The blood sugar level is a major concern for diabetics. The normal value of fasting blood glucose is below 6.1mmol/L, and the normal value of blood glucose two hours after a meal is below 7.8mmol/L, higher than this range, it is called hyperglycemia.
If high blood sugar is not controlled in time, it will threaten your health. In this article, we discuss some different ways to help people lower their blood sugar levels. These methods include lifestyle changes, dietary habits, and natural remedies.
Why it is important to manage blood sugar level?
Controlling blood sugar level at the target level can help diabetic patients avoid serious complications caused by the disease. High blood sugar can cause many diseases, such as the accumulation of acid in the blood over time. Maintaining blood glucose at unhealthy levels for long periods of time can damage small and large blood vessels in multiple organs and systems, leading to serious consequences such as:
- Impaired vision and blindness
- Foot ulcers, infections, amputations
- Renal failure, dialysis
- Heart attack, stroke
- Nervous system damage, causing pain and weakness
How to lower blood sugar level?
Here today, I will talk about some methods for diabetic patients to reduce high blood sugar and reduce the risk of complications.
1. Monitor blood glucose levels closely
High blood sugar levels usually do not cause symptoms until they run more than 200 mg/dL. Therefore, patients with diabetes must monitor blood glucose several times a day. Doing so means that blood sugar levels will never reach such high levels. Diabetics can use their blood glucose monitor to check their blood sugar levels. About the daily monitoring of blood glucose levels, the plan varies from person to person, and doctors can make the best recommendations for blood glucose monitoring in diabetic patients.
2. Reduce carbohydrate intake
Research conducted by researchers has shown that eating low-carb, high-protein diets lowers blood sugar levels. The body breaks down carbohydrates into sugar, and sugar is the body’s energy, so some carbohydrates are necessary in the diet. However, for diabetics, too much carbohydrate intake will lead to an increase in blood sugar, reducing a person’s carbohydrate intake will reduce a person’s peak blood sugar.
3. Choose the right carbohydrate food
There are two types of carbohydrates: simple and complex. The two have different effects on blood sugar. Simple carbohydrates are mainly composed of one kind of sugar. They are found in foods such as white bread, pasta and sweets. The body will quickly break down these carbohydrates, causing blood sugar levels to rise rapidly. Complex carbohydrates are composed of three or more sugars, which are linked together. Due to the complex chemical composition of these carbohydrates, it takes longer to break them down. Therefore, sugar will be gradually released into the body, which means that blood sugar levels will not rise rapidly after eating sugar. Complex carbohydrate foods include whole wheat oats and sweet potatoes.
4. Choose low glycemic index (GI) food
Studies have shown that following a low glycemic index diet can reduce fasting blood glucose levels. Low glycemic index foods are those with a score lower than 55 on the glycemic index. Examples of low blood sugar foods include:
Low fat milk
Green leafy vegetables
Nuts and seeds
5. Increase dietary fiber intake
Ingesting large amounts of soluble fiber, including whole grains such as brown rice, may help. Fiber plays an important role in blood sugar management. It slows down the rate at which carbohydrates break down and the rate at which the body absorbs and produces sugar. Fibers are divided into two types: soluble and insoluble. Among these two types of food, soluble fiber has the greatest effect on blood sugar control. Soluble fiber is present in the following foods:
6. Maintain a healthy weight
Maintaining a healthy weight helps control blood sugar levels. Overweight has a certain relationship with the incidence of diabetes and the higher incidence of insulin resistance. Studies have shown that a 7% weight loss can reduce the chance of developing diabetes by 58%. It is important to note that a person does not need to achieve the ideal weight to benefit from losing 10-20 pounds. Doing so will also increase cholesterol, reduce the risk of complications, and increase a person’s overall well-being. Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables and enough exercise can help a person lose weight or maintain their current healthy weight.
7. Control the amount of food
When eating, one should follow the catering guidelines provided by the doctor or dietitian. Eating too much at the seat will cause blood sugar to rise. Although simple carbohydrates are usually associated with elevated blood sugar, all foods can cause elevated blood sugar. Careful control of serving size can better control blood sugar levels.
8. Exercise regularly
Regular exercise has many benefits for people with diabetes, including weight loss and increased insulin sensitivity. Insulin is a hormone that helps people break down sugar in the body. People with diabetes either do not have enough insulin in their bodies or they are resistant to the insulin produced by the body. Exercise can also lower blood sugar levels by encouraging muscles to use sugar. Check out this article to know about the exercise therapy of diabetes.
9. Replenish moisture
Proper water supplementation is the key to a healthy lifestyle. This is crucial for people who are worried about lowering high blood sugar. Drinking enough water can prevent dehydration and can also help the kidneys remove excess sugar from urine. Those who want to lower their blood sugar should drink water and avoid all sugary drinks, such as fruit juice or soda, which may increase blood sugar levels. People with diabetes should reduce their alcohol intake.
10. Relieve pressure
Managing stress has a significant effect on blood glucose levels. When the body is in a state of tension, the body releases stress hormones, and these hormones raise blood sugar levels. Studies have shown that controlling stress through meditation and exercise can also help lower blood sugar levels.
11. Get enough sleep
Sleep helps reduce sugar in the blood. Getting enough sleep every night is an excellent way to help keep blood sugar at normal levels. In most people, insulin tells the body how to deal with excess blood sugar, which keeps blood sugar at normal levels. Insufficient sleep may have a similar effect to insulin resistance, which means that a person’s blood sugar level may rise significantly due to lack of sleep.
12. Quit smoking
Smoking is harmful to health. As a diabetic, smoking is more dangerous. Nicotine in cigarettes can promote insulin resistance. Not only does it make blood sugar control more difficult, but it also increases the risk of heart disease and kidney problems.
13. Try intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting is a simple strategy: eating within a 12-hour window and fasting for the remaining 12 hours. For example, only eat between 8 am and 8 pm. This effectively mimics the eating habits of our ancestors. It may be a good choice for people with type 2 diabetes. Many studies have shown that intermittent fasting can help reduce insulin resistance and increase insulin sensitivity, thereby lowering blood sugar levels. However, this method is not recommended for pregnant women and people with type 1 diabetes, because pregnant women need carbohydrates for fetal nutrition, and type 1 diabetes may cause diabetic ketosis. Check out this article to know about the fasting diet plan.
14. Must eat breakfast
We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This is especially true for people with diabetes. After fasting for 8-12 hours, the body needs food to balance the blood glucose level and insulin injections the night before. Studies have shown that high-protein breakfast can help women maintain better blood sugar control. Some researchers even found that the best breakfast contains 39 grams of protein, which will result in post-meal glucose peaks lower than those with low protein content. In addition, eating breakfast can help overweight type 2 diabetics lose weight.
15. Choose foods rich in resistant starch
Resistant starch, also known as indigestible starch, cannot be enzymatically digested in the small intestine, but can react with volatile fatty acids in the human gastrointestinal colon. Resistant starch can help diabetics’ better control blood sugar levels. Compared with “regular” carbohydrate foods, eating foods rich in resistant starch has a slow rise in blood sugar and low peak blood sugar. Resistant starch can increase insulin sensitivity, and it can also help those at risk of diabetes or pre-diabetes. Beans, whole wheat, green bananas, potatoes, yam, corn and other foods are rich in resistant starch. In addition, after cooking, certain starchy foods, such as potatoes and pasta, will increase their resistant starch content. This is one of the reasons why some cold foods rise slowly.
Note: Controlling high blood sugar is the key to avoiding serious complications of diabetes. There are a series of lifestyle measures that can help hyperglycemic patients reduce their blood sugar levels. One should always follow the doctor’s recommendations to reduce high blood sugar.