If you have diabetes – and about half of all US adults are either pre-diabetic or have full-blown diabetes – then it’s all about those little numbers that show up on on your meter when you prick your finger for the morning blood test. If you haven’t had the pleasure yet, medicine (especially insulin) and supplies can cost a small fortune each month. Wouldn’t it be nice if you knew how to control blood sugar naturally and inexpensively?
Umm, actually you can but you might not like the method. Since type-2 diabetes is often a result of poor lifestyle choices – diet and lack of exercise mainly – that means you should be able to right the ship if you start making good choices.
10 Easy Tips on How to Control Blood Sugar Naturally
1. Move Your Body
The basic problem with diabetes is insulin insensitivity. Guess what makes you more insulin sensitive? Exercise!. You don’t have to be a world class athlete, but you do need to try weight-lifting, walking, running, biking, or even squirrel-wrangling – basically anything that gets your heart rate up and works at least a few muscles.
2. Control those Carbs
Without getting too scientific, it’s a good thing to know that the carbohydrates you consume are broken down by the body into sugar. If you eat a diet high in carbs, there’s a chance your sugar could spike or stay consistently elevated, which is a bad thing. One way to control blood sugar naturally is not to eat too many at one sitting. Better yet, try a low carb diet.
3. Fiber Up!
Fiber is like a paper towel in your digestive system. It slows carb digestion and absorbs sugar, sponging up the mess by eating too much of the wrong thing. Getting fiber in your diet helps level out sugar spikes and dips and is a good idea for either type-1 or type-2 diabetes. Keeping an approximate 2:1 fiber to sugar ratio is an underappreciated little gem of a method in how to control your blood sugar naturally.
4. Hydrate Yourself
Drinking good, old-fashioned water is another way to control blood sugar naturally. It goes to work doing this a few different ways. First, drinking plenty of water keeps the kidneys flushed so they don’t accumulate excess sugar. Second, it rehydrates the blood, a state of being that tends to moderate sugar levels. Our Western diet is often high on the caloric side. Taking it down a notch could be all you need to learn how to control blood sugar naturally.
5. Learn the Glycemic Index
It’s hard to know how to control blood sugar naturally without understanding the particular effect an individual food has through the Glycemic Index classification system. If you are diabetic, you owe it to your health to at least be familiar with the idea that certain foods have a more severe impact on your sugar level than others.
6. Do You Have Stressyitis?
Sure, it’s a word. Check out the short-lived animated television series Stressed Eric. He’ll tell you. The important thing to remember is that stress can send your sugar numbers through the roof via the mechanism of releasing the hormones cortisol and glucagon. Don’t be Eric Feeble with that big, old vein pulsating on your forehead. Learn to chill.
7. Regular Checks
Do you tend to go days or even weeks without checking your sugar level? If your number management is so spot on that they never fluctuate, that’s fine, but if you’re avoiding the reality of an out-of-control food binge, that’s not fine. A phrase to keep in mind is “what gets measured, gets managed.” Furthermore, ignorance is only bliss until you start suffering severe side effects from high sugar levels.
8. Avoid Huge Meals
If you just remember one food related item from this list, let it be to avoid binge-out eating habits. When you have diabetes, starving yourself all day in order to squeeze every last drop of calories from a single meal is a bad idea and not at all how to control your blood sugar naturally. This sends your sugar into an over-the-moon spike, which is the opposite of the flat-line level we’re looking for.
9. The Magic of Beans
Like beans or hate them, the unavoidable reality is that they have a positive effect on blood sugars. The reason is because they digest slowly, so not only fill you up but also releases only a small amount of sugar into your bloodstream at a time.
10. Get Better Sleep
Lack of quality sleep is associated with higher incidence of type-2 diabetes. You need at least seven hours of uninterrupted slumber. Lack of sleep results in higher levels of fatty acids in the blood, which creates an environment more resistant to regulating your sugar levels.
The main point here is that learning how to control blood sugar naturally might eventually alleviate the need for medications. While you should only make adjustments to prescription dosages after consulting with your doctor, no medical professional in his or her right mind should be against any of the items just discussed. Work your way down the list, one item a time and, before you know it, you’ve got a whole new healthy lifestyle that might include a set of flashy new and smaller sugar numbers.