The best ways to reduce your blood sugar level are to maintain a healthy body weight, reduce carbohydrate intake in your diet, increase fiber intake in it, eat smaller portions of foods that have a low glycemic index, get more physical exercise, and get enough quality sleep. If your aim is to learn ways to lower blood sugar level then these are not the only ways to do so, but they’re the most effective among all of them.
It’s an important aim for those who want to stay in good overall health as they get older, and it’s also true that high blood sugar is one of the more common latent health risks for adults in North America. This is primarily because of diet choices and sedentary lifestyles, but some people have a genetic predisposition to having high blood sugar levels.
So, for anyone asking, ‘how can I reduce my blood sugar level’, read on. And while we’re on the topic of blood, we’ll also liven things up a bit by talking about the amazing wood frog and it’s ability to survive with frozen blood that’s loaded with blood glucose (sugar). Yes, you read that correctly – their blood actually freezes, and they still survive just fine.
For the wood frog, high blood sugar levels are essential for its survival during winter!
But before we talk about that, we’ll look at all the different suggestions for reducing blood sugar in greater detail. We’re going to look at natural approaches, but keep in mind that a physician may suggest you take medications like Glucotrol (Glipizide), Onglyza (Saxagliptin), or Precose (Acarbose), among other effective blood sugar control medications.
The most primary risk that comes with high blood sugar levels is that the person may develop diabetes. We’ll get right to the point here – weight control promotes healthy blood sugar levels and will reduce your risk of developing diabetes. And it doesn’t take much weight loss to make big differences; even a 7% reduction in body weight can lower your risk of diabetes by up to 58%.
However, it may be that taking a measuring tape to your waistline is a better indicator of whether or not you’re doing well enough here. If you’re a woman and you’re more than 35” around or a man who’s more than 40” around then you ARE at greater risk of developing insulin resistance, high blood sugar levels, and type 2 diabetes.
Stay under that number and you’ll not only be in better health but you’ll also look better.
Maybe it’s a shame that it’s the way it is, but it’s a physiological fact that the human body breaks down carbs into sugars. Some of this glucose is okay, but too much of it and insulin is unable to channel this glucose into cells like it is supposed to. Blood glucose levels rise as a result, and this means high blood sugar levels.
The problem is of course that carbohydrates make up a lot of what most people consider to be delicious and irresistible. Bread, pasta, the tortillas your much-loved tacos come in, and many more. Now no one’s saying you can’t have any of them, just that you should eat considerably less of them if you’re at risk of high blood sugar levels.
Alright, here’s one suggestion that shouldn’t seem as unappealing as the one above it. Eating more fiber is pretty easy to do and it’s also fairly enjoyable when you know how to do it. There are two types of fiber, insoluble fiber and soluble fiber, and soluble fiber is proven to lower blood sugar levels. Good sources of soluble fiber are vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains.
No need to measure the stuff exactly, but if you can sort of eat around 25 grams for women or 38 grams of soluble fiber food sources for men then it should be helpful in lowering your blood glucose.
Here is the one that is ALWAYS the most difficult for North Americans to start sticking to. Portion control means weight loss, and usually quite quickly too. It also prevents blood sugar spikes. Good ways to be successful with portion control include:
As for choosing food with a low glycemic index, we’ll skip going into detail on that but share this glycemic index for your reference.
Poor sleeping habits and not enough rest affect blood sugar levels, and they also push up cortisol levels in your blood which also increases high blood sugar levels. The general rule of 7 hours minimum a night is a good one, but it also needs to be deep, restful sleep. Melatonin supplements do well for most people who have trouble sleeping well, and meditation is good for those who have insomnia or difficulty falling asleep.
We always segue off onto a different yet somewhat related topic with our blogs. Today what we’ll do too keep things interesting is talk about the wood frog, and what it’s able to have happen with its blood that no other creature in the world is able to do.
When winter comes, many animals – amphibians included – burrow deep underground to keep warm for spring and avoid the deadly cold temperatures that occur in the northern hemispheres of the world. Wood frogs don’t do that, they stay on top and usually slip under the cover of leaves that have come down in the fall.
As the winter reaches the pinnacle of its coldness, the frogs actually allow themselves to freeze. Special proteins in their blood called nucleating proteins cause the water in their blood to freeze, and at the same time the frog’s liver starts producing large amounts of glucose (blood sugar) which is necessary for propping up their cells and allowing them to survive as they become frozen.
The blood sugar prevents water from being pulled out of the cells as they freeze, and this allows the cells – and the frog – to survive.
Humans don’t have these nucleating proteins in their blood, but scientists are studying the wood frog to see if there’s anything they can do promote them in humans to – among other uses – help people with more successful organ transplants.
What we’ll conclude with today is a quick-fix tip as one more of the way to lower blood sugar level. Add some apple cider vinegar to your sauces like salad dressings or elsewhere, and you can also mix it with some fruit juice to take away the overly acidic taste. Apple cider vinegar lowers blood sugar levels by stimulating the liver to not produce as much blood glucose.
It shouldn’t be relied on as an only-one approach for how to reduce blood sugar level, but it can increase the effectiveness of the choices listed above.