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What Foods Help Lower Blood Sugar?

8 Tips To Avoid Blood Sugar Dips And Spikes

8 Tips To Avoid Blood Sugar Dips And Spikes

If you have type 2 diabetes and your blood sugar levels are racing up and down like a roller coaster, it's time to get off the ride. Big swings in your blood sugar can make you feel lousy. But even if you aren't aware of them, they can still increase your risk for a number of serious health problems. By making simple but specific adjustments to your lifestyle and diet, you can gain better blood-sugar control. Your body uses the sugar, also known as glucose, in the foods you eat for energy. Think of it as a fuel that keeps your body moving throughout the day. Blood Sugar Highs and Lows Type 2 diabetes decreases the body’s production of insulin, which is a hormone that regulates blood sugar. Without enough insulin, sugar builds up in the blood and can damage nerves and blood vessels. This increase of blood sugar also increases your risk for heart disease and stroke. Over time, high blood sugar, also known as hyperglycemia, can lead to more health problems, including kidney failure and blindness. "Keeping blood sugar stable can help prevent the long-term consequences of fluctuations," says Melissa Li-Ng, MD, an endocrinologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. Dr. Li-Ng explains that high blood sugar can cause a number of symptoms that include: Fatigue Increased thirst Blurry vision Frequent urination It's also important to know that you can have high blood sugar and still feel fine, but your body can still suffer damage, Li-Ng says. Symptoms of high blood sugar typically develop at levels above 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). "You can have high blood sugar that's between 150 and 199 and feel perfectly fine," Li-Ng says. Over time, your body can also get used to chronically high blood sugar levels, so you don’t feel the symptoms, she says. On the flip side, if you Continue reading >>

Healthy Eating For Blood Sugar Control

Healthy Eating For Blood Sugar Control

If you have diabetes, a healthy eating plan for you is not that different from a healthy eating planfor people withoutdiabetes. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) echoes the dietary guidelines recommended for the general public — that is, a diet centered on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes (peas and beans), and low-fat dairy products. However, you'll want to pay special attention to your carbohydrate intake. Vegetables, fruits, and whole grains provide more nutrition per calorie than refined carbohydrates and tend to be rich in fiber. Your body digests high-fiber foods more slowly — which means a more moderate rise in blood sugar. For most people with diabetes, carbohydrates should account for about 45% to 55% of the total calories you eat each day. Choose your carbohydrates wisely — ideally, from vegetables, whole grains, and fruits. Avoid highly refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta, and rice, as well as candy, sugary soft drinks, and sweets. Refined carbohydrates tend to cause sharp spikes in blood sugar, and can even boost triglycerides and lower helpful HDL cholesterol. Fiber comes in two forms: insoluble fiber, the kind found in whole grains, and soluble fiber, found in beans, dried peas, oats, and fruits. Soluble fiber in particular appears to lower blood sugar levels by improving insulin sensitivity, which may mean you need less diabetes medicine. And a number of studies suggest that eating plenty of fiber reduces the chances of developing heart disease — and people with diabetes need to do all they can to lower their risk. For more on healthy diet essentials, plus information on managing (and avoiding) type 2 diabetes, buy Healthy Eating for Type 2 Diabetes from Harvard Medical School. Continue reading >>

The 4 Foods That Will Steady Your Blood Sugar

The 4 Foods That Will Steady Your Blood Sugar

Wondering what blood sugar has to do with you, if you don’t have diabetes? Keeping your blood sugar levels as steady as possiblenow may help you avoid getting diabetes later. “As you get older, your risk for type 2 diabetes goes up,” says Alissa Rumsey, Registered Dietitian and Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “Since you can’t modify your age, it is important to take other steps to lower your risk, including maintaining a healthy weight, getting enough exercise, and balancing your diet to prevent spikes in blood sugar.” Controlling your blood sugar will also just make you feel better. “It’s best to control blood sugar—it keeps your energy stable,” says Leann Olansky, M.D., an endocrinologist at the Cleveland Clinic. “If your blood sugar doesn’t vary that much before and after a meal, that’s a healthier way to be.” Unrelated to diabetes, symptoms of occasional high blood sugar aren’t life-threatening, but rather unpleasant and only potentially dangerous if you suffer from other health problems. “When your blood sugar is too high, it can make you feel sluggish,” says Dr. Olansky. “When it’s higher still, it can lead to dehydration and make your blood pressure unstable, and cause you to urinate more often, especially at night.” But when your blood sugar remains chronically high, insulin, a hormone that’s supposed to help your body store sugar as energy, stops working as it should. “Prolonged high blood sugar levels can lead to insulin resistance, meaning your body isn’t able to use insulin properly,” says Rumsey. “Over time this insulin resistance can develop into diabetes, when insulin isn’t able to keep your blood sugar within normal levels.” Current research reveals an association between spik Continue reading >>

How Do I Quickly Bring Down My Blood Glucose?

How Do I Quickly Bring Down My Blood Glucose?

If you get a high reading when checking your blood sugar, is there a way to get the number down quickly? Continue reading >>

Foods That Lower Blood Sugar

Foods That Lower Blood Sugar

Cut your risk of developing prediabetes by adding these delicious foods to your diet. Lima Beans Also known as butter beans because of their creamy texture, lima beans are high in soluble fiber. “Soluble fiber slows digestion and prevents blood sugar from rising too quickly after you eat,” says Angela Ginn-Meadow, R.D., a diabetes educator and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. Best bet: Never eat raw lima beans—they contain a cyanide-like toxin that can make you sick. Other beans with lots of soluble fiber: Kidney, navy, black, pinto Try this: Choose fresh lima beans over frozen when you can, suggests Carol Hildebrand, coauthor of 500 Three-Ingredient Recipes. “Shell the beans, simmer them for about 25 minutes and drain. Then saute with chopped ham, diced red onion and a dash of red pepper or vinegar.” Oatmeal This chewy breakfast staple is another super source of soluble fiber, which keeps blood sugar on an even keel and may lower your risk of type 2 diabetes.Best bet: Make your oatmeal the old-fashioned way, using rolled or steel-cut oats. Instant oatmeal tends to be lower in fiber and flavored versions are high in sugar, says Ginn-Meadow. Other sources of soluble fiber: Ground psyllium seeds, Brussels sprouts, pears, oranges, grapefruit Try this: Add sauteed apples to your oatmeal, suggest Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page, authors of The Flavor Bible. “Heat a little apple juice in a pan, add thinly sliced or diced peeled apples and cook on medium-high heat until soft.” Sprinkle with cinnamon and stir them into your oatmeal. Peanuts and Peanut Butter Whether you eat a handful of peanuts or a PBJ, the fat, fiber and protein in these nuts can stave off blood sugar spikes. And that’s not all—a study found that women who ate peanut butt Continue reading >>

How To Lower Your A1c Levels: A Healthful Guide

How To Lower Your A1c Levels: A Healthful Guide

An A1C blood test measures average blood sugar levels over the past 2 to 3 months. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommend the use of A1C tests to help diagnose cases of prediabetes, type 1, and type 2 diabetes. A1C tests are also used to monitor diabetes treatment plans. What is an A1C test? An A1C test measures how well the body is maintaining blood glucose levels. To do this, an A1C test averages the percentage of sugar-bound hemoglobin in a blood sample. When glucose enters the blood, it binds to a red blood cell protein called hemoglobin. The higher blood glucose levels are, the more hemoglobin is bound. Red blood cells live for around 4 months, so A1C results reflect long-term blood glucose levels. A1C tests are done using blood obtained by a finger prick or blood draw. Physicians will usually repeat A1C tests before diagnosing diabetes. Initial A1C tests help physicians work out an individual's baseline A1C level for later comparison. How often A1C tests are required after diagnosis varies depending on the type of diabetes and management factors. Lowering A1C levels Many studies have shown that lowering A1C levels can help reduce the risk or intensity of diabetes complications. With type 1 diabetes, more controlled blood glucose levels are associated with reduced rates of disease progression. With type 2 diabetes, more controlled A1C levels have also been shown to reduce symptoms affecting the small arteries and nerves in the body. This influences eyesight and pain while decreasing complications. Long-term studies have also shown that early and intensive blood glucose control can reduce cardiovascular complications in people with type 1 or 2 diabetes. Even small changes in A1C levels can have big effects. The ADA recommend that maintaining fair control Continue reading >>

5 Foods That Lower Your Blood Sugar Quickly

5 Foods That Lower Your Blood Sugar Quickly

Eating a whole foods, plant-based diet is one of the simplest ways to manage your blood sugar and elevate your health to a whole new level. Your blood sugar controls several different hormonal responses in the body, all of which contribute to your energy, your mood, and even your hunger levels. Healthy blood sugars are also vital to prevent or manage Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and hypoglycemia. Eating a diet that supports your blood sugar can also help prevent obesity. Plant-based foods are jam-packed with fiber, which is the main reason they’re so supportive of blood sugar levels. Fiber slows down the release of sugar within the bloodstream, which helps steady insulin levels. This prevents those blood sugar “ups and downs” that foods high in refined sugars, animal foods, and highly- processed foods can cause. To take care of your blood sugar, all you have to do is prioritize higher fiber sources of whole foods versus foods lower in fiber, such as foods with refined or added sugars, animal products (which dramatically raise insulin), and most processed foods. To keep things easy and simple, focus on eating foods that do support your blood sugar instead of focusing on those that don’t. As you’ll see, there are some pretty delicious plant-based foods and meals you can make with them that support your blood sugar. These foods will keep you energized, satisfied, provide your body with vitamins, minerals, fiber, healthy fats, and even some protein too! 1. Magnesium-Rich Leafy Greens All leafy greens such as: kale, spinach, romaine, arugula, collards, turnip greens, all lettuces, Swiss chard, dandelion greens, and any other green you can think of, are absolutely wonderful for your blood sugar. However, a few are especially rich in magnesium, which is acts like a Continue reading >>

9 Foods That Lower Blood Sugar

9 Foods That Lower Blood Sugar

High blood sugar and insulin resistance are linked with inflammation, heart disease, kidney disease, and diabetes. Protect yourself with these nine blood-sugar-balancing foods: 1. Cinnamon Contains compounds that reduce blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity, and cinnamon may also lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels—risk factors in diabetes. Don’t overdo it: Studies have found results with only ¼–1/2 teaspoon per day, and cinnamon contains coumarin, which may cause problems at higher doses. Try this: Stir cinnamon and currants into oatmeal; add a cinnamon stick to your morning coffee; toss steamed sweet potatoes with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and coconut oil. Did You Know? Studies show that eating as little as 1/4 tsp. of cinnamon per day can improve insulin sensitivity and may also lower cholesterol. 2. Vinegar Contains acetic acid, which improves insulin sensitivity and can lower blood sugar by as much as 20 percent when consumed before or with meals containing carbs. Try this: Simmer balsamic vinegar until reduced to a thick, syrupy glaze, and drizzle on strawberries; combine apple cider vinegar with honey, lemon juice, and cayenne pepper for a breakfast tonic; whisk together red wine vinegar, shallots, mustard, thyme, and olive oil for an easy vinaigrette. 3. Broccoli sprouts Are high in a compound called sulforaphane that can improve insulin resistance and protect against diabetes. Broccoli sprouts also help lower LDL cholesterol, triglyceride levels, and inflammation in people with diabetes. You can find broccoli sprouts in most natural food stores, or look for broccoli sprout powder. Try this: Combine broccoli sprouts, grated carrot, and thinly sliced red onion in a pita; toss broccoli sprouts with shredded spinach, grated beets, and avocado, an Continue reading >>

10 Foods That Can Help With Blood Sugar Control

10 Foods That Can Help With Blood Sugar Control

1 / 11 Your Diabetes Diet: What Foods Can Help Control Blood Sugar? While medication, sleep, stress, and time of day can all play a role in diabetes management, experts agree that diet is one of the most important factors to keep in mind. That’s because specific food choices can have a direct effect on your blood sugar levels, says Toby Smithson, RDN, CDE, the coauthor of Diabetes Meal Planning and Nutrition for Dummies and the founder of Diabetes EveryDay, of Hilton Head, South Carolina. Inattention to what you decide to nourish yourself with can lead to serious consequences, like an increased risk of vision problems, nerve damage, amputations, and even death. "Managing blood glucose levels is key to preventing future complications," Smithson says. The reason why people with diabetes develop excess amounts of sugar in their blood is insulin resistance, the hallmark of the disease. Insulin resistance is the inability of the hormone insulin to effectively transport glucose, or blood sugar, to the body’s cells to be used for energy or stored as fuel for future use. When sugar can’t reach the body’s cells it accumulates in the blood, potentially leading to the aforementioned complications. Regularly checking your blood sugar is one of the best ways to ensure it stays controlled, according to the Mayo Clinic. You can use a glucose meter to self-monitor your levels and observe what impact different factors — like exercise, stress, and food choices — may have. To figure out when and how often to check your blood sugar, consult your primary care provider, because these recommendations tend to vary based on the type of diabetes you have and your individual health profile. While everybody’s goal may be different, there are certain kinds of foods experts agree are g Continue reading >>

Diabetes & Diet: 7 Foods That Control Blood Sugar

Diabetes & Diet: 7 Foods That Control Blood Sugar

When you have type 2 diabetes, what you eat can help you control your blood sugar, stave off hunger, and feel full longer. “Diabetes is when your blood sugar or glucose levels are higher than normal. It’s carbohydrate foods like breads, cereals, rice, pasta, fruits, milk, and desserts that can cause this rise," says Maggie Powers, PhD, president-elect of Health Care & Education at the American Diabetes Association. Your eating plan should focus on the amount and type of carbs you put on your plate throughout the day, Powers says. But it’s also important to have foods you enjoy. You want to eat enough so you feel satisfied and avoid overeating and poor choices. Here are seven foods that Powers says can help keep your blood sugar in check and make you happy and healthy to boot. These add color, flavor, and texture to a meal. Choose tasty, low-carb veggies, like mushrooms, onions, eggplant, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, and low-carb squashes, like zucchini. Try them with dips such as low-fat dressings, hummus, guacamole, and salsa, or roasted with different seasonings such as rosemary, cayenne pepper, or garlic. Go beyond your regular salad and try kale, spinach, and chard. They’re healthy, delicious, and low-carb, Powers says. Roast kale leaves in the oven with olive oil for quick, crunchy chips. You can also mix greens in with roasted veggies to add texture and a different flavor, or serve them with a little protein, like salmon. Plain water is always good, but water infused with fruits and vegetables is more interesting. Cut up a lemon or cucumber and put it in your water, or make ice cubes with some flavoring in them. If you’re not a hot tea drinker, try cold tea with lemon or a cinnamon stick. “Not only are these beverages low-carb, they can also help fill y Continue reading >>

15 Easy Ways To Lower Blood Sugar Levels Naturally

15 Easy Ways To Lower Blood Sugar Levels Naturally

High blood sugar occurs when your body can't effectively transport sugar from blood into cells. When left unchecked, this can lead to diabetes. One study from 2012 reported that 12–14% of US adults had type 2 diabetes, while 37–38% were classified as pre-diabetic (1). This means that 50% of all US adults have diabetes or pre-diabetes. Here are 15 easy ways to lower blood sugar levels naturally: Regular exercise can help you lose weight and increase insulin sensitivity. Increased insulin sensitivity means your cells are better able to use the available sugar in your bloodstream. Exercise also helps your muscles use blood sugar for energy and muscle contraction. If you have problems with blood sugar control, you should routinely check your levels. This will help you learn how you respond to different activities and keep your blood sugar levels from getting either too high or too low (2). Good forms of exercise include weight lifting, brisk walking, running, biking, dancing, hiking, swimming and more. Exercise increases insulin sensitivity and helps your muscles pick up sugars from the blood. This can lead to reduced blood sugar levels. Your body breaks carbs down into sugars (mostly glucose), and then insulin moves the sugars into cells. When you eat too many carbs or have problems with insulin function, this process fails and blood glucose levels rise. However, there are several things you can do about this. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends controlling carb intake by counting carbs or using a food exchange system (3). Some studies find that these methods can also help you plan your meals appropriately, which may further improve blood sugar control (4, 5). Many studies also show that a low-carb diet helps reduce blood sugar levels and prevent blood s Continue reading >>

Diabetes Diet: 7 Foods That Can Help Control Your Blood Sugar Levels Naturally

Diabetes Diet: 7 Foods That Can Help Control Your Blood Sugar Levels Naturally

Your diet plays an important role in managing diabetes. In fact, your diet and lifestyle are important aspects of diabetes management and treatment. One reason is that the food you eat on a day to day basis has a direct impact on your blood sugar levels. For instance, high carb foods raise your blood sugar levels. The digestive system breaks down the digestible ones into sugar, which enters the blood. But then again, not all carbohydrates are bad. Complex carbohydrates like whole grains take longer to digest while simple carbs like white flour and refined sugar may cause sudden spikes in your blood sugar levels. Diabetics tend to have high blood sugar levels due to the inefficiency of insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas, to control them. Here are six foods that can help in controlling your blood sugar levels naturally. 1. Barley A study done by Lund University in Sweden states that eating a special mixture of dietary fibres found in barley can help reduce your appetite as well as high blood sugar levels. "Whole grains like oats, brown rice or millets like jowar and ragi contain both soluble and insoluble fibre that helps with sugar control," shares Consultant Nutritionist Dr. Rupali Datta. The dietary fibers in whole grains can help control blood sugar. Photo Credit: Istock 2. Bananas Accordingly to a study done by the University College Dublin in Ireland, resistant starch found in foods such as bananas, potatoes, grains and legumes, may benefit your health by aiding blood sugar control, supporting gut health and enhancing satiety. This is a form of starch that is not digested in the small intestine and is, therefore, considered a type of dietary fiber. (Also read: Have You Been Eating Bananas With Milk?) Bananas contain resistant starch. Photo Credit: Istock 3. Continue reading >>

10 Powerful Foods To Help Lower Blood Sugar Quickly

10 Powerful Foods To Help Lower Blood Sugar Quickly

Blood sugar is a sneaky health issue, but there are many powerful foods that can help you lower blood sugar levels efficiently and quickly. First, in order to understand why high (and low) blood sugar occurs, it’s important to have a basic understanding of what triggers blood sugar highs and lows, and it all starts with insulin. Insulin is the hormone that goes into our blood stream and delivers nutrients to the cells so that our blood sugar stays stable. While insulin is often thought of as a negative hormone, it’s actually valuable and vital to our health. When our body doesn’t produce insulin or use insulin efficiently, we can develop insulin resistance which can lead to Type 2 diabetes. One of the best things we can all do in order to help insulin do its job is to eat regularly and eat a balanced diet that’s filled with healthy foods. Start With These Tips to Lower Blood Sugar Levels To help you get started on filling your plate with more blood sugar friendly foods that will help lower your blood sugar, start by removing refined sugar, refined grains, and most processed foods from your diet. Processed foods (and especially fast food) all contain chemicals and refined ingredients that our bodies don’t recognize as real nutrients, so our cells never really get what they need and we feel hungry all the time as a result. This also leads to blood sugar swings and spikes that cause insulin to work less efficiently. What helps insulin work best so that blood sugar stays in a stable place are foods that pack dense amounts of nutrition and contain amino acids (that form protein in the body), fiber (which is the best source of carbohydrates), and healthy fats from real food. Let’s check out some foods that can help lower blood sugar levels by offering us these nut Continue reading >>

14 Amazing Herbs That Lower Blood Sugar

14 Amazing Herbs That Lower Blood Sugar

We live in a world where prescription medicine is getting more and more expensive as well as controversial. Alternative medicine is gaining momentum and with good reason! The same is true for treatments for diabetes type 2. You have therapies that can reverse diabetes through lifestyle and diet changes, natural supplements that can help stabilize blood sugar levels, and also herbs that lower blood sugar. Not only are these alternative therapies safer, but they are also easier on your pocket, on your body and mind. Maintaining normal blood sugar levels is necessary for the body’s overall health. Erratic blood sugar levels can affect the body’s ability to function normally and even lead to complications if left unchecked. Some herbs and spices found in nature do a tremendous job of naturally lowering blood sugar levels, making them a boon for diabetics and pre-diabetics. What’s more, being nature’s multi-taskers, herbs and spices also produce overall health benefits beyond just helping balance blood sugar. We want to clarify one thing right away – not everything on our list can be classified as ‘herbs’. However, they are all from natural sources. Herbs come from the leafy and green part of the plant. Spices are parts of the plant other than the leafy bit, such as the root, stem, bulb, bark or seeds. RELATED: Decoding The Dawn Phenomenon (High Morning Blood Sugar) With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best herbs that lower blood sugar, along with a few spices thrown in, to give you a more comprehensive list. Please note that while we normally do not use animal studies to support any dietary supplement, several herbs like garlic and ginger are considered ‘food’ and so, are used traditionally by cultures across the world in their daily diet Continue reading >>

Exactly What I Ate To Get My Blood Sugar Under Control For Good

Exactly What I Ate To Get My Blood Sugar Under Control For Good

When Thomas Rupp was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, he was stunned. Despite having a challenging career (he was working in corporate finance and for FEMA), he managed to exercise regularly, and he rarely ate fast food or sweets. Sure, he weighed 245 pounds, but at 6 feet tall that didn't seem so terrible. He didn't consider that his weight pushed his BMI into the obese category—and he didn't realize that many of the "healthy" foods he was eating were actually loaded with tons of sugar and calories. Rupp's doctor started him on four different medications. The side effects were bothersome, but what really kicked him into gear was learning that he'd need to start injecting himself with insulin nightly. Instead, he turned to the Diabetes Reversal Program at Tufts Medical Center, where he met with the founding director, Michael Dansinger, MD. They worked together to closely examine Rupp's diet and uncover pitfalls that Rupp had trouble spotting on his own. (You can control your blood sugar with food and without insulin by making healthy lifestyle changes. Try the easy plan in The Natural Way To Beat Diabetes.) For instance, while adding some cream and sugar to a cup of coffee might not be a big deal for some people, Rupp often downed 10 cups of coffee a day to power himself through long days in the office. (Here are 8 physical signs you drink way too much coffee.) And he was putting cream and sugar in each cup. "That's 10 containers of cream and 10 teaspoons of sugar a day I was adding to my diet," he says. And even though he worked out, "I was drinking green juices at the gym, or protein smoothies with mango, once again without realizing the sugar content." Other seemingly healthy choices—like salads—also concealed stealth sugar bombs. "I would add vinaigrette dressi Continue reading >>

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