managing your sugar levels

Managing Your Sugar Levels in 4 Easy Steps

Between 90 and 95% of the 37 million people with diabetes in the US have Type 2 diabetes, a lifestyle-induced disease caused by high glucose levels. Type 2 diabetes can significantly affect one’s quality of life and reduce one’s lifespan—at age 50, for instance, the life expectancy is six years shorter for a person with Type 2 diabetes, than that of their non-diabetic counterparts.

If you are looking for ways to reduce your own sugar consumption, fear not. There are many easy strategies you can adopt that will almost instantly stabilize your sugar levels. For some of the most effective of these, read on.

Understanding Sugar

The first step in battling high sugar levels involves awareness. The term sugar describes any carbohydrate which is later broken down by the body to produce glucose. Contrary to common belief, table sugar is not the only sweetener that can cause harm. Common substitutes such as sucrose, fructose, maltose, and corn syrup can also cause glucose levels to skyrocket. Always check food labels and research unknown ingredients in order to make informed choices. If you are overweight or obese, a low-carbohydrate diet can help you shed excess pounds, manage your diabetes, and reduce the amount of medications you take.

Stopping Those Sugar Cravings

A desire for sugar is a normal feeling caused by sugar’s effects on the brain. Laboratory tests have shown that the intermittent consumption of copious amounts of sugar leads to withdrawal symptoms similar to those caused by drug abuse. If you feel hungry throughout the day, snack on high-fiber foods such as legumes and oats. These foods boost satiety while keeping sugar levels low. Low-glycemic index foods are also of interest. Despite tasting sweet, they are processed much more effectively by your body than refined sugars are.

Choosing the Correct Foods

Unprocessed and natural foods are another key weapon in the fight against sugar cravings. These whole foods are free from added fats, salt, and sugar. Two good examples of cheap, tasty foods are brown rice and oatmeal, which are higher in fiber than pasta and white bread. Whole foods can also be an excellent source of protein. Some of the best natural sources of protein include nuts, seeds, and lentils, all of which .

Following Healthy Food Preparation Habits

Preparing your own meals at home gives you full control over the ingredients you use and allows you to easily cut back on salt and sugar. If you’re into sweet flavors, experiment with alternative sweeteners such as xylitol or stevia, or try out a myriad of new herbs and spices to give dishes a pleasant kick.

Replace unhealthy snacks with healthy alternatives such as chia pudding, Greek yogurt, kale chips, or crudités. Make sure you remain hydrated, since dehydration can easily be mistaken for hunger. Stick to water, and steer clear of unhealthy drinks such as soda and fructose-rich fruit juices.

Completely eliminating sugar from your diet is impossible. However, moderation is key. Make sure you consume a balanced diet and adopt healthy eating habits that contribute to a healthier lifestyle. Try to get into home cooking, so you can appreciate how delicious nutritious dishes made with whole, fresh ingredients can be. Your family will thank you for it, and so will your health. What’s more, you can ensure that you never have to deal with the life-altering effects of Type 2 diabetes.

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