High blood sugar is a serious health issue that can lead to a variety of health complications. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce your blood sugar levels. One of the most important things you can do is to make sure you are eating the right foods. Eating the right foods can help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels and reduce your risk of developing serious health problems. In this article, we will discuss the #1 thing to do to reduce high blood sugar: Eat This Not That. We will provide tips on how to make healthier food choices and provide some examples of foods that are good for reducing high blood sugar.
The #1 Thing to Do to Reduce High Blood Sugar — Eat This Not That
If you have high blood sugar, it’s important to make changes to your diet to help reduce it. Eating the right foods can help you manage your blood sugar levels and reduce your risk of developing diabetes. Here are some tips on what to eat and what to avoid to help reduce your high blood sugar.
- Whole grains: Whole grains are a great source of fiber, which helps slow down the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream. Choose whole grain breads, cereals, and pastas.
- Fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Choose fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables for the most nutritional value.
- Lean proteins: Lean proteins such as fish, chicken, and beans are a great source of protein and can help keep you feeling full longer. Choose lean cuts of meat and low-fat dairy products.
- Healthy fats: Healthy fats such as olive oil, nuts, and avocados can help keep your blood sugar levels stable. Choose unsaturated fats over saturated fats.
- Refined grains: Refined grains such as white bread, white rice, and white pasta are stripped of their fiber and can cause your blood sugar to spike. Avoid these foods or choose whole grain alternatives.
- Sugary drinks: Sugary drinks such as soda, juice, and energy drinks can cause your blood sugar to spike. Choose water or unsweetened tea instead.
- Processed meats: Processed meats such as bacon, sausage, and hot dogs are high in saturated fat and sodium, which can raise your blood sugar. Choose lean proteins instead.
- Trans fats: Trans fats are found in processed foods such as cookies, crackers, and chips. These fats can raise your blood sugar and increase your risk of heart disease. Avoid these foods or choose healthier alternatives.
Making changes to your diet can help reduce your high blood sugar. Eating the right foods can help you manage your blood sugar levels and reduce your risk of developing diabetes. Choose whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats to help reduce your high blood sugar.
High blood sugar—known as hyperglycemia—is associated with type 2 diabetes and can be very dangerous if left untreated. “As medical science has advanced, there has become a big push to get tighter and tighter control of blood sugar levels,” says John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP. “The highs and lows needed to be smoothed out to get as close to normal physiology as possible. This has become the mantra for diabetic care. Just like an elite athlete who is always training, the person with diabetes always needs to be working to maintain normal blood sugar levels.” Here is how to reduce high blood sugar—fast. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.
Diet is very important for keeping blood sugar levels in the safe zone. “Save soda pop and juice for when you need to treat low blood sugar,” says Megan Asterino-McGeean, BSN, RN, CDCES. “Our blood sugars mimic our carbohydrate intake. Eating too many carbs increases sugar levels. That’s why consistency is key. Be choosy. Nutrient-dense, high-fiber, complex carbs are a better everyday choice than simple processed carbs. Processed carbs don’t occur naturally and tend to be located in the middle of the grocery store.”
Constant stress and anxiety can spike blood sugar levels thanks to the stress hormone cortisol. “In healthy people, cortisol fluctuates naturally throughout the day, spiking in the morning and falling at night,” says Joshua J. Joseph, MD, endocrinologist and researcher at The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center’s Diabetes and Metabolism Research Center. “But in participants with type 2 diabetes, cortisol profiles that were flatter throughout the day, had higher glucose levels. Most people with Type 2 diabetes know the importance of exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and getting plenty of rest. But stress relief is a crucial and often forgotten component of diabetes management. Whether it’s a yoga class, taking a walk or reading a book, finding ways to lower your stress levels is important to everyone’s overall health, especially for those with type 2 diabetes.”
Getting the right amount of quality sleep (seven hours a night for healthy adults) is incredibly important for helping keep blood sugar down. “So, firstly, you’re releasing less insulin when you’re sleep-deprived,” says Matthew Walker, PhD, director of the Center for Human Sleep Science at the University of California, Berkeley. “But what little insulin you do release is not instructing those cells to open up the channels to take away the monsoon of the glucose that’s flowing in the channels of the body. So on both sides of the glucose regulation, on the release of insulin, to instruct cells to absorb glucose, and on those cells themselves to be sort of instructed by insulin, those cells became less sensitive to the insulin signal. And so, as a consequence, your overall ability to deal with glucose became far more degraded, and blood glucose remained higher, which sets you on a profile of looking pre-diabetic.”
Getting some movement throughout the day, no matter how small the amount, is highly effective in lowering blood sugar. “It’s important to be active, but that can be tricky depending on your lifestyle or any health conditions you have,” says Asterino-McGeean. “So aim to move more than yesterday. If that’s all you can do, it still counts. If you can’t do 30 minutes at a time, focus on five- or 10-minute increments instead. Try that once a day. Move up to twice and then three times each day when you can tolerate more. If you’re starting a new exercise routine, talk with your provider, physical therapist or trainer first to make sure you’re doing it safely.”
“The fastest way to bring down your blood sugar (glucose) levels is to take insulin, but this should only be done as prescribed by a doctor,” says Dr. Cunha. “The next quickest way to lower blood sugar is to exercise. But if your blood glucose is above 240 mg/dl, you should check your urine for ketones. If ketones are present, exercise may not be recommended.”