When you are first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, the first emotion is likely to be panic. When people think of diabetes, all they think about is kidney failure, leg amputation, constant blood testing, and an early death. What we are telling you is that that does not have to be the case. The complications of type 2 diabetes are the result of the damage that the high blood sugar does to your body, and can be largely avoided so long as you keep your numbers in check. Below, you will find ten tips that will help you achieve and maintain normal blood sugar levels, which will help you to remain in good health for a lifetime.
Determine What Normal Blood Sugar Levels Are
The first thing that you need to do is learn what is the normal blood sugar level for someone like you. While everyone’s metabolism is a little bit different, if you are serious about keeping your diabetes under tight control, use the following blood sugar chart as a guideline, as they describe what normal blood sugar levels are in a non-diabetic and are a good goal to aim for.
|Fasting Blood Sugar Level||75 to 95 mg/dl|
|2 Hours After Eating||Below 140 mg/dl|
Increase Your Fiber Intake
While you are working to keep your levels within a normal range, blood sugar levels can fluxuate wildly depending on the kinds of foods that you are eating. One of the best health tips that we can offer you when it comes to your diet is to slowly increase your fiber intake over a few weeks to a point where you are consuming at least 30 to 40 grams of fiber per day. The best places to get your fiber are from dietary sources such as green vegetables and flax seed, but unflavored fiber supplements such as Benefiber or full-spectrum inulin can be useful in making up the difference.
You Cannot Maintain Normal Blood Sugar Levels While Eating Refined Carbohydrates
Much of the newest research is supporting the theory that the rapid increase in the rates of type 2 diabetes are in the continuing refinement of natural products and whole grains into very simple carbohydrates, such as white flour and high fructose corn syrup. One of the best ways to reduce blood sugar levels is to eliminate all of these refined carbohydrates from your diet and choose instead high-fiber sources. Your doctor can provide you with a list of foods for diabetics that do not cause your blood sugar to spike, and we have provided a list of diabetic snacks that can help keep your blood sugar stable.
Engage in Regular Strength Training
There are many reasons why regular exercise is an important part of keeping diabetes under control. Aside from the obvious burning of excess blood glucose, regular strength training builds new muscle mass, which, even when at rest, will use much more blood glucose than fat tissue would. These combined go a long way when it comes to keeping blood sugar levels normal.
When you are overweight, losing weight is one of the best things that you can do to ensure your better health. Losing weight also makes it much easier to lower sugar levels in a diabetic because of the effect that the fat tissue has on the body. Fat tissue creates something in the body known as insulin resistance, which causes blood sugar levels to rise because it prevents the cells from using up the glucose in the bloodstream. Losing weight eliminates fat tissue, which reduces the level of insulin resistance that you have to contend with.
Monitor Your Blood Sugar Levels
It goes without saying that you will not be maintaining a normal blood sugar level if you are not properly monitoring your blood sugar. For diabetics, especially new diabetics, it is vital that you check your blood sugar multiple times per day in order to learn how your body reacts and to eliminate activities and foods from your diet that cause your blood sugar to spike. Do not worry if you think that you will not be able to afford a blood sugar monitor, as it is possible to get a free glucose meter from many of the manufacturers in exchange for using their diabetes testing strips.
Get Enough Sleep
It may not seem like your blood sugar is related to how much sleep you get, but you may be surprised to find that they are, in fact, related. While it is not directly related to maintaining normal blood sugar levels, the peripheral effect can still be substantial. Getting plenty of sleep each night helps you to reduce your stress levels, which can have a direct impact on your blood glucose control through the dietary and lifestyle choices that you make. If you are someone that overeats in response to stress, this can be very useful.
Never Skip Meals
Since blood sugar can fluxuate so much during the course of the day, one of the best ways that you can keep your blood sugar under control is to make sure that you never skip a meal. This is especially important if you are taking medications that artificially force your blood sugar levels down. When you skip a meal, you become much hungrier later on in the day and have a strong tendency to binge, possibly on very unhealthy food choices. This can cause even healthy blood sugar levels to skyrocket.
Stop Drinking Calories
This is a bit of a throwback to reducing your refined carbohydrate intake, but it is important enough to warrant a section of its own. Most of the drinks on the market are sweetened with sugar or high fructose corn syrup, and are suspected to be one of the major contributing factors to the development of type 2 diabetes. These calories also tend to not be registered properly, so you drink these sugar calories in addition to your meals, which makes finding normal blood sugar levels much more difficult.
As you can see, maintaining normal blood sugar levels when you are a diabetic is not as impossible as it may have seemed at first. What you need to make sure that you keep in mind is that you need to make healthy choices at every turn and keep your particular metabolic requirements in mind whenever you are making food or activity choices. It is definitely going to take a good deal of work, but your continued health and quality of life is going to be more than worth the necessary effort.