Diabetes, a disease reaching epidemic proportions, is directly linked to blood-glucose levels. Whether one already has diabetes, are overweight or simply want to prevent future problems, there are a number of methods one can do to make sure that blood-glucose and insulin levels are as healthy as possible.
Here are 12 easily doable course of action you can take to control your blood-glucose levels.
That is all it took in one large US study to slash the risk of dying from diabetes by more than a third. If you walk 10km a week, you’ll be nearly 40% less likely to die front all causes and 34% less likely to die from heart disease, the leading cause of death in people with diabetes.
The simple reason? Walking makes your cells more receptive to insulin, which leads to better control of blood glucose. It also raises levels of ‘good’ HDL cholesterol.
Sprinkle cinnamon over your porridge, yogurt, coffee and tea. researchers from Pakistan, where cinnamon is widely used, asked volunteers with Type 2 diabetes to take either 1g, 3g or 6g of cinnamon or a placebo for 40 days.
Those taking the fragrant spice saw their blood-glucose levels drop between 18% and 29% depending on how much cinnamon they took.
Your blood glucose drops like a rock when you are very hungry (hence the headache and shakiness). Then, when you do eat, you flood your system with glucose, forcing your pancreas to release more insulin and creating a dangerous cycle.
When preparing breakfast lunch and dinner, divide each of these meals in half. Eat half now and wait for a couple of hours before eating the second half.
Eating several small meals rather than three large meals helps to avoid the major influx of glucose that, in turn results in a blood glucose surge and a big release of insulin.
One study found that women who had a glass of wine a day cut their risk of diabetes in half compared to those that abstain from alcoholic beverages.
Ok, but what if one is not particularly fond of wine ? Well, the same study found the similar effects for beer. But remember to cork the wine bottle once dinner is over. An Australian study found that drinking a glass of wine immediately after eating can result in asudden drop in the insulin in your blood, meaning the glucose from your meal hangs around longer, eventually damaging thc arteries.
Spinach is high in magnesium, which a large study suggests can help to prevent Type 2 diabetes from developing. One study in women found that higher intakes of magnesium (also in nuts, avocados, other leafy greens and fish) reduced diabetes risk by about 10% overall, and by about 20% in overweight women.
These high-fibre foods take longer to digest so they release their glucose more slowly. Studies find just 75g a day can help to stabilise blood-glucose and insulin levels.
One serving is a 200ml glass of low-fat milk or a 200g tub of yogurt. A study of 3000 people found that those who were overweight but also ate a lot of dairy foods were 70% less likely to develop insulin resistance (a precursor to diabetes) than those who didn’t.
It turns out that the lactose, protein and fat in dairy products improve biood glucose by filling you up and slowing the conversion of food sugars to blood glucose.
American scientists evaluated 3000 people and found that those with the highest blood levels of saturated fats were twice as likely to develop diabetes.
Walnuts are a great source of monounsaturated fat, which won’t raise your blood glucose as many other foods do. In fact, some researchers suspect that this fat even makes cells more sensitive to insulin, helping to combat high blood glucose.
American researchers asked 50 obese patients to eat half a grapefruit with each meal for 12 weeks and compared them to a group who didn’t eat any grapefruit. Those patients who ate the grapefruit lost an average of 1.6kg.
They also had lower levels of insulin and glucose after each meal, suggesting a more efficient sugar metabolism.
(Important Note : If you are on any medication, talk to your doctor first before eating grapefruit, as it can affect the way that medicines are processed in the liver.)
Buy bread products with at least 3g of fibre and 3g of protein per serving. Carbohydrates of this type slow down absorption of glucose and decrease possible insulin rises.