How to Lower Your Blood Sugar Naturally: 5 Lifestyle Changes That Work
Are you one of the 37.3 million Americans that have trouble controlling their blood sugar levels?
Whether you have diabetes, are at a high risk of developing it, or just want to live a healthier life — keeping your blood sugar in check is something you should take seriously.
And while medication can and does help, there are also many other natural techniques that you can leverage to lower your blood sugar levels.
That’s why in this post, we’ll explore 5 effective all-natural strategies that you can use to help lower your blood sugar naturally.
From diet and exercise to stress management and natural supplements — we’ll cover a range of lifestyle changes that can make a real difference in your blood sugar levels.
So, be sure to keep reading till the end to learn everything you need to know about how to lower your blood sugar naturally!
Let’s dive in.
1. 1. Be Smart With Your Diet And Carbs
When it comes to managing your blood sugar levels, being smart with your diet and carbs is one of the most important and first changes you should make.
Here are some simple tips to help you in making more informed dietary decisions:
- Choose complex carbs: Complex carbs, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes, are high in fiber and take longer to digest. This means they have less of an impact on blood sugar levels compared to simple carbohydrates like candy, soda, and white bread. In fact, studies have shown that eating a diet rich in whole grains can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by 20 to 30%.
- Limit your carb intake: While it’s true that complex carbs are a better choice than simple carbs, it’s still important to watch your carb intake. Eating too many — even healthy ones — can cause blood sugar levels to rise. This is why the experts at WebMD recommend consuming roughly 45-60 grams of carbs per meal.
- Pay attention to the glycemic index: The glycemic index (GI) is a measurement of how quickly a food item boosts blood sugar. This means that foods with a high GI can cause sugar levels to spike quickly — while foods with a low GI are digested more slowly and have a more “subtle” impact on blood sugar. Low GI foods include meat, beans, veggies, and most fruits that lower blood sugar, like apples, strawberries, and lime, while high GI foods include white rice, potatoes, and bread.
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals: According to some randomized control trials on diabetes, eating smaller, more frequent meals can help keep blood sugar levels stable throughout the day. Try to eat every three to four hours (or six times a day), and avoid skipping meals. Just be sure to watch your portion sizes!
- Incorporate protein and healthy fats: Eating protein and healthy fats with your meals can help slow down the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream. That’s why most dieticians recommend adding lean protein sources like chicken, fish, and tofu and healthy fats like avocados, nuts, and olive oil to your meals.
2. 2. Get Moving And Exercise Regularly
Another powerful tool to lower your blood sugar naturally is exercise, and its importance can’t be overstated.
- Exercise helps insulin work more effectively: When you exercise, your muscles use glucose for energy, which means less glucose remains in your bloodstream. This helps insulin — the hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar levels — to work more effectively, allowing your body to better manage blood sugar levels.
- Exercise can reduce insulin resistance: Insulin resistance occurs when the cells in the body become less responsive to insulin, resulting in high blood sugar levels. Fortunately, studies have shown that regular exercise can reduce insulin resistance and improve blood sugar control. In fact, one study found that even a single session of exercise can boost insulin sensitivity for up to 16 hours after the workout!
- Exercise can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes: Regular exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 58%, according to a study conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine. This is because exercise not only helps improve insulin sensitivity but also aids in reducing inflammation and weight loss.
- Exercise can lower HbA1C levels: The HbA1C is a blood test that measures average blood sugar levels over the past two to three months. Numerous studies have found that most forms of exercise — including resistance training and aerobics — can help lower HbA1C levels, which is important for people with diabetes as high levels are associated with an increased risk of complications such as nerve damage, kidney disease, and eye problems.
Just remember that everyone’s exercise needs are different, and it’s essential to speak with your healthcare provider before starting any new exercise routine — especially if you have an underlying health problem like heart or lung disease.
However, in general, an average individual should always try to aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, spread out over at least three days.
3. 3. Consider Using Home Remedies And Herbal Supplements To Lower Your Blood Sugar Naturally
When it comes to managing blood sugar, many people turn to natural remedies and herbal supplements to help lower their blood sugar levels.
This is because herbal remedies have been effectively used for centuries in traditional medicine to treat a variety of health conditions, including diabetes.
Some reputable all-natural supplements are specifically formulated with a blend of ingredients like cinnamon, bitter melon, and berberine, all of which have been shown to have blood sugar-lowering effects.
In addition to supplements, there are also a number of home remedies that may help lower blood sugar naturally. For example, drinking green tea, eating fenugreek seeds, and taking apple cider vinegar are all things that can help lower your blood sugar naturally.
But it’s important to note that managing type 2 diabetes and blood sugar is all about finding what works best for your body.
And while these approaches can help, they aren’t a complete substitute for a healthy diet and exercise and should only be treated as a complementary approach to keeping your blood sugar levels in a healthier range.
4. 4. Learn To Let Go Of Stress
It’s no secret that chronic stress can have a significant impact on our mental health. However, many experts now believe it also plays a huge role in maintaining our blood sugar levels.
This is due to the fact that when we are stressed, our bodies release hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline — both of which can cause blood sugar levels to skyrocket.
That’s why if you’re struggling to control your sugar, it’s important to manage stress levels to prevent fluctuations in blood sugar levels.
And while there are thousands of ways to cope with stress, it’s important to find out which method works best for you.
For example, one effective method is through mindfulness practices such as meditation, deep breathing, and yoga. These practices have been shown to reduce stress levels and can have a positive impact on blood sugar control.
Similarly, making time for self-care and relaxing activities like taking a long leisurely walk, having a warm bubble bath, reading a book, or spending time with loved ones can also help reduce stress.
However, in some situations, seeking support from a mental health professional may be necessary to effectively manage stress.
If that’s the case, don’t hesitate to reach out to a therapist or counselor if stress is impacting your overall health and well-being. We’re human, after all; we all need a little help from time to time!
5. 5. Lose Weight
Lastly, losing weight can also be highly helpful in lowering blood sugar naturally.
In fact, losing even a small amount of weight, around 5-10% of total body weight, can make a significant difference in blood sugar control, according to some studies.
This is because excess body weight contributes to insulin resistance — making it harder for your body to process glucose effectively.
However, if you want to lose weight to improve your blood sugar levels, you should always try to do it in a healthy and sustainable manner.
Crash diets or extreme caloric restriction can actually worsen blood sugar control and lead to other health issues. That’s why it’s always better to focus on making long-term lifestyle changes that you can stick to instead.
Start by evaluating your current routine/diet and looking for areas where you can make improvements.
Focus on whole, nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats. And steer clear of processed foods, sugary drinks, and high amounts of saturated/trans fats.
Also, aim for at least half an hour of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week, such as jogging, cycling, or swimming. Strength training can also help build muscle mass and boost insulin sensitivity
The Takeaway: How To Lower Your Blood Sugar Naturally
As you can probably tell by now, lowering blood sugar naturally is possible with some simple lifestyle changes.
By eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, reducing stress, and incorporating herbal supplements and medicines, you can take control of your health and achieve better blood sugar control.
Just remember, it’s a gradual process and may take you some time to see significant improvements. However, every small step counts!
So, start taking action today and commit to a healthier lifestyle. You’ll thank yourself for it in the long run!