When trying to lower your blood sugar naturally, there are a number of healthy habits you can adopt in order to improve your circumstances. Even when using natural means, though, to manage your sugar levels, it’s best to consult with a trusted medical professional about what supplements and eating habits will give you the best chance of feeling good and being healthy.
If your self-appointed treatment plan consists of too many sugar-reduction strategies, you can quickly fall into dangerous territory for having too low of blood sugar. As always, be wise when adopting general health tips and get situation-specific advice from your doctor.
Increase Your Level of Physical Activity
Exercising regularly can help lower your blood sugar, increase your responsivity to insulin and strengthen your heart. Helping you simultaneously lose weight and improve your cardiovascular conditions, physical activity can be an integral part of any diabetes or blood sugar management plan. Aerobic activity and resistance training can each add value so keep that in mind when creating a fitness program for each week.
With your starting fitness level in mind, tailor a routine around what will meet your needs while also conforming to your personal limitations. If your feet aren’t well enough right now to run, identify if an activity like walking, swimming or riding a stationary bicycle would be possible given your current state of health. If you haven’t exercised in years, the intensity with which you begin working out should be at a low level and then you can safely move up from there. Listen to your body and make gradual changes to effectively increase your strength and endurance.
Even though the act of exercise alone can help you lower your blood sugar, the end result of losing weight can have an added benefit in keeping your levels where they need to be.
In studies, overweight participants who successfully shed pounds tend to drastically lower their risks for developing diabetes. Working out can also help you manage your stress levels, which can additionally have a positive effect on your cardiovascular health and your body’s ability to cope.
Add More Fiber into Your Diet
Although there are two types of fiber–soluble and insoluble–both types are important for your health overall and for your blood sugar levels. Soluble fiber actually slows down the emptying of your stomach, which may be able to increase your insulin sensitivity and help your body naturally control your blood sugar levels better. Insoluble fiber can further improve digestion and help keep your body functioning properly.
Eating a nutrient-rich diet full of fruits, vegetables and whole grains will naturally provide you with good sources of fiber. Oatmeal, apples, pears, oranges and celery are all great options for intaking more soluble fiber. On the other hand, whole wheat, nuts, broccoli, tomatoes and dark leafy vegetables come packed with insoluble fiber. Some fantastic picks like carrots and cucumbers offer both types of fiber for your benefit.
Since whole grains are such an effective source of fiber, review your diet and identify areas where you can easily make substitutions in order to improve your control over your blood sugar levels.
Instead of eating a lacking sugary cereal for breakfast, you can have a nice bowl of oatmeal. When it comes time for lunch, you can make sure your sandwich is on whole wheat bread instead of white. At dinner, you can also make sure you’re using a whole grain pasta or brown rice rather than a nutritionally-weaker alternative. Make simple changes that have a lasting impact.
Develop Dietary Discipline
Whether you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, are starting to have some minor concerns regarding your blood sugar levels or just have a history of diabetes or cardiovascular problems in your family, you can benefit from looking at your current eating habits and identifying the strengths and weaknesses of your present routine. Determine if you are getting enough vegetables and lean proteins while also looking at how many empty calories you consume from sugary and fatty foods that aren’t delivering any value.
For most of us, we can still sample many of our favorite foods while watching our blood sugar, but we have to sample in moderation while using good judgement. If you have a sweet tooth, review how often you’re letting yourself indulge in sugary goods and what portion sizes you’re sticking to. If you want a cookie, do you just eat one or do you not rest until you’ve finished off the whole package? Do you have a small treat once a day or once an hour? Do you balance out your sugars and proteins at snacktime or are you loading up on sugars and starches all on their own? Review your habits and discipline yourself to make some necessary cutbacks and changes for your health.
If you haven’t paid much attention in the past to what your dietary choices are like, start making entries in a food journal today, writing down everything you eat for a week so that you have some data to look at. For some individuals, recording the types of food, along with some additional nutritional facts like calories, fat content, sugar grams and total carbohydrates, can be an effective way to organize their eating decisions and more easily stay on track. For others, taking a less academic approach to their daily diet is still conducive to being on track so figure out what works best for you and proceed accordingly.
Consider Taking a Supplement
In the world of alternative medicine, various herbal supplements and extracts have been studied for their ability to help lower blood sugar. If you are interested in taking such an option, talk with your doctor about a treatment plan that may suit you well. Some of the products that have been suggested by research as having possible hopeful benefits are cinnamon extract, chromium, alpha lipoic acid and Siberian ginseng. However, scientific evaluations have not produced conclusive evidence regarding the effectiveness of any of these options or the potential long-term consequences of adopting such a treatment program.