Keeping your sugar levels in check can be tough in a food paradise like Singapore. But if there's a will, there's a way! Here are six basic ways to lower your sugar levels naturally.
Living in Singapore, foods high in sugar are all within a stone’s throw away. From bubble tea stalls, dessert shops to even 7-11s, you can get a sweet treat almost anytime, anywhere. So much so that even our government has declared a
war on diabetes.
Before you are even diagnosed with
diabetes (beware of
pre-diabetes), high blood sugar leads to a host of potential complications such as heart disease,
stroke, kidney damage and nerve damage, just to name a few.
So what can you do to cut back on your sugar levels? We share some easy steps that you can start practicing today.
6 Ways to lower sugar levels naturally
1. Limit Your Carbs
Unless you are a gym rat or fitspo wannabe, a high carb diet may satisfy your taste buds more, but it contributes negatively to your blood sugar levels. Furthermore, our hectic lifestyles might mean that most of us are unable to take small meals throughout the day, and being a predominantly Asian country, our go-to staples are largely rice and noodles.
However, do try to keep your carbohydrate intake in check, and
try to limit it to below half of your daily calories (the
HPB My Healthy Plate gives a good idea of what you should put on your plate daily) .
And do bear in mind that carbohydrates are also found in other foods like fruits, vegetables and dairy products as well, so don’t forget to count those!
2. Burn that sugar
Exercising regularly helps you maintain your optimal body condition, and it also helps in increasing insulin sensitivity. What this means is that your body is able to use the sugar in your bloodstream more effectively. Added to that is the burning of sugar when your body uses it as fuel for your exercise, and you have double the reason to exercise! And we are not even mentioning the host of other benefits that regular exercise brings.
Again, Singaporeans like to blame the fast paced lifestyle for the lack of exercise. ‘I have no time’, ‘Too tired after work’, do these phrases seem familiar? Well, the good news is that if you are unable to clock long hours of exercising, you can
break it down into shorter periods which are more manageable. Start off with 10min slots of exercise thrice a day, 5 times a week. That should get you a total of 150mins per week. Now that doesn’t seem hard does it?
Need more motivation to exercise regularly? We destroy every excuse imaginable
3. Fiber power
To most of us, more fiber just means smoother motions when we do a number two. However, fiber also helps to slow the breaking down of carbs within the body, allowing for better sugar management.
Besides fruits and vegetables, other good sources of fiber include legumes (beans, lentils, peas etc). If having a salad if not your idea of a good meal, try to incorporate these into your diet gradually. Some easy options are lentil dips, steamed chickpeas as a snack, or fruit smoothies. For more foods that are rich in fiber, check out
4. Stay hydrated
We have all been taught that 8 glasses of water is optimal for health. But did you know that one of the functions of staying hydrated is that
water flushes out any excess sugar in our body? Well, you do now. Also, when you drink water can also make a difference - so let us also share with you the
best times in a day to drink water!
5. Goodnight, sleep tight!
Sleep is an essential part of total wellness.
Most adults need approximately 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. A lack of sleep leads to many health issues, and one of them happens to be lowered insulin sensitivity. This affects your blood sugar levels and a lack of sleep also generally means you will be unable to function well throughout the day!
Try to establish a schedule when it comes to your bedtime, and stick to it closely. Having a routine before bed also helps in getting you primed for a good night’s sleep, like having a glass of milk, listening to music, or mediating. For more do's and don'ts of good sleep,
6. We can’t stress this enough, DESTRESS
There is good stress and there is bad stress, and obviously we are referring to the latter.
Stress affects you in more ways than you might think, and your body’s blood sugar is one of them.
When you are stressed, your body releases hormones that causes your blood sugar levels to rise.
Find something enjoyable that relaxes you, and do it regularly. Yoga, breathing exercises, or even spending time with your loved ones are perfect ways to release the stress building up in your body. For more ideas, check out these
20 stress-busting tips!
With Singaporeans at high risk of getting diabetes, you can take steps to ensure you do not become a statistic. Even if you are at low risk for getting diabetes or high blood sugar, our tips will still help you live as a healthier version of yourself.
You owe it to your body to keep it in the best condition possible, so start today, because your #healthiswealth.
Check out other articles on diabetes:
Pre-diabetes: Early Signs and How to Reverse It
Diabetes: How to Manage Blood Sugar Levels When You Fall Sick
Diabetes Diet Facts and Myths
Diabetes Foot Care: 10 Steps to Healthy Feet
HYPERglycaemia (High Blood Glucose): What to Do
HYPOglycaemia (Low Blood Glucose): What to Do