Have you ever wondered what methods are best in controlling blood sugar levels? There are many ways you can go about doing this. This article discusses how dietary intervention, exercise and medication can help you control your blood sugar levels if you are diabetic.
You Are What You Eat
Sugar is a major culprit when it comes to blood sugar spikes. Over 100,000 new cases of diabetes have been diagnosed in the past decade that are attributed to a rise in the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages such as soft drinks, sport drinks and fruit drinks. Common sense says if it causes diabetes in the first place, avoid it altogether if you have the condition.
Eat foods that are rated low on the glycemic index (you can find out the glycemic index of foods at www.glycemicindex.com), avoid sugar when you can and consume protein and healthy fats in combination with your carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are processed by your body much more quickly than protein or fat. Mixing these macronutrients together will slow the rate at which they are all emptied from your stomach, resulting in a a more gradual rise in blood sugar.
Although the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that 55 to 65 percent of your daily caloric intake should come from carbohydrates, you should spread your intake throughout the day to help prevent spikes in your blood sugar levels. The ADA also recommends diabetics consume 25 to 50 g of dietary fiber daily. Remember that too much fat in the diet, especially saturated fat and trans fats, can cause blood sugar control to deteriorate.
Moderate exercise can bump your body’s need for sugar up 20 fold. Exercise creates a blood sugar deficit, and this is just what some people need when they’re trying to controlling blood sugar levels. The American College of Sports Medicine says you should aim to participate in at least 30 minutes or more of moderate exercise at least five days per week. Any amount, of course, is better than nothing.
However, when exercising to lower blood sugar in the long run, one of the main goals should be to lower abdominal fat, as it is strongly believed by the medical community to be related to blood sugar and diabetes. A combination of aerobic and resistance exercises may prove beneficial, as both have a unique effect of lowering blood sugar. Nonetheless, you should consult with a physician before starting any exercise regimen. Remember that the ADA recommends a body mass index of 25 or less.
Medication might be necessary…
Controlling blood sugar levels is a matter of eating right and exercising. After all, this is one of the first suggestions given to patients showing early signs of diabetes. However, medication may be necessary at times. In this case, one should consult with a physician to to see what kinds of medications might be useful. Whether it is oral medications or insulin, these forms of therapy are both aimed at trying to either lower blood sugar levels, increase the availability of insulin, increase insulin sensitivity or a combination all three.
It is important for patients that are not already insulin dependent to find a way to control their blood sugar through lifestyle changes. Whether or not you are taking medicines or insulin for diabetes, exercise and dietary intervention are important ways to treat your condition. It is important to notify your doctor before you start an exercise program. It is also good to use a blood sugar meter frequently to find out how exercise and dietary habits in addition to any medications are affecting your blood sugar.