More than 37 million people in the United States have diabetes, which means they must make a concerted effort to keep their blood sugar stable.
But even people who don’t have diabetes need to manage their blood sugar to keep their energy high and limit their risk of developing diabetes or other health issues.
Our expert providers at Arlington Family Practice in Arlington, Massachusetts, have helped many patients (with and without diabetes) learn to manage their blood sugar successfully. Here are a few of our top tips for how to keep your blood sugar stable.
Eat more whole grains (and fewer carbs)
Fiber-rich foods such as grains stay in your stomach longer, slowing the absorption of sugars into your bloodstream and preventing spikes in your blood sugar levels. Because they make you feel full longer, whole grains can help you avoid unhealthy snacks.
Carbs, on the other hand, are broken down into sugar by your digestive system, raising your blood sugar level (and your hunger) as they’re absorbed into your bloodstream.
Eat throughout the day
Don’t concentrate all your eating into one or two big meals. Eat at least three good meals a day with healthy snacks between them. You could even have five small meals instead of three bigger ones.
The idea is to spread out the absorption of nutrients to help even out your blood sugar highs and lows.
Think through your food options each day so you have something on hand to eat if you need it. Carry healthy snacks with you, such as granola bars or nuts, that can prevent your blood sugar from dropping too low.
If your body becomes dehydrated, it releases more sugar into your bloodstream and retains it longer. Drinking water to stay hydrated helps you avoid this problem — but stick with water. Beverages with sweeteners raise your blood sugar.
Regular exercise helps your muscles absorb blood sugar and use it for fuel, reducing your levels. It also helps you maintain a healthy weight by keeping you active and avoiding spikes in your blood sugar levels.
Get your sleep
Insufficient sleep is a risk factor for higher blood sugar levels, so get eight hours every night! Too little sleep can also increase your insulin resistance and your levels of cortisol, a stress hormone that also affects insulin and blood sugar.
If you’d like more guidance on keeping your blood sugar stable, our team at Arlington Family Practice is happy to help. Call our office or book your appointment online.