High blood sugar occurs when the body cannot produce enough insulin to process the sugar from carbohydrates entering the body. Insulin is a hormone that performs several functions, including converting sugar and amino acids into energy. Insulin also uses converted sugar and amino acids to maintain muscles. For these processes, only a little insulin is needed; too much insulin can be very dangerous. The presence of too much insulin in the blood could increase the risk of developing heart diseases, cancer, organ inflammation, and diabetes. High blood sugar deals with less insulin to process more sugar, or the amount of sugar is more than that of the produced insulin.
Furthermore, high blood sugar, also called hyperglycemia, is often associated with diabetes. A recent statistic showed that over 50% of all U.S. adults are diabetic or pre-diabetic.
Below are some ways to lower blood sugar naturally.
- Related: How too much sugar affects the body
1. Regular exercise
Exercising regularly can help reduce and maintain a healthy weight and increase insulin sensitivity. Increased insulin sensitivity means that the body cells can absorb processed sugar more efficiently. Exercising also uses excess sugar and amino acids to develop and maintain muscles leading to reduced amounts of sugar circulating around the body. Going for routine checkups is very important in this case as it gives an insight into how your sugar levels respond to different physical activities. Some useful exercises include walking, jogging, running, dancing, swimming, hiking and biking.
2. Take note of carb intake
Naturally, our body breaks down carbs into simple sugars, mostly glucose, and then insulin helps use and store the unused sugar for energy. When there’s an unhealthy increase in carb intake or underlying issues affecting insulin functionality, the process above fails, and there’s an increase in blood glucose levels. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) suggests that to combat this, one must manage carb intake by counting carbs and taking note of exactly how much carb is needed. In addition, some studies show that following a healthy meal plan can also help reduce carb intake. Low carb intake reduces blood sugar levels in the long run.
3. Increase your fiber intake
Fiber is known to slow down the breakdown and absorption of carbs. Because of this, there’s a controlled increase in blood sugar levels. The type of fiber we eat is very decisive in this context. There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble fiber. While both fibers are important, soluble fibers are known to improve blood sugar management. In addition to this, increasing your fiber intake can help reduce the risk of developing diabetes by regulating blood sugar and lowering blood sugar levels.
4. Drink enough water
Drinking enough water helps keep blood sugar levels with healthy limits. Apart from keeping you hydrated, it helps the kidney flush out excess sugar in the form of urine. Drinking water regularly helps rehydrate the blood and reduce the risk of developing diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels.
5. Get enough sleep
There’s no doubt that getting enough sleep feels excellent and paramount to attaining good health. Lack of rest and practicing poor sleeping habits can affect insulin sensitivity and sugar levels. Not getting enough sleep can also increase your appetite and thereby promote unhealthy weight gain. Adequate sleep is about both quantity and quality. It is essential to enjoy sufficient amounts of high-quality sleep every night to ensure optimum health levels.
6. Employ portion control
Portion control helps regulate calorie intake and help sustain a moderate weight. Weight management is actually an indirect way to reduce blood sugar levels and reduce the risks of developing diabetes. Monitoring serving sizes is a sure way to reduce calorie intake. There’s a nutritional fact that serving smaller portions of food on large plates allows you to eat less while making it seem yore eating more. Focusing on the food portion is a really good way to monitor sugar levels.
7. Avoid stress
Stress can have terrible effects on your blood sugar level. When you’re feeling stressed, your body releases hormones glucagon and cortisol. These hormones cause your sugar levels to go up. Some studies show that exercising, meditating, and relaxation reduces stress and cause a significant decrease in blood sugar.
Having too much sugar in the blood for a long time can lead to serious health issues if not treated properly. Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar)can damage the vessels that supply blood to vital organs, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke, kidney disease, vision problems, and nerve problems. Before embarking on any lifestyle-changing program, be sure to contact your doctor or physician.