Here are 17 steps to decrease your blood sugar levels easily:

  1. Stay active
  2. Drink plenty of water
  3. Be aware of your portion sizes
  4. Monitor your stress levels
  5. Meditate
  6. Get a good quality and quantity of sleep
  7. Lose weight
  8. Eat plenty of protein
  9. Use electrolytes, especially if you feel dehydrated
  10. Choose carbs wisely
  11. Swap refined sugars for natural herbs and spices
  12. Choose low glycemic index foods
  13. Experiment with probiotics
  14. Experiment with apple cider vinegar
  15. Incorporate more fiber into your diet
  16. Keep an eye on your symptoms
  17. Test your blood sugar on a regular basis

If you are living with high blood sugar levels on an ongoing basis, sometimes also referred to as hyperglycemia, it’s likely that you are living with diabetes.

If you are hyperglycemic, it means that the body may still be producing insulin but the hormone isn’t effective in controlling blood glucose.

If insulin isn’t produced in sufficient amounts, it may lead to the body’s inability to use glucose effectively.

Let’s look at 17 steps you can take to lowering your blood sugar levels easily.


17 Steps To Lower Your Blood Sugar Levels


  1. Stay active
  2. Drink plenty of water
  3. Be aware of your portion sizes
  4. Monitor your stress levels
  5. Meditate
  6. Get a good quality and quantity of sleep
  7. Lose weight
  8. Eat plenty of protein
  9. Use electrolytes, especially if you feel dehydrated
  10. Choose carbs wisely
  11. Swap refined sugars for natural herbs and spices
  12. Choose low glycemic index foods
  13. Experiment with probiotics
  14. Experiment with apple cider vinegar
  15. Incorporate more fiber into your diet
  16. Keep an eye on your symptoms
  17. Test your blood sugar on a regular basis

Stay Active


active-people-1

Staying active is one of the best things you can do for your overall health. When it comes to controlling and lowering your blood sugar levels, staying active can work very well, overall, it’s a cheap and effective way to lower your blood sugar levels.

Aim to incorporate at least 30 minutes exercise into your day 5 times per week. Start with going for a quick 15 minute walk on your lunch break and build it up.

  1. Exercise uses up stored glucose. This glucose which lives in the muscles is known as glycogen. When we exercise, glycogen is released by the muscles and is used up by the body which helps to lower and control overall blood sugar.

  2. Exercise results in the release of glycogen and your sensitivity to insulin is also increased. This means that your body is better able to process blood glucose.

  3. Insulin sensitivity refers to your body’s ability to attach to and transport glucose into cells where it can be used as a source of energy. The opposite of insulin sensitivity is insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a key component of diabetes, exercise helps to fight this process.


In sum: Aim to exercise regularly to help control and lower your blood sugar levels.


Drink plenty of water


glasses-of-water

Drink plenty of water, it helps to combat dehydration. It also promotes kidney health, which can be affected by diabetes.

Keeping hydrated is also a great way to help control your appetite, as many people can confuse thirst for hunger, and can eat more, which can lead to a spike in blood sugar and ultimately an increase in weight.

Reach for water instead of sugary drinks when thirsty to avoid increasing your blood sugars.


In sum: Aim to drink 2 liters of water per day to help with appetite and blood sugar control.


Be Aware Of Your Portion Sizes


healthy-breakfast

Portion sizes matter because body weight has a significant impact on blood sugar control.

Everybody’s needs are different so the number of portion sizes you need is individual – and your weight, gender, body composition and activity levels all make a difference.

Being aware of the appropriate portion size of foods, especially carbohydrates, will help keep your blood sugars normal.

Choose similar sized portions of carbohydrate at each main meal as this can help reduce the frequency of sugar spikes.


In sum: Be aware of your portion sizes, the more control you have over the amount of food you eat, the more control you have over your blood sugar.


Monitor your stress levels


meditation

Stress, both physical and emotional play a role in your overall blood sugar level control.

If you are living with high stress, a hormone called cortisol, which is also known as your fight or flight hormone is released.

High levels of circulating stress hormones work in two ways:

  1. High levels of circulating cortisol in the blood may lead to an imbalance in the delicate collaboration between insulin and glucose in the blood.

  2. Often, when we are under a lot of stress, we tend to crave bigger portions, and sugary food. The complete science behind this is largely unknown but it is thought to be connected to the body’s reward centre in the brain. From an observational human point of view, it’s also easy to surmise that when we feel run down, we seek out comfort and that may be from a nutritional point of view.


In sum: Monitor your stress levels as they may impact your overall blood sugar. If you are going through a period of high stress, consider keeping a temporary food diary to help you make the best nutritional choices.



Relax


hand-holding-cup

Practicing meditation, exercises that focus on relaxing and mindfulness techniques may lead to lower blood sugar levels according to a number of research studies.

While stress vs. relaxation and the outcome on blood sugar might not be the easiest thing to measure, we can hypothesize that if your level of stress has an impact on your blood sugar levels, taking time to destress and relax may lead to better health outcomes in how you look and feel.

“Relax” might sound like a pretty basic step but it’s one that we overlook all too often. Whether you prefer sweaty high impact exercises or simply going for a walk, try to incorporate 10-15 minutes each day to rejuvenate. Meditation can also help you to become mindful and tuned in to how you are feeling. It can help you to appreciate the foods you are eating and to avoid overeating.


In sum: Always take time to relax, whether or not you have high blood sugar, it’s incredibly important to take time for you for better health.


Get a good quality and quantity of sleep


bedroom-decor

Getting good quality and quantity sleep is incredibly important for better health. This tip might seem like our advice on relaxation, and maybe you think you’re getting good enough sleep, just as you think you’re relaxing enough.

Perhaps you’re getting enough sleep but the quality of sleep isn’t great, or maybe you’re sleeping well but just not enough. Either way, sleep affects blood sugar and your current blood sugar affects your sleep.

Here’s how it works:

  1. A lack of good quality and quantity sleep leads to higher blood sugar levels. It has been shown that those who sleep for 6 hours or less will have significantly higher blood sugar. A lack of sleep leads to slower fat metabolism and a more sluggish processing of glucose, which is also known as insulin resistance.

  2. If you have high blood sugar, you may be living with symptoms such as a high body temperature, a frequent need to urinate, extreme thirst and irritability, this may make it more difficult for you to sleep, and so the cycle of poor sleep and high blood sugar continues.


In sum: Sleep affects your blood sugar and your blood sugar affects your sleep. Aim to get into a cycle that promotes a sufficient quality and quantity of sleep.


Lose weight


weighing-scales-and-healthy-food

Losing weight can help to decrease blood sugar levels in a number of ways. We know that being overweight or obese is a risk factor for poor blood sugar contol, prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, because if you are overweight, it means that the body may become “insulin resitant” - meaning that the body becomes indifferent to the effects of insulin.

If the body starts to ignore the signals that insulin is trying to send out, blood sugar levels may rise to high and uncontrolled levels.

If you are overweight, losing weight is one of the best and most important
things to manage your diabetes. Being overweight contributes to insulin resistance.

Many people with type 2 diabetes tend to carry weight around their
middle, so it is important to also take note of your waist measurements as well as looking at the number on the scales. Losing weight around your stomach area helps to control your diabetes.

It has been shown in overweight type 2 diabetic patients that losing weight has a significant impact on both blood sugar levels and health outcomes down the line.

In one study, almost half of all participants went into remission, and no longer required anti-diabetic drugs following 12 months of weight loss efforts.


In sum: Losing weight is one of the most effective ways to lower blood sugar levels as it increases insulin sensitivity which improves the absorption and transportation of glucose.


Eat plenty of protein


protein-food

Eating protein is one of the most effective ways to manage sugar spikes and lower your blood sugar levels.

If you are living with diabetes, eating plenty of protein is necessary for two reasons.

  1. Protein stimulates insulin production. As we know, insulin is an essential component in healthy blood sugar control.

  2. Protein releases energy slowly, this helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer while offsetting any sugar cravings you may have.

  3. Protein takes longer to digest, which means that you are less likely to experience sugar spikes. It is recommended that you pair protein with any carbohydrates you eat to slow down the release of glucose following your meal. It is also recommended that if you fancy a sweet treat, you should have it after you have eaten a protein source as it slows down the release of glucose into the blood.


In sum: Protein is one of your best friends when it comes to dietary choices that help to control blood glucose, try to incorporate protein into each meal for better blood sugar control.


Use electrolytes, especially if you feel dehydrated


electrolyte-drink

Electrolytes are defined as a chemical that has the ability to “conduct electricity” when added to another substance such as water.

Electrolytes are used to regulate nerve and muscle function, hydrate the body and balance blood pressure and acidity and rebuild damaged tissues. Electrolytes are commonly added to sport’s drinks and are marketed as a recovery for after training. Sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium are examples of electrolytes.

To put it into simple terms, if you have high blood sugar, you are probably going to the bathroom, a lot.

Constant thirst and frequent urge to urinate go hand in hand when it comes to diabetes, electrolyte supplements or drinks that contain magnesium are useful for hydrating the body and tissues.

You should consider taking electrolytes if:

  • You are extremely thirsty
  • You have been exercising and you need to replenish lost fluids

In sum: Use electrolytes that contain magnesium to lower blood sugar levels and prevent the disruption of glucose uptake.


Choose carbs wisely


carbohydrates

Choosing carbohydrates wisely is essential to lowering blood sugar levels. We know, you don’t want to hear it, for a lot of us, carbohydrates spark joy, but the wrong types of carbs may lead to sugar spikes and high uncontrolled blood sugar.

When we eat carbohydrates, sugar is released into the bloodstream. We’ll be talking about the glycemic index soon, but as heads up, it refers to the ability of a food to cause a sugar spike in the blood.


Foods that have a “high glycemic load” should be avoided if you have high blood sugar, these carbohydrates include:


  • White bread
  • White pasta
  • White basmati rice
  • Cous-cous
  • Refined breakfast cereals
  • White potatoes (including french fries)

In sum: We know, we have pretty much listed some of your favourite foods but avoiding them will help to decrease your blood sugar levels. We’ll talk about the carbohydrates you should be incorporating in the next point. Do not worry, all is not lost!


Choose low glycemic foods


organic-food-1

Choosing low glycemic foods can help to lower and maintain your blood sugar at a healthy level. Low glycemic foods are also recommended to those who are hoping to lose weight as they are often a slow release energy source that leave you feeling fuller for longer in the same way that a protein source would.

For people who are prediabetic or are living with type 2 diabetes, foods that fall into the low glycemic load category, coupled with protein can make the perfect meal.

As mentioned, the glycemic index can loosely be defined as the carbohydrate’s ability to cause a sugar spike.

Foods that have a “low glycemic load” should be incorporated into your diet. A few examples of these kind of foods include:

  • Beans, such as black beans and kidney beans
  • Carrots
  • Peanuts
  • Cashews
  • Low fat milk
  • Legumes, such as lentils
  • Oranges
  • Apples
  • Non refined cereals, such as bran-based cereals

In sum: Choosing foods that have a low glycemic load are key in lowering and maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. You don’t need to deprive but with a few healthy changes in the diet, you can strive towards better blood sugar levels!!


Swap refined sugars for natural herbs and spices


herbs-and-spices

Swapping refined sugars for natural herbs and spices is a key change you can make for lowering your blood sugar levels easily.

We might have an inkling that the cereal bars that are marketed to us as a healthy snack are often full of unhealthy refined sugars.

If you are hoping to lower and control your blood sugar, it’s time to get creative. Instead of going for pre-made popcorn, make it natural and add cinnamon. If you love a caramel frappuccino, swap it for tumeric tea. The world is your oyster when you put your thinking cap on.


In sum: Swap refined sugar sources for herbs and spices that will help settle your sweet tooth. When it comes to refined sugar sources, it’s best to speak with your doctor about your particular health history as they will be the best to advise on how much sugar you can have on a daily basis.


Experiment with probiotics


pro-biotics

Taking probiotics may have a positive impact on your fasting blood sugar according to a small-scale Canadian study which tested the blood sugar levels of people before and after taking probiotics over a significant period of time. Although important to note that the participants of the study were also following the DASH diet at the time, which is a diet designed to help lower or control high blood pressure.

A probiotic is defined as a substance that promotes the growth of microorganisms that can benefit the body. Research has stated that there is an association between the microbiome (the bacteria in your gut) and blood sugar profiles.

Essentially, it is not yet known why taking probiotics which promote the growth of healthy microorganisms in the gut may help lower blood sugar levels, but it is thought that it has a positive impact on many of the different processes which help to regulate blood glucose.

There is still a lot of research to be done in the area, but if you are in a position to experiment with probiotics by taking them for a period of time and regularly checking your blood sugar then it may be a good idea.


In sum: Some research has shown that probiotics may lower your blood sugar. If the probiotics do not work in lowering your blood sugar, they are still are still useful in helping to balance the friendly bacteria in your digestive system, preventing diarrhea and reducing the severity of certain food intolerances.


Experiment with apple cider vinegar


apple-cider-vinegar

Experimenting with apple cider vinegar may lead to lower blood sugar levels.

Particularly trendy at the moment is apple cider vinegar. It has been shown that incorporating apple cider vinegar into your daily diet may help to lower blood sugar levels, more research in this space is needed, however, there are a good number of studies out there to suggest that consuming vinegar shortly after a meal may help to combat sugar spikes and improves insulin responses.

Apple cider vinegar after a meal helps to improve insulin sensitivity, especially if the meal contained a significant volume of carbs. If you have apple cider vinegar before bed, it may have an impact on your fasting blood sugar the next morning.


In sum: Some research has shown that apple cider vinegar may lower your blood sugar. If you regularly check our blood sugar levels, you should test your blood sugar before and after incorporating apple cider vinegar into your diet after a few weeks.


Incorporate more fiber into your diet


fiber-food

Incorporating more fiber into your diet is not only good for regulating your digestion but it also has an impact in lowering and maintaining blood sugar levels.

There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. We particularly recommend soluble fibers for those who are trying to lower their blood sugar levels.

Examples of soluble fiber include:

  • Oats
  • Barley
  • Beans (those that are bought in brine or water)
  • Peas
  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Lemons
  • Grapefruit
  • Limes
  • Lentils

Soluble fiber takes time to break down, as we chew it, it transforms into a thick gel, this gel attracts water and slows down digestion, and by digestion, we mean the release of glucose from carbohydrates.


In sum: Incorporating soluble fiber into the diet helps to maintain and lower blood sugar levels by slowing digestion, reducing sugar spikes and increasing insulin sensitivity.



Keep an eye on your symptoms


girl-checking-symptoms

Being aware of your symptoms, or your body’s warning signs of high blood sugar is one of the most powerful things you can do for your overall health.

Being able to identify what your symptoms, and soon will help you to tackle the issues head on.

Keep an eye on these symptoms of high blood sugar:

  • Feeling thirsty all the time
  • Feeling tired all the time
  • Feeling weak
  • Frequent headaches
  • Concentration issues
  • Fasting blood sugar level of 100mg/dl (5.6mmol/L) or more.

In sum: The more you understand what to expect with hyperglycemia (high blood sugar), the better. If you know what to expect from the condition, there is an increased likelihood that you will be able to recognise and treat the condition early.


Test your blood sugar on a regular basis


Testing your blood sugar levels on a regular basis gives you the best chance to know if the above steps are having an impact in decreasing your blood sugar levels.

LetsGetChecked offers a HbA1c test which measures your blood sugar over the previous 3 months from the time of taking the test.

Check your blood sugar levels from the comfort of home, with support and guidance at every step of the way from our onsite medical team because it’s good to know.


Browse Home Diabetes Tests


Written by Hannah Kingston | Medically Reviewed by Dr. Susan O' Sullivan