By Sade Adewale
High blood sugar occurs when the body can’t effectively transport sugar from blood into cells.
When left unchecked, this can lead to diabetes.
Blood sugar levels are a primary concern for people with diabetes. High blood sugar, known as hyperglycemia, occurs when a person’s blood sugar is over 180 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL).
Speaking with a nutritionist, Mrs Adeola Ajayi, she added that high blood sugar levels can be dangerous if not promptly managed and can lead to both short-term and long-term problems.
The nutritionist noted that there are different ways to help people lower their blood sugar levels. These steps include changing lifestyle following, diet tips, among others.
According to her, regular exercise can help people lose weight and increase insulin sensitivity. Increased insulin sensitivity means the cells are better able to use the available sugar in the bloodstream.
She stressed that the exercise also helps the muscles, use blood sugar for energy and muscle contraction.
She stated that if anybody have problems with blood sugar control, the person should routinely check his or her levels, saying this will help them learn how they respond to different activities and keep their blood sugar levels from getting either too high or too low.
Ajayi hinted that the kind of exercise they can do include weight lifting, brisk walking, running, biking, dancing, hiking, swimming among others.
She said individuals should reduce carbohydrate intake, saying that this can help with blood sugar control because carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, which raises blood sugar levels and a low-carbohydrate diet helps reduce blood sugar levels and prevents blood sugar spikes.
According to her, individuals should increase fiber intake because it slows carbohydrate digestion and sugar absorption. For these reasons, it promotes a more gradual rise in blood sugar levels.
She added that people should eat fiber that promote weight loss, lower blood sugar levels, saying this may play a role.
She posited that there are two kinds of fiber: insoluble and soluble. While both are important, soluble fiber specifically has been shown to lower blood sugar levels.
Additionally, the nutritionist stressed that a high-fiber diet can help manage type 1 diabetes by improving blood sugar control and reducing blood sugar lows.
Ajayi said that foods that are high in fiber include vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grain which is good to control blood sugar level.
She hinted that the daily intake of fiber is about 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men.
She advised people to drink water and stay hydrated, saying drinking enough water may help keep the blood sugar levels within healthy limits and helps the kidneys to flush out the excess blood sugar through urine.
Ajayi added that those that drink more water are not proned to have high blood sugar because drinking water regularly re-hydrates the blood, lowers blood sugar levels and reduces diabetes risk.
Ajayi advised individuals to implement Portion Control, saying it helps regulate calorie intake and can lead to weight loss.
She said that controlling weight promotes healthy blood sugar levels and has been shown to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Monitoring the serving sizes also helps reduce calorie intake and subsequent blood sugar spikes, she noted.
She said that individuals should eat low-glycemic-index foods which are seafood, meat, eggs, oats, barley, beans, lentils, legumes, sweet potatoes, corn, yams, most fruits and non-starchy vegetables to reduce long-term blood sugar levels in type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
She said that individuals should control stress levels because stress can affect the blood sugar levels, saying that hormones such as glucagon and cortisol are secreted during stress. These hormones cause blood sugar levels to go up.
The nutritionist advised people to have enough sleep, saying that poor sleeping habits and a lack of rest also affect blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity. They can increase appetite and promote weight gain.
She stated that good sleep is about both quantity and quality, saying It is best to have a sufficient amount of high-quality sleep every night.
She further said that good sleep helps maintain blood sugar control and promote a healthy weight, while poor sleep can disrupt important metabolic hormones.