According to the Centers for Disease Control, 37.3 million people in the US have diabetes (that’s 11.3% of the population). And 96 million people over the age of 18 have pre-diabetes (that’s 38.0% of the adult US population). Thus, for a huge percentage of American adults, regulating blood sugar can be a daily struggle.
The Mayo Clinic offers a range of numbers from the American Diabetes Association, who recommends that blood sugar should remain between 80 and 130 milligrams per deciliter before meals and less than 180 mg/dL two hours after meals.
High blood sugar is known as hyperglycemia, and it is associated with both diabetes and pre-diabetes. Pre-diabetes is, as the name suggests, a precursor to diabetes. It means a person’s blood sugar is consistently high but not yet high enough for the person to be diagnosed with diabetes.
Conversely, low blood sugar—or hypoglycemia—occurs when blood sugar dips below 70 mg/dL. Low blood sugar is caused by missing a meal, alcohol, too much insulin, some diabetes meds, and can even happen when a person exercises more than their normal amount.
Two types of diabetes
A normally functioning body will manage blood sugar levels by producing insulin. But there are times when the body loses this ability, as in type 1 diabetes. With type 1 diabetes, the body is unable to make insulin. If this is the case, a person with this type of diabetes must take insulin through injections or a pump. Failure to do so results in a life-threatening emergency.
However, those with either type 2 diabetes or who are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes—those who are pre-diabetic—can make many lifestyle changes in an effort to lower blood sugar levels naturally.
It’s vital to your health to maintain a steady blood sugar level that falls in the normal range. As WebMD explains, when your blood sugar level remains in this normal range, “you lower your chance of problems like vision loss and kidney disease.” In addition, you reduce your risk of both heart attack and stroke and your body will have more energy.
In this article, we will explore the changes that people with pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes can make to help maintain a healthy blood sugar level. Of course, always seek the guidance of your doctor(s) and discuss any lifestyle changes with them, but they will likely applaud your efforts to eat healthier foods and increase your activity levels.
- Watch what you eat and drink
Sugary foods and drinks will increase your blood sugar levels. Stay away from candy, pastries, and other foods sweetened with sugar. Eliminate sugary drinks like sodas and juices. Make sure you stay hydrated by drinking lots of water. If you are not well hydrated, your blood sugar levels will be difficult to regulate. In addition, eating too many carbs or processed foods will also increase your blood sugar levels.
- Give up the cigarettes
Smoking is bad for your health in so many ways, but most people don’t know that it also increases blood sugar levels. If you have been thinking of quitting, there’s no time like the present.
- Reduce stress levels
You may be thinking that this is easier said than done. And often it is. Our harried lives are full of stress, but there are ways we can manage stress and even reduce it. Yoga, exercise, meditation, therapy, or spending time with friends are all great ways to help lower stress. Saying “no” is also helpful. So many times in life we think we have to do everything that everyone asks of us. This leads to overburdening ourselves and burnout. It’s okay to say no every once in a while.
Exercise is not only good for reducing stress, but it will help regulate your blood sugar levels. WebMD explains: “Your goal should be 30 minutes, 5 days a week. But even 5 minutes is a good start. Your activities should be at least ‘moderately intense,’ which means that you’re able to talk but not sing while you do it.” WebMD goes on to explain that, specifically, resistance training reduces blood sugar because it “strengthens your muscles, where most blood glucose is stored.” It suggests using elastic bands, hand weights, and doing squats and pushups to strengthen your muscles.
- Eat a healthy diet
A healthy well-balanced diet is vital for our bodies to function properly. If we don’t get the nutrition our bodies need, we will feel listless, weak, and run down. Further, we will become more susceptible to illnesses, as our immune systems will not be able to handle the many germs we encounter on a daily basis. So, if you are watching your blood sugar, eat plenty of foods like oatmeal (don’t add sugar!), Greek yogurt, fruit, whole grains, dried beans and legumes, and non-starchy vegetables such as carrots, lettuce, spinach, sweet potatoes, and tomatoes.
PI products offer health benefits
Performance Inspired knows that your health matters to you. It matters to us too. That’s why we create our products with only healthy and clean all-natural ingredients. We have several that can help you as you navigate a lifestyle geared toward eating foods that will regulate your blood sugar.
Apple Cider Vinegar has been shown to help lower blood sugar levels and has been used as a natural remedy for hundreds of years. Studies have found that apple cider vinegar aids in the loss of weight, improves digestion and heart health, and more. Because it contains polyphenols, which help stop cell damage, vinegar is a great addition to your daily routine. As we know that a tablespoon full of ACV can upset the stomach, we created an easy-to-swallow capsule.
CLA, or conjugated linoleic acid, is a supplement often used to help people lose fat, maintain weight loss, retain lean muscle mass, and control type 2 diabetes.
In addition to these products, PI offers supplements that will help you maintain your health and that are not only good for you but that will not cause a spike in blood sugar. For instance, our Better Beet powder is apple flavored so you can easily add it as your meal beverage or a refresher mid-day drink. And it is great for you, as it provides optimum levels of nitric oxide—a compound that supports cardiovascular health, blood pressure, circulation, energy, and so much more. Our Diet & Energy Ripped Whey has just one gram of sugar per serving and is great before and after your workouts. Our Inspired-Bars 2.0 are packed with protein and are low in sugar so that you don’t have to worry about a sugar spike.
Lifestyle changes aren’t always easy. We often see ourselves stuck in a rut or loath to make changes, especially when we’re unsure about what kinds of foods to replace our normal treats with. That’s why we want to make it easy for you. PI’s guidance, support, and products will help you make the changes necessary so you can be a healthier you.