High blood sugar, also known as hyperglycemia, affects many people, especially those living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. When blood sugar levels rise, it can lead to feeling overly thirsty, frequent urination, exhaustion, blurry vision, and even unexpected weight loss.

In the US, approximately 1 in 10 people live with diabetes, making hyperglycemia a common concern. Studies have shown that between 38% and 40% of hospitalized patients experience high blood sugar, highlighting its prevalence and the need for effective management strategies.

Fortunately, there are natural ways to manage and lower blood sugar levels. In fact, making lifestyle changes can help prevent 9 out of 10 cases of type 2 diabetes in the US. In this article, we will discuss 10 practical steps to keep your blood sugar levels in check. These methods are straightforward and accessible, aiming to improve your health without relying heavily on medications.

So, let’s get started!

Key Takeaways

  • Including soluble fiber-rich foods like legumes, oats, barley, and fruits can help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 15% to 19%.
  • Regular aerobic and resistance training exercises can significantly improve insulin sensitivity, reducing blood sugar levels by 50%.
  • Intermittent fasting can be a safe and tolerable dietary intervention, helping to improve key outcomes related to blood sugar management in people with type 2 diabetes.
  • Choosing whole grains over refined grains can be helpful in lowering high blood sugar levels due to their rich fiber, vitamin, and mineral content.
  • Processed foods and sugar-sweetened beverages can rapidly increase blood sugar levels, leading to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
  • Water can help flush excess sugar from the bloodstream, leading to better hydration and lower blood sugar levels.

1. Prioritize High-Fiber Foods in Your Diet

foods rich in fiber

Prioritizing high-fiber foods in your diet can significantly help lower high blood sugar, primarily through the effects of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber slows down the absorption of sugar in your bloodstream, which helps regulate blood sugar levels. For example, studies have found that people consuming high amounts of dietary fiber, particularly from cereal fibers, can reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 15% to 19%. Soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance in the gut, which not only aids in controlling blood sugar spikes but also contributes to feeling full, which can prevent overeating. Natural sources of soluble fiber include:

  • Legumes (like beans and lentils)
  • Oats
  • Barley
  • Fruits (apples, oranges, and pears)

Incorporating these foods into your daily diet can positively impact managing blood sugar levels, enhancing overall health, and potentially reducing the incidence of diabetes.

2. Engage in Regular Physical Activity

Woman doing aerobic activity

Engaging in regular physical activity is a powerful way to control high blood sugar levels, which is essential for managing diabetes. Studies have shown that aerobic exercises, such as walking or cycling, can significantly improve insulin sensitivity. This means the body can use insulin more efficiently to lower blood sugar levels.

Aerobic activity, for example, can increase insulin sensitivity by about 50%, effectively reducing blood sugar levels. Resistance training, such as lifting weights, is crucial in managing diabetes by building muscle mass, which burns more glucose and helps lower blood sugar levels over time.

Incorporating physical activity into daily life can be simple. Start with small steps like taking a 10-minute walk after meals, which has been shown to help manage blood sugar levels effectively. Gradually increase the duration and intensity of these activities as you become more comfortable. Remember, consistency is key—aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week, along with two to three resistance training sessions.

3. Incorporate Intermittent Fasting

intermittent fasting concept

Intermittent fasting (IF) is a dietary approach where individuals alternate between periods of eating and fasting, typically limiting food intake to a short window of 4-8 hours each day. This practice has gained popularity for its simplicity and potential health benefits, including weight loss and improved metabolic health. Research has shown promising results for managing high blood sugar, particularly in people with type 2 diabetes.

In this small-scale study, participants who practiced IF for two weeks experienced significant decreases in weight (about 1.4 kg on average), body mass index (BMI), and fasting blood sugar levels. Specifically, the study found that morning fasting blood glucose levels improved, with an increase in the percentage of participants achieving blood glucose targets from 13.8% at baseline to 34.1% during the IF phase. These findings suggest that IF could be a safe, tolerable dietary intervention that may help improve key outcomes related to blood sugar management in people with type 2 diabetes.

4. Opt for Whole Grains

different whole grain foods

Choosing whole grains over refined grains can be very helpful in lowering high blood sugar levels. Whole grains consist of three main parts: the bran, germ, and endosperm, which make them rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. This composition slows down glucose absorption into the bloodstream and helps maintain stable blood sugar levels. Research indicates that consuming at least 40 grams of whole grains daily can decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 40%.

On the other hand, refined grains have lost their bran and germ, resulting in a loss of fiber and other nutrients. This can cause quicker absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, leading to spikes in blood sugar levels. Examples of whole-grain foods are:

  • Whole grain bread
  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa
  • Barley
  • Buckwheat
  • Millet
  • Oats
  • Popcorn
  • Sorghum
  • Wild rice

These foods can be easily incorporated into meals to help control blood sugar levels and decrease the risk of chronic diseases associated with high blood sugar levels.

5. Stay Hydrated/h2>
woman drinking bottled water

Staying hydrated is like giving your body a helping hand in managing blood sugar levels. Drinking enough water helps your kidneys filter out extra glucose (sugar) in your blood through urine. This is a natural way your body keeps blood sugar levels in check. Experts on the diaTribe explain that while drinking water directly lowers blood sugar slightly, it’s more about supporting your kidneys to do their job efficiently.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all number for how much water you should drink, but a good guideline is about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) for men and 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) for women daily. This amount includes all fluids and water-rich foods you consume. Adequate hydration can help manage blood sugar and improve overall health by aiding in circulation, digestion, and even keeping your skin healthy.

6. Limit Added Sugars and Refined Carbohydrates

letters saying no added sugar

Limiting added sugars and refined carbohydrates is crucial for managing high blood sugar because these foods can cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels. Foods high in added sugars and refined carbs are quickly broken down into glucose, entering the bloodstream and raising blood sugar levels more abruptly than foods containing more complex carbohydrates and fiber.

For instance, studies have shown that diets with more than 20% of calories from simple sugars can lead to elevated fasting triglycerides, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, which is closely related to diabetes management. To avoid blood sugar spikes, replacing foods high in added sugars and refined carbs with healthier options is important.

Alternatives to sweet cravings include fruits like berries, which are lower in sugar and high in fiber, and nuts, which offer healthy fats and protein without added sugars. These alternatives help satisfy sweet cravings while providing nutrients contributing to a slower, more stable blood sugar rise, ultimately aiding in better blood sugar control.

7. Eat a Balanced Breakfast with Protein

full protein breakfast

Eating a balanced breakfast with high protein is key to controlling blood sugar levels throughout the day. A study involving 12 healthy adults compared the effects of high protein versus normal breakfasts on blood sugar levels. Results showed that a high protein breakfast significantly lowered the rise in blood sugar after the meal by more than usual, demonstrating a strong control over blood sugar spikes not just after breakfast but also after lunch and dinner.

This effect was observed to a lesser extent when lunch was skipped, highlighting the importance of the breakfast content and regular meal patterns. Protein-rich breakfast options can include items like:

  • Eggs
  • Greek yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Protein smoothies

These breakfast foods offer a nutritious start stabilizing blood sugar and providing sustained energy. This approach can manage and prevent lifestyle-related diseases linked to high blood sugar.

8. Eat More Avocado

woman eating avocado

A study suggests that consuming more avocados can help reduce high blood sugar levels. The study, which involved over 6,000 participants, found that people who regularly ate avocados were less likely to develop type 2 diabetes over six years than those who did not. Specifically, the study found that avocado eaters had a reduced risk of developing diabetes by about 25% to 31%, which was especially noticeable in individuals with prediabetes.

The researchers believe that the monounsaturated fats in avocados and other nutrients like potassium, magnesium, and polyunsaturated fats might improve insulin sensitivity and glucose control. This means that adding avocados to your meals could be a beneficial way to manage blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, particularly for those at risk.

Recommendation:

Blood glucose monitoring devices are essential for individuals with diabetes. Buy Canadian Insulin provides various brands like Accu-Chek, Contour Next, and FreeStyle to offer accurate and convenient monitoring. These devices aid in the management of high blood sugar levels by enabling quick and easy monitoring of glucose levels at home, allowing immediate adjustments in medication, diet, or activity as required.

9. Consume More Vitamin D

Fish on ice

Consuming more Vitamin D can be particularly beneficial in managing and potentially lowering high blood sugar levels, an important consideration for those at risk of or managing diabetes. According to a study, individuals who took vitamin D supplements every week for 10 weeks showed noticeable improvement in their body’s insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a condition where your body doesn’t respond well to insulin, leading to higher blood sugar levels.

Specifically, the study showed that the fasting blood sugar (FBS) levels decreased by an average of 12 mg/dl in the group taking vitamin D. In comparison, the control group that didn’t take the supplement had a decrease of only 3 mg/dl. This indicates that vitamin D supplementation can help manage blood sugar levels, making it a potential aid for people looking to lower their blood sugar. To ensure adequate Vitamin D intake, consider these foods:\

  • Fortified milk and cereals
  • Egg yolks
  • Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines

These sources are crucial because Vitamin D is not naturally abundant in a wide variety of foods, and getting enough from sunlight alone can be challenging for many individuals.

10. Consume More Fermented Foods

kimchi in a bowl

Consuming more fermented foods can help lower high blood sugar through various mechanisms, primarily by enhancing insulin sensitivity and reducing insulin resistance. These foods are often rich in probiotics, which positively affect gut health and inflammation, factors closely linked to diabetes control.

For example, a study showed that fermented foods like kimchi significantly reduced insulin resistance and blood pressure in prediabetic volunteers. Another example includes fermented milk products like kefir, which, when consumed daily, showed a significant decrease in Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels—a marker for long-term blood glucose control—in type 2 diabetic patients.

These changes are attributed to bioactive compounds produced during fermentation, such as antioxidants and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which improve the body’s ability to manage glucose levels. Essentially, incorporating fermented foods into the diet can contribute to better blood sugar management, supported by clinical evidence suggesting improvements in key diabetes markers.

Recommendation:

Diabetes is a chronic medical condition that affects the body’s ability to regulate blood glucose levels. It impairs the body’s ability to transport glucose from the bloodstream into cells to use as energy. To manage this condition effectively, it is important for individuals to avoid certain foods that could exacerbate the problem. Buy Canadian Insulin has compiled a list of the top 10 foods that diabetics should avoid to help them manage their condition better.

Wrap-Up

Managing high blood sugar levels can be achieved through various natural methods, including incorporating high-fiber foods, engaging in regular physical activity, intermittent fasting, and opting for whole grains. These lifestyle changes can be simple and accessible, helping to improve overall health and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. By adjusting daily routines and habits, individuals can take control of their blood sugar levels and lead healthier lives. Remember, it’s always important to consult with a healthcare provider before significantly changing your diet or exercise routine.

FAQs About Ways to Lower Blood Sugar

What foods remove sugar from blood?

Leafy greens such as romaine, kale, and spinach, as well as non-starchy vegetables like peppers, tomatoes, and onions, are high in fiber, low in calories, and packed with nutrients. Additionally, nuts, nut butter, and seeds are beneficial in managing blood sugar levels. Berries are also a good option, as they are low in sugar and antioxidants.

How can you quickly reduce your blood sugar?

If you need to quickly lower your blood sugar levels, you can take fast-acting insulin. Additionally, exercising and being active can also help lower your blood sugar levels. However, if the situation appears to be serious, it would be best to consult a doctor. High blood sugar is a condition that you should not overlook or ignore.

What’s the best drink for lowering blood sugar?

There’s no magic drink to lower blood sugar, but it’s smart to stick to drinks that aren’t sugar-packed. Some studies say green tea, milk, and kefir can help manage blood sugar over time.

What should you drink before bedtime to help with blood sugar?

Chamomile tea is a cozy bedtime option for anyone, especially if you’re watching your blood sugar. It’s packed with good-for-you stuff to help keep your sugar levels steady while you sleep.

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