This is a sequel to my earlier post about blood sugar spikes.
After dolng some research, I came up with a few things that can actually lower blood sugar. The first one is my favorite lol.
1. Household Chores.
Believe it or not, cleaning the house or mowing the lawn can have an added bonus for people with diabetes: it lowers blood sugar. Don’t you love getting your closet organized? (it remains on my to-do list of the next projects). This one can lower your blood sugar so you’ll kill two birds with one stone.
Many of the chores you do every week count as moderate physical activity, with plenty of health perks. Make a point of walking around the grocery aisles or parking farther from the entrance to the store. (I do this often as I want to back into the parking space which is impossible with the sign right smack in the middle in between the parking spaces). Small amounts of exercise add up.
Physical activity is great for anyone but for those of us with diabetes it requires some maintenance. When you work out hard enough to sweat and raise your heartbeat, your blood sugar may spike up, but then it can drop. Intense or endurance-type exercise can make your level drop for at least 24 hours afterward. Eating a snack before you start may help. As well as checking your BG before, during, and after you exercise.
It is not uncommon for BG to drop during sleep, especially for those of us who take insulin. (I am not on insulin and haven’t had a low fasting number yet, knock on the wood). It helps to check your BG at bedtime and again in the morning when you wake up. If you start having lows, a snack before bedtime may help. I usually have a cup of milk and (approx) 2 squares of graham crackers or any other low-carb cookies I have sitting around. This amounts to about 2 carbs. However some folks experience a rise of BG in the morning, so some sources recommend a continuous BG monitor.
This could have a roller coaster effect as alcoholic drinks have plenty of carbs. At first your BG can rise but can drop for as long as 12 hours after drinking. Having your booze with food might help, and of course checking your BG. The ADA guidelines advise no more than one drink a day for women and two for men. The ADA definition of one drink is 5 oz of wine, 12 oz of beer or 1.5 oz of liquor like vodka or whiskey.
Another roller coaster. The problem is, heat makes your BG harder to control. High temperatures can also affect your medications, glucose meter, and test strips so don’t leave them in a hot car. Test your BG often and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. Dehydration can lead to rise in BG and blood sugar becomes more concentrated. Overall, you’d be much safer inside with the AC on when it’s hot outdoors.
It belongs to the probiotics, the foods that have healthy bacteria. Yogurt can improve digestion as well as help control BG. Plain or light yogurt is your best choice. I usually buy a Greek variety plain, and even then, I take my time to check the carbs content because you never know.
7. Vegan Diet.
The jury is out on this one but some studies suggest that those of us with T2D who switched to a vegan diet – or all vegetable based – had better BG control and needed less insulin. This is possibly due to the fiber content in whole grains and beans that slows down the digestion of carbs. However, more research is needed. I personally don’t know if I ever could switch to the vegan diet permanently. Maybe for a day or two but then I start craving meat which is where my vegan diet ends.
If you think you want to make a permanent switch, talk to your doctor.
8. Female Hormones.
Another roller coaster. When a woman’s hormones change, her BG follows. Keeping a monthly record of your BG levels might help to get a better idea of how your menstrual cycle affects you. Hormone changes during menopause may make BG even more difficult to control. You may want to discuss a possibility of hormone replacement therapy with your doctor.
9. Birth Control Pills.
Generally oral contraceptives are safe for women with diabetes, but the types that contain estrogen can affect the way your body handles insulin. The ADA suggests a combination pill with synthetic estrogen.
10. Glycemic Index or GI for short.
This is a rating of how individual foods raise BG levels. Consequently, the lower the better. For example, beans and whole-grain breads and cereals have a lower GI than white bread or regular pasta. Juice has a higher GI than whole fruit, mainly due to the fiber content. Craving a high-GI food? Eat it along with a lower-GI choice to help control your levels.
I personally never even think about GI as this information isn’t available on the Nutrition Panels, at least not in the U.S. Can probably find it on the internet but this is a chore considering that I don’t own a smartphone, so can only do the GI research on my laptop when I come home. So I’m only counting carbs and I think it’s enough. Works for me so far.
A word of warning – when comparing Glycemic Index or carbs, keep in mind the serving sizes. Content is based on the Serving Size that varies between the manufacturers. For example, carbs content per one slice versus two slices can make a dramatic difference.
After all said and done, the question remains – is sugar bad for you?
If you love sweets, don’t despair. You don’t have to give them up forever. While it’s true that sugar will raise your BG levels more quickly than other carbs, diabetes experts now say that it’s the total mount of carbs that is more important. Keeping your serving sizes small and accounting for the total carbs is the most important.