Blood Sugar is a Silent Killer
Being a ‘sweet’ person is no more a good thing if that sweetness is going to affect your wellbeing! The quantity of glucose present in the blood determines the blood sugar or the blood glucose levels. If blood sugar levels are higher than required, transfer of sugar from the blood to the cells don’t happen. This is especially relevant because, if left unchecked this can lead to diabetes, the silent killer disease.
High blood sugar known as hyperglycemia deteriorates the ability of the pancreas to produce insulin. If not reduced or treated, it could lead to diabetes-related complications. This can affect the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and also the formation of plaque in blood vessels. Since hyperglycemia can damage any part of the body, it is vital to keep it in check.
Some Natural Ways to Reduce Blood Sugar
Here are some natural ways you can follow to reduce blood sugar levels:
As per research, consuming a diet which is low in carbs minimizes the level of sugar content in blood. The carbs are essential for the body as it provides energy. These carbs are broken down into glucose, and the insulin transports the sugar to cells. However, excessive consumption of certain carbs can interfere with insulin production and lead to a spike in sugar levels. So reducing the carbs in your diet can reduce the sugar spikes. Not all carbs are unhealthy- some like the non-starchy vegetables are necessary for the body.
When your body becomes insensitive to insulin, the sugar stays in the blood and the cells don’t receive enough energy. This results in the rise of sugar levels in the blood. Exercise not only helps to reduce weight but it also decreases the insulin insensitivity in the blood. That, in turn, aids the cells to better utilize the energy. It also helps the blood glucose to normalize; the muscles can use them for energy. Exercise increases the blood flow to the feet and legs, reducing the risk of stroke and heart attacks. Aerobic and strength building exercises are highly beneficial for people who suffer from either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Running, hiking swimming, biking, and brisk walking are some of the exercises that one can perform.
Increase fiber intake:
Eat foods that contain a lot of fiber as it can help in controlling the blood sugar. It is recommended that one chooses soluble fiber rather than the insoluble types. Insoluble fiber reduces the rate of sugar absorption and digestion of carbs, which promotes a gradual increase in blood glucose. Vegetables, legumes, whole grains and fruits are rich in fiber and can even help in managing type 1 diabetes. It is recommended that women consume 25 gm of fiber and men 38 gm per day on an average.
Mind the portions:
A ‘big dinner’ is a big no! Do not eat small meals throughout the day and end up eating a heavy dinner. There has to be a control on the portions to ensure that the sugar levels remain stable. Portion control also aids in weight loss and the number of calories you consume. This naturally helps in promoting healthy blood glucose levels.
Here are some ways to control your ‘portions’:
- Do not dine at “eat all you can” places!
- Weigh the portions
- Check calories and serving sizes and avoid large servings.
- Eat in a smaller plate (crazy? NO, it helps!!)
- Chew your food well and consume it slowly
Choose low GI food:
The Glycemic Index (GI) indicates the ranking of foods based on the effect it has on the blood sugar levels. A low GI food of <55 is considered healthier as it reduces the fasting blood glucose levels. Leafy greens, non-starchy vegetables, eggs, beans, lentils, barley, low-fat milk, sweet potatoes etc., are low on GI. So too are nuts, seeds, quinoa, fish, and meats.
Consume complex carbs:
There are two types of carbohydrates, simple and complex. The effects of these carbs on the hyperglycemia are opposite. While simple carbs can be broken down quickly complex carbs take a long time to dissolve. Hence, simple carbs cause a spike the sugar levels while complex carbs do so gradually. Therefore, consuming complex carbs is beneficial, in that the sugar level rises very gradually. Examples of simple carbs are pasta, white bread, and pastries. Complex carbohydrates include quinoa, brown rice, oats, and other whole grains.
Ensure a healthy body weight:
The risk of diabetes is higher in individuals who are obese. Thus, maintaining a healthy weight can control blood sugar. It is not necessary that a person has to have an ideal weight. A small reduction in weight and not gaining it back significantly reduces the occurrence of diabetes and other chronic diseases. A healthy diet of fresh vegetables and fruits along with regular exercise can help a person achieve the desired weight.
Drink plenty of water:
Water is the best way to keep yourself hydrated and also control the blood sugar to optimal levels. It also aids to flush out the toxins and the unwanted or excessive sugar through urine. If you are looking to reduce blood glucose levels, then avoid sugary juices and beverages and instead opt to drink water. People with diabetes or those looking to reduce sugar intake should avoid or limit drinking alcohol. Another drink to avoid is carbonated stuff.
Diabetes is fast turning out to be a global epidemic, but it can be prevented and even reversed. You can reduce sugar content in the blood without drugs or medicines, by following the tips mentioned above. Furthermore, taking medications is only a temporary fix- it does not address the cause but only treats the symptoms.
A change in lifestyle can greatly help in reducing blood sugar naturally. Change your eating habits- what you eat, when you eat, and how much you eat. Exercise your body regularly and ensure that you get quality sleep every night. Learning to handle stress, both at work and at home is especially relevant. Practice all these and make them a habit- you’ll see that managing your blood sugar levels in a cinch! These are natural ways to prevent diabetes and its complications.