How To Control Your Blood Sugar
An important aspect of good health is determining how to lower blood sugar. Individuals with high or elevated blood sugar levels should take steps to reduce their blood sugar. Properly managing blood sugar can prevent or reverse diabetes in some individuals. Furthermore, management can reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications such as stroke, heart and kidney disease, blindness or amputation. There are many ways to reduce blood sugar, and individuals should consider all methods and use them in conjunction, if necessary.
How to control your blood sugar with medication
There are diferent medications available that are designed for the management of blood sugar. If a prescription medication is needed, most individuals are given an oral medication. However, injectable insulin may be necessary. Prescription medication is not always a life-long commitment. Medication can be used to quickly lower blood sugar, and reach a safe level, while the individual makes an effort to control their blood sugar on their own. Proper diet, exercise and weight loss can reduce the need for medication, or eliminate the need completely.
Diet plan to control your blood sugar
A major component in reducing blood sugar is eating a healthy diet. The most obvious culprits are foods and drinks that are high in sugar. Many sugar substitutes are commercially available to help individuals reduce or eliminate sugar in their diet. If using a sugar substitute is not desirable, agave or honey can be a suitable replacement. Minimizing or eliminating processed foods can drastically reduce blood sugar. Most of these products are high in sugar, and even products that claim to be healthy often have some form of sugar to improve taste and texture.
Carbohydrates can have negative impacts on blood sugar. Breads, rice and potatoes are high in carbohydrates. All carbohydrates are not problematic, the ones referred to as “simple carbohydrates” are quickly digested and promptly raise blood sugar. Even some fruits and vegetables such as bananas and corn are high in starch, and should be minimized or avoided. Opting for complex carbohydrates can help to lower blood sugar and prevent sharp spikes and drops. Whole grain breads, brown rice, oatmeal, barley and sweet potatoes are better alternatives.
Individuals who want to reduce their blood sugar should aim for a diet that is low in fat and salt, but high in fiber and nutrient-rich. Their primary source of protein should be lean meats like chicken or turkey, fish and seafood. Plant-based protein sources such as tofu are good alternatives. Incorporating vegetables is ideal, since most vegetables have little effect on blood sugar and are rich in nutrients. Leafy greens, broccoli, carrots, celery and Brussels sprouts are some vegetables that are readily available and low in starch.
Learning how to lower blood sugar through diet is not about deprivation. Eating a proper diet most of the time means that an occasional treat is allowed.
How to lower blood sugar with exercise
Regular exercise can improve physical fitness, aid in weight loss and improve overall well-being. Aerobic exercise has the most benefits on blood sugar levels. Individuals who are relatively sedentary should try walking for 30 minutes each day. Other forms of exercise such as yoga, running, cycling, workout tapes or swimming are good methods of keeping the heart rate elevated and achieving health benefits. Exercise does not have to be boring, bringing a friend or participating in team sports is equally beneficial.
Strength training should not be overlooked in its effects on blood sugar. In addition to improving blood sugar, strength training can increase resting metabolism, improve endurance and strength during exercise and in everyday activities. Any physical activity is better than being sedentary, and starting out slowly will improve the likelihood that an individual will remain active and avoid injury.
Control the blood glucose with weight loss
Individuals who need to lower their blood sugar and are overweight can benefit from losing weight. Even a small reduction in body weight can have positive effects on blood sugar. There are many programs available to help with weight loss. Many involve diet and exercise plans, or support groups. Individuals who are significantly overweight or have severe medical problems should consult with a physician or nutritionist to determine a safe plan to lose weight.
Lower blood sugar by reducing stress
High levels of stress can increase blood sugar, and contribute to other factors that negatively affect blood sugar. Stress decreases the motivation to maintain an active lifestyle, impedes weight loss efforts and contributes to unhealthy food choices. Unnecessary stress should be eliminated. Individuals should determine which stress-reduction techniques can help them manage daily stress. Various forms of meditation and breathing exercises only take a few minutes, and can be practiced anywhere. Many individuals who want to know how to lower blood sugar find that enjoying nature, or indulging in a creative hobby helps them manage their stress. Taking the time to talk with a close friend, family member or therapist can help you reduce stress.
Using supplements to control your sugar
Many mineral and herbal supplements have shown some success in helping individuals reduce their blood sugar. Although they are natural substances, they can interact with medications or have side effects. Some of the most popular supplements for the reduction of blood sugar are:
- Chromium picolinate
- Bitter melon
- Alpha lipoic acid
Cinnamon is an easy supplement to incorporate. It is commonly used as a spice in foods, but can be taken in pill form. Blood sugar reduction is believed to occur because cinnamon improves the body’s use of insulin.
Chromium picolinate has been helpful as a weight loss aid for some individuals, and has helped some on the quest of how to lower blood sugar. Chromium supplements are available as a pill, alone or in a multivitamin.
Magnesium is a mineral that is commonly acquired through food or supplements. Although it is difficult to become deficient in magnesium, a link has been established between low levels of magnesium and the development of diabetes. Individuals who want to increase their magnesium intake can include more spinach and kale in their diets.
Bitter melon – a fruit resembling a cucumber, is a common ingredient in many cultures. It is believed to help with the regulation of blood sugar. Bitter melon may be difficult to obtain for some individuals to use in cooking. Therefore, it can be found in the form of supplements.
Alpha lipoic acid is also used to regulate blood glucose. This antioxidant is easily obtained by eating green vegetables such as spinach or peas.