Daily tips and tricks to maintain your blood sugar without medication
By Jennifer Eblin
Diabetes is a serious health condition faced by millions of Americans right now, but what many sufferers do not realize is that there are ways to maintain blood sugar levels without medication. These suggestions can especially help someone with a pre-diabetic condition stave off the dangers of full-blown diabetes, and those already diagnosed can prevent the increase of medication.
To help control your diabetes without excessive use of medication:
- Eat more whole grains, but try replacing options instead of adding to your meals. Replace regular pasta with whole-wheat pasta, and use brown rice instead of white rice. Whole grains can slow the absorption of carbohydrates into your blood stream and lower glucose levels. You can also create a glycemic index diet plan that ranks the various carbohydrates according to the effects they have on your blood sugar. The secret here is to choose carbs that alter your glycemic index the least.
- Lose weight. I am a diabetic, and after losing 20 pounds, I was able to actually lower my prescribed medication. (Note: do not lower your medication unless told by a doctor it's okay.)
- Eliminate sugar-filled snacks and soda. Replace regular soda with diet, and try out a few until you find one that you really like. There are also a lot of "no sugar added" snack options out there now, including some from major brands like Oreo.
- Add exercise into your daily life, even if it's only a few minutes at a time. Exercise helps control blood glucose by making the body more susceptible to insulin.
- Increase the amount of vegetables you eat every day. Stick with vegetables you like, and keep them in convenient places to encourage healthy snacking. If you don't like vegetables, think about adding them to dishes you do like. Add peas to macaroni and cheese, or mix vegetables into a pasta sauce. There are also a lot of delicious diabetic recipes out there that make creative use of vegetables.
- Think about adding fiber supplements into your diet. Supplements come in pill form or as a powder that can be added to almost all liquids.
- Eat every three to four hours, but have a small meal or snack instead of one large meal or three bigger meals, and DON'T skip meals.
- Stop smoking. Smokers have a harder time both producing and absorbing insulin. Cutting back on smoking, and especially stopping completely, can help lower the insulin a diabetic needs to take.
- Try herbal supplements (Coccinia, Ginkgo biloba), which have been shown to lower blood glucose levels in some people. Diabetics should monitor their results closely, as results vary from person to person.
The important thing to remember is that there is no quick fix or cure all for diabetes, and no two sufferers are alike. Try the different options and see what works best for you.