How to lower your blood sugar

How to lower your blood sugar

High blood sugar increases the risk of developing diabetes 2. How can you counteract it? Let’s see it together!

Lower your blood sugar

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Hyperglycemia ( high blood glucose levels) is associated with an increased risk of diabetes 2 which, in turn, can lead to diseases or disorders, including cardiovascular disease.

To counter this condition, it is essential to improve one’s lifestyle through a healthy and balanced diet and staying active. 

Although it is important that the diet is varied and nutritious, there are some specific foods and strategies that can help maintain proper blood sugar .

Below we will see what the main suggestions are, but it should be noted that these do not in any way replace the advice of an expert, especially in the case of diagnosed or suspected  diabetes !
In case of hyperglycemia, the first step to take before putting into practice any strategy or change is to consult a doctor.
Lower blood sugar with physical activity

Practicing regular physical activity and maintaining an active lifestyle , as we know, is one of the basic principles on which the rules of good health are based. These good habits also help in regulating blood sugar levels. Any type of physical exercise is fine if compatible with your needs and health status.

Staying active not only reduces blood glucose levels (because it determines the consumption of glucose by the muscles), but is also able to increase insulin sensitivity , thus correcting one of the causes of diabetes.

In addition, regular physical activity helps to maintain body weight, which is not an unimportant factor, as being overweight or obese increases the risk of getting diabetes 2. It has been observed that reducing your weight by 7% (if in excess) can reduce the risk of diabetes by up to 58%!

Lower your blood sugar by paying attention to the glycemic index of foods

The Glycemic Index (GI) of a food measures its impact on blood sugar. In particular, the higher the glycemic index , the faster the blood glucose level will rise after consuming a certain food.

Preferring foods with a low glycemic index , therefore, could be a good strategy to control blood sugar levels, however, it is also important to pay attention to the glycemic load of the meal , which takes into account the amount of carbohydrates introduced.

Among the carbohydrates with the lowest glycemic index, we find barley , spelled , oats , buckwheat , bread with cereals, legumes and vegetables.
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Lower blood sugar with fiber

Fibers are complex carbohydrates that are not absorbed in the intestine, but have numerous important health benefits, including that of regulating the absorption of sugars and, therefore, blood sugar. 

For this reason, every meal should never lack a good source of fiber , which we find especially in whole grains, legumes, vegetables, nuts and fresh fruit.

According to the LARN (Reference Intake Levels of Nutrients and Energy for the Italian population) an adult should take on average at least 25 g of fiber per day .

Lower your blood sugar with proper hydration

While healthy eating and an active lifestyle can improve blood sugar levels, proper hydration can also help . Drinking enough, in fact, helps to rehydrate the blood and reduce the sugar level.

According to the LARN (Levels of Reference Intake of Nutrients and Energy for the Italian population) an adult should take on average 2 L of water per day for females and 2.5 L for males .

Foods that lower blood sugar

Following the suggestions listed is already an excellent starting point for improving your blood sugar, however, there are foods with particular hypoglycemic activity . Let’s see some of them:

  • Apple cider vinegar : according to some studies, it would reduce the release of glucose from the liver and improve insulin sensitivity, consequently reducing blood sugar. Furthermore, its use is an excellent strategy for flavoring dishes and reducing salt consumption.
  • Cinnamon : This spice reduces insulin resistance, improving the response of cells to glucose. Furthermore, it is an excellent ally for flavoring sweet preparations and reducing the consumption of sugar.
  • Turmeric : Rich in antioxidants, turmeric is able to improve insulin sensitivity by regulating blood sugar levels. It can be useful to combine it with other spices to flavor dishes and reduce salt consumption, or it can be taken in the form of herbal tea.
  • Citrus fruits : the fibers contained in citrus fruits, including lemon , help improve blood sugar levels, however, these are preserved only if the fruit is consumed whole. Extracts or centrifuges, in fact, have a higher glycemic index, precisely because they are poor in fiber. Furthermore, some studies have observed that vitamin C , which citrus fruits are rich in, can also have a positive impact on diabetes.
  • Green tea : the presence of the polyphenol epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) favors the entry of glucose into muscle cells, consequently reducing blood sugar.
  • Infusion of hibiscus (karkadè): in addition to improving blood pressure levels, hibiscus flowers help regulate blood sugar. 

Dried fruit in diets for weight and blood sugar control

Bibliography and sources

Italian Society of Diabetology

The Diabetes Prevention Program, Diabetes Care

Levels of Reference Intake of Nutrients and Energy for the Italian Population (LARN), Italian Society of Human Nutrition (SINU)

Effects of stabilized rice bran, its soluble and fiber fractions on blood glucose levels and serum lipid parameters in humans with diabetes mellitus Types I and II, The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry

Low water intake and risk for new-onset hyperglycemia, Diabetes Care

Effect of neutralized and native vinegar on blood glucose and acetate responses to a mixed meal in healthy subjects, European journal of clinical nutrition

Cinnamon: Potential Role in the Prevention of Insulin Resistance, Metabolic Syndrome, and Type 2 Diabete, Journal of diabetes science and technology

Dietary Vitamin C Intake Reduces the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in Chinese Adults: HOMA-IR and T-AOC as Potential Mediators, PLOS ONE

Effect of green tea on glucose control and insulin sensitivity: a meta-analysis of 17 randomized controlled trials, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Effects and Mechanisms of Tea for the Prevention and Management of Diabetes Mellitus and Diabetic Complications: An Updated Review, Antioxidants

Hibiscus sabdariffa calyx palliates insulin resistance, hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia and oxidative rout in fructose ‐ induced metabolic syndrome rats, Wiley Online Library

Antidiabetic Properties of Curcumin II: Evidence from In Vivo Studies, Nutrients

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