Those who have diabetes can say that sometimes their blood glucose levels are moving up and down like a roller coaster. This is a common problem among those with type 2. Their blood sugar can rise and then suddenly drop after having a carb-rich meal.
And, a sudden rise followed by a drop in blood sugar levels can make them feel hungry even if they’ve just eaten their meal.
These constant blood sugar spikes can cause hardening and narrowing of the blood vessels, increasing the risk of stroke and heart attack. On the other hand, a sudden drop in blood sugar levels can lead to loss of consciousness, rapid heartbeat, and even coma.
Overall, constant blood sugar dips and spikes can interfere with their life and health, and make their diabetes management impossible.
So, they need to make certain lifestyle changes to keep their blood sugar levels under control and prevent numerous health complications, thus leading a normal life.
Here are several ways to control blood sugar levels naturally.
1. Eat More Nuts
Pistachios, walnuts, almonds, and other nuts help slow down the absorption of sugar in the body, thanks to the healthy fat they contain. However, they also contain calories so make sure to limit their amount per day. For example, just 4 pecan halves or 6 almonds contain the same calories as a teaspoon of butter.
What’s more, nuts like almonds, peanuts, and cashews are high in magnesium – a mineral that helps control blood sugar levels. Brazil nuts, on the other hand, are rich in chromium which also helps prevent blood sugar spikes.
2. Consider Whole Grains
Rye, barley, and oat bran are rich in a dietary fiber called beta-glucan. What this fiber does is increase the time their stomach needs to empty after eating, thus preventing blood glucose spikes.
However, keep in mind that these foods also contain carbs which can increase blood glucose, although not as fast and as much as processed foods.
3. Add Non-Starchy Vegetables to the Diet
Carrots, cucumber, and broccoli are excellent examples of non-starchy vegetables which contain high levels of fiber. They come with essential nutrients while preventing a rise in blood sugar levels.
Studies show that this common spice can improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar spikes after eating a carb-based meal. So, consider adding some cinnamon to meals high in carbohydrates.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
According to research, apple cider vinegar can help slow down the body’s absorption of sugar. Researchers explain that two ounces of this vinegar can improve insulin sensitivity and fasting blood glucose levels.
Even though more research is needed to prove this, researchers recommend adding a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or any other vinegar to each meal to help control type 2.
6. Never Skip Meals
Eating more food in just 1-2 meals is worse than spreading out the daily food intake over several meals. It’s best to have three healthy meals every day to prevent blood sugar dips and spikes.
Also, having 2 healthy snacks in between can help control blood glucose. So, don’t skip breakfast!
7. Do Not Drink Alcohol Before Breakfast
Drinking alcohol first thing in the morning can cause blood sugar lows even after 24 hours. That’s because the body is trying hard to eliminate it. So, it’s always a better idea to eat something in the morning before or while drinking.
Or, people can check their blood glucose before drinking on an empty stomach. What’s more, they may experience a hypoglycemia attack that characterizes dizziness, slurred speech, etc, while everyone thinks they’re drunk.
This could be life-threatening if not given the appropriate treatment quickly.
8. Always Be Prepared
Those with type 2 should always carry some granola bar or another healthy snack with them to prevent a drop in their blood glucose levels. Also, they can use sugar pills for this purpose.
9. Manage Stress
Stress is one of the major reasons for blood sugar spikes, so it’s important to address it in the right way. Find out what works best, like yoga, meditation, breathing, or simply avoiding stressful situations.
10. Get Enough Sleep
Sleeping for too long or too little affects blood sugar. A study showed that sleeping for 4 hours, which is insufficient, can increase blood glucose and insulin resistance. Sleeping for too long is also associated with poor blood sugar control.
So, it’s best to sleep for 6.5 – 7.4 hours a night.
Follow these everyday diet and lifestyle changes to improve diabetes control and prevent blood sugar dips and spikes which can lead to serious health complications.