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  • Writer's pictureErick Rivas

Improving Blood Sugar Levels with Diet and Lifestyle

Taking control of your health can be a daunting task, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the impact that food and lifestyle has on your overall health. In this blog, I wanted to break down one particular area that concerns many people: blood sugar levels. It doesn't have to be complicated – there are simple steps you can take today to make sure that your blood sugar is in check and it all starts with what goes into your body through diet and lifestyle! So let’s dive right in and start looking at practical things that you can do to ensure healthy levels as well as some insight on how food and lifestyle affects our blood sugar levels.

Focus on Protein

Include more protein-rich foods in your diet, such as lean meats, poultry, fish, and dairy products. These high-protein foods can help regulate your blood sugar levels by reducing the rate of glucose absorption into your bloodstream. Consuming adequate protein can also help you feel satiated for longer, decreasing the chances of overeating and excessive snacking. By prioritizing protein-rich foods and making these a part of your regular diet, it allows you to crowd out some the other foods that may be causing disturbances to your blood sugar levels, and overall health.

Engage in Physical Activity

Incorporating regular exercise into your daily routine can have numerous benefits, including improving your blood sugar control. Exercise helps your body use insulin more effectively, reducing insulin resistance and improving glucose uptake by your muscles. It's recommended to aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week. Incorporating walks after each of your meals is a great way to get started. In addition, focusing on building muscle and getting strong, can have some great benefits when it comes to managing your blood sugar and preventing diabetes.

Reduce Stress

High stress levels can cause your body to release stress hormones that can raise your blood sugar levels. Cortisol, in particular, is a hormone that can disrupt how your body manages glucose. Cortisol triggers a surge of glucose into your bloodstream, and if we are in a constant state of stress, it can lead to chronic health problems. It's important to find healthy ways to reduce stress, such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises. Incorporating lifestyle changes that focus on reducing stress can not only help improve your blood sugar levels but also benefit your overall wellbeing.

Get Enough Sleep

Sleep is crucial for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Lack of sleep can disrupt the balance of hormones that regulate glucose metabolism, leading to higher blood sugar levels. When we don't get adequate sleep, our body becomes less sensitive to insulin, the hormone responsible for controlling blood sugar. This can result in insulin resistance, making it harder for our cells to take in glucose from the bloodstream.

To improve blood sugar levels through sleep, it's important to prioritize quality sleep. Aim for 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. Establish a consistent sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends. Create a relaxing bedtime routine to signal to your body that it's time to unwind and prepare for sleep. By prioritizing quality sleep and adopting healthy sleep habits, you can positively impact your blood sugar levels and overall health.

Limit Refined Carbohydrates and Simple Sugars

This is a given but must be emphasized. Refined carbs like white bread, pasta, and baked goods, as well as simple sugars found in juice or soda, can cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels. If the goal is to keep blood sugar levels under control, then limiting these types of foods is a must. Alternatively, you can consume complex carbohydrates like brown rice or sweet potatoes, in small quantities and not by themselves. Complex carbs provide essential nutrients and break down more slowly, resulting in a slower and steadier rise in blood sugar levels. Additionally, prioritizing protein, some healthy fats, and more non-starchy vegetables that contain fiber, to your meals, can help slow down the digestion of carbohydrates and further stabilize your blood sugar levels.

Taking charge of your diabetes through diet and lifestyle modifications may present challenges, but it's worth it. By implementing these straightforward tips, you can enhance blood sugar control and overall well-being. Remember to collaborate closely with your healthcare provider when making any changes. With dedication and commitment, you can embrace a fulfilling and healthy life. So, start making these positive changes today for a brighter, healthier, and more energized future!

Erick Rivas

Integrative Nutrition Health Coach



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