– Original content from Ryan Rodal • April 16, 2019 –
Diet may be the most direct and obvious way to keep your weight within healthy levels and help you control blood sugar. In addition to diet, there are also other techniques to supplement your journey along the way.
It’s no secret adequate sleep is essential for overall health and well-being. Sleep can help lower stress, strengthen our immune system, and decrease blood pressure. Sleep is also important for mental function including: alertness, memory consolidation, mood regulation, and physical health.
Poor sleeping habits also affect blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity.
Slow wave sleep (SWS) is thought to be the most restorative sleep stage, as it affects hormonal changes. These hormones impact glucose regulation. Studies show when people do not get enough SWS, they have decreased levels of insulin sensitivity without an adequate compensatory increase in insulin release. This leads to an increased risk of diabetes due to reduced glucose tolerance. Reduced sleep quality may contribute to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
The benefits of a good night’s rest are important for maintaining hormonal balance and glucose regulation. But just how much sleep should you be getting? The amount of sleep required will differ depending upon age. For adults, seven to nine hours of sleep are recommended. At HVMN, we know getting enough sleep is vital for performance. That’s why we developed Yawn—it’s our non-habit-forming sleep aid shown to decrease time it takes to get to sleep and improve sleep quality, leaving you feeling refreshed upon waking.
Drink Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has many benefits to overall health and wellness. Studies have suggested ingesting vinegar before sleeping may favorably impact waking glucose concentrations in people with type 2 diabetes.
The everyday kitchen staple can influence the body’s response to sugar by improving insulin sensitivity, with studies indicating vinegar can improve postprandial insulin sensitivity in insulin-resistant subjects.
An easy way to incorporate apple cider vinegar into your diet is by creating vinegar-based salad dressings. You can also mix two teaspoons into a glass of water and drink it that way. The use of apple cider vinegar is an inexpensive remedy to potentially improve blood sugar levels.
A low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet and the state of endogenous ketosis is a great way to bring blood sugar down over time. Focusing on consuming healthy fats, along with general carb restriction, will undoubtedly lower insulin and glucose.
Interestingly, exogenous ketones such as HVMN Ketone can also regulate blood sugar in the short term. But it doesn’t require weeks of dieting to get into ketosis, so the effects on blood sugar are fundamentally different, because the body can still consume carbs and be in ketosis with HVMN Ketone.
Studies have shown that HVMN Ketone lowers blood sugar and may even reduce the insulin spike if you consume carbs. Maybe it’s not just the macros of the food you don’t consume—maybe the food you do eat can have a direct blood-sugar lowering effect.
Regular exercise in conjunction with a proper diet can help you maintain or lose weight. People with type 2 diabetes can benefit from aerobic exercise, because physical activity is effective for reducing visceral fat as well as liver adipose tissue.
A single bout of exercise can increase insulin sensitivity for up to sixteen hours through multiple adaptations in glucose transport and metabolism. When you exercise, blood sugar is more effectively used for energy and muscle contraction.
Exercise can come in several forms including walking, running, biking, swimming, boxing, and weight lifting. The most important part of exercise is making the time to do it.
Regularly Monitor Blood Sugar Levels
Regular monitoring of blood sugar levels will help determine where you stand. If you are pre-diabetic, it’s important to get levels down to normal range to prevent full diabetes from occurring. If you already have type 1 or type 2 diabetes you must regularly check and log blood sugar levels to prevent seizures or a diabetic coma.
If you are not pre-diabetic, type 1, or type 2, it is still important to check readings regularly. Blood sugar levels are fluid and always fluctuating. Based on test results, you can adjust your diet (or medication if applicable) to help regulate blood sugar levels.
There are different ways of checking blood sugar.
- Fasting Plasma Glucose Monitoring: fasted glucose levels are considered the baseline, used to compare against times when sugar was ben consumed. In order to obtain fasted plasma glucose, don’t eat for twelve hours prior to measurement. Then, prick your finger and obtain a small drop of blood to be used on a test strip. The strip is then placed into a glucose meter that reads blood sugar levels. Normal fasted glucose levels range from 100 – 125. If your blood sugar is 126 or higher you may be at risk for diabetes or pre-diabetes.
- Oral Glucose Tolerance Test: in this method, you are given a measured dose of glucose (approximately 75g) after taking the fasting glucose test. Blood is tested prior to the intake of glucose, immediately afterwards, and two hours later. The two hour measurement is most important. Normal range is considered blood glucose of less than 140. If your blood sugar is 140 – 199 after the second test, you may be at risk for pre-diabetes. If your blood sugar is 200 or higher after the second test, you could be at risk for diabetes.
- Hemoglobin A1C: this method of blood sugar testing provides data over a three month period. As blood sugar levels are elevated over time, the sugar molecules will bind with the hemoglobin. Some of the sugar molecules will bind with the hemoglobin. The HbA1C tests determines the percentage of hemoglobin with bound glucose and is considered a much better measurement of long term glucose control. Using a percentage of glycosylated Hb, the HbA1C tests determine the percentage of hemoglobin with bound glucose. Hb A1C tests consider A1C levels of 4.5 – 5.6 range to be normal. An A1C test of 5.7 – 6.4 is considered pre-diabetic and 6.5 or higher is considered diabetic.
Glucose levels can vary significantly depending on many outstanding factors, like sleep and diet. It’s important to continually monitor levels on a regular basis to get a clearer picture of health.
Lowering Blood Sugar for Overall Health
Keeping your blood sugar within normal recommended ranges is important for overall health.
By effectively controlling these levels you are less likely to develop diabetes. Make smart lifestyle decisions, including practicing regular exercise along with having a proper diet. There is no excuse when it comes to your health. Stay healthy. Stay strong. Stay happy.