Blood sugar is the concentration of glucose (simple sugar) in your bloodstream. Glucose is needed by your cells to produce energy in the form of ATP.
When your blood sugar is high and remains high, it is an indication that your body is producing insulin but is not able to use it properly. Insulin helps to get sugar into your cells.
If your body cannot use insulin properly, sugar cannot get into your cells; instead it accumulates in your blood causing a range of problems so it is important for your blood sugar to be maintained at a constant level.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
Did you know that there are natural ways to lower blood sugar? Let’s take a look…
Here are 3 tested and natural ways to lower blood sugar
1) Choose carbohydrates with a low glycaemic index (low GI)
Consuming low GI carbohydrates is one of the tested and natural ways to lower blood sugar. When it comes to lowering your blood sugar, it is not the amount of carbohydrate you eat that matters, it is the kind of carbohydrate you eat. So what are low GI carbohydrates?
Low GI carbohydrates such as non-starchy vegetables, yams, carrots, squash and some fruits are slowly broken down into glucose so it wouldn’t spike your blood sugar and insulin level will be kept low.
On the other hand, high GI carbohydrates (such as bread, pasta and white rice) are quickly broken down into sugar, will raise your blood sugar and increase your insulin level.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a high intake of carbohydrates with a high glycemic index produced a greater risk of insulin resistance than did the intake of low-glycemic index carbohydrates so to naturally lower your blood sugar, consuming low GI carbohydrate is a better option.
2) Combine healthy carbohydrate with good quality protein and healthy fat
Combining healthy carbohydrate with good quality protein and healthy fat is also one of the tested and natural ways to lower blood sugar.
Protein and fat have little effect on your blood sugar so when you combine your healthy carbohydrate with good quality protein and healthy fat, the glucose from your meal enters your blood stream very slowly so the meal will have a lower impact on your blood sugar and help keep your blood sugar more stable.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that including protein in your meals can help you better control your blood sugar level and make you eat less carbohydrate. So eating your healthy carbohydrate meal with healthy fats and protein will have a lower impact on your blood sugar compared to having it on its own.
Good quality protein include chicken, fish, beans, lean meat, eggs. Healthy fats include avocado, olives, coconut oil, olive oil, nuts and seeds.
3. Exercise moderately
Moderate exercise such as walking is also one of the tested and natural ways to lower blood sugar.
When you carry out moderate exercise, your muscles use more sugar in your bloodstream for energy. Over a period of time, this can lower your blood sugar level and make you more insulin sensitive.
It is important for you not to overdo your exercises. When exercise becomes strenuous, it becomes a negative stress on your body and will increase your blood sugar.
It is important to note that any meal or snack high in sugar and refined carbohydrate is not one of the natural ways to lower blood sugar, it naturally raises your blood sugar so it is essential to remove them from your diet.
Willet W, Manson J, Liu S (2002) Glycemic index, glycemic load, and risk of type 2 diabetes. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 76: 274S-280S. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12081851
Paddon-Jones D, Westman E, Mattes R D, Wolfe R R, Astrup A, Westerterp-Plantenga M (2008) Protein, weight management, and satiety. American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition, 87: 1558S – 1561S