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.
This means that 50% of all US adults have diabetes or pre-diabetes.
Here are 15 easy ways to lower blood sugar levels naturally:
1. Exercise Regularly
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.
Good forms of exercise include weight lifting, brisk walking, running, biking, dancing, hiking, swimming and more.
2. Control Your Carb Intake
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.
Some studies find that these methods can also help you plan your meals appropriately, which may further improve blood sugar control.
Many studies also show that a low-carb diet helps reduce blood sugar levels and prevent blood sugar spikes.
What’s more, a low-carb diet can help control blood sugar levels in the long run.
3. Increase Your Fiber Intake
Fiber slows carb digestion and sugar absorption. For these reasons, it promotes a more gradual rise in blood sugar levels.
Furthermore, the type of fiber you eat may play a role.
There are two kinds of fiber: insoluble and soluble. While both are important, soluble fiber specifically has been shown to lower blood sugar levels.
Additionally, a high-fiber diet can help manage type 1 diabetes by improving blood sugar control and reducing blood sugar lows,
Foods that are high in fiber include vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains.
The recommended daily intake of fiber is about 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. That’s about 14 grams for every 1,000 calories.
4. Drink Water and Stay Hydrated
Drinking enough water may help you keep your blood sugar levels within healthy limits.
In addition to preventing dehydration, it helps your kidneys flush out the excess blood sugar through urine.
One observational study showed that those who drank more water had a lower risk of developing high blood sugar levels.
Drinking water regularly re-hydrates the blood, lowers blood sugar levels and reduces diabetes risk.
Keep in mind that water and other non-caloric beverages are best. Sugar-sweetened drinks raise blood glucose, drive weight gain and increase diabetes risk.