8 Ways to Lower Your Blood Sugar
August 2, 2022
High blood sugar, also known as hyperglycemia, is associated with diabetes, a disease that can cause heart attack, heart failure, stroke, and kidney failure.
High blood sugar occurs when your body fails to produce enough insulin or use insulin efficiently. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 13% of all Americans and 25% of those 65 or older suffer from it.
But there are simple steps you can take to lower your blood sugar levels naturally:
1. Exercise regularly
- Regular exercise can help improve your insulin sensitivity, which means your cells can better use the sugar in your blood, reducing blood sugar levels. Good forms of exercise include weightlifting, walking briskly, running, bicycling, dancing, hiking, and swimming.
2. Manage your carbs
- You body converts carbs into sugar, then insulin helps your body to use and store sugar for energy. You can help your body control your blood sugar by monitoring carb intake and planning meals. A low-carb diet helps prevent sugar spikes – and can have long-term benefits.
3. Eat more fiber
- Fiber slows your body’s digestion of carbohydrates and sugar absorption. That means it promotes more gradual increases in blood sugar levels. All kinds of fiber are good for the body, but soluble fiber is best for improving blood sugar control. High fiber diets also help manage type 1 diabetes by helping the body regulate blood sugar. High fiber foods include fruit, vegetables, beans, and whole grains.
4. Drink plenty of water
- Drinking plenty of water helps your kidneys flush out excess sugar. One study found that people who drink more water lower their risk for developing high blood sugar levels. And remember, water is the best. Sugary drinks elevate blood sugar by raising it even more.
5. Eat moderate portions
- Portion control helps reduce the calories you eat, which helps you maintain a moderate weight. Controlling your weight promotes healthy blood sugar levels and reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
6. Manage your stress
- Stress also affects blood sugar levels. Exercise, relaxation techniques, and meditation can help to reduce stress and blood sugar levels.
7. Get enough sleep
- Poor sleeping habits can increase appetite and promote weight gain, affecting blood sugar. Sleep deprivation increases cortisol levels – which are essential to managing blood sugar.
8. Eat foods that are rich in chromium and magnesium
- High blood sugar levels are linked to deficiencies in minerals like chromium and magnesium, which regulate blood sugar. Chromium-rich foods include meats, fruit, vegetables, and nuts. Magnesium-rich foods include dark, leafy greens, squash and pumpkin seeds, tuna, whole grains, dark chocolate, bananas, and beans.
Get the Care You Need
You can help to control your blood sugar levels with a few natural adjustments to your lifestyle and diet. Of course, you should discuss changes with your health provider first. If you don’t have a doctor, Grady can help. If you need a primary care physician, book your appointment online at gradyhealth.org, use MyChart, or call (404) 616-1000. We’ll arrange an appointment at a Primary Care Center near you. Doctors there can treat most conditions and provide access to Grady’s unparalleled medical specialty expertise.