Over a long period of time, high blood sugar levels can damage vital organs and increase your risk of heart disease. You can reduce your risk of these complications by lowering blood sugar levels through diet and exercise.
Lowering Blood Sugar with Foods
Food and drinks directly affect your blood sugar levels. Healthy eating can help control the amount of sugar in your blood and your overall health.
Try these tips:
- Follow a balanced meal plan that includes carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
- Watch serving sizes. Measure your food with a kitchen scale.
- Don’t skip meals. Plan your meals and snacks for the day. Having meals throughout the day can help avoid major changes in blood sugar levels.
- Eat plenty of vegetables and fiber.
- Limit the amount of fat in your foods.
- Eat moderate amounts of protein and low-fat dairy products.
- Avoid foods containing added or concentrated sugar.
- Keep a record of your food intake. Share the record with your dietitian or doctor. This will help to create an effective meal plan.
How Weight Loss Helps
If you are overweight, losing weight will help your body use insulin better. Talk to your doctor about a healthy weight goal. You and your doctor or dietitian can make a safe meal plan for you.
These options may help you lose weight:
- Use a portion-control plate
- Use a prepared meal plan
- Eat a Mediterranean-style diet
Exercise that Affects Blood Sugar
Physical activity can:
- Make your body more use insulin better
- Help you reach and maintain a healthy weight
- Help reduce your risk of heart disease
Combining these types of exercise helps improve long-term sugar control:
- Aerobic exercise, which increases your heart rate
- Resistance training, for building muscle strength
Talk to your doctor about an activity plan. Ask about precautions you should take.
Self-Care with Type 2
Self-care is a critical aspect of managing your health:
- Take good care of your feet. Be on the lookout for any sores or irritated areas. Keep your feet dry and clean.
- Have your eyes checked once a year.
- Don't smoke. If you do, look for programs or products that can help you quit.
- Plan medical visits as recommended.
Need more help lowering your blood sugar? Get support from a diabetes specialist.