Natural Ways to Lower Your Blood Glucose
As you might know, type 2 diabetes is caused by having high amounts of sugar in your blood, which is measured by your blood glucose. There are a variety of ways to help manage your blood sugar levels, with many of them being on the more natural side.
Apple Cider Vinegar
If you have ever looked up natural remedies, you have probably come across apple cider vinegar. This is a very common natural remedy for everything from improving your gut health to helping with your blood sugar levels. Many women with diabetes are drinking a small amount of apple cider vinegar each day in order to balance out their blood sugar and reduce inflammation in the body. You donât need a lot, and you can drink it straight or add it to a glass of water. You can also get your ACV by drizzling it on your salad.
Go for the High-Fiber Foods
As you start concentrating more on a healthy diet with diabetes, you should also try to get more fiber into your diet. For people who are not accustomed to eating vegetables, this might prove to be a challenge in the beginning, but it is essential and you should really focus on it. You want to go for those high-fiber vegetables and nuts like brussels sprouts, greens, chickpeas, pears, lentils, almonds, and walnuts. With the higher fiber content in your diet, it really helps to lower your blood glucose levels and can help with insulin resistance.
Drink Plenty of Water
Believe it or not, your hydration can have a large impact on your blood sugar and blood glucose levels. If you are dehydrated to a dangerous amount, your kidneys will also react badly and you can start feeling ill. The easiest way to tell if you are dehydrated is to look at the color of your urine. If it is not clear, then you are not properly hydrates. Make sure you are getting plenty of water, whether you drink plain water or water flavored by infusing fruit and vegetables in it. This flavoring can make it more enticing and encourage you to drink more of it.
Watch Your Glycemic Index
You already know following a healthy diet helps with blood glucose levels, but did you know it goes further than this? There are certain foods with a glycemic index that is high or low, which can impact your blood sugar greatly. With diabetes, you want the low GI foods, which include oats and barley, meat, eggs, sweet potatoes, fruit, lentils, and legumes. You should be avoiding starchy vegetables as they tend to have a higher glycemic index.
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I wanted to talk about this topic because it is absolutely possible to prevent and even reverse Type 2 Diabetes (but you cannot reverse Type 1). Yes, it’s possible! and emerging studies looking at lifestyle medicine and prevention support this! But I always tell my patients that you must be dedicated and diligent in adopting a healthy lifestyle to get the best results. You can create certain behaviors and practices that will not only enrich your life, but that you can pass on to your family, friends, and community, to help break the cycle of this chronic disease so that you can leave a legacy of health to your loved ones.
I use lifestyle medicine as the first line of treatment, before medications, to treat lifestyle-related chronic diseases. Lifestyle-related chronic diseases include diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and some cancers, just to name a few. Lifestyle practices, such as eating a whole-food plant-based diet and regular physical activity, can help you improve your blood sugar levels, maybe reverse type 2 diabetes. In certain cases, these approaches may even outperform pharmaceutical therapy.
Tools For Diabetes Prevention and Monitoring
Blood Sugar Monitoring
As you know, I always stress the importance of taking control of your health. Monitoring your blood sugar levels is one of the best ways to do this. To do this, a single drop of blood is collected with disposable lancets and placed on a disposable test strip, which you insert into a home blood-sugar monitoring device, called a glucometer.
The common times for checking your blood sugar are when you first wake up (fasting), before a meal, 2 hours after a meal, and at bedtime; however, you should check your blood sugar as many times a day as your health care team suggests.
Monitoring your blood sugar level provides you and your doctors with important knowledge about how food, activity, medication, stress, and other elements might affect your blood sugar levels. This data will assist you and your doctor in developing a therapy plan that is suited to your demands.
Since weight management is very important in combatting chronic diseases such as diabetes, I recommend that you be mindful of your weight and its fluctuations, and that you monitor your weight AT LEAST on a weekly basis. I recommend a scale that includes a body composition monitor (*this scale cannot be used with a pacemaker or other implanted devices):
Physical activity (or exercise) can improve your health and reduce the risk of developing several chronic diseases like high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and cancer, just to name a few. Physical activity actually improves insulin sensitivity. Physical activity can improve your mood, boost your immune system, and even help you maintain a healthy weight.
I often recommend yoga and resistance training for physical activity, but as you are aware, there are plenty of forms of “movement” that you can do! But for the basics, especially if you’re just getting started, yoga and resistance training are where I would start.
Yoga can be a great way to improve your strength and flexibility, manage your stress, improve your heart health, and lose weight! I recommend using a grounded yoga mat to connect yourself with the earth and reduce inflammation.
Resistance training is the mainstay for overall health. It not only has beneficial effects on reducing body fat, it also increases muscle size and strength. Here are some basic dumbbells/free weights that I recommend to everyone.
Remember, living a healthy lifestyle including eating a whole foods plant-based diet and regular physical activity are the best ways to prevent diabetes. Please talk with your doctor about any complementary health approaches, including supplements, you use. Let me know what you think in the comment section below.
PS. I am always asked what tools and resources I recommend to help you reach YOUR health goals. Here is the ever-growing, always updated list for you.
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