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.
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.
Reduce And Manage Stress
Stress increases your levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can lead to imbalances in your blood sugar and in many other hormones. Experiencing some stress from time to time is normal, but chronic stress can have serious consequences on your health and raise your blood sugar levels.
Proven ways to decrease stress are regular exercise, stretching, meditation, yoga practice, deep breathing, mindfulness practices, listening to music, family time, making time for self-care, and hobbies. Just 10 to 30 minutes a day of consistent practice of one or more of the above can make a huge difference in well-being, Dr. Raja advises.
Following a regular sleep routine, avoiding excessive screen time, and adjusting your work schedule to make time self-care is also important. I am a big proponent of taking time for self-care, family, and hobbies. These activities bring you joy and result in better health.
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Monitor Your Carbohydrate Intake
What and how you eat is a very important factor in keeping your blood sugar levels in the healthy range. Choosing foods that stabilize your blood sugar and keep high blood sugar spikes to a minimum will help you stave off a diabetes diagnosis or help control existing diabetes. Some diets oversimplify a comprehensive food intake, and simply tell you to limit carbs or focus on low-carb foods. Its more complicated than that.
However, tracking your intake of foods that contribute to high blood sugar levelssuch as baked goods, processed foods, fried foods, and sweeteners can be a good place to start modifying your diet to balance your blood sugar.
Foods That Can Lower Your Blood Sugar Naturally
It’s no exaggerationbalancing your blood sugar could be a matter of life or death. Chronic high blood sugar levels are toxic to your body, destroying organs and blood vessels and paving the way to a heart attack, type 2 diabetes, stroke, dialysis, nerve damage, erectile dysfunction, or even blindness. The good news? Out-of-control sugar levels can be reined in and regulated with the right foods.
We turned to The Carb Sensitivity Program, leading naturopathic doctor Natasha Turner’s breakthrough book, to find the most potent blood sugarlowering foods so you know how to lower your levels naturally.
BlueberriesBlood sugar benefit: A groundbreaking study published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2010 found a daily dose of the bioactive ingredients from blueberries increases sensitivity to insulin and may reduce the risk of developing diabetes in at-risk individuals. That’s important because eating too many carbs produces too much insulin, which could lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
Chia SeedsBlood sugar benefit: This ancient gluten-free grain stabilizes blood sugar, manages the effects of diabetes, improves insulin sensitivity, and aids symptoms related to metabolic syndrome, including imbalances in cholesterol, higher blood pressure, and extreme rises in blood sugar levels after meals. Tiny chia seeds are also potent anti-inflammatory agents and contain fiber, magnesium, potassium, folic acid, iron, and calcium.
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What Doesnt Work For Lowering Your Blood Sugar
Dont believe the hype! Although evidence shows that type 2 diabetes can be reversed, there is no cure for diabetesand there is no single dietary supplement, over-the-counter medication, far-flung diet, alternative remedy, or homeopathic medicine that can reverse it.
However, some supplements and therapies may be beneficial as complementary treatments to help maximize your health, but since these may interfere with medications youre taking or produce negative side effects, its important to run them by your doctor before you take them.
Things That Cause High Blood Sugar
High blood sugar can be caused by a variety of factors. The most common factors that contribute to high blood sugar include:
- Overeating/eating large portion sizes
- Using old, expired insulin
- Injecting insulin incorrectly
Most patients with high blood pressure dont have a known cause. This is called essential hypertension or primary hypertension, Dr. Raja adds.
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Monitor Your Blood Sugar Levels
What gets measured gets managed.
Measuring and monitoring blood glucose levels can also help you control them.
For example, keeping track helps you determine whether you need to make adjustments in meals or medications.
It will also help you find out how your body reacts to certain foods.
Try measuring your levels every day, and keeping track of the numbers in a log.
Bottom Line: Checking your sugars and maintaining a log every day will help you adjust foods and medications to decrease your sugar levels.
Choose Foods With A Low Glycemic Index
The Glycemic index of food means how much your blood sugar level rises after eating a particular food. It depends on the type of food and quantity of readily absorbable refined carbohydrates in it .
Eating foods with low glycemic indices is very beneficial to reduce long-term blood sugar levels in type 1 and type 2 diabetics.
Foods with a lower glycemic index include seafood, meat, eggs, beans, oats, barley, legumes lentils, sweet potatoes, yams, yams, most fruits, and non-starchy vegetables.
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Manage Your Stress Better
Stress, whether physical, mental or emotional, has been proven to contribute towards changes in blood sugar levels. Dont let work stress follow you home. Similarly, dont let a stressful relationship worsen your diabetes symptoms. One of the best ways to manage stress is to practice yoga and meditation regularly.
May Reduce Heart Disease Risk Factors
Heart disease is responsible for approximately one in three deaths worldwide ” rel=”nofollow”> 10 ).
Diet plays a key role in heart health. Certain foods can influence your body weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, and other risk factors for heart disease.
Oat bran may help reduce certain risk factors, such as high cholesterol and blood pressure.
For starters, its a great source of beta-glucan, a type of soluble fiber that dissolves in water to form a viscous, gel-like substance in your digestive tract .
Beta-glucans may reduce the amount of cholesterol in your blood because they help remove cholesterol-rich bile a substance that aids fat digestion .
In a review of 28 studies, consuming 3 grams or more of oatbeta-glucan reduced LDL and total cholesterol by 0.25 mmol/L and 0.3 mmol/L, respectively .
Other studies note that beta-glucans can significantly reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure the top and bottom numbers in a reading, respectively. This is true for both healthy adults and those with pre-existing high blood pressure .
Oat bran also contains avenanthramides, a group of antioxidants unique to oats. One study found that avenanthramides work together with vitamin C to prevent LDL oxidation .
Oxidized LDL cholesterol is harmful because its linked to a higher risk of heart disease .
Summary Oat bran is high in beta-glucans, a type of soluble fiber that may help reduce cholesterol and blood pressure two key risk factors for heart disease.
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Tips To Lower Blood Sugar Naturally
Experts agree that individuals living with type 2 diabetes can improve their symptoms with a few simple lifestyle tweaks.
Its the Holy Grail for people with diabetes: Checking your blood sugar and seeing the numbers right in line. Can lifestyle changes help? Yes, says Jill Weisenberger, RDN, a diabetes nutrition expert based in Newport News, Virginia.
If you have diabetes, lowering blood sugar isnt just a short-term goal according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , it helps prevent or delay diabetes complications, including heart, kidney, eye, and nerve diseases. It can change the course of the disease entirely.
It’s 100 percent important that try and lower their blood sugars through dietary approaches first, says Jessica Crandall Snyder, RD, CDCES, with Vital RD in Denver. For some people, it not only can be preventive, but it can also help with reversal of the actual disease.
Crandall Snyder says making a few key lifestyle changes can sometimes eliminate the need for medication. Poking yourself with insulin isn’t fun, she says. Diabetes is a progressive disease, and you really have to figure out how to take control.
Here are 10 ways to do it, no prescriptions required.
Tips For Healthy Eating With Diabetes
There are different types of diabetes, and no two people with diabetes are the same. So there isnt a one-size-fits-all diabetes diet for everyone with diabetes. But weve come up with tips that you can use to help you make healthier food choices.
These healthy eating tips are general and can help you manage your blood glucose , blood pressure and cholesterol levels. They can also help you manage your weight and reduce the risk of diabetes complications, such as heart problems and strokes, and other health conditions including certain types of cancers.
Making healthier food choices is important to manage your diabetes and to reduce your risk of diabetes complications. We know that not everyone agrees on what is the best diet.
This is why weve reviewed all the evidence to put these tips together. Weve focused on specific foods, to make it easier for you to put these tips into practice and to complement whatever diet you decide to follow.
Douglas Twenefour, Specialist Dietitian and Deputy Head of Care
Weve based our tips on research involving people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. If you have a different type of diabetes, like gestational, cystic fibrosis-related diabetes or MODY, some of these tips are relevant to you. Its important, whatever kind of diabetes you have, to see your dietitian for specific advice.
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Dress Your Meals Withextra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra-virgin olive oil can be a powerful addition to meals. Here’s why:
- Helps reduce the effect of eating high-glycemic foods: A 2016 study found that the addition of extra-virgin olive oil to a high-glycemic meal “blunts” the blood glucose response after the meal for people with Type 1 diabetes, helping to stabilize blood sugars and prevent fluctuations.
- Reduces the risk of Type 2 diabetes: A 2017 review of studies found that eating olive oil may help manage and prevent Type 2 diabetes.
Olive oil is also rich in healthy fats and antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and risk of heart disease.
Exercise Regularly To Lower Blood Sugar Level Naturally
Exercising regularly for 30 minutes helps in lowering blood sugar level and increases insulin.
Increased insulin means cells are able to use the sugar available in the bloodstream.
Exercise also helps muscle to use energy and for contraction of muscles.
Forms of exercise include weightlifting, yoga , aerobics, dancing, swimming and many more so it is important to to do exercise regularly.
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Eat Foods With A Low Gi
The glycemic index helps rank foods by how they affect blood sugar. Foods with a low GI release sugar slowly into your system, rather than flooding your blood with sugar all at once.
Aim for foods with a GI of 55 or less .
“Having a healthy diet is a proven way of keeping blood sugar within reasonable limits,” Velikova says. “I recommend eating foods that the body absorbs slowly, with a low and medium glycemic index, such as sweet potatoes, oatmeal, and most fruits, including berries and apples.”
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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Eat Foods With A Low To Medium Gi Score
Look for foods with a low to medium glycemic index score. These are foods that your body absorbs slowly and decrease spikes in blood sugar. Some people pair low and high GI foods in order to balance their blood sugar. Another way to think about foods that lower blood glucose are ones that do not provide fast energy but give you more energy over a longer period of time. Foods with a low glycemic index have many health benefits besides their effects on blood sugar, so eating a diet high in protein, fatty acids, and fiber will benefit your whole family, not just those actively trying to achieve glycemic control.
What Are Clinical Trials For Low Blood Glucose
Clinical trialsand other types of clinical studiesare part of medical research and involve people like you. When you volunteer to take part in a clinical study, you help doctors and researchers learn more about disease and improve health care for people in the future.
Researchers are studying many aspects of low blood glucose levels in diabetes, such as
- how to diagnose and treat low blood glucose among people with diabetes
- medicines that can treat symptoms of low blood glucose in people with hypoglycemia unawareness
- educational approaches to reduce fear of low blood glucose, which can make it harder for you to control your diabetes
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# : Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Recent studies have shown thatEPA and DHA may both help diabetics manage blood sugar levels.
These fantastic healthy fats have been shown to reduce insulin resistance and improve cardiovascular health as well . This makes fish oil a great supplement for everyone. Whether you need to monitor your glucose levels closely or not, omega-3 fats are great for overall health and keeping blood sugar levels at a healthy balance.
The 17 Best Foods To Lower Your Blood Sugar
For people with prediabetes, diabetes, or other conditions that affect blood sugar, diet is a major part of maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.
Although factors like body weight, activity, stress, and genetics also play a role in blood sugar maintenance, following a healthy diet is critical for blood sugar control .
While some foods, including items high in added sugar and refined carbs, can contribute to blood sugar fluctuations, others can optimize blood sugar control while promoting overall health (
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Vitamin A Lutein And Zeaxanthin May Protect Your Eyesight
Its quite common for eyesight to diminish with age.
Fortunately, eating the right nutrients can lower your risk of sight loss. Pumpkin is plentiful in nutrients that have been linked to strong eyesight as your body ages.
For instance, its beta-carotene content provides your body with necessary vitamin A. Research shows that vitamin A deficiency is a very common cause of blindness .
In an analysis of 22 studies, scientists discovered that people with higher intakes of beta-carotene had a significantly lower risk of cataracts, a common cause of blindness .
Pumpkin is also one of the best sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, two compounds linked to lower risks of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts .
Additionally, it contains good amounts of vitamins C and E, which function as antioxidants and may prevent free radicals from damaging your eye cells.
Summary Pumpkins high vitamin A, lutein and zeaxanthin contents may protect your eyes against sight loss, which becomes more common with age.
Increase Your Dietary Fiber
Dietary fibers in your food help control your blood sugar levels in several ways. They decrease the speed of digestion and absorption of sugars so that it rises slowly in your blood instead in spikes. Particularly in type 1 diabetes, they are beneficial to control blood sugar .
Dietary fiber is a component of your food composed of complex carbohydrates that are not absorbed. High fiber foods include vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains.
It has two types soluble fiber and insoluble. Studies indicate that soluble fibers are more effective in lowering blood sugar levels . The daily recommended intake of fiber is about 38 grams for men and 25 grams for women. It is about 14 grams for every 1,000 calories .
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