High blood sugar occurs when your body can’t effectively transport sugar from the blood into cells. When left unchecked, this can lead to diabetes. With these tips, you can lower your blood sugar level naturally:
1. Exercise Regularly
Regular exercise can help you lose weight and increase insulin sensitivity. Increased insulin sensitivity means your cells are better able to use the available sugar in your bloodstream. Exercise also helps your muscles use blood sugar for energy and muscle contraction. If you have problems with blood sugar control, you should routinely check your levels. This will help you learn how you respond to different activities and keep your blood sugar levels from getting either too high or too low. Good forms of exercise include weight lifting, brisk walking, running, biking, dancing, hiking, swimming and more.
Exercise increases insulin sensitivity and helps your muscles pick up sugars from the blood. This can lead to reduced blood sugar levels.
2. Control Your Carb Intake
Your body breaks carbs down into sugars (mostly glucose), and then insulin moves the sugars into cells. When you eat too many carbs or have problems with insulin function, this process fails and blood glucose levels rise.
Many studies show that a low-carb diet helps reduce blood sugar levels and prevent blood sugar spikes. What’s more, a low-carb diet can help control blood sugar levels in the long run. You can read more in this article on healthy low-carb eating with diabetes.
Carbs are broken down into glucose, which raises blood sugar levels. Reducing carbohydrate intake can help with blood sugar control.
3. Increase Your Fiber Intake
Fiber slows carb digestion and sugar absorption. For these reasons, it promotes a more gradual rise in blood sugar levels. Furthermore, the type of fiber you eat may play a role.
There are two kinds of fiber: insoluble and soluble. While both are important, soluble fiber specifically has been shown to lower blood sugar levels. Additionally, a high-fiber diet can help manage type 1 diabetes by improving blood sugar control and reducing blood sugar lows. Foods that are high in fiber include vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains. The recommended daily intake of fiber is about 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. That’s about 14 grams for every 1,000 calories.
Eating plenty of fiber can help with blood sugar control, and soluble dietary fiber is the most effective.
4. Drink Water and Stay Hydrated
Drinking enough water may help you keep your blood sugar levels within healthy limits. In addition to preventing dehydration, it helps your kidneys flush out the excess blood sugar through urine.
One observational study showed that those who drank more water had a lower risk of developing high blood sugar levels. Drinking water regularly re-hydrates the blood, lowers blood sugar levels and reduces diabetes risk. Keep in mind that water and other non-caloric beverages are best. Sugar-sweetened drinks raise blood glucose, drive weight gain and increase diabetes risk.
Staying hydrated can reduce blood sugar levels and help prevent diabetes. Water is the best.
5. Implement Portion Control
Portion control helps regulate calorie intake and can lead to weight loss. Consequently, controlling your weight promotes healthy blood sugar levels and has been shown to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Monitoring your serving sizes also helps reduce calorie intake and subsequent blood sugar spikes.
Here are some helpful tips for controlling portions:
- Measure and weigh portions
- Use smaller plates
- Avoid all-you-can-eat restaurants
- Read food labels and check the serving sizes
- Keep a food journal
- Eat slowly
The more control you have over your serving sizes the better control you will have over your blood sugar levels.
6. Control Stress Levels
Stress can affect your blood sugar levels. Hormones such as glucagon and cortisol are secreted during stress. These hormones cause blood sugar levels to go up. One study showed that exercise, relaxation, and meditation significantly reduced stress and lowered blood sugar levels for students. Exercises and relaxation methods like yoga and mindfulness-based stress reduction can also correct insulin secretion problems in chronic diabetes.
Controlling stress levels through exercise or relaxation methods such as yoga will help you control blood sugars.