How to Lower Blood Sugar – Review the Latest Research

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Lowering blood sugar is essential for maintaining health, particularly for individuals with diabetes or prediabetes. One effective way to manage blood sugar levels is through regular exercise, which enhances insulin sensitivity and enables more efficient sugar utilization by cells. Incorporating walking, cycling, or swimming into your routine can make a significant difference. Another crucial factor is diet management, especially carbohydrate intake, as the body converts carbs into glucose. Opting for a diet low in refined carbs and sugars and rich in fiber can stabilize blood sugar. Foods high in fiber, such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains, slow down the absorption of sugar, helping to prevent spikes.

Staying hydrated is another simple yet effective method to help manage blood sugar levels. Water aids in the dilution of blood glucose and facilitates its excretion through urine. Additionally, portion control can prevent overeating, crucial in avoiding blood sugar spikes. Implementing these lifestyle changes helps control blood sugar levels and improve overall health and well-being. Always consult with a healthcare provider before making any significant changes to your lifestyle, especially if you have concerns about your blood sugar levels.

Regular exercise and a diet rich in fiber and probiotics help lower glucose levels. High blood sugar levels, which are also referred to as hyperglycemia, can be related to prediabetes and diabetes. Prediabetes occurs when blood sugar levels are excessive but not enough to be considered the disease diabetes. The body typically manages blood sugar levels by releasing insulin, letting cells use the sugar circulating within the blood. This is why insulin is the central control of blood sugar levels.

Many factors can affect blood sugar control and result in hyperglycemia. High blood sugar can be caused by the liver producing excessive glucose, the body producing inadequate insulin, or the body not using insulin efficiently. This is referred to as resistance to insulin. External factors include diet choices and specific medications, a sedentary lifestyle, and stress. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declares that 13 percent of U.S. adults live with diabetes, and 34.5 percent suffer from prediabetes. This means that nearly 50% of U.S. adults have diabetes or prediabetes.

The management of blood sugar is particularly crucial for those suffering from diabetes because excessively high blood sugar levels could lead to limb or life-threatening issues.

Here are 14 simple and proven methods to reduce your glucose levels.

Exercise regularly

Regular exercises can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight and improve insulin sensitivity.

Increasing insulin sensitivity means your cells are more efficient in utilizing the sugar already within your bloodstream.

Exercise can also help your muscles use blood sugar for energy and increase muscle contraction.

If you have issues managing your blood sugar, consider checking your levels before and after exercise. This will allow you to understand how you react to different actions and prevent your blood sugar levels from becoming too low or too high.

In addition, research suggests making “exercise snack foods” to reduce blood sugar levels and avoid the harm that sitting all day can cause.

The term “exercise snacks” means that you break your intervals of sitting every 30 minutes for a couple of minutes during your day. The recommended exercises include light walking or simple resistance exercises such as leg raises and squats.

Other beneficial forms of exercise include weightlifting, brisk walking, cycling, running and hiking, dancing, and swimming. Anything that makes you move, regardless of the degree of intensity, beats the monotony of life.

Additionally, even if you can't commit to long periods of exercise throughout your week, you could get many benefits from shorter workouts. For instance, you can aim for three 10-minute workouts every day for five days, and the goal is to complete 150 minutes each week.

Be aware of your carbohydrate intake.

The carbs you eat can significantly affect the level of blood sugar.

The body breaks down carbs into sugars, most notably glucose. In turn, insulin aids the body in using and storing glucose for energy.

If you consume too many carbs or suffer from problems with insulin function, the process cannot function, and blood sugar levels can increase.

This is why the American Diabetes Association (ADA) suggests that people with diabetes regulate their carbohydrate intake by weighing their carbs and becoming aware of the amount they require.

Certain studies have found that this may help you plan your meals efficiently and improve blood sugar control.

Numerous studies have also shown that a low-carb diet can lower blood sugar levels and help prevent spikes in blood sugar.

It's important to understand that no-carb and low-carb diets aren't identical.

It is still possible to eat carbohydrates while checking your blood sugar levels. But, putting whole grains over refined and refined carbohydrates will provide more nutritional value and help lower blood sugar levels.

Consume more fiber

Fiber can slow the absorption of sugar and carbs and promote a gradual increase in blood sugar levels.

There are two kinds of fibers: insoluble and insoluble.

Both are essential. However, soluble fiber has been demonstrated to help improve blood sugar control, whereas insoluble fiber isn't proven to be able to do this.

A diet rich in fiber could increase your body's ability to regulate blood sugar levels and lower blood sugar levels. This can assist you in managing type 1 diabetes.

Foods that are rich in fiber can include:

  • vegetables
  • fruits
  • legumes
  • Whole grains

The daily recommended fiber intake is around 25 grams for females and 35 grams for males, or about 14 grams per 1,000 calories.

Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water.

Drinking enough fluids can aid in keeping your glucose levels at acceptable levels.

It also prevents dehydration and kidney damage and helps remove the excess sugar in your urine.

One study of observational research found that those who consumed more water had a lower chance of having elevated glucose levels in their blood.

Drinking water regularly can help rehydrate the blood, reduce blood sugar levels, and lower the risk of developing diabetes.

Be aware that water and other low-calorie drinks are the best. Avoid drinks that contain sugar because they could increase blood sugar, trigger weight gain, and increase the risk of developing diabetes.

Implement portion control

Controlling your portions can help you manage your calorie intake and maintain weight.

Therefore, weight control promotes reasonable blood sugar control and lowers the chance of developing type 2 diabetes.

Be aware of the serving size you are eating. This aids in preventing blood sugar spikes.

Here are some valuable suggestions for controlling portions:

  • Please take note of your portions and weigh them
  • use smaller plates
  • Avoid restaurants that offer all-you-can-eat meals
  • look up food labels and confirm the serving dimensions
  • keep a food journal
  • Take your time eating

Pick foods that have a low index of glycemic control.

The Glycemic Index (GI) determines how fast carbohydrates break down in digestion and how quickly your body absorbs them. This determines how fast blood sugar levels increase.

The GI divides food into low, medium, and high GI and places the food items on a range from 0 to 100. Low-GI foods are those rated at 55 % or lower.

The amount and kind of carbohydrates you consume influence how a food item affects glucose levels. Eating foods with low GI meals has proven to lower blood sugar levels for people who have diabetes.

A few examples of food items with moderate to low GI are:

  • bulgur
  • barley
  • Unsweetened Greek yogurt
  • Oats
  • beans
  • lentils
  • legumes
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Non-starchy vegetables

Additionally, consuming proteins or healthy fats can help reduce blood sugar spikes following eating.

Be sure to control your stress levels

Stress can impact your level of blood sugar.

If you're stressed, your body releases hormones known as cortisol and glucagon, which increase blood sugar levels.

One study, which included students from the group, showed that relaxation, exercise, and meditation significantly impact stress levels and lower blood sugar levels.

Relaxation and exercise methods such as mindfulness and yoga that focus on stress management may aid in resolving insulin-secretion issues in people who have chronic diabetes.

Monitor your blood sugar levels.

Monitoring your blood sugar levels can help you to manage these levels better.

It is possible to do this at home using a handheld blood glucose meter. It is also referred to as the glucose meter. You may discuss this possibility with your physician.

Tracking your food intake helps determine if you must alter your diet or take medication. It also allows you to understand how your body reacts to specific food items.

Measure your levels frequently each day and record the data in a journal. Additionally, it might be more beneficial to keep track of your blood sugars in groups, such as when you exercise before and after or before and after 2 hours following the meal.

It will let you know if you must make minor changes to a meal when it raises blood sugar or cut out your favorite foods altogether. Certain adjustments could include swapping out an unhealthy side dish for starchy vegetables or limiting the amount of vegetables you consume to a small portion.

It would help if you got enough quality sleep.

A good night's sleep is great and is vital to maintain good health

Poor sleep habits and lack of rest can impact the levels of blood sugar as well as insulin sensitivity, which can increase the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes. They also can increase appetite and encourage weight gain.

Furthermore, sleep deprivation can increase cortisol levels, a hormone that, as we've explained, plays a crucial part in managing blood sugar.

Sleeping well is about quantity as well as quality. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get at least 8 hours of sleep each night.

To enhance the quantity and quality of your sleep, you can try to:

  • Follow a sleeping schedule
  • Avoid drinking and drinking alcohol at night.
  • get regular exercise
  • Reduce screen time before bed
  • keep your bedroom cool
  • limit your naps
  • Establish a bedtime routine
  • Make use of calming and soothing scents, such as lavender
  • Be sure to avoid doing work in your room
  • Take a bath or shower before getting ready for bed
  • Try guided imagery or guided visualization

Consume foods that are rich in magnesium and chromium

The levels of blood sugar and diabetes are connected to deficiencies in micronutrients. A few examples are deficiencies with the minerals of chromium and magnesium.

Chromium is a critical component in fat and carb metabolism. It could enhance the effect of insulin, which aids control of blood sugar levels.

Chromium-rich foods include:

  • Meats
  • Whole grain products
  • fruit
  • vegetables
  • nuts

The mechanisms that underlie the proposed connection still need to be fully understood, and some studies have provided mixed results. This is why more research is required.

Magnesium is also known to improve glucose levels. In reality, diets high in magnesium have an incredibly lower risk of developing diabetes.

Conversely, low levels of magnesium can increase insulin resistance and decrease tolerance to glucose in those suffering from diabetes.

However, if you already consume plenty of magnesium-rich foods and have sufficient blood levels, you probably will not gain from magnesium supplements.

Magnesium-rich foods include:

  • Dark leafy greens
  • Pumpkin seeds and squash
  • tuna
  • Whole grains
  • Dark chocolate
  • bananas
  • avocados
  • beans

Think about adding specific food items to your diet

Many plants and foods are believed to have medicinal properties.

However, the quality of evidence for these ingredients is poor because of the lack of human studies or small samples. Therefore, no definitive recommendation can be given on their usage.

A few of the foods marketed to provide anti-diabetes benefits are:

  • Apple cider vinegar. According to older studies, this ingredient could lower blood sugar levels by delaying the stomach's emptying after eating.
  • Cinnamon. This spice may boost blood sugar levels by improving insulin sensitivity and slowing the breakdown of carbohydrates in the digestive tract. This helps to reduce the increase in blood sugar levels following food consumption. However, more research is necessary.
  • Berberine. Research suggests that this substance reduces blood sugar levels by increasing enzymes' breakdown of glucose, thus promoting tissue's utilization of sugar and raising insulin production.
  • The seeds of fenugreek. While more research on humans of high quality is required, there is evidence to suggest that fenugreek could aid in blood sugar control.

It's essential to speak with your physician before adding any of these items to your diet, especially if you're taking blood sugar-lowering medication, since some herbal supplements can adversely interact with them.

In addition, it is essential to note that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn't regulate supplements the same way it regulates prescription drugs. Therefore, it is crucial to choose supplement products examined by a lab independent of the FDA for their quality and the amount of ingredients.

If you need help locating a primary care physician, use the FindCare Tool here.

Keep a healthy weight.

Being healthy weight helps maintain normal blood sugar levels and lowers the risk of developing the disease.

Research suggests that even a 5 percent reduction in body weight can help regulate blood sugar levels and decrease the need for medication for diabetes.

For instance, if a person weighs 200 lbs (91 kilograms) and loses only 10-14 pounds (4.5-6 kg), they could notice significant improvements in glucose levels.

Additionally, Losing more than 5 percent of your initial weight could improve your hemoglobin glycated (HbA1c) levels, which are used to determine the status of your blood sugar levels over the last three months.

Consume healthy snacks more often.

Spreading food and snack portions throughout the day can help avoid high and low blood sugar levels.

A snack between meals can decrease your risk of getting type 2 diabetes.

Indeed, numerous studies suggest that eating smaller, less regular meals throughout the day may boost insulin sensitivity and reduce blood sugar levels.

Additionally, smaller meals and nutritious daily snacking could reduce glycated hemoglobin levels (HbA1c) readings, which indicate improvement in blood sugar levels over the past three months.

Eat probiotic-rich foods

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can provide numerous health benefits, such as improved control of blood sugar levels.

Research has found that probiotics are beneficial, suggesting they could lower blood sugar levels at rest, hemoglobin glycated (HbA1c), and insulin resistance in those with type 2 diabetes.

It is interesting to note that studies have shown improvements in blood sugar are most noticeable for those who take various types of probiotics for a minimum of 8 weeks.

Probiotic-rich food items include foods that are fermented, including:

  • Yogurt, so long as the label says that it is made from active live cultures
  • Kefir
  • tempeh
  • sauerkraut
  • Kimchi

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the three signs of hyperglycemia?

Hyperglycemia symptoms can include being overly thirsty, often needing to pee, blurred vision, fatigue, and a sore that doesn't heal.

What causes hyperglycemia in people with diabetes?

Insulin is a hormonal substance that regulates blood sugar levels in the body. In type one diabetes, a person isn't getting enough insulin. If you have type 2 diabetes, your insulin doesn't work as efficiently.

How do you know the three P's associated with diabetic hyperglycemia?

The three Ps that define diabetic hyperglycemia are polydipsia, polyuria, and polyphagia. They are described as excessive thirst, urination, or appetite, respectively.

Is the type 2 diabetes hyper or hypo?

Type 2 diabetes can lead to hyperglycemia because insulin doesn't allow glucose to be used by your body in the manner it is supposed to.

The Final Line

In conclusion, managing blood sugar levels effectively requires a multifaceted approach encompassing various lifestyle adjustments. Key strategies include regular exercise, mindful eating, adequate hydration, and stress management. These methods help maintain healthy blood sugar levels and enhance overall well-being. Importantly, understanding and moderating food choices play a critical role in controlling glucose levels. Incorporating foods low in glycemic index and rich in fiber and those that promote insulin sensitivity can significantly mitigate the risk of blood sugar spikes.

Moreover, it is crucial to monitor the impact of these changes and consult with healthcare professionals to tailor these recommendations to individual health needs. This is especially important for those already on medications or those experiencing challenges managing their blood sugar levels. By combining professional medical advice with conscientious lifestyle choices, individuals can achieve better control over their blood sugar and lead a healthier life.

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