Ways to Reduce Blood Sugar Levels in the Body

By Nick Hadji 9 months ago

1. High-intensity exercise

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Regular exercise can not only help you reach a healthy weight, but also increase your insulin sensitivity. This means your cells use the sugar in your bloodstream more effectively. If you have issues with blood sugar, keep tabs on your blood sugar levels before and after your workout. This will help you learn how your body responds to different activities to keep your blood sugar levels from getting too high or too low.Original content sourced from Femanin.com

2. Eat more fiber

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Did you know that fiber actually slows down your sugar absorption? Fiber-rich food like fruit, vegetables and whole grains can aid blood sugar management, so it’s a good idea to up your intake. A high-fiber diet can boost your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar and minimize blood sugar low, which is good for people with type 1 diabetes.

3. Cut your carb intake

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While we’re not suggesting you cut out carbs completely, you should definitely curb your intake of carb-heavy foods like cakes, doughnuts, and junk food. Your carb intake plays a big part in influencing your blood sugar levels, as it breaks down carbs into sugars. Try to eat whole grain carbs rather than processed ones.

4. Stay hydrated

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Drinking water and staying hydrated is a good move for your body for multiple reasons. It can help keep your blood sugar levels in healthy ranges, and encourages your kidneys to flush out any excess sugar through your urine. It also rehydrates your blood and lowers your risk of getting diabetes, so it’s a win-win.

5. Go easy on your portion sizes

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Are you guilty of piling your plate high at meal times? If so, you might want to work on your portion control. Regulating the amount you eat in one sitting promotes a healthy weight and blood sugar levels, and has also been shown to reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Try to measure and weigh your portions, and use small plates if you can.

6. Try and manage your stress levels

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We know this is definitely easier said than done, but tackling your stress levels can really help your blood sugar levels too. When stressed, your body secretes hormones called glucagon and cortisol, which cause blood sugar levels to rise. Try regular yoga and meditation sessions to tackle this head-on.

7. Eat foods with with a low glycemic index

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The glycemic index basically measures how quickly carbs break down during digestion, as well as how quickly your body absorbs them. And this affects how fast your blood sugar levels can rise. Low to moderate levels of GI can be found in oats, beans, lentils and chickpeas, so you’ll want to incorporate these foods into your diet.

8. Get good quality sleep

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Quality sleep is essential for good health. But did you know that it’s good at lowering blood sugar levels too? Bad sleeping habits and a lack of rest can affect blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity, which increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. They can also increase appetite and promote weight gain, which you’ll want to avoid.

9. Monitor your blood sugar

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The more you monitor your blood sugar levels, the better you can get at managing them. It’s really to do this at home – just use a portable glucose meter, also known as a glucometer. However, it’s a good idea to speak to your doctor about this before you buy one, as they will be able to advise on meals and medications.

10. Eat foods high in chromium and magnesium

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Some studies have linked high blood sugar levels with micronutrient deficiencies, including deficiencies of chromium and magnesium. Upping your intake of foods that contain these micronutrients is a great way to combat high blood sugar levels, so opt for mussels, nuts, fruit and vegetables.

11. Stay at a healthy weight

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Staying at a healthy, moderate weight promotes healthy blood sugar levels and reduces your risk of getting diabetes. While we’re not suggesting that you start crashing dieting, losing just over 5% of your initial weight may benefit your glycated hemoglobin readings. These are generally used as indicators of your blood sugar levels over the course of 3 months.

12. Eat healthy snacks

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Instead of snacking on chips or candy, try and switch to healthy snacks like fruit instead. Snacking throughout the day means you can avoid both high and low sugar levels, which will reduce the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes. And some studies suggest that having smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day can actually improve insulin sensitivity.

13. Bring apple cider vinegar into your diet

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Some foods have been praised in health circles for their ability to reduce blood sugar levels – and apple cider vinegar is one of them. It’s said to reduce blood sugar levels by delaying the emptying of your stomach after a meal, but much more research is needed to prove this. Still, bringing a little more apple cider vinegar into your diet won’t do you any harm.

14. Eat probiotic-rich foods

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Probiotics are the friendly forms of bacteria we need to stay healthy – and they’re important for blood sugar regulation. Scientific studies have shown that a regular probiotic intake can actually lower fasting blood sugar, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), and insulin resistance in people with type 2 diabetes. You can find probiotics in fermented foods like yogurt, kefir and kimchi.

15. Up your berberine intake

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Berberine is being hailed as the new super ingredient. There’s talk that it can clear skin, reduce aging, and lower blood sugar levels too. It’s essentially a compound that reduces blood sugar by stimulating enzymes’ breakdown of glucose, promoting your tissue’s use of sugar and boosting insulin production.

16. Eat more cinnamon

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If you’re already a fan of cinnamon, this might be your excuse to increase your intake! This spice has been said to improve blood sugar levels, as it enhances insulin sensitivity and slows the breakdown of carbs in your digestive tract. This helps moderate your sugar levels after you’ve eaten. However, more research still needs to be done.

17. Don't skip breakfast

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It’s called the most important meal of the day for a reason. And this is especially true for those who have diabetes. Research has found that breakfasts which contain 39g of protein can lead to lower post-meal glucose spikes than meals with less protein. Plus, eating breakfast can help overweight people with type 2 diabetes shed the pounds.

18. Add more resistant starch to your plate

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Resistant starch bypasses the small intestine and ferments in the large intestine, which means it boosts the growth of good bacteria in the body without raising glucose levels - and the effect will last through your next meal. Resistant starch can be found in foods like beans, potatoes and bananas.

19. Eat fenugreek seeds

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While more studies need to be carried out on the benefits of fenugreek seeds, early research suggests that fenugreek can help support blood sugar management – meaning it can be good for people with diabetes. Fenugreek is claimed to slow down digestion and absorption of carbohydrates in a similar way to cinnamon.

20. Take your medication

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If you’re already on medication, it’s important that you take this as instructed by your doctor. If you find that your blood sugar levels are usually quite high, your doctor may change how much medicine you take or when you take it. Make sure you check in with them if you have any queries.

21. Eat less processed meat

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If you’re cutting down on the carbs, you might be tempted to start bringing more processed meat into your diet to keep you fuller for longer. But processed meat like sausages and bacon are linked with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, as well as heart problems and cancers, so you should avoid them if you can.

22. Choose healthier fats

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If you’re struggling with your blood sugar levels, try to bring more healthy fats into your diet. Healthy fats can help you control your blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation, and even lower your risk of heart disease, and can be found in foods like oily fish, unsalted nuts, seeds and avocados, as well as olive oil.

23. Be careful with your alcohol intake

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Alcohol like beer and sweetened mixed drinks are pretty high in carbohydrates, which raises your blood sugar levels. A lot of alcoholic drinks also contain tons of calories, which can contribute to weight gain. If you don’t want to give up the booze completely, it’s wise to at least cut down on your intake.

24. Don't bother with 'diabetic' food

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There’s no evidence that so-called ‘diabetic’ food offers a special benefit over eating healthily. They can also often contain just as much fat and calories as similar products, despite their ‘healthy’ label, and can still affect your blood glucose level. These foods can also sometimes have a laxative effect, so you’ve been warned.

25. Try herbal extracts

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You also might want to consider using herbal supplements to help control your blood sugar levels. Some supplements that might help include certain teas, ginseng and turmeric. Bear in mind though that while some research suggests that they may have a positive effect, more evidence is needed to support these claims.

26. Walking

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If you’re struggling with high-intensity exercise, try something simple instead – walking. As long as your body is moving, you’re effectively lowering your blood sugar levels and keeping yourself healthy. Try to get into the habit of going for a walk every day, as this will help your body and your brain too.

27. Eat more barley

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This whole grain is packed with fiber that lowers your appetite. According to a 2019 study, barley can help decrease blood sugar, as when it interacts with your gut bacteria, it helps your body metabolize glucose (sugar). Add barely to stews and soups and salads. You can even make a pearl barley risotto if you’re feeling adventurous.

28. Avoid saturated fats

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As we’ve already covered the benefits of healthy fats, you won’t be too surprised to learn that saturated fats need to be given a wide birth. Foods high in saturated fat like cakes, pastries and biscuits contribute to a phenomenon called insulin resistance, also known as IR. And if your body can’t use insulin properly, it elevates your blood sugars.

29. Eat less red meat

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While red meats aren’t as bad for you as processed meats, they’re still not the best food to eat if you’re experiencing high blood sugar levels. They too have been linked with diabetes and heart problems, so it’s a really good idea to cut down on your consumption. Try and switch to chicken and turkey instead.

30. Speak to your doctor

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If you’re worried about your blood sugar levels, it’s a really good idea to speak to your doctor about it. They’ll be able to run tests to make sure everything’s working as it should, and will be able to help you monitor and keep track of your blood sugar. They may also create a diet plan for you, or prescribe medication if you need it.

31. The biggest causes of blood sugar swings: caffeine

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If you're a regular coffee drinker, this can be a main cause of blood sugar increase, and this counts even if you're having plain black coffee that doesn't have any calories in it, because it's all down to the caffeine. And because of the caffeine, it's also not just coffee that can increase your blood sugar - it can also be black tea, green tea or if you're drinking energy drinks.

32. Eating sugar-free foods

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You might have been eating sugar-free food and snacks thinking that was an obvious way to not have your blood sugar levels change, but actually, sugar-free foods can still cause levels to rise due to the carbohydrates in the starch. Some may also contain sugar alcohols (like sorbitol and xylitol) which still have the potential to make your levels rise - so always check the label.

33. Chinese food

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Chinese food can be one of the biggest culprits of increasing blood sugar levels because of the high fat content. While the white rice is an issue, it's not the only issue, as it can also be from the meat or sauce. It's not just Chinese food to blame though, as any food with high fat (like pizza or that side of french fries) will also likely increase your blood sugar levels.

34. Catching a cold

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As if struggling through a cold or the flu wasn't annoying enough, it can also cause your blood sugar levels to increase, and that's because your body is working to fight off the illness. It can be difficult to attribute any high blood sugar symptoms to that because they're similar to cold symptoms, including high thirst and feeling tired all of the time.

35. Being under constant stress

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We know that stress can cause havoc on the body, and one of the biggest sources of stress that causes blood sugar levels to rise is from a stressful job that you're working day in and day out. When you're stressed, your body releases hormones in response which makes your blood sugar levels rise - and you can imagine how bad that gets when you're that stressed all day, every day.

36. Eating bagels

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Why are we targeting bagels specifically? We know they're delicious, but unlike other types of bread like sliced white or wholegrain bread, they have a ton more carbohydrates. One bagel will have more carbohydrates than one slice of bread. And, unsurprisingly, they have more calories. All of this can result in an increase in your body's blood sugar levels.

37. Drinking sports drinks

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Sports drinks are helpful with vigorous workouts when you need to keep your body hydrated, but it's not good news for your blood sugar levels, and that's because these sports drinks often have just as much sugar as a can of soda. If you're only having a standard workout, make sure to drink water instead of sports drinks to stay hydrated and avoid blood sugar levels rising.

38. Eating dried fruits

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Eating fruit in any shape of form is a healthy choice, but some varieties will have a different affect on the body than others. Eating dried fruit instead of fresh fruit, for example, will mean you're having more carbohydrates in a smaller portion of them, which could result in a rise in blood sugar levels. One small spoon of dried fruit can have the same amount of carbs as half a large, fresh fruit.

39. Certain pills

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There are also a lot of pills that can increase your blood sugar levels, and this is something you might not realize when you need to take these pills as medication. Certain pills used to treat things like arthritis and rashes, called corticosteroids, can actually also increase blood sugar levels. Water pills used for high blood pressure can also result in higher levels of blood sugar.

40. Medicines to treat a cold

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As well as a cold itself risking an increase in blood sugar levels, the medicines you take to treat a cold won't help either! Certain decongestants, which include pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine, can result in raised blood sugar levels. Certain cold medicines also come with sugar to make them taste better, as well as a small amount of alcohol in them, and these can both raise levels.

41. Birth control pills

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Birth control pills can affect your body in many different ways, including hormones and your blood sugar levels, and it can be different for every person. People with existing conditions like diabetes should always check with their doctor first before taking birth control pills in terms of how it could affect your blood sugar levels. Types with estrogen can also affect how your body manages insulin.

42. Doing chores around the house

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Doing household chores is one of the best ways for lowering blood sugar levels that you don't even realize! It's never a fun thing to do, but what it is giving us is consistent movement and exercise throughout the day. This fortunately means a lower blood sugar level. Chores like mowing the lawn and walking around to get groceries all count in a positive way.

43. Eating yoghurt

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Yogurt is a great source of healthy bacteria for a healthy diet, and this in turn means help controlling your blood sugar levels. These probiotics also help to improve digestion. You need to be careful which yogurts you're having, though, as they aren't all the healthiest - some have added sugar and extras in them like fruit, which can all add to carb counting.

44. Having a vegan diet

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Some studies have suggested that switching to a vegan diet can actually help people with diabetes, and this was down to better control of blood sugar levels and less of a need for insulin. This could be due to a higher fiber content in foods like beans and whole grains, but it's not for certain whether it directly helps diabetes or not to be a vegan. Big diet changes can affect people in different ways.

45. Having cinnamon

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Cinnamon is a great for adding delicious flavor to things like baked goods or coffee, and because of this, you might think it's unhealthy. Actually, a sprinkling of cinnamon doesn't add any calories, salt or carbs, and it's been suggested in some studies it could actually help to lower blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes, but it all depends on how an individual's body reacts to cinnamon.

46. How well you're sleeping

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A good night's sleep, every night, is so important for your overall health, but did you know it can affect your blood sugar levels specifically? During sleep your blood sugar is also more likely to go down. For people with diabetes, this also means managing what they eat before bed or when they wake up to get levels back on track. Not only that, blood sugar levels can then rise first thing in the morning.

47. Drinking alcohol

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Alcohol is one of the worst culprits for making your blood sugar rise and fall. At first, the high carb content of alcoholic drinks will make your blood sugar levels rise. But then these levels can drop again hours after drinking. This is also why it's so important to limit your drinks or know the maximum recommended a day for your gender and age. It also helps to drink with food!

48. Hot temperatures

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There are many things soaring hot temperatures do to our bodies when we're out and about - we all know that feeling of feeling weak, dizzy or dehydrated when it gets a bit much. It can also affect your blood sugar levels, too, as extreme heat can make it harder to control. You'd be much better staying in the house with the air con on than battling the heat outside!

49. Hormones

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Blood sugar levels can often change at the same time hormones do, and one of the times that's most likely to happen is during the menstruation cycle and that time of the month. Any hormones changes make blood sugar levels harder to maintain. You can get a good idea of yours is changing by measuring your blood sugar levels at the same time as your cycle to see how it's being affected.

50. Will eating less sugar help?

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When considering your blood sugar levels, most people thinking eating more sugar or less sugar is what it comes down to - but actually, eating less sugar or cutting it out altogether might not have the result you think! You don't have to give up sugar completely - blood sugar levels are more affected by a high amount of carbs. So eating sugar in small doses is usually okay!