5 surprising ways to control your blood sugar, according to a dietitian


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Every time you eat any type of carbohydrate — whether it’s berries or bread — the starch turns into a sugar like glucose, which is the type of sugar in your blood. In response, your body produces insulin, a hormone responsible for getting this sugar into your cells, where it is used for energy.

For 96 million people in the United States prediabetes In addition to the 37.3 million people with type 2 diabetes, this system malfunctions, causing glucose – sugar – to build up in the bloodstream. Ultimately, this excess sugar can injure blood vessels and nerves and increase the risk of health complications, including heart and kidney disease.

If you already have prediabetes, manage your blood sugar level he is Crucial to preventing or delaying type 2 diabetes. And if you have type 2 diabetes, lowering your blood sugar has the potential to reverse the condition enough to make medications unnecessary.

Sure, your diet plays a role, but there are other ways to improve insulin sensitivity and promote healthy blood sugar levels. Here are the top five strategies to help lower your blood sugar.

Eat breakfast – eat it early

Skipping breakfast can make it difficult to control your blood sugar. in Research Presented at the Endocrine Society in 2021, scientists looked at more than 10,500 participants at their eating windows – the period during which food was eaten during the day.

Researchers found that insulin resistance – when your body becomes less responsive to insulin – was higher among people who ate 10 hours or less per day. This is suitable for people who practice intermittent fasting and who limit their eating periods to less than 10 hours per day. However, even those who restricted their intake were less likely to have insulin resistance when their first meal was before 8:30 a.m.

Other recent research also supports the idea that eating breakfast can help control blood sugar. separately studyFor example, skipping breakfast worsened the insulin response after lunch, and caused blood sugar levels to rise when compared to when breakfast and lunch itself were eaten. So, try eating a balanced breakfast, such as some fruit with plain Greek yogurt and nuts or scrambled eggs with veggies with sliced ​​avocado.

Have an early dinner

small one study Among healthy people, eating dinner earlier – at 6 pm – was found to have a positive effect on blood sugar fluctuations throughout the night compared to eating dinner at 8 pm. While the study was small, its results were enlightening.

The people involved followed two protocols—early dinners on some days and late dinners on others. The meals eaten on each occasion were the same proportion of protein, carbohydrates and fats. Since the composition of the meals was the same, it is likely that the differences in blood sugar were due to the timing of the meal.

While an early dinner is beneficial, it is not always practical. You can make it more doable by preparing a few meals or having basic ingredients on hand – think regular proteins and assorted whole grains. If you still work from home, try to have an early dinner on days when you have easy access to your kitchen.

Walk for two minutes

according to reconsidering Out of seven studies, albeit fair 2 minutes of walking After eating can help lower blood sugar levels. This is welcome news if you’ve ever wondered how exercise fits into your busy life! Even a small amount of activity activates your muscles, allowing them to use some of the sugar in your blood for energy, thus reducing the effect of the meal you just ate on your blood sugar.

To get back in motion after meals, try walking to the end of your driveway and back, or organizing your home or office hallway. You can also try other forms of movement. For example, you can walk up and down the stairs several times, wash the dishes, or spend two minutes stretching after meals and periodically during the day.

Of course, so it’s still a good idea to target a scope CDC . Recommendation 20 to 25 minutes of moderate to intense activity on most days because more activity helps improve insulin sensitivity. However, it’s nice to know that you don’t always have to break a sweat or even exercise for a very long time to get some benefits. Meanwhile, standing also helps, but not as much as moving.

Mature woman walking for wellness outdoors (Getty Images)

Get Zen

When you experience stress – for example, a fight with your partner or a hard week at work – your body releases cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones can be beneficial as they help redistribute and conserve energy, giving you a boost to get through a crisis. Unfortunately, one way for this to happen is to change the . file Insulin sensitivity. At the same time, more sugar is released from the liver – again, to provide energy.

While this hormonal balance is beneficial during short-term crises, typical stressors tend to be long-term. This means that these biological responses may be wrong for a long time, resulting in High blood sugar levels. This is where yoga and meditation come in.

2022 reconsidering Of 28 studies found that mindfulness-based practices improved glycemic control and improved blood sugar levels over a three-month period. In fact, the results weren’t far from the improvements in blood sugar you’d experience when taking a typical drug to lower blood sugar levels. This does not mean that you should eliminate your medications, but rather try to add these actions to your routine. You can find free yoga practices and mindfulness-based meditation on YouTube and many apps, many of which have free trials. If you’re new to exercise, see your doctor to get the green light to get started.

Rethink your drinks

If you are Drinking diet soda Or relying on carb- and calorie-free sweetener packages to sweeten your drinks, you might want to reconsider. While it makes sense in theory that these sweeteners can help you manage your blood sugar levels, Research suggest otherwise. Evidence suggests that your body may confuse these non-carb sweeteners with sugar, so it releases insulin without having to lower your blood sugar. Over time, this pattern can lead to defective insulin receptors and an increased risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

If you drink soda or regularly consume other sweetened beverages, replacing them with sweetened drinks instead can be a suitable short-term strategy. But a better long-term approach is to limit your consumption of artificial sweeteners and opt for coffee, tea, plain water, or unsweetened carbonated water instead.

This article was originally published TODAY.com

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