Today I want to talk about how I manage my blood sugar levels naturally.
The sad truth is that Diabetes runs in my family. I had an uncle who lost a leg to Diabetes. He then died a few years later due to further complications.
The saddest part about losing my uncle is that diabetes is a disease that can be managed. It is a disease in which our knowledge becomes power in taking back our lives.
Monitoring My Levels
We all know that if you have diabetes, you need to keep your blood glucose (sugar) as close to the target range as we possibly can in order to help prevent or delay unwanted complications.
To be honest, at first this was a massive chore for me. I am actually the kind of person that is terrified of needles, so you can imagine how tough it was for me to get used to the constant finger pricking to check my blood sugar.
But guess what? Eventually that chore became a habit, and now I barely think anything of checking my blood sugar.
I mention this because some of the things I’m going to tell you in this blog post may seem like an uncomfortable task, or might even seem like something that isn’t possible for you to follow.
I understand that feeling. I was there. I’m here to tell you that those uncomfortable feelings will pass and be replaced by instinctual habit. You have the ability to do the same as me. You just have to decide that you want to.
Anyways, let’s jump right into it!
One thing I believe has helped me tremendously is eating beets. As wild as it sounds, I started eating them after hearing about it from a family friend. They seemed to start helping right away for me. I know everyone is different, so what worked well for me might not work instantly for you, but there is some science behind this…
Diabetes causes damage to your small blood vessels (microvascular) and the larger blood vessels (macrovascular). This of course leads to complications that affect the eyes, kidneys, heart, and other parts of your body.
Research is showing that antioxidants, like the ones found in beets, can reduce the risk of diabetes complications like: retinopathy, kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, Reduced insulin resistance, neuropathy and diabetic foot disease.
Metabolites found in high concentrations of beets could reduce insulin resistance. That same metabolite is also found in human blood, but it is lower in people with insulin resistance, pre-diabetes, and cardiovascular issues than in healthy people.
Studies have shown that obese people who consumed beet juice with carbs showed lower insulin resistance than the non obese people in the same study.
I know you’re thinking this is an obvious one! But did you know that exercise not only helps us feel better, it also improves how sensitive we are to insulin… And as a result, our bodies blood sugar levels become more stable.
We’ve all heard that exercise is good for stress, but did you know your stress levels can make your blood sugar get even worse? Which as a result will give you more stress!
If you aren’t an active person right now, you might feel some aches and pains getting started with a workout routine, but that’s normal. Ideally we want to get 4-7 physical activities in per week. If you’re well below this amount right now, just start slow and work your way up to this amount. Like I said above, it becomes habit. It becomes a lifestyle. Much quicker than you’d imagine, I’d also like to add!
Finding the Motivation
When I got my diagnosis I was at about the worst physical shape of my life. I had spent the last few years working on a computer 9-5 and had severely neglected my fitness during this time. Although as hilarious as my bulging gut looked to my buddies, I knew I wanted it gone!
Terrified of what diabetes did to my uncle, I joined a local gym the very next day. I told myself that everything would be alright as long as I managed to get to the gym once per day. Even if it meant just walking on a treadmill for a few minutes, as long as I made it to the gym everything would be okay!
At first it was very difficult to keep to my schedule, but seemingly overnight I suddenly was in my routine. It became habit very quickly and a big part of my life. All because I pushed myself to get to the gym for a few weeks.
Eat Fenugreek Seeds
I had no idea what these things were until I started to educate myself. The program I mentioned above is actually where I picked this up. Basically they are an excellent source of soluble fibre.
Many studies have shown that they lower blood sugar in diabetics. They also help reduce fasting glucose and improve glucose tolerance. They are actually even considered one of the safest herbs for diabetics.
You can add them to baked goods, or turn them into flour. I personally brew a tea with them. The recommended dosage is 2-5 grams per day.
Foods Rich In Chromium & Magnesium
High blood sugar and diabetes has been linked to micronutrient deficiencies. Chromium is a part of carb & fat metabolism. It is also a helper in controlling blood sugar levels, and a chromium deficiency can give you a carb intolerance. That said, studies have not shown exactly why.
If you’re looking for chromium rich foods, I eat egg yolks, high bran cereals, nuts, green beans, coffee, whole grains, and meat.
Magnesium has also been shown to help blood sugar levels. Low magnesium has actually been linked to developing diabetes.
Eat Your Vegetables
Diabetes is not fair. We have enough restrictions on us already, but diabetes doesn’t have to keep you from enjoying lots of foods.
What I learned was that I could still have most of the foods I loved. I just now had to make a point of doubling up on the vegetables… We’re talking half the plate worth of vegetables.
Some of my favorites include:
- Salad Greens
- Citrus Fruits
- Lean Meats
- Low-Fat or Non-Dairy Products
- Poultry or Fish
- Sweet Potatoes
Some of my fav whole grains:
- Whole Oats
- Whole Wheat
This was one of the hardest parts for me. Before my diagnosis I never really thought much about what I ate, let alone the time I ate it. Turns out you should be eating 3 times a day, spaced out evenly throughout the day. I also try to eat about the same amount of carbs with every meal.
Cut The Fast Foods
Even tougher was cutting down on my fast food habits. Fast / processed foods typically have a higher glycemic index. This just means they will have a larger effect on your blood sugar.
Before all of this I was eating fast food sometimes 3 times per day. It’s just easier when you’re on the go. In my opinion It’s no wonder why diabetes diagnoses have increased from 100 million in 1980, to 400 million in 2014.
Now I wasn’t really a heavy drinker to begin with, but after my diagnosis I really cut down on when I’d drink. My drinking is now reserved for exceptionally special occasions. The reason why drinking can be so dangerous is that when you’re on medications for diabetes, alcohol can drop your blood sugar to dangerous levels. I personally haven’t had this experience while I was on medication so I can’t speak much about it.
Getting a good sleep seems to help with everything, but getting lots of sleep made a huge difference for me with my diabetes.
Poor sleeping patterns & lack of sleep can affect blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity. It can increase your appetite & weight gain.
Talk to your doctor
Make sure to talk with your doctor before making any serious changes to your lifestyle or trying new supplements. My experience was that the guys at GNC will try to push every supplement they can think of on you. Just make sure you do your research!
Some of the tips I’ve shared in this article have made a massive difference for me controlling my blood sugar levels. The main take home I want you to get from my blog is that you need to do something. You don’t have to jump full into it right away like I did, just do something. Start with even one of my tips. Your blood sugar is not something you can just ignore.
Let’s Control Your Blood Sugar!
Thanks for reading!
That’s all for now. I’m happy to report that I am currently doing well. Feeling healthy and controlling my blood sugar naturally without any medications anymore! I am spending almost all of my free time helping others find the same success as myself.
I will be adding to this blog post often so make sure to check back.
I’d also love to hear how you manage your diabetes. Any special tricks or tips that you can share with us would be greatly appreciated!