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3 Daily Habits to Balance Your Blood Sugar

By Skye Sherman  •   August 29, 2022

Photo Credit: @CANPharmacyKing
Photo Credit: @CANPharmacyKing

You don’t have to be diabetic to be focused on balancing your blood sugar. Keeping your blood sugar levels healthy is an essential life habit for optimum health. Whether you know a lot about balancing your blood sugar or very little, the main things you need to know is that the choices you make every day, both large and small, have major impacts on your blood sugar.

An article in MSN states, “Every day millions of people knowingly and unknowingly make lifestyle choices that are damaging their bodies. Most of the time, your daily habits increase the amount of stress on the body and cause it to be less resistant to insulin. This, over time, leads to increased blood sugar levels.”

It may seem like no big deal, but every bite of food you take and every decision to get active or stay sedentary, day in and day out, has an effect on your body. This is especially true of the cumulative effect that builds over time. The choices you make every day are what become your overall health and life.

Wondering about daily habits that can balance your blood sugar? Read on.

How to balance your blood sugar

Let’s start with the basics. What factors determine your blood sugar and how can you control them? And does balanced blood sugar apply to everyone or only those with diabetes (or at risk of developing the condition)? The Reboot With Joe program explains it this way:

“Blood sugar is regulated by two key hormones:

1. Insulin

2. Glucagon

When blood sugar is high, insulin is released, which helps to bring glucose (sugar) out of the blood and into the tissues for use and storage; likewise, when blood sugar is low, glucagon is released, causing blood sugar to rise.”

One of the best ways to balance your blood sugar is your diet, but your fitness routine is a close second, and even your job and lifestyle may be affecting your blood sugar. To keep your blood sugar balanced and at a healthy low level, you’ve got to look at your daily habits, from diet and exercise to choices such as drinking and smoking. High levels of stress can also be a contributing factor to a lack of blood sugar balance. That’s right: you may need to think about quitting your job for the sake of your health!

A diet that’s full of processed meat and red meat, refined cereals, and saturated fatty acids is practically a straight shot to Type 2 diabetes, and no one wants that. Watching what you eat is of the utmost importance when it comes to diabetes prevention. In recent years, doctors and scientists have learned that it’s not necessarily the quantity of sugars and carbs hitting your system, it’s the quality of these sources of food.

In other words, you need to take a holistic approach to your diet, routines, and daily tasks if you want to balance your blood sugar properly. Those who do develop diabetes may need to go on prescription antidiabetic medications such as Jardiance, Januvia, Farxiga, or Rybelsus. Always consult your physician or other healthcare providers.

What habits are increasing your blood sugar?

You should be aware that the choices you make on a daily basis can impact your blood sugar in major ways. One of the main things that determines your blood sugar health is your physical activity level (or lack thereof).

As the article in MSN explains it, “You might be surprised to learn that maintaining a regular workout regimen can assist you in type 2 diabetes prevention. … By enhancing insulin sensitivity in your muscles, exercise aids in blood sugar regulation. This is significant since type 2 diabetics often struggle to control their blood sugar levels. Exercise improves insulin sensitivity, which can help to alleviate high blood sugar levels.”

If you want to balance your blood sugar and keep it within healthy levels, then you need to get up and get moving! A good diet and exercise will also boost your happy hormones.

Eat more chromium and cinnamon

Have you ever heard of chromium? It’s a trace mineral that may help to promote balanced sugar levels in your blood. Chromium is found in unprocessed foods like broccoli, potatoes, green beans, bananas, nuts, lean meat, mushrooms, and whole grains. However, broccoli is the best dietary source of chromium, so make sure to eat a lot of it!

Another small change you can make is to eat more cinnamon to balance your blood sugar levels. Did you know that this simple spice likely plays a role in balancing your blood sugar? Best of all, it tastes delicious and it’s easy to eat because you can add it to a variety of foods for an extra little kick of flavor. Try it in your coffee, tea, yogurt, cereal, and even soups.

Healthy fats, lean proteins, nuts, whole grains, fibrous foods, and plenty of water are also essential steps, alongside boosted chromium and cinnamon consumption, that can make all the difference.

Drink vinegar with every meal

This advice may surprise you, but it’s true: vinegar to accompany each meal may be one of the secrets to unlock better blood sugar health.

An article in Everyday Health explains, “A 2012 study published in the Journal of Community Hospital Internal Medicine Perspectives suggested that vinegar could help slow the absorption of sugar by the body. The research revealed that 2 ounces of apple cider vinegar improved fasting blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity.”

Taking 1 tablespoon of any type of vinegar with every meal should do the trick. It may be just the small change your body needs to help keep your blood sugar levels in check.

Buy new plates

This bit of advice may also come as a surprise to you, but it’s a small lifestyle change that may produce a big impact. Healthline points out the importance of portion control when it comes to blood sugar.

“Portion control can help you regulate your calorie intake and maintain a moderate weight. Consequently, weight management promotes healthy blood sugar levels and has been shown to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Monitoring your serving sizes also helps prevent blood sugar spikes.”

But how can you monitor your portion sizes more effectively? A good first step is to take a look at your plates. Are they large, outsized dinner plates that you feel the need to fill up (and thus clean at the dinner table by eating all your food)? This may be a secret snag lurking underneath the surface that makes your diet choices much more difficult.

Start eating off of smaller plates. It helps you to more accurately weigh how much food you’re having and not feel like you have to fill it up or empty it off. Managing portion sizes becomes a lot easier when you have this visual cue. Of course, you also have to check serving sizes on food labels, eat more mindfully, and track what you eat if you want the full picture. But this one small change can make a huge difference.

The danger of imbalanced blood sugar levels

What will happen if your blood sugar is out of whack? It’s important to be aware of why, exactly, you should care about your blood sugar levels. The main reason is that if your blood sugar is too low or too high, you may be putting yourself at unnecessary risk of diabetes.

As Reboot With Joe puts it, the main concern with persistent elevated blood sugar is that they will stay at elevated levels: “The body must release a consistent stream of insulin into the bloodstream to maintain healthy sugar levels. Over time the tissues become what is known as insulin resistant due to the constant exposure to insulin, which causes more and more insulin to be released to remove sugar to the tissues. Over time this process can lead to persistent high blood sugar. Besides potentially contributing to diabetes, heart disease and many other chronic diseases, long term blood sugar imbalance may contribute to other conditions like increased fat storage in the abdomen, which is also dangerous for heart health, and may also cause inconsistent and poor energy.”

Furthermore, you need to think about the fact that when we have low energy, we tend to reach for sugary, carb snacks because they give us a little zip of energy. If your blood sugar levels aren’t balanced, you may be making poorer food choices overall.

The MSN article states, “For over a decade, it has been believed that the primary cause of type II diabetes is a high intake of an unhealthy diet, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle. However, lean individuals who develop type II diabetes exhibit visceral obesity, ectopic fat deposition, and an overall decrease in BMI. Hence, some scientists believe that there are many more factors involved in the cause of type II diabetes. These include aging, ethnicity, aerobic fitness, physical activity level, and family history.”

As you can see, balancing your blood sugar is important even though diabetes may not be completely within your control. While blood sugar and diabetes are very closely linked, controlling your blood sugar cannot completely prevent diabetes if you are prone to the condition for other reasons, such as genetics.

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Disclaimer:

The purpose of the above content is to raise awareness only and does not advocate treatment or diagnosis. This information should not be substituted for your physician's consultation and it should not indicate that use of the drug is safe and suitable for you or your (pet). Seek professional medical advice and treatment if you have any questions or concerns.