How to lower blood sugar?
Blood sugar levels are influenced by a variety of lifestyle factors. Diabetes expert Megan Asterino-McGeean from the Cleveland Clinic (USA) explains which lifestyle changes can lower blood sugar without medication.
In the absence of genetic causes, daily habits such as diet can play an important role in high blood sugar. "For some people, what they eat, how much they exercise, and their weight can make a difference," Asterino-McGeean said in a recent press release.
Lifestyle adjustments not always effective
However, when people have certain conditions, such as type 1 diabetes, they cannot lower their blood sugar naturally. With the disease, the pancreas does not produce insulin, a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar.
Lower blood sugar naturally
However, if you have type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, it's entirely possible to use natural methods to lower blood sugar, says Asterino-McGeean. The expert names seven different strategies for lowering blood sugar.
Avoid sugary drinks
Drinks sweetened with sugar help raise blood sugar levels. Not drinking such beverages can lower blood sugar levels and can also help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
Examples of high sugar drinks:Energy drinks, fruit flavored drinks or drinks mixed with powder, juice, lemonade and other carbonated soft drinks, sports drinks, certain coffee drinks, sweetened tea.
role of carbohydrates
Carbohydrates also have an impact on blood sugar. “Our blood sugar reflects our carbohydrate intake. When you eat too many carbohydrates, blood sugar rises. So consistency is key,” Asterino-McGeean said.
According to the expert, approximately the same amount of carbohydrates should be consumed at each meal. Depending on the diet, the total amount of carbohydrates consumed during the day may also need to be reduced.
What form of carbs should you eat?
“Be selective. Nutrient-dense, fiber-rich complex carbs are a better choice in everyday life than simple processed carbs,” advises the expert. Processed carbs do not occur naturally, but are present in many foods .
Below, the expert gives some examples of foods that contain the healthiest form of carbohydrates:Beans and lentils, berries and fruits, Greek yogurt, sweet potatoes, whole grains.
Nutrition counseling can help
If you're looking to start eating healthier and eating more complex carbohydrates that are high in fiber and nutrients, a dietitian can help.
“Everyone's needs are different. Perhaps you have other nutritional issues besides high blood sugar or diabetes. A nutritionist can help you create a personalized meal plan, make adjustments, and set realistic goals,” says Asterino-McGeean.
Pay attention to balanced meals
Carbohydrates should be eaten with other healthy foods, such as non-starchy vegetables and lean proteins. According to the expert, these foods cause blood sugar levels to rise less sharply after a meal.
Exercise can lower blood sugar
The less you move, the higher your blood sugar. Therefore, exercise is one of the best ways to improve overall health, mood, and metabolism.
“Being active is important, but it can be difficult depending on your lifestyle or health condition. So try to move more than yesterday. If that's all you can do, it still matters,” explains Asterino-McGeean.
exercise and move
The expert recommends starting with aerobic exercises, such as brisk walking and resistance and strength training. "When you start a new exercise program, the first thing to do is talk to your doctor, physical therapist or trainer to make sure it's safe for you to do it," she advises.
You should start slowly and then gradually increase as your condition improves and the workout becomes easier.
Stress affects blood sugar. It is therefore important to avoid stress completely or to use means to reduce stress. This can be done, for example, through hobbies, sports or talk therapy.
However, care should be taken not to use stress coping mechanisms that negatively affect blood sugar, such as overeating or drinking alcohol, Asterino-McGeean points out.
Monitor blood sugar levels
If people have diabetes or prediabetes, monitoring blood sugar is a good idea to avoid problems related to high blood sugar. Such monitoring could also provide information about general blood sugar trends and their causes.
A blood glucose meter (called a glucometer) helps ensure that you are within the target blood glucose range, which was determined after a medical examination.
Nicotine affects the body's response to insulin. As a result, smoking increases blood sugar. Additionally, smoking also causes inflammation, which can also raise blood sugar.
"It's a double whammy. Those with high blood sugar and who smoke are twice as likely to develop complications," Asterino-McGeean said.
Natural ways to lower blood sugar levels
The expert advises caution with natural remedies that promise to lower blood sugar, as there is no evidence of their effectiveness and safety for many.
“Also, it can be dangerous to take supplements or herbs designed to lower blood sugar if you are already taking diabetes medication,” she adds.
Take a long-term approach to lowering blood sugar
Trying to lower blood sugar naturally should be a long-term approach. “This is a lifestyle change, not a quick fix. It may take a few weeks or months to see results,” says Asterino-McGeean.
According to the expert, if you have been trying to lower your blood sugar level using home remedies for a few months but you are not successful, you should schedule an appointment for a medical examination.
"At this point, it's time to have a conversation with your doctor to find out what's going on and discuss your options. Together, you and your doctor can figure out the next steps to maintain your health," Asterino-McGeean said. . (as)
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This text corresponds to the specifications of the specialized medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been verified by health professionals.
Sources:Cleveland Clinic: How to Lower Your Blood Sugar Naturally (Published 06/30/2022), Cleveland Clinic
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. It cannot substitute a visit to the doctor.