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There are many ways to naturally lower your blood sugar. In this article we will discuss some of the simplest methods that you can start using today, to get your blood sugar down and to begin your journey towards a healthy life.
You can learn more about what blood sugar is and how nutrition works, but for now let’s focus on what’s truly important: lowering your blood sugar.
How to lower blood sugar – the easy way
A high blood sugar is an alarm that is telling you that you have a diet that is not suited for your needs.
This can mean a lot of things, but in today’s modern society it usually means that you are eating too many carbohydrates and that you are getting too much sugar.
So, let’s start with a few easy steps, as this article is not about an entire diet.
Lower the intake of sugar
Does this sound tricky? It probably is. But there are a few simple tricks that will instantly lower your sugar intake and your blood glucose.
Stop drinking sugar
On average 49% of adults and 63% of children drink something that is sweetened with sugar. These numbers that are coming from the CDC are telling us that we have an epidemic of sweet drinks.
The problem is that drinking sugar, instead of eating it, is much more dangerous. The amount of sugar in a drink is higher. The brain doesn’t process the fact that we consumed something nutritious (which we have).
And, the worst part is that the pancreas needs to produce a lot of insulin, very fast to accommodate all that glucose excess.
This will have a side-effect that people fail to anticipate. What is that side-effect? Hunger.
Because the sugars from drinks are absorbed fast and insulin spikes, after all the blood glucose is managed, the body will be left with low blood glucose.
This doesn’t happen when we eat healthy foods, because glucose reaches the blood slower. Digestion takes time, and glucose is absorbed in small portions.
With drinks is… a feast. A feast that leads to hunger and creates the perfect environment for excessive caloric intake.
That is why sweetened drinks are so addictive. That is why you feel the need to drink yet another one, even if you just had one an hour ago. Your blood sugar is running low because of the drink you had.
Stop eating sweets at night
As I am writing this, I realize that this seems even more difficult than the previous advice.
I also know that your will power is better during the day, and that you do your best to not eat sugar all day long. But when the Sun sets, you start craving sugar and you feel like you are depleted without it.
Sugar is addictive and due to the fact that we tend to stay up longer, we crave it to help us cope with stress and to help us have the energy to stay awake.
The best way to fight this addiction is to give in and just sleep. If you go to bed early for a few days, you will be able to shake off the need for sugar.
It is easier to ignore something if you are unable to think about it. And by sleeping you will be getting a good night rest and you will also have lower blood sugar.
During sleep, the brain manages our hormones better, this includes the hunger hormones and others that influence our blood glucose levels.
What to do to lower blood sugar
Now that we got the difficult things out of the way, let’s look at some simple actions that will help you take control of your blood sugar.
Mornings and blood sugar
The way we start our day can have a massive impact on our blood sugar. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but not in the sense that is shown to us by the breakfast cereal industry.
Do you remember the fact that when you were a child, you were offered milk, cereals and orange juice for breakfast? Do you remember that this was advertised to be a healthy option?
I believe that most people still believe that starting your day with cereals is a good idea. The fact is that it is an excellent idea, as long as those cereals are oats, and not sweetened.
If you have a box of cereal in your kitchen, please go check out the sugar content on it. Do that now. I’ll wait.
Did you notice how on the box there are listed ridiculously small cereal portions? Like 30g of cereals/portion. Some brands have as much as 4 grams of sugar (a teaspoon)/30 grams.
An adult usually eats a decent 50-100 grams portion of cereals, to which they will add milk. They might also drink tea or coffee and use sugar to sweeten them.
I believe that we reached about 4 teaspoons of sugar and it’s only 9 O’clock. This will translate into a huge spike in blood glucose, in a short time span.
The bright side of morning blood sugar
The good news is that there are cereals that can actually help you lower your blood sugar.
Oats have been shown to lower blood sugar and HbA1c. If you are a diabetic you know what this means. HbA1c is a blood test that reflects the average blood glucose levels over a few months.
Peak glucose became lower after such a meal (between 11 and 79% lower);
After 30 days it lowers total cholesterol.
Consuming naked, organic oats, like the one above, every morning can help you lower your glucose levels. You can use them to make porridge, but remember that adding sugar, honey or other sweeteners will raise your glucose.
Eating berries was shown to improve blood glucose levels after a meal. Berries like: raspberry, blueberry, strawberries, cranberries, both fresh and frozen would be a great addition to every meal.
Ideally, to get your glucose levels under control first thing in the morning, you could start with porridge with berries.
Bilberries extracts were shown to have some anti diabetic properties due to their antioxidant and insulin regulation effects.
Extracts could be an option for those who do not particularly like to eat berries, or who have grown tired of the same diet every day.
How to lower blood sugar – the hard way
We talked about simple, easy actions that anyone can make to lower blood sugar. Now, let’s talk about what no one wants to hear.
Exercise and blood sugar
Exercise has a massive impact on blood sugar.
We were built to be outside, in constant motion. Humans didn’t evolve to sit behind a desk, in relative comfort and completely protected by environmental risks.
Our blood sugar reflects this better than anything. And research on how blood sugar changes on exercise is constantly giving us this information: start moving, and you will be OK.
Up until now we have talked about high glucose levels, prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. We know that in order for our cells to absorb glucose, they need insulin. And that is what we need to work with. We want to regulate insulin resistance.
But, there is evidence that the human body is so adaptive that there is a by-pass mechanism that forces glucose inside the cells without the presence of insulin.
This is a very important piece of information because it shows that you can affect your insulin resistance, by not producing as much insulin and still absorbing glucose.
The best way to do this is by using HIIT – High Intensity Interval training, coupled with endurance training.
Research shows that only 2 weeks of HIIT training (which only takes less than 15 minutes a day) can normalize glucose levels.
Exercising was shown to be one of the best ways to control blood sugar, and if you will couple it with a low carbohydrate diet, you may turn back the clock of your blood glucose.
Nevertheless, before engaging in any sort of physical activity you must talk to your physician and make sure that it is safe to exercise.
High blood glucose has become a part of life, in modern society. But this doesn’t mean that we can’t get a handle on it and ensure that we live a long and healthy life. With the right tools and information, anyone can do it.