Here are 10 ways to regulate your blood glucose levels.

10 Ways to Reduce Blood Glucose Levels 

If you have been diagnosed with gestational diabetes, insulin resistance or PCOS, regulating your blood glucose levels will be on your mind! But there may be benefits to balancing your blood glucose levels that you are not aware of, including:

Here are 10 ways to reduce your blood glucose levels:

Start the day with protein 

Starting the day with a high-protein breakfast has been shown to reduce blood glucose levels after lunch and dinner on the same day. If you need some ideas for protein-rich breakfasts, let me know!

Exercise after eating

Exercising 20-30 minutes after eating reduces blood glucose levels. However it is important to moderate the intensity of your exercise as high-intensity exercise causes wide glucose fluctuations. It is recommended to complete light aerobic exercise (such as walking) after eating, with 2-3 sessions of moderate resistance training per week. You don’t have to walk a marathon, 10 minutes is enough to see the positive effects.

Eat fibre first

The order you eat your meal also impacts your blood glucose levels. Consumption of protein and fat before carbohydrates promotes the secretion of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) in the digestive system, improving the secretions of insulin and glucagon and delaying gastric emptying – making us feel fuller for longer and aiding digestion. Consuming dietary fibre before carbohydrates also significantly reduces blood glucose elevation, but in a different way. So it’s best to eat your fibre, protein, fat and then carbohydrates.

Stay hydrated

Low daily total water intake is associated with increased glucose levels. Hydration is important in regulating blood glucose levels for two reasons. Firstly, increased urine is produced due to water being drawn into the filtration from increased glucose levels, increasing the risk of dehydration. And secondly, water appears to be involved in blood glucose regulation, but we don’t know exactly how yet. If you’re looking to balance your blood glucose levels during pregnancy, it is important to remember you need more water than you usually would! 

Add vinegar to your diet

Vinegar has a glucose-lowering effect as it increases the glucose uptake into the muscles. This increase in insulin sensitivity is important in cases of insulin resistance. Additionally regular vinegar consumption has been shown to reduce HbA1c values, which is important if you have a family history of diabetes or have been diagnosed with type 1 or 2 diabetes yourself. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, any old vinegar will do the trick!  

Add cinnamon to your diet

Cinnamon helps lower your blood glucose levels as it imitates the effect of insulin and moves glucose from the bloodstream into the muscle cells. It also increases insulin sensitivity by making insulin more efficient. These are particularly important when looking to reduce fasting blood glucose levels. Depending on your situation, it might be enough to add cinnamon to your diet however, you may also need to consider a supplement if you have a higher requirement. 

Consider a magnesium supplement

As the pancreas needs magnesium to produce insulin and release that insulin into the bloodstream, ensuring you have an adequate magnesium intake is important when regulating your blood glucose levels. Using a magnesium supplement has also been found to reduce insulin resistance and improve glycemic control.

Get enough sleep

Sleep has important effects on how the brain and muscle tissues use glucose. Therefore, not getting enough sleep adversely affects glucose tolerance. This also impacts our cortisol levels, which has a further effect on insulin sensitivity. Prioritise sleep hygiene to increase the quality of your sleep. 

Eat regularly

The frequency of your meals impacts your blood glucose levels as eating less frequently is associated with higher fasting glucose levels and impaired morning glucose tolerance. Research has also found eating more frequently, such as six or more meals per day, is associated with a reduced rate of obesity in adults compared with eating less frequently(less than three meals per day), due to increased insulin sensitivity.

Coffee after food

Waiting until after you have had something to eat before having your morning coffee can help regulate your blood glucose levels. A strong black coffee consumed before breakfast substantially increases the blood glucose response to breakfast by around 50%! So try to hold off until you’ve had something to eat.

If you’re interested in taking any supplements, please discuss this with your practitioner to ensure you’re taking the correct dose and form for you. This article is not intended to be medical advice and is purely for education purposes.