Diabetes is the fastest growing major cause of death and disability in America. Currently more than one in three people have diabetes to some degree. That number is simply staggering. Of course not all people with diabetes or pre-diabetes are in dire straights but without taking corrective action and changing one’s lifestyle for the better this condition can easily spiral out of control, feeding off itself until you are left helpless to fight back.
When someone is initially diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes they are usually found to have high levels of fasting blood sugar. Basically during checkups with the doctor a simple blood test is performed to test the amount of glucose in your blood. The test usually occurs after a fast of about 8-12 hours and should be ample time for fasting blood glucose levels to decline to a normal range. Click here to find out more about what normal blood sugar levels are.
Basically a fasting blood glucose test should reveal glucose counts in the 80-100 mg/dl range however many people who are at risk may be a little higher in the 100-120 mg/dl range. For those who register higher than that diabetes type 2 is a typical diagnosis and depending on the severity of the situation you may or may not be able to reverse the damage. Certainly for those who are merely in the elevated normal range taking steps to lower blood sugar levels is crucial. Luckily those steps are simple to take however many people don’t because habits and lifestyle’s are difficult to change.
Lower Your Blood Sugar Naturally – An Overview
If you have high fasting blood sugar levels there are a few general concepts you have to understand. Fir of all, all food that is consumed is converted into glucose through the natural digestion process however not all foods result in equal amounts of blood sugar or glucose and certainly not all foods result in a quick spike in glucose levels. Some foods convert very quickly and in high quantities while others convert slowly and in lower quantities. People who are developing type-2 diabetes tend to eat more foods which convert quickly and in high levels whereas many people who do not develop diabetes tend to eat more foods that act oppositely in the body.
As a general rule of thumb it is safe to assume that foods which are high on the glycemic index will convert into glucose quickly and in abundance and foods which are low on the index will do the opposite. This is important to remember because it is high levels of glucose in the blood which cause high levels of insulin to be created in the pancreas. In normal amounts this is safe but in high levels both glucose and insulin can slowly cause damage to your body. This is why a single spike in glucose levels after a big and special meal is fine but eating hamburgers, soda, and highly processed convenience foods for every meal may slowly result in the development of type 2 diabetes.
To naturally lower your blood sugar levels you have to identify the foods which are low on the glycemic index and eat more of them and identify foods which are high on the index and eat less of them. On a broad level of speaking this is the basis of a type 2 diabetes diet or an insulin resistance diet although there are nuances to insulin resistance which go beyond the scope of the glycemic index.
Foods To Lower High Blood Sugar
First course of action when it comes to eating the right foods to lower blood sugar is to stay away completely from fast food or processed convenience foods. You have to make your food from scratch yourself to realize the best results. For starters stick with what is easy, the vegetables on your lunch and dinner plate. Potatoes of all kinds are high on the index and they are very common side dishes. If you replace potatoes for vegetables like Asparagus, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Green Beans, Peas, or Spinach you will be doing yourself a world of good.
Another common side dish is rice which is relatively high on the index. One excellent alternative for rice is to cook with Quinoa instead. Quinoa is very low on the glycemic index and it is texturally and functionally a perfect replacement for rice on the dinner plate. It is cooked virtually the same s well and is just as easy to prepare.
For breakfast most people enjoy eating foods like bagels, donuts, and cereals like Cheerios which are all high on the GI index. These foods can easily be replaced for shredded wheat or low sugar cereals loaded with nuts or oats, whole wheat toasts, most fruits, eggs, and other breakfast meats in moderation. Yogurt and other dairy like cottage cheese is another excellent way to start your day on a low GI tract.
As for the main courses of your lunch and dinners lean meat is usually good but you have to stay away from the high sugar and sodium that is contained in the meat of many fast food restaurants. Salads are great options for lunch because they typically are low on the GI index and don’t contain many sugars or sweeteners even if they have dressing. Vinegar based dressings are best. If you do end up at eating some foods higher in GI then that should be fine but try your best to minimize them and the best rule of thumb is to eat more veggies when ever possible. They will help fill you up on low GI foods and leave less room for the foods which may be high on the glycemic index.
One book you may want to read when it comes to lowering your high blood sugar naturally is the Insulin Resistance Diet which can be found in many bookstores and on Amazon. Find good cookbooks for diabetics to help you at dinner time and start setting these habits in stone. Of course any effort you put into lowering high blood sugar with your diet needs to be coupled with an effort in increase your physical activity levels. For more on how to reduce insulin resistance you will want to emphasize doing more physical exercise and eating foods which have been shown to help regulate insulin levels and improve your body’s sensitivity to insulin which can help metabolize glucose from your blood steam more efficiently and minimize the ill effects the high blood sugar levels can cause.