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How can we keep our blood sugar under control?

Updated: Mar 25, 2023


What is blood sugar and what make is rise?


Our Blood sugar levels are affected by glucose, which is the sugar we get from eating foods that contain carbohydrates.

When we eat carbohydrates, our body turn them into glucose, which is what gives cells most of their energy and helps fuel the majority of the body’s many functions. In order for glucose to be brought into cells, it requires insulin, which the hormone secreted by the pancreas that is most important for blood sugar control.


A normal blood sugar is not only reliant upon how many carbohydrates and added sugar someone eats but also upon other factors such as stress. Stress can elevate cortisol levels, which is a hormone that can interfere with how insulin is used.


What are the risks of increased blood sugar?

When blood sugar rises, the body is alerted to produce more insulin in order to bring sugar levels back to normal by ushering sugar to cells.


However, when blood sugar levels are maintained elevated for an extended period of time, they can push someone into pre-diabetes or even into having full-blown diabetes.


Symptoms of hyperglycaemia develop slowly over several days or weeks. The longer blood sugar levels stay high, the more serious the symptoms become. However, some people who've had type 2 diabetes for a long time may not show any symptoms despite elevated blood sugar level


Moreover, even for people who aren’t necessarily at a high risk for developing diabetes or heart complications, poorly managed blood sugar can lead to common complications, including fatigue, weight gain and sugar cravings.


The main danger of uncontrolled high blood sugar levels is that a lot of people who are pre-diabetic or insulin resistant are no unaware they are, therefore, not able to address this with the correct health choices.


What are Early signs and symptoms to monitor ?

Recognizing early signs and symptoms of hyperglycaemia can help you treat the condition promptly. Watch for:

· Frequent urination

· Increased thirst

· Blurred vision

· Fatigue

· Headache



How can we keep blood sugar under control?


Eating a balanced, low-processed diet is the single most influential factor in keeping blood sugar levels in check. In addition, it is essential to get regular exercise and to keep hormones such as cortisol in balance through good sleep and low stress levels.


Eat a Low-Processed, Anti-Inflammatory Diet


We don't have to avoid carbohydrates or sugar altogether, but we need to balance them out with protein/fats and focus on getting them from unprocessed whole foods. Eating a source of protein, fiber and healthy fat with all of your meals can help stabilize blood sugar, by slowing down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, help manage our appetite, while helping metabolism and digestion.


Check out some of the Best foods to manage diabetes:


Protein foods: wild fish such as salmon, free-range eggs, grass-fed beef or lamb, raw dairy products (including yogurt, kefir or raw cheeses), and pasture-raised poultry.


Fats: virgin coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, nuts and seeds (like almonds, chia, hemp and flax), avocado, ghee and grass-fed butter


High-fiber foods: fresh vegetables, whole fruit (not juice), sprouted beans or peas, and ancient grains.


Other helpful foods : apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, green tea, herbal teas.


Avoid : Refined flour and added sugars, such as beet sugar/beet juice, cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup, fructose and dextrose, and drink tea and coffee and alcohol should be avoided or eaten only in moderation.


Get Regular Exercise

According to the National Diabetes Association, short-term exercise helps cells in your muscles to take up more glucose in order to use it for energy and tissue repair, therefore lowering blood sugar in the process. Doing about 30–60 minutes of exercise most days of the week (such as running, cycling, swimming and lifting weights) is also the best way to lower inflammation, manage stress, improve immunity and balance hormones. Insulin sensitivity is increased, so your cells are better able to use any available insulin to take up glucose during and after activity.


Manage Stress

Excessive stress can also cause blood sugar levels to rise due to an increased release of the “stress hormone” cortisol. Studies have found that natural stress relievers, including exercise, yoga, meditation and using relaxing essential oils for anxiety (such as lavender, rose and frankincense) are all helpful for diabetics and those with insulin resistance.


Rest 8 hours of sleep per night, sticking with a normal sleep/wake schedule will balance hormones and curb stress responses.



Sources


Freckmann G, Hagenlocher S, Baumstark A, et al. Continuous Glucose Profiles in Healthy Subjects under Everyday Life Conditions and after Different Meals. Journal of diabetes science and technology (Online). 2007;1(5):695-703.

Yashin A, Yashin Y, Xia X, Nemzer B. Antioxidant Activity of Spices and Their Impact on Human Health: A Review.Antioxidants (Basel). 2017 Sep 15; 6(3). Epub 2017 Sep 15.

Davis PA1, Yokoyama W. Cinnamon intake lowers fasting blood glucose: meta-analysis. J Med Food. 2011 Sep;14(9):884-9.


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