Those looking to take charge of their health after receiving a diabetic diagnosis may wonder how to control blood sugar naturally. Whether you have diabetes or your doctor has advised you that you need to make lifestyle changes to avoid becoming diabetic, there are multiple ways to control blood sugar you can implement starting today.
Being told you have high cholesterol can be just a frightening as having issues with blood sugar. Cholesterol levels have a direct impact on heart health, and ignoring your doctor’s warning could lead to significant health issues down the road. The good news is there are simple changes to your lifestyle that will resolve high levels, and most of the steps listed below that help control blood sugar will also lower cholesterol.
1 – Exercise
Higher rates of diabetes and heart disease are associated with a sedentary lifestyle. Exercising just thirty minutes a day, five times a week can give you all the exercise you need to control blood sugar and lower cholesterol. According to a 2008 study, after one week of aerobic exercise participants with type two diabetes, whole-body insulin sensitivity improved.
2 – Fiber
Because your body converts carbohydrates into sugars that enter the bloodstream, carbohydrate metabolism plays a crucial role in controlling blood sugar levels. Foods high in fiber are low in digestible carbohydrates. Foods that digest slowly cause blood sugar levels to rise slowly, preventing sudden spikes.
Fiber also aids in cleaning plaque-laden arteries.
3 – Control Stress
Stress can cause blood sugar levels to fluctuate. Depending on the triggers, physical pain, or mental stress, your blood sugar levels can rise or decrease. A well-known side effect of stress, memory issues, can cause you to lapse in your diabetic care routine. Breathing exercises, mindfulness meditation, yoga, and making time to do things you enjoy that relax you are self-care measures you can take to eliminate or reduce stress.
4 – Water
Staying hydrated is vital to your overall health, but did you know that a study revealed that drinking more than thirty-four ounces of water a day resulted in a twenty-one percent decrease in the chances of developing hyperglycemia for study participants? This was in comparison with those who drank sixteen ounces or less daily.
5 – Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a powerhouse when you want to take charge of how to control your blood sugar naturally. According to a study that involved participants from three different diabetic groups, apple cider vinegar consumed after a meal significantly reduced blood sugar levels. Because apple cider vinegar can increase the time that food remains in the stomach undigested, it’s not suitable for those with type one diabetes.
6 – Garlic
Proven to be beneficial for lowering cholesterol, garlic may also have a positive effect on how to control blood sugar naturally. According to a 2006 study, garlic may reduce the risk of atherosclerosis as well as lower blood sugar. Garlic has also been shown to reduce insulin resistance.
7 – Fenugreek
Fenugreek helps to control blood sugar by slowing the digestion of carbohydrates. A study showed that fenugreek seeds soaked in hot water significantly improved participants’ cholesterol and blood sugar.
8 – Maintain Healthy Weight
Having a body mass index of 25 or higher puts you at risk for diabetes. Your body cannot properly regulate blood sugar levels if you are overweight or obese. A weight loss of five to ten percent can help regulate blood sugar and significantly reduce your chances of developing type two diabetes.
9 – Pay Attention to Glycemic Index
The glycemic index (GI) assigns a number to carbohydrates in foods based on the effect those foods will have on blood sugar levels. Paying attention to the glycemic index of foods can help to balance blood sugar as well as aid in weight loss.
- Low GI: 1 to 55
- Medium GI: 56 to 69
- High GI: 70 and higher
10 – Quit Smoking
Quit smoking if you want to make significant gains on how to control blood sugar naturally. Smoking can increase your blood sugar by making your body insulin resistant. People with diabetes who attempt to quit smoking may find that they have trouble with increased blood sugar. Regulate blood sugar by focusing on adopting an exercise plan and a healthy diet before quitting smoking.
Smoking is also known to raise triglycerides and LDL, the bad cholesterol. It lowers the good cholesterol known as HDL. After quitting smoking, your cholesterol levels should improve.
11 – Eliminate or Reduce Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol reduces the effectiveness of insulin, and it can also alter blood sugar levels. Limit your alcohol consumption to two drinks per day and space them out to give your liver enough time to process the beverages. If you have blood sugar issues, you should avoid sugary mixed drinks.
12 – Cinnamon
This commonly used spice has had several studies performed to determine its benefit for those who wish to improve blood sugar as well as lower cholesterol. A 2003 study revealed that cinnamon could reduce blood sugar with the effects lasting even twenty days after participants stopped taking it.
13 – Fruits
The naturally occurring sugar in most fruits may deter some from increasing them in their diet. While it’s true that fruits have sugar, these sugars are not the same as processed sugars, and the body metabolizes them differently. Containing lots of water, fiber, and anthocyanins, fruits such as blueberries and blackberries can slow digestion and prevent spikes in blood sugar.
14 – Omega 3
Omega-three fatty acids may aid in regulating blood sugar by increasing adiponectin levels. Adiponectin is a hormone involved in regulating glucose levels. You can get omega-three fatty acids from supplements or fish.
15 – Sleep
Getting adequate sleep plays a vital role in how to control your blood sugar naturally. Lack of sleep increases blood sugar. Not getting enough sleep also causes your body to produce cortisol, which affects how insulin works. Schedule a minimum of seven hours of sleep each night.
16 – Whey Protein
According to a 2017 study, whey protein was found to reduce blood sugar in participants who weren’t obese. Found in milk and dietary supplements, whey protein regulates blood sugar by stimulating the production of insulin.
17 – Cut Out Processed Foods
Because what we consume is such an essential factor in how to control blood sugar naturally, eat as close to a whole foods diet as possible. This means reducing or eliminating processed foods and increasing whole grains, fresh vegetables, and fruits. Processed meats, sugary cereals, and canned fruits are some of the worst foods for those needing to control blood sugar. Find healthy alternatives to the processed foods you commonly eat.
18 – Green Tea
The polyphenols in green tea have been shown to lower blood sugar and cholesterol. Green tea polyphenols inhibit a digestive enzyme that turns starch into simple sugars. Drinking just a cup a day could yield blood sugar controlling results.
19 – Ditch Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose may appear to be a great alternative to processed sugar, but they are not. These artificial sweeteners raise blood sugar by affecting the good bacteria in your gut despite all three sweeteners being made of different compounds. Ditch diet sodas and avoid these sweeteners to control blood sugar.
20 – Monitor Glucose Levels
A critical step in how to control blood sugar naturally is knowing what your blood sugar levels are. If you have diabetes, you should be testing your blood sugar daily. Regularly monitoring your levels allows you to adjust dietary or lifestyle changes you may have recently made.
21 – Meal Plan
How to control blood sugar naturally starts with prevention. To avoid dips and spikes in blood sugar, plan your meals. Busy lifestyles and stress can make it easy to forget to eat or can cause us to overeat. Planning your meals a week in advance can reduce the chances of skipping meals because you’re too busy or stuffing yourself because you’re starving from skipping meals.
The focus shouldn’t only be on how to control blood sugar naturally. Planning meals low in saturated fats and high in fiber will help to lower your cholesterol.
Final Thoughts on Gaining Control Over Your Blood Sugar
There are many practical things you can do to get blood sugar under control and lower cholesterol. You may find after adopting these tips, other areas of your health improve dramatically. Remember, how to control blood sugar naturally is not complicated.
These changes are not one and done solutions in controlling blood sugar. Your approach must be long-term, with the ultimate goal being lasting health. Small daily improvements are the key to amazing long-term results. Choose a few suggestions off this list and start making changes today.