You want to know how to lower blood sugar quickly and safely.
But high blood sugar is only a symptom of diabetes. You really fear the complications of diabetes, such as vision loss, kidney failure, or losing your foot.
In this article, you’ll learn how to lower your blood sugar quickly and safely. And you’ll learn how to prevent, treat or possibly reverse diabetes.
Also, learn why one of the most popular diets for diabetes makes the problem worse. And what simple lifestyle changes to make instead.
Learn about what to do for a diabetic emergency from Diabeties.co.uk.
How To Lower Your Blood Sugar
Learn how to prevent blood sugar spikes and lower your blood sugar quickly. But your best option for lowering your blood sugar quickly is taking your insulin as prescribed. Please consult your health care provider before making any changes.
1. Eat At The Best Time For Blood Sugar Control
Eating at 8 pm can cause twice the blood sugar response as eating the same meal at 8 am (ref). This is because your glucose tolerance peaks in the morning and declines the rest of the day.
Because of circadian rhymes in glucose tolerance, a low-glycemic food at night can cause a higher blood sugar spike than a high-glycemic meal in the morning (ref). The worst combination is eating high-glycemic foods at night.Eating high glycemic foods at night is one of the worst things you can do for your blood sugar.
Eating as late as 11 pm can disrupt your circadian rhythm enough to disturb your glucose tolerance the next morning (ref). This means you’ll have higher blood sugar levels after breakfast than after eating an identical meal at 6 pm.
Your muscles are most sensitive to insulin in the morning. In the morning, your muscles pull blood sugar from your bloodstream to boost glycogen reserves. Your muscles are the least sensitive to insulin at night. At night, your muscles pull less blood sugar from your bloodstream.
Skipping breakfast worsens blood sugar control in both diabetics and non-diabetics (ref). And breakfast-skippers appear to have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes (ref). If you’re going to practice intermittent fasting, it may be safer to skip dinner over breakfast.
2. Eat At The Same Time Every Day
Even if you eat the same healthy foods, eating at irregular times can raise blood sugar and decrease insulin sensitivity.
For example, in one study subjects were randomized to eat their regular diets through six regular meals a day, or three to nine meals at irregular times. Researchers found that eating irregular meals every day can decrease insulin sensitivity (ref)
In another study, subjects were randomized to eat identical meals at regular or irregular times. During the irregular eating period, subjects had higher blood sugar responses to eating the same food (ref).
How can you prevent blood sugar spikes if you can’t eat at the same time every day?
3. Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes after Meals
Post-meal blood sugar is more important than fasted blood sugar because you live mostly in a fed state.
Whole-plant foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, and nuts can blunt blood sugar spikes after meals (ref).
If you eat high-glycemic food such as bread, you’ll get a blood sugar spike within an hour. But if you add almond butter it significantly reduces the blood sugar spike (ref). And If you add half an avocado to your meal it can improve your insulin response (ref).
Adding plants to a meal minimizes blood sugar spikes and calms insulin levels, but adding low-carb animal foods makes blood sugar spikes worse. For example, adding chicken to mashed potatoes causes a higher insulin spike (ref).
4. Consider Apple Cider With Meals
Apple cider Vinegar’s (ACV) possible secret weapon is helping increase glucose uptake into your cells (ref). ACV is one of the rare foods that can decrease both blood sugar and insulin spikes.
You can mix apple cider vinegar with water (ref) or use it mixed in a salad dressing.
Don’t forget to consult with your health care provider before taking ACV if you’re on blood sugar lowering medications.
5. Eat the Right Kind Of Fat
Insulin resistance is associated with ectopic fat accumulation (ref). Ectopic fat means the accumulation of fat where it doesn’t belong, such as fat within muscle cells.
It’s not the amount of fat you eat that matters. It’s the type of fat, saturated or unsaturated, that’s important.
- Saturated fats: such as palmitate, are found mostly in meat, dairy, and eggs. Saturated fats cause insulin resistance (bad).
- Unsaturated fats: such as oleate, are found mostly in avocados, nuts, and olives. Unsaturated fats may improve inulin sensitivity (good) (ref).
Similar to saturated fats, trans fats cause insulin resistance (ref). Insulin resistance is the cause of both prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. Trans fats are found in meat and milk and hydrogenated and refined vegetable oils.
Your body can more easily detoxify and store unsaturated fats safely. But saturated fats create toxic breakdown products that cause lipotoxicity (ref), or toxic fat in places it’s not supposed to be.
Prolonged exposure of your muscles to high levels of fat, especially saturated fat, can cause severe insulin resistance (ref).
Researchers compared the muscle fat and insulin resistance of omnivores versus vegans (ref).
After controlling for body weight they found the following:
- Vegans had less fat trapped in their muscle cells
- Vegans had better insulin sensitivity, blood sugar control, and insulin levels (ref)
- Vegans had significantly improved beta-cell function (the cells in the pancreas that make insulin) (ref)
How can your clear out the dangerous fat?
6. Spice Up Your Life With Turmeric
Turmeric has over 300 phytochemicals working (ref) in synergy.
Curcumin is a powerful phytochemical found in turmeric. Curcumin can help improve your insulin function by reducing (ref) fat levels in your blood. Excess fat in your blood builds up in your muscle cells interferes with insulin signaling.
Curcumin can help prevent diabetes and reverse symptoms by improving insulin function.
One study tested 240 prediabetic patients. Patients were randomly selected to either receive curcumin supplements or a placebo.
In nine months, 16% of patients in the placebo group developed (ref) type 2 diabetes. Meanwhile. no one in the curcumin group developed type two diabetes.
The curcumin group had improvement in the following:
- Beta-cell function
- Fasting blood sugars
- Glucose tolerance
- Hemoglobin A1C
- Insulin Sensitivity
What blood sugar remedy doesn’t work?
7. Don’t Count On Cinnamon to Lower Blood Sugar
Cassia cinnamon lowers blood sugar, but only if it’s consumed at dangerous levels. Ceylon cinnamon is safe, but it doesn’t lower blood sugar.
Cassia cinnamon, or Chinese cinnamon, can lower blood sugar in those with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes (ref). But it’s controversial because it contains coumarin, a compound that may be toxic to your liver at high doses. What about switching to Ceylon cinnamon?
Ceylon cinnamon does not help lower blood sugar (ref). Researchers think that the toxic coumarin found in cassia cinnamon is the active blood sugar lowering ingredient.
Ceylon cinnamon is still rich in antioxidants and has positive health benefits.
How can you absorb less sugar without eating less sugar?
8. Absorb Less Sugar By Eating More Fiber
If you increase your fiber intake you also decrease your sugar intake even eating the same amount of sugar. Fiber adds bulk without sugar or calories.
Cold-pressed apple juice is basically apples minus fiber. In seconds, you can drink enough juice to get the same amount of sugar in five cups of apple slices.
Without the fiber, apple juice is absorbed as soon as it hits your intestines and spikes your blood sugar. Meanwhile, the trapped sugar in the apple slices is absorbed slowly. Nutrients are absorbed when they have contact with the side of your intestines.
Because fiber never absorbs, it can carry or eliminate calories, fats, or sugars through digestion.
What diabetes diet makes the problem worse?
9. Understand The Risks Of A Keto Diet For Diabetes
Ketogenic diets can lower blood sugar better than conventional diets (ref). But these diets only treat the symptom, high blood sugar.
Not only do these diets not treat the disease, carbohydrate intolerance, but they can also make it much worse.
If you eat mostly fat, your blood sugars will stay low. But your carbohydrate intolerance can get worse on a ketogenic diet within two days (ref).
One week on an 80% fat diet can quintuple (5x) your blood sugar spike in response to the same amount of carbs compared to a week on a low-fat diet. But even one day can increase your carb intolerance (ref).
You can’t avoid eating carbs forever and your carbohydrate intolerance only gets worse. And when you do eat carbs, the consequences could be far more dangerous.
Carbs aren’t the problem, the problem is carb intolerance. Diabetics have reversed their diabetes in weeks while eating more than 300 grams of carbs a day (ref).
10. Are You Eating The Right Foods, But In the Wrong Form?
If all three are made from oats, why do they cause different blood sugar responses?
The physical form of food determines both fat and carbohydrate absorption. The rapid absorption of carbohydrates can trigger “a sequence of hormonal and metabolic changes” that increase hunger (ref).
In one study, participants who ate instant oatmeal ate 53% more over the next five hours compared to eating the same number of calories of steal-cut oatmeal.
Some breakfast cereals are even worse, with a glycemic index in the 80s or 90s (ref). The “new [industrial] methods” used to make breakfast cereals speed up starch digestion and absorption. This process causes an exaggerated blood sugar response, regardless of the sugar content.
For example, shredded wheat and spaghetti are both made from wheat, but shredded wheat has twice the glycemic index.
11. Try The Best Diet for Diabetes
The “phytochemical index” is one of the simplest ways to rate the quality of your diet (ref). It’s the percentage of your calories from whole plant foods, 0 is the worst, 100 is the best (ref). For reference, the average American diet is a 12.
Studies show that the higher your score, the lower your insulin resistance and the lower your beta-cell dysfunction.
This helps explain why diets based on plants are excellent for preventing type 2 diabetes (ref). These diets emphasize the following:
- Legumes: beans, chickpeas, and lentils
- Whole grains
- Nuts and seeds
- No or minimal animal products
Not only can vegetarian diets help prevent type 2 diabetes, but they can also help treat it. A systematic review found that eating vegetarian diets is associated with improved blood sugar (ref).
In one trial, researchers studied the effect of a strictly plant-based diet based around brown rice versus a conventional diabetic diet. Patients with type 2 diabetes were randomized for the control diet or the plant-based diet for 12 weeks (ref).
- The diabetic control group received specific calorie and portion controls.
- The plant-based group could eat as much as they want.
After controlling for improved abdominal fat loss, the plant-based group did better than the control group. Those who stuck with the plant-based diet reduced their A1c levels by 0.9% vs 0.4% in the control group. This is similar to taking the leading diabetes drug, but with only positive side effects.
Plant-based diets not only help prevent and treat diabetes, but they can also help with its complications (ref).
Kidney failure is one of the deadliest diabetes complications. In one study, diabetics who switched to a supplemented vegan diet stopped their kidney decline. These patients were heading for kidney failure and dialysis.
But most diabetics don’t make it to dialysis.
Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of early death among diabetics. There’s general consensus that whole food plant-based diets help prevent and treat diabetes (ref). Even better, not only do plant-based diets treat cardiovascular disease, our number one killer, it also helps with high blood pressure and cancer.
12. Eat More Whole Fruit
Research shows that eating more fruit is better for blood sugar control. But the fruit should be in its whole food form, not juiced or processed.
Researchers randomized children and teens to a nutritional intervention to increase the whole plant density of their diet (ref). They were randomized to eat more or less of the following:
- Whole grains
- Whole fruit
- Legumes (beans, lentils, and chickpeas)
They found that the more whole plant foods they ate (including eating more whole fruits), the better their blood sugar control.
What Does Your A1c test result mean?
The hemoglobin A1c test, also known as the HbA1c test, gives you the average of your average level of blood sugar over the last few months.
- Normal: Below 5.7% (ref)
- Prediabetes: 5.7 to 6.4%
- Diabetes: 6.5% or greater
An A1c under 7% is considered controlled diabetes.
Lower Your Blood Sugar, Not Your Dreams
Before this article, you felt lowering your blood sugar was frustrating. But now you’ve learned how making small changes, such as eating at the right time, makes a huge difference.
Not only have you learned how to treat the symptom, high blood sugar. You’ve also learned how to prevent and treat the disease, diabetes.
Most of these remedies are inexpensive or free. But if you could put the benefits of these simple lifestyle changes in a pill, you’d be a billionaire. Which lifestyle change could be your missing puzzle piece?