Insulin is a hormone that gets secreted when your body sensing something sweet entering the bloodstream. It acts as a shuttle to move glucose into the cells.
Currently, close to 50% of Americans have high blood sugar levels that fall within the pre-diabetic and diabetic ranges! This is something we can control with diet, exercise, and improving nutrient status.
Blood sugar is measured by Hemoglobin A1c levels that look at blood sugar levels from the past 2-3 months.
The sugar in your blood is called glucose. The A1c test measures how much glucose is bound. A level of 5.7% – 6.4% is considered pre-diabetic, with diabetic levels over 6.5% and more.
Things you can do to improve blood sugar:
1. Lower your simple carbohydrate intake. Simple carbs break down into glucose within about 30 minutes. If you have too much intake or insulin-shuttling problems, this can create higher blood sugar levels. So remember, bread, cereal, pasta, cookies, crackers, bagels, muffins, croissants, and donuts are simple carbs – mostly glucose – and we don’t have a nutritive need for any of them. This is not to say you can’t ever eat these foods, but they shouldn’t be a staple or mainstay in your diet.
2. Eat more fiber. Fiber helps to slow down the absorption and digestion of sugar and carbs. Vegetables, fruits, and legumes can support this function. In fact, in studies, soluble fiber has been shown to improve blood sugar management. Psyllium and beta-glucans are soluble. A 1/4 tsp of psyllium powder in 8 oz of water every morning can be helpful.
3. Move your body daily. Exercise can help increase insulin sensitivity – meaning it helps your cells be able to use the available sugar in your bloodstream. Exercise also helps your muscles use blood sugar for energy and muscle contraction.
4. Stay hydrated with WATER! Pure, filtered water can help your kidneys flush out excess sugar through the urine. Proper hydration moves hormones throughout the bloodstream and can prevent high blood sugar levels. Adults need about 10-15 glasses of water daily, more if you exercise daily.