Higher-than-normal blood sugar puts you at risk for pre-diabetes or diabetes, and if you already have one of these conditions, lowering your blood sugar is extremely important for preventing a number of devastating complications. A healthy lifestyle is the number one way to keep your blood sugar levels within a normal range, whether you have diabetes or want to prevent it. Here are six simple lifestyle changes you can make today to lower your blood sugar naturally.
Exercise increases your insulin sensitivity, which means your muscles are better able to use available insulin to take up glucose for fuel. And when your muscles are contracted during exercise, cells can take up glucose whether or not insulin is available. According to the American Diabetes Association, physical activity makes your body more sensitive to insulin, and it can lower your blood glucose for up to 24 hours or more after your workout.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, you should get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise every week, which works out to a half hour a day, five days a week. Walking is one of the best moderate-intensity exercises there is, because it's free, you can do it anywhere, and it's a low-impact exercise.
Research shows that a low-carb diet can reduce blood sugar levels in the short-term. Carbohydrates are broken down by the body into sugar that the body uses as energy. While carbs are essential for good overall health, eating too many of them--or too many of the wrong kind--can cause blood sugar spikes.
When you do eat carbs, make them complex, rather than simple. Simple carbs are found in processed foods like white bread, pasta, and sweets. The body breaks these simple carbs down into sugar very quickly, which can cause a spike in blood sugar. Complex carbs, on the other hand, are made up of three or more linked sugars, which take the body longer to break down. Complex carbs include whole grains, peas, beans, and vegetables.
Dietary fiber slows down the rate at which carbohydrates break down and the rate at which the body absorbs the sugars that result. Fiber comes in two types--soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber absorbs water and turns gel-like, slowing digestion. It helps to reduce cholesterol and blood sugar, and it helps improve blood glucose control. Soluble fiber sources include oats, peas, apples, carrots, and citrus fruits.
Insoluble fiber doesn't dissolve in water, but it attracts water into the stool, which promotes bowel health and regularity. It also promotes insulin sensitivity, which can reduce your risk of diabetes. Insoluble fiber sources include wheat bran, nuts, cauliflower, and potatoes.
Research shows that losing just 7 percent of your body weight can reduce your risk of diabetes by 58 percent. Losing just 10 to 20 pounds can help your body maintain lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels as well as improve insulin resistance. Losing weight isn't rocket science, although it can seem that way when you're in your 50s and beyond. But getting plenty of exercise and eating a healthy, mostly plant-based diet will get you there.
Drinking plenty of water is essential for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Water prevents dehydration, and it helps the kidneys remove excess sugar from the body through the urine. Avoid sugary drinks, including soda and fruit juices, instead opt for pure water or green tea.
A number of herbal extracts have a positive effect on blood sugar levels. Prostavol's Blood Glucose Complex contains 20 all-natural ingredients that have been shown through research to help reduce blood sugar. These include vitamins C and E, bitter melon, cayenne pepper powder, and alpha lipoic acid.
Managing high blood sugar is essential for preventing diabetes or managing the disease to avoid serious complications that can result from too much sugar in the blood. A healthy lifestyle that includes healthy food, supplementation, and plenty of exercise is the best way to manage your blood sugar naturally.
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