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8 Lifestyle Changes to Lower Type 2 Diabetes Risk

    8 Lifestyle Changes to Lower Type 2 Diabetes Risk

    Managing your blood sugar levels is important, not just for people with diabetes but even for those without the condition. After all, having elevated blood sugar levels can lead to other illnesses aside from diabetes, such as obesity and heart ailments.

    Diabetes can be managed with proper diet and exercise. And by managing blood sugar levels (glycemic control), we can help lower our risk of diabetes complications, such as kidney damage and cardiovascular disease. Aside from medications, a vital part of managing diabetes is a self-care management program.

    So how can you maintain your blood sugar at a healthy level? Here are some blood sugar management tips.

    Blood Sugar Management Tips to Lower Diabetes Complications Risk

    1. Exercise Regularly

    Whether you are 10 years old or 90 years old, exercising regularly can lower your blood sugar level, keeping your diabetes under control. This also increases insulin sensitivity which means the cells in your body can better use the sugar flowing through them.

    Choose aerobic exercises with moderate intensity, such as walking, jogging, or biking.

    2. Manage Consumption of Carbohydrates

    Consuming too much carbohydrate-rich food, like rice and pasta, that break down into simple sugars, over time, can lead to heart diseases, and other illnesses.

    To counter such problems, it is best to control and manage your carbohydrate intake. It’s important to note, however, that low blood sugar levels also pose certain health risks.

    Here are some tips to manage your carbohydrates:

    • cut down on bread and sugary drinks, choose eggs for breakfast and other low-carbohydrate food
    • consume vegetables and fruits for snacks instead of the usual bread as these contain natural sugars

    3. Eat More Fiber

    Fiber lowers blood cholesterol levels and naturally helps manage blood sugar.

    According to the Institute of Medicine, the amount of fiber needed by men 50 years and younger is 38 grams and for women, 25 grams.

    Meanwhile, for men 50 years and older, at least 30 grams of fiber is needed, and for women, 21 grams.

    Aside from fruits and vegetables, some examples of foods rich in fiber include whole-grain products; peas, beans, and other legumes; and nuts and seeds.

    4. Stay Hydrated

    It is well known that drinking at least 8 glasses of water is good for us. But aside from keeping us hydrated, drinking enough glasses of water a day not only helps you manage your blood sugar levels but also flushes away excess sugar through urination.

    Take note, though, that non-caloric beverages are healthier options as compared to sweetened bottles of water. Also, forego the juices, the shakes, and the sodas as these contain lots of sugar.

    5. Be Mindful of What You Eat

    This is easier said than done, of course, especially when you are bombarded with an array of delectable dishes at a buffet table.

    But simply being more conscious of what you eat can help you manage your blood sugar level and control your calorie intake.

    As a helpful tip, when at a dinner party or at a buffet table, choose a small plate because this creates the illusion that your plate is full, and therefore, you have already eaten enough.

    Other tips are weighing and measuring portions; checking the serving sizes and reading food labels: and even eating slowly.

    6. Manage Stress

    Studies say that stress can increase blood sugar levels. To manage stress, exercises and relaxation techniques can help.

    • Get out of the city once in a while and immerse yourself in nature.
    • Read a good book.
    • Sleep and wake up early and free your mind of all worries and anxieties.
    • Do some yoga.
    • Hang out with your friends.
    • Watch movies or television with your family.
    • Take a warm bath or a shower.
    • Start a hobby and learn new things such as gardening, or collecting stamps.
    • Go on an adventure such as parasailing or spelunking.

    7. Get Enough Sleep

    Some experts say that getting more quality sleep can lead to lowered blood sugar levels.

    But lacking sleep can contribute to Type 2 diabetes.

    This is because insulin, the hormone that lowers blood sugar levels, becomes more sensitive at specific times of the day to people who get enough sleep.

    To help you get that much-needed shut-eye, here are some tips:

    • sleep in a comfortable and cool environment
    • go to bed and wake up at the same times
    • avoid sleeping with your gadgets near you
    • keep your mind free from concerns
    • avoid looking at screens at least an hour before bedtime

    8. Never Skip Breakfast

    There is a reason why breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

    After not eating for at least 8 to 12 hours because of sleep, your body needs food to balance blood sugar levels, and needs nutrients to keep your energy levels up, and breakfast – which helps you burn calories throughout the whole day – replenishes what is lost.

    In addition, failing to eat breakfast can lead you to getting hungry soon enough and consuming foods that may be rich in sugar.

    Key Takeaways

    Naturally, blood sugar management takes a lot of hard work. But with perseverance and consistency, you can help yourself and others maintain your blood sugar at your desired level.

    Learn more about diabetes, here.

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    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


    Dietary fiber: Essential for a healthy diet https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/fiber/art-20043983 Accessed June 28, 2020

    Closing America’s Fiber Intake Gap https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6124841/ https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/in-depth/diabetes-management/art-20047963 Accessed June 28, 2020

    American Diabetes Association https://www.diabetes.org/nutrition Accessed June 28, 2020

    Manage Blood Sugar https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/managing/manage-blood-sugar.html Accessed June 28, 2020

    Diabetes management: How lifestyle, daily routine affect blood sugar https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/in-depth/diabetes-management/art-20047963

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    Written by Excel Dyquiangco Updated Jul 06, 2021
    Fact Checked by Hello Doctor Medical Panel