In North America, diabetes is skyrocketing. Do you know how to lower your blood sugar naturally? It is important to your health and well-being.
Blood sugar (glucose) fuels your brain, nervous system, and body tissues. Maintaining healthy blood sugar levels is essential to your overall health.
Some people feel the effects of rising blood sugar right away. That extra ice cream, cake, cookies, or candy can cause your blood sugar to spike.
So, the Doctor tells you that your blood sugar is high. Now what? What are some things that you can do to lower your blood sugar naturally?
How to Lower Your Blood Sugar Naturally
1-Start the Day with a Protein Food
High-protein foods can help stabilize your blood sugar,
If you are only going to do one thing, then make sure to eat some protein at breakfast every morning. Aim for at least 10 grams of protein. (There are 6 grams of protein in 1 whole boiled egg.)
Be certain the food is high in protein and not carbohydrates. A good choice would be a handful of almonds or a slice of turkey.
Protein will ‘stick to your ribs’ and keep you from getting that famished feeling later in the morning or early afternoon.
But don’t go overboard in eating protein, the body needs protein, but do all things in moderation.
2- Stay Hydrated
Drink water to stay hydrated. Drink plain H2O – water.
Coffee dehydrates you, and other drinks are often sweetened. Drinking water helps your body release more urine. Therefore, blood glucose is reduced.
But don’t drink excessive amounts of water if you have heart or kidney problems.
3- Reduce Your Stress Levels
Stress is often a problem for people with diabetes. Stress not only increases blood pressure; it can also increase blood glucose levels as well. Stressful conditions in life increase the hormone cortisol. And long-term elevated cortisol levels produce glucose.
Many people with diabetes find that relaxation techniques can help manage their blood sugar levels. Visualization is a powerful technique that can help you unwind and relieve stress.
With Visualization you use mental imagery to relax your mind. Focus your mind on calm and peaceful mental images. Gentle breathing exercises and meditation are also very beneficial.
Find social support. That social support could be someone like a relative, friend, pastor or counselor. Having someone to talk with can sometimes calm your mind.
4-High-fibre, Nutrient Rich Foods
A healthy, low-glycemic diet keeps the blood sugar at an even level.
Low GI carbs, or good carbs, are broken down slowly, trickling a steady supply of fuel into your system.
Good carbs will provide continuous energy. They help you feel full for longer. Then you will not be tempted to overeat.
By comparison, high GI carbs can cause your blood sugars to spike. In a short while they come crashing down, leaving your feeling hungry after eating those sugary treats. A sudden rise in blood sugar levels forces your body to produce more insulin.
Empty calories and highly processed foods are a no-no. Whenever possible eat a combination of whole grains, fruit, vegetables, legumes, and lean protein. A consistent, healthy diet will keep your blood levels on an even keel.
When you are physically active your body has a higher demand for glucose. As you use the glucose, the blood sugar levels usually drop.
Aim for at least 30 minutes a day of moderately-intense exercise, 5 days a week. That would be 150 minutes a week. Get your heart pumping and your body moving.
Low GI carbs, or good carbs, are slowly metabolized by the body. A steady supply of fuel trickles into your system. Good carbs will provide sustained energy and help you feel full for longer Then you will not be tempted to overeat.
By comparison, high GI carbs can cause your blood sugars to spike, then come crashing down, leaving you feeling hungry an hour after you ate those sugary treats. High GI carbs produces highs and lows like taking a roller coaster ride.
Diabetes and Heart Disease
Maintaining normal blood sugar levels is essential if you want to reverse or avoid diabetes. But diabetes and heart disease are so closely related that you need to take both diseases into consideration.
Adults with diabetes have at least twice the risk of dying from heart attack or stroke than people without diabetes. Cardiovascular disease strikes earlier in life and is more likely to end in death.
Some Methods for Lowering Blood Sugar
- Low-Carbohydrate Diet – The American Academy of Family Physicians defines low-carbohydrate diets as diets that restrict carbohydrate intake to 20 to 60 grams (g) per day
- Low-Fat Diet- A low-fat diet is one where 30% or less of the calories come from fat
- Intermittent Fasting – Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern. You cycle between times of eating and fasting. Intermittent fasting does not mention which foods you should eat, but when you should eat them.
- Mediterranean Diet – The Mediterranean Diet is a way of eating that is based on the traditional foods of the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. It is typically high in vegetables, fruit, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds. Olive oil is the primary fat that is used. It is usually a low carbohydrate diet. According to one study, while eating a Mediterranean Diet, 14.7% of newly diagnosed diabetes patients were in remission in one year’s time.
- Keto Diet – The ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet that shares many similarities with the Atkins diet. It involves drastically reducing carbohydrates and replacing them with fats.
- Bariatric Surgery –It is used on high-risk people who are seriously overweight. Bariatric Surgery will make changes to your digestive system using surgery, to help you lose weight.
What is Low Glycemic Index?
Glycemic Index is a Measurement of Carbohydrates
The Glycemic Index (GI) is a scale that measures carbs. It ranges from 1 to 100. Each food gets a score.
The Glycemic Index (GI) score for white bread is very high. It ranks 100. When someone eats white bread it quickly raises blood sugar levels.
The Glycemic Index ranks various carbohydrate-containing foods by how quickly they affect blood glucose levels after you eat or drink them. The slower the food is digested and absorbed, the slower glucose levels in the blood will rise. Thus, insulin levels will rise slowly.
What are Carbs?
Carbohydrates are one of the most important sources of energy for our bodies. They are found mainly in fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes or in foods that are made from plant sources. There are two forms of carbohydrates, starches, such as potatoes and grains, and sugars, such as sucrose, lactose, and fructose. When eaten, our body breaks starch down into glucose which is released into our bloodstream. This increases our blood glucose levels.
There are Three Glycemic Index Categories:
- Low: is 55 GI units or less
- Medium is 56 to 69 GI units
- High is 70 or above GI units
How Much is Too Much?
Eating too many carbohydrates may result in high blood triglyceride levels and low HDL cholesterol levels. Consuming too many carbohydrates may also mean that you do not get enough other nutrients. This can lead to protein, vitamin, or mineral deficiency. Or if calorie requirements are exceeded, it may lead to weight gain!
Benefits of Lowering Your Glycemic Intake
When you concentrate primarily on eating healthy foods with a low glycemic index, you do your body a favor. Eating these healthy carbs not only helps you lower your weight, and it helps keep your liver, heart, kidney, and inflammatory markers healthy.
The primary outcomes of a two-year study were glycemic control and weight changes. The secondary outcomes included general health benefits, making the body more disease resistant.
10 Foods that Have a Low Glycemic Index
- Kidney Beans – 24
- Chickpeas – 28
- Lentils – 32
- Apple – 36
- Skim Milk – 37
- Full Fat Milk – 39
- Carrots – 39
- Orange – 43
- Banana – 51
- Oats – 55 – Steel Cut Oats are less processed than Quick Oats
The above foods digest slowly in your body. The smaller amount of glucose that is in the foods you eat, the smaller amount of insulin is needed to deal with the glucose that is there.
Hi GI carbs cause the blood glucose levels to spike and then crash. If a food is classified as a 70+ portion of food, it is considered high carb and needs much more insulin for the body to deal with it.
Not All Foods are Created Equal
Choose foods with a Glycemic Index of 55 or less. These are the ones which digest more slowly. They absorb into the body and are metabolized slowly, causing a lower rise in insulin levels because of the smaller amount of glucose.
Foods with a low Glycemic Index give continuous energy to the body. They do not leave you with that let down, feeling about an hour after eating a high carbohydrate or sugar, food, or meal.
When following a diet, it is important to remember that high-GI foods are not banned, just use them in moderation.
Foods Not Considered a Carbohydrate
Meat, eggs, fish, and seafood are proteins and contain little carbohydrates.
Oils such as olive oil and nuts and butter are fats and do not contain carbohydrates either.
Herbs and spices are not carbohydrates, so they do not have a Glycemic Index.
How to lower your blood sugar naturally. Perhaps by now you have noticed the difference between Low-Carb foods which metabolize slowly in your body, and those which cause high spikes in your blood sugar.
Start the day with some protein, drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water a day, reduce your stress levels, eat a high fiber, healthy diet, and aim for at least 30 minutes a day of moderate aerobic exercise. This will help lower your blood sugar levels.
If you would like more reading material on better blood sugar, you can click to find, the Reader’s Digest Magic Foods for Better Blood Sugar.
Please Leave Your Comments
I would love to hear from you. What experience do you have with foods that help keep your blood sugars in a normal range?
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional. No content on this site should be substituted for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare practitioner. The information contained here is from my research and personal experience.