistry, and getting more slumber helps with blood sugar control, Weisenberger says. Chronic lack of sleep may contribute to the risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a small study published in Diabetologia in February 2015. Healthy volunteers who slept only four hours for three nights in a row had higher levels of fatty acids in their blood, which reduced insulins ability to regulate blood sugar by about 23 percent, the researchers found. Lack of sleep is also linked with other health conditions, including obesity, heart disease, and stroke, according to the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends aiming for seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep per night.
Having sleep troubles? Follow these recommendations from the National Sleep Foundation:
- Sleep in a cool, dark room.
- Avoid consuming alcohol or caffeine in the hours before bed.
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on the weekends.
- Dont look at screens for at least a half hour before bedtime, including TV, tablets, cell phones, and computers.
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How To Lower Blood Sugar Naturally
Blood sugar, also known as glucose, is the main sugar in your blood and your bodys main source of energy. Blood sugars vary all day. A normal fasting blood sugar is less than 100 mg/dl. Blood sugars anytime of day regardless of when or what the last meal was should always be under 200 mg/dl. Blood sugars exceeding these two levels could signal prediabetes or Type 1 diabetes or Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a condition where the body cannot produce enough insulin or use insulin properly to correct blood sugars to safe levels.
Natural Ways To Lower Blood Sugar
Whether you have symptoms of high blood sugar or youve been diagnosed with diabetes, you may be wondering how to lower blood sugar naturally. While blood sugar may be improved with home remedies, people with diabetes should not stop taking their medication or change their dosage without talking to their healthcare provider. But in addition to medication, you can try these natural remedies for lowering your blood sugar. Also consider the opposite, if you do not follow these healthful ways to lower blood sugar, the medication that your physician prescribes may never effectively control your blood sugars.
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Offset Carbs With Fat And Protein
When carbs are consumed as part of a meal that includes protein and fat, they affect blood sugar more slowly. For this reason, planning ahead for healthy, balanced meals is fundamental to good diabetes management, says Jenny Champion, RD, a diabetes educator, personal trainer, and editor of Posh Paleo Magazine.
To make sure your meals are well-balanced, the ADA suggests this method of filling your plate:
- Half your plate: non-starchy vegetables, such as spinach, carrots, tomatoes, or greens
- A quarter of your plate: grains and starchy foods, such as whole grain noodles, rice, or potatoes
- A quarter of your plate: lean protein, such as beef, fish, chicken, or tofu
- Add an 8-ounce glass of low-fat milk and a piece of fruit or half a cup of fruit salad on the side.
Remember that even if you eat the right foods, eating too much can cause your blood sugar to rise. Keeping track of what youre eating and how much youre eating and then how it affects blood sugar is the best way to stay on top of your diabetes, Champion says.
Is Dried Fruit Nutritious
Who doesnt love a cup of trail mix, filled with chocolate, nuts, and dried fruit? Despite its energizing qualities, dried fruit is rich in fructose and has lost many of its beneficial nutrients in the drying process. Plus, most dried fruits, like cranberries, have added sugar. If you manage to find dried fruits that dont contain added sugar, they can still drastically spike your blood sugar. When theyre dehydrated, they contain just as much sugar as the whole fruit, but in fewer bites. For example, while a whole apricot has 3-5 grams of sugar, only two tablespoons of dried apricots has the same amount. When possible, pair a small handful of dried fruit with a source of fat or protein .
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Start With These Tips To Lower Blood Sugar Levels
To help you get started on filling your plate with more blood sugar friendly foods that will help lower your blood sugar, start by removing refined sugar, refined grains, and most processed foods from your diet. Processed foods all contain chemicals and refined ingredients that our bodies dont recognize as real nutrients, so our cells never really get what they need and we feel hungry all the time as a result. This also leads to blood sugar swings and spikes that cause insulin to work less efficiently.
What helps insulin work best so that blood sugar stays in a stable place are foods that pack dense amounts of nutrition and contain amino acids , fiber , and healthy fats from real food.
Lets check out some foods that can help lower blood sugar levels by offering us these nutritional benefits, shall we?
Foods That Lower Blood Sugar Instantly Diabetic Health Guide
When your body doesnt produce enough insulin or it cannot use insulin correctly it leads to the accumulation of glucose in the blood. Eat foods that lower blood sugar instantly. High blood sugar levels can be controlled with regular exercise, lifestyle modifications, and proper diet. How to lower blood sugar? What to eat when you have diabetes?
The answers to these questions lie right here. The glycemic index measures the effects of specific foods on blood sugar levels. People looking for diabetic control should add foods that have low GI scores in their diet.
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Foods Minerals & Spices That May Help Control Blood Sugar
When it comes to managing blood sugar, the types of foods and drinks you consume plus what you sprinkle on top to add zest and a pop of color can help to stabilize your glucose.
Higher doses of spices are available in pill form. Check with your doctor before taking any supplements, and for advice on specific dosage recommendations.
Here are some foods, spices, and minerals that may help you control blood sugar:
Avoid Eating Large Meals
One way to keep carbs under control is by eating in moderation. I always tell my patients to spread their food out over the day, Weisenberger says. Dont eat small meals to save up for a big dinner. Feeding your body throughout the day helps regulate your blood sugar levels and prevents highs and lows, Crandall Snyder says.
Both Weisenberger and Crandall Snyder say to keep an eye on carbs, even while snacking. Classically, less than 15 g of carbs per snack is a good standard approach, Crandall Snyder says. Thats about whats found in 1 cup of fruit, she says.
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Beware Of The Label Sugar
Grocery shopping can be confusing, since at first glance, many foods may seem healthier than they are. Smart food choices can be hard to make. Watch out for sugar-free alternatives, which are better than the real-sugar versions, but hardly healthy.
In addition, says Champion, just because a food is labeled sugar free, reduced sugar, or no sugar added doesnt mean its carbohydrate free, too. This means the food can still cause your blood sugar to rise. Your best bet is to look at the Nutrition Facts panel and ingredient label on the back of the package, she says. Dont rely on advertising claims on the front of the package.
The ADA suggests that rather than just looking at the sugar content, always check the total amount of carbohydrates in a product which includes the amounts of starch, fiber, sugar, and sugar alcohols. This total will give you a more accurate idea of how a food may actually affect your blood sugar levels.
Why Is Blood Sugar Regulation Important
When the blood sugar levels in the body are continually unstable, there is a risk of illnesses, like heart disease and diabetes. Unstable levels of glucose can mean the cells are not being fueled properly on one extreme, and on the other, the bloodstream is overloaded with glucose.
Normal blood sugar: Although blood sugar levels vary between individuals, people without diabetes should have levels around 70 to 80 mg/dl . This reading is typically seen in the daytime, and before you sit down to eat.
High blood sugar: Did you know that a lot of people in the U.S. are considered prediabetic? This means that their blood sugars are continually on the higher end of the scale. Also called hyperglycemia, this can mean an increased chance of a damaged pancreas, stroke, and risk of atherosclerosis.
What can too much sugar in the body do?
- Slow wound healing
- And at worst, loss of consciousness
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Make An Effort To Get Better Sleep
Ever wondered why the blueberry crumb muffins in the coffee shop look even more irresistible when youâre shuffling on three hours of sleep? Poor sleep can affect glucose levels21, insulin sensitivity22, and the hormones that control appetite.
When you donât get enough shut-eye, your cravings and desire to eat now can go into overdrive. Thatâs because leptin reduces and ghrelin increases23, signaling to your brain that you have to eat that blueberry crumb muffinâ¦ maybe even two of them before you feel satisfied.
You might find it easier to choose the sous-vide egg bites over the tender, berry-studded cake-with-no-icing when youâre well-rested. Even partial sleep loss may increase the risk of weight gain and obesity24, one sugary muffin at a time.
How To Lower Your Blood Sugar Naturally
Nearly 10% of the U.S. population has diabetes, and globally rates are expected to double by 2030. Significant evidence shows you can lower your blood sugar quickly, and even reverse diabetes by adopting a healthy lifestyle:
- In the United Kingdom, researchers successfully lowered blood sugar and reverse diabetes by implementing a combination of a lifestyle change and weight loss.
- In urban locations in Africa, scientists have found educational programs help prediabetic adults alter their lifestyle to effectively lower blood sugar levels.
- The most extensive study was completed in the United States and was called the Diabetes Prevention Program Randomized Trail. The study observed 3,234 men and women with pre-diabetes over a three-year period. The researchers found a healthy lifestyle was more effective than medication in preventing the onset of type 2 diabetes. One third of the adults took a placebo, another took metformin , while the final third of the adults adopted lifestyle changes that were similar to the Pritikin Program . Adults who adopted a lifestyle change were twice as likely to reduce the progression of their pre-diabetes into type 2 diabetes than the control group.
Adopting a healthy lifestyle, such as the Pritikin lifestyle, is twice as effective as medication in preventing the onset of type 2 diabetes.
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What Should I Eat If My Blood Sugar Is High
If your blood sugar is high, youll want to eat foods like whole grains, eggs, greens, melons and berries, protein, and vegetables. Ill give you a detailed list below so you will be filled in on what the best foods to lower your blood sugar are. Then, stock up on those foods at home to make wholesome meals that will keep your blood glucose levels where they should be.
What Does Eating Right Mean For You
If you have type 1 diabetes, carb counting is really important to keep your blood glucose levels steady. This is where you estimate how many carbs are in your meal and match it with how much insulin you need to take.
If you have type 2 and youre overweight, finding a way to lose weight is important as it really improves diabetes management. This is because it can help to lower your blood glucose and reduce your risk of other complications. There are different ways of doing this like the low-carb, Mediterranean or very low-calorie diets. Losing weight can help you lower your blood glucose levels, and we now know that substantial weight loss can even put some people’s type 2 diabetes into remission.
Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you might need to lose, gain or maintain your current weight but its important to make healthier food choices while youre doing this.
Portion sizes are important to think about whether you have type 1 or type 2. It makes calculating nutritional facts when youre carb counting or managing your weight a lot easier. Remember, portion sizes are different for everyone, so whats right for someone else might not be right for you.
If you feel overwhelmed about your feelings about food and diabetes, we have plenty of information to help you.
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Only You Can Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes
Its annoying but true: The best way to lower your blood sugar is to avoid a spike in the first place.
Eating whole foods that are low in sugar and exercising regularly will help keep your blood sugar in check. This can be beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes, but medications may also be necessary to keep blood sugar in a healthy range.
To avoid food-based spikes, try to steer clear of added sugars in your diet. The FDA recommends consuming less than 200 calories a day from added sugars.
That sounds pretty simple, but when you realize that 16 ounces of orange juice has 240 calories , its easy to see how sugar consumption gets out of hand.
Its best to avoid all sugary drinks and check the labels. There are hidden sugars in everything from bread to turkey slices, so double-check your favorite foods to make sure you arent getting any unnecessary sweetness.
So You Feel Like Turning Japanese
Like the 80s English band, The Vapors, you might feel like turning Japanese, but of course you cant. You might not be able to move to Japan or even buy sushi where you live. But you could have your own amazing miniature Japanese doll house! This one is sold as a kit from Billy, a Japanese dollhouse company.
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Don’t Exercise Before Breakfast
Exercise is an important part of blood sugar management, and when done regularly it can help improve insulin sensitivity and lower your A1C levels. How exercise affects your blood sugar depends on how long youre active, and varies from person to person. But generally exercise will lower your blood sugar and make your body more sensitive to insulin for up to 24 hours after a workout, according to the ADA.
If you tend to work out in the morning, its important to test your blood sugar levels before and after your workout to see how your body responds. If your blood sugar tends to quickly drop off after a workout, its smart to have breakfast before you head to the gym to keep you fueled and your blood sugar steady.