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How to Lower Blood Sugar With Diet

Two Methods:Eating the Right FoodsPlanning Things Out

High blood sugar can cause a number of health problems. Most notably, it can trigger the onset of diabetes, especially in people with a family history of the disease. Diabetics must monitor their diet to prevent their blood sugar from running dangerously high or too low. Pre-diabetics, or those with a genetic disposition to the disease, can keep blood sugar levels low by being careful with their diet, possibly reducing the risk of needing medication.

Once you are diagnosed as Diabetic, it is dangerous to assume that diet and exercise alone can help you manage your blood sugar. If you are disciplined, then a doctor could agree that minimal medication is all that you need. It is not advised that a diagnosed diabetic to take charge of managing his or her blood sugar with diet and exercise alone.

Method 1
Eating the Right Foods

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    Understand the importance of the right food in your diet. Depending on how it's chosen it can cause a gradual rise in blood sugar levels or it can cause the levels to rise too quickly (which most people should avoid). However way your system reacts to your meal depends on the food you have eaten. Complex carbohydrates are likely to cause a gradual rise, while refined carbohydrates and sugar will cause a fast rise in blood sugar levels.[1]
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    Choose healthy carbohydrates. Ultimately all food is converted into blood sugar, and consumed to make energy; the idea is to avoid foods where this happens very fast. Sugars, and starches (as found in white bread, or cornstarch, and many other foods) are converted most rapidly, and should be avoided. On the other hand, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes (lentils and beans), and a moderate amount of low-fat dairy foods are converted more gradually, and are better sources of energy for almost anyone, especially those avoiding high blood sugar. [2]
    • Note that low fat doesn't necessarily mean low calorie; always read the ingredients list.[3]
    • Healthy whole grains include barley, oats, spelt, wheat, kamut and brown rice.[4] See below for more about oats.
    • Bread and cereals are healthy provided you steer clear of the high fat and high sugar varieties. Choose bread and cereals containing less than 450mg per 100mg of sodium.[5]
    • Eat some carbohydrate at each meal, but only a reasonable portion. Eat more non-starchy vegetables over starchy ones.
    • Eat some protein in your meals, too. Proteins are good for you, and can sometimes help moderate the rise in sugar.
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    Eat more fiber. Fiber cleanses your system and soluble fiber (see below) helps control your blood sugar levels. Most vegetables are high in fiber, especially those with leafy greens. Many fruits, nuts, and legumes are also rich in fiber, as are whole-wheat products.
    • Soluble fiber is very important for maintaining good health. It is found in such foods as beans, nuts, oat bran and seeds.[4]
    • Flax-seeds are both a good source of fiber and for maintaining balanced blood sugar. Grind two tablespoons with 10 ounces of water and consume each morning to gain its benefits.[4]
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    Eat fish twice a week or more often. Fish is high in protein, which does not affect blood sugar as much as carbohydrates do. Fish also has less fat and cholesterol than meat and poultry. Many types of fish, including salmon, mackerel, and herring, also have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which lower fats called triglycerides and promotes overall heart health. Avoid fish prone to high levels of mercury, however, like swordfish and king mackerel.
    • Other sources of healthy, lean protein include legumes, nuts, seeds, peas and turkey or chicken.[4] You might also consider protein drinks with less than 5g of sugar content.[4]
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    Eat more oatmeal. Unsweetened oatmeal digests slowly, which prevents your blood sugar from spiking up dramatically while providing your body with the slow-release energy it needs.[6] Lentils and legumes (beans) are just as good. (Some people feel that these foods give them indigestion and gas, until their systems get accustomed to them, so use your judgement.) All of these foods contain soluble fiber, which delays sugar and carbohydrate absorption, which is good.
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    Look for non-starchy vegetables. Broccoli, spinach, and green beans are excellent examples.[6] These vegetables are low in carbohydrates, so they do not affect your blood sugar very much, but they are also high in fiber and have a cleansing effect. (Lentils, legumes and oats are certainly starchy foods, but their soluble fiber offsets the liabilities of their starch content.)
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    Satisfy your sweet tooth with a few strawberries. In spite of their sweetness, strawberries are actually rather low in carbohydrates and, as such, do not dramatically raise blood sugar levels.[6] They also contain high levels of water, helping you to feel fuller for a longer period of time. As a result, you may feel less tempted by a more harmful sweet later on.
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    Drink more water. Soda and sugary juice drinks raise your blood sugar quickly. Substituting these drinks with water, sugar-free tonic water and sparkling water can quickly reduce your sugar intake.[6]
    • Many commercially available waters are also flavored, which may make them more appetizing than plain water. However, beware of added sugar. You can add strawberries, lemon or lime slices or a dash of orange juice to flavor sparkling water at home without adding sugar's empty calories.
    • Keep some water in the refrigerator with lemon slices already added to it. Very refreshing on a hot day, this water will taste delicious. Keep it topped up and discard the slices and add new ones every two days. Vary the flavorings with other citrus fruits or strawberries, apples or berries.
    • Try to drink 6-8 glasses of water a day to ensure that you're adequately hydrated.[5]
    • Be careful when consuming fruit juice and keep it to a minimum––fruit juice contains carbohydrate from its natural fructose (sugars).[5]
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    Sprinkle cinnamon onto your food. Some experts believe that cinnamon has a moderate effect at reducing blood sugar levels, especially in people with diabetes. The results are far from conclusive, but early studies do support the claim.[7]
    • Do not rely on cinnamon as a magic solution! It should be treated as an extra addition to all the other excellent suggestions above.
    • Substitute sugar/artificial sweeteners in hot drinks with agave nectar, as it has a much lower glycemic index.

Method 2
Planning Things Out

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    Know how many calories you should consume per day.[8] Ingesting the correct number of calories may prevent you from taking in excess food that can lead to excessive sugar entering your blood.
    • Consume 1,200 to 1,600 per day if you are a small woman, a medium-sized woman who wants to lose weight, or a medium-sized woman who does not exercise much.
    • Consume 1,600 to 2,000 calories per day if you are a large woman who wants to lose weight, a small man, a medium-sized man who does not exercise much or wants to lose weight, or a large man who wants to lose weight.
    • Consume 2,000 to 2,400 calories per day if you are a medium to large man who exercises a lot, a large man at a healthy weight, or a medium to large woman who exercises a lot.
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    Make substitutions. Instead of completely altering the way you eat, substitute healthier choices in place of those that could raise your blood sugar.
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    Count your carbohydrates. In particular, count the refined carbohydrates you're consuming, such as white flour baked products, sugary cereals and fried foods. Carbohydrates have a greater impact on your blood sugar levels than anything else because they break down into glucose, very quickly.
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    Check the glycemic index. The glycemic index ranks carbohydrates based on how much they raise blood sugar levels after consumption. Foods with a low GI rating are less likely to raise your blood sugar than those with a high rating.
    • Be aware that the glycemic index may not catch all sources of sugar beyond glucose. Other sugars, such as fructose and lactose, add to your blood sugar load.[1]


  • Walk a lot. Exercise helps your dietary measures by increasing your metabolic responses and keeping you fit. Walking is an ideal method of exercise for every person.[9]. If you are diabetic, your doctor must guide you in how to make sure you have enough blood sugar to deal with vigorous exercise. Once you have established a routine of exercise, you will know better how to maintain a balance of foods and medication that will allow you to exercise moderately as part of your blood sugar regulating plan.
  • Leave the skin on fruits and vegetables where possible, as most of the nutrients tend to be found just under the skin and peeling can remove this. Also, if steaming or boiling vegetables, try to reuse the water as soup or in a stew or sauce, to capture the vitamins that end up in the water. Eating salad vegetables raw will ensure that you get many unspoiled vitamins in your diet––just be sure to wash well first.
  • Talk to your doctor before significantly altering your diet. Your doctor can work with you to determine the healthiest plan to suit all your dietary needs and can steer you away from choices that may negatively affect your health.
  • The whole family can eat the same healthy foods; there is no need to single yourself out. Everyone benefits from the same healthy and nutritious meals eaten together.


  • Do not reduce your blood sugar levels down to nothing. An excessively low blood sugar level can be just as dire to your health as an excessively high level. Once your are clinically tested and found to have one of the range of conditions called "Diabetes", it generally means that your body's automatic sugar-regulation process (the Endocrine system) is not functioning well, so that you must partially take charge of regulating it. Just as too much blood sugar (and sugar in the diet) is bad, so is too little blood sugar. This is why we've suggested legumes and lentils in your diet. These foods are converted into blood sugar much more slowly, and supply a trickle of energy for a longer period of time, which is ideal. The three things a Diabetic person uses to balance his or her blood sugar are: diet, exercise, and medication. All three must be used in a good balance.

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