If you have diabetes, lowering blood sugar isn’t just a short-term goal: It absolutely helps prevent or delay diabetes complications, including kidney, eye and nerve diseases, such as diabetic peripheral neuropathy.
Most of these conditions require 10 or more years to develop, but “it’s still worth aggressively managing blood sugar levels to slow the onset of complications.
Here are 7 tips how to lower blood sugar naturally.
1. Never eat huge meals
To help your body regulate blood sugar levels:
– Avoid fasting
– Don’t skip meals
– Know your carb counts
How many carbs per meal are ideal? A typical starting point is 45 grams per meal for women and 60 grams for men, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA). But some experts now recommend a greater reduction in carbs from the diet.
2. Eat more resistant starch
Resistant starch – found in some potatoes and beans – bypasses the small intestine, gets metabolized by the good bacteria and then behaves as dietary fiber in the large intestine.
You’ll find resistant starch in a potato that has been baked and then cooled, but not in a warm potato. So a half-cup of potato salad will bring on better blood sugar readings than the same amount of warm mashed potatoes.
3. Beans are a girl’s best friend
Can something as simple and inexpensive as beans really help with diabetes control?
Absolutely! That’s because beans are slowly digested, resulting in only a small rise in blood glucose levels.
People with type 2 diabetes who ate at least a cup of legumes (beans, chickpeas and lentils) daily for three months had lower blood glucose (blood sugar) levels, as measured by the A1C test, according to a 2012 Canadian study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
4. Shed a few pounds
Your weight-loss goals don’t have to be enormous either. Some of patients have seen improvements in blood glucose readings with only a 5-pound loss.
5. Get more high-quality shut-eye
Poor or limited sleep affects body chemistry, and getting more slumber helps with blood sugar control.
6. Make friends with some cactus
The paddle-shaped nopal cactus (also known as “prickly pear”) might reduce blood sugar.
The fruit and stem of the nopal plant may slow carbohydrate absorption and lower post-meal blood glucose readings, according to some preliminary studies. But no large studies have proven if nopal is effective to prevent or treat diabetes.
7. Banish stress
When you’re stressed out, your body creates a lot of stored energy – glucose and fat – so cells can use it when called into action.
In people with diabetes, this extra energy doesn’t make it to the cells, so glucose stays in the blood and results in high readings.