7 Science-Based Ways to Lower Blood Sugar

Did you know that making science-backed lifestyle changes can make a significant change to your blood sugar levels? Here is how you can lower your blood sugar by making simple adjustments.

By URLife Team
14 Nov 2023

India has become a country with a fast-growing diabetic population, with approximately 74 million adults living with it. Furthermore, 40 million Indian adults suffer from Impaired Glucose Tolerance (IGT), exposing them to type 2 diabetes.


Having high blood sugar, known as hyperglycemia, can be dangerous, especially if it persists without proper treatment for an extended period of time. Elevated blood sugar levels over time, when left unmanaged, can lead to complications such as vision loss and heart disease, impacting both energy, body and mood.


While medications are necessary when prescribed, lifestyle changes are also recommended to manage hyperglycemia. These include exercising, staying hydrated, maintaining a sleep schedule and taking prescription medications. While some methods may provide temporary relief by rapidly reducing glucose levels, all of these measures contribute to the overall goal of maintaining long-term blood sugar control.


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With healthy lifestyle modifications individuals might prevent, delay or reduce the need for medication. However, If you are diabetic, it is recommended to consult a doctor before reducing or making any changes to the prescribed medicines.


Related Post: The Diabetes Guide: How To Balance Your Blood Sugar


Science-Based Ways To Manage Blood Sugar Level

Here are 7 science-based ways to manage your blood sugar level with simple lifestyle modifications.


Eat Carbohydrates Last

Eating carbohydrates at the end of a meal can help lower blood sugar levels due to the way the body processes food. When eaten at the beginning of a meal, carbohydrates break down quickly into glucose, raising blood sugar levels rapidly. On the other hand, carbohydrates eaten at the end of a meal, especially with protein and fats, can slow downthe process of glucose absorption.


According to a 2017 BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care report, consuming carbohydrates at the end of a meal, rather than at the beginning, was associated with significantly lower blood sugar levels.


Another 2019 study published in Nutrients concluded that the order in which you consume your food affects your post-meal blood sugar levels. The research advises eating foods in the following order: foods high in water and fibre (such as vegetables), followed by foods high in protein, then oils/fats, followed by whole or complex carbohydrates, and finally simpler carbohydrates or high-sugar foods.


Consume More Fermented Foods

Fermented foods can increase the absorption of certain nutrients, making them easier for your body to absorb. For example, fermentation can break down complex compounds that hinder nutrient absorption, allowing your body to utilise available nutrients more efficiently. Also, fermented foods contain probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that maintain a healthy balance of microbes in your gut. A balanced gut microbiota is associated with efficient digestion and absorption of nutrients.


According to a 2022 study published in Nutrients, in addition to supporting digestive health, research shows that fermented foods can slow carbohydrate absorption, lowering blood sugar levels after a meal.


A 2023 study also shows that fermented food reduces inflammation, which is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes.


Related Post: 5 Ways Sugars Are Hiding In Plain Sight In Your Food


Eat smaller, More Frequent Meals

Appropriately spacing your meals and snacks can contribute to stable blood sugar levels, preventing the oscillation between high and low levels. Numerous studies suggest that consuming smaller, more frequent meals may reduce blood sugar levels and enhance insulin sensitivity. Insulin, a hormone crucial for utilising and storing blood sugar, becomes more effective in absorbing and utilising glucose from the bloodstream when insulin sensitivity improves.


According to a 2018 study published in Pediatric Diabetes, consuming six small meals throughout the day demonstrated better glucose tolerance and lower postprandial glucose levels compared to those who consumed three larger meals.


Practice Strength Training

Strength training increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin, a hormone that facilitates cell uptake of glucose. Improved insulin sensitivity means the body can use blood sugar more efficiently, helping to regulate glucose levels. During strength training, muscles actively take up glucose for energy. This process occurs independently of insulin, making it especially useful for individuals with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes. As muscles contract, they use glucose as fuel, thereby consuming more glucose and lowering blood sugar levels.


According to a 2021 study, a single session of resistance training before a meal significantly reduced postprandial blood sugar levels in the test group, which consisted of obese and pre-diabetic individuals.


The American Diabetes Association recommends starting with 30 minutes of cardio exercise three times a week and gradually increasing it to five times. If you find that 30 minutes is hard, start with five or 10 minutes, and progress to two and then three sessions a day as your endurance improves.


Choose Whole Grains Over Refined Grains

Not all carbohydrates are created equal, especially when it comes to how they affect your blood sugar levels. This is because whole grains contain more fibre and nutrients than their refined counterparts such as rice, quinoa and whole wheat. These fibres slow down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, preventing a rapid rise in blood sugar. On the other hand, refined grains such as white rice and white bread have been processed, which have absorbed more fibre and nutrients and this can cause blood sugar levels to rise rapidly and dramatically.


In a 2017 analysis of various studies, researchers stated that including whole grains in the diet resulted in better post-meal blood glucose levels when compared to consuming refined carbohydrate foods.


Related Post: Sugar Substitute: Healthy Sweetener Alternatives For People With Diabetes


Eat Raspberries

Research shows that adding raspberries to your diet can help lower your blood sugar levels. Raspberries are known to lower blood sugar levels immediately. This is because raspberries are rich in dietary fibre, particularly soluble fibre. Fibre slows down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, leading to a more gradual release of glucose into the bloodstream.


According to a 2019 study, people with pre-diabetes and insulin resistance were asked to eat 250 grams (about 2 cups) of raspberries. Eating raspberries lowered their blood sugar levels for 30 minutes to an hour.


Avoid Sugar Substitutes

While sugar substitutes may not immediately raise blood sugar levels like regular sugar, it is not a good option for long-term management of blood sugar. This is because artificial sweeteners have been known to raise insulin levels, which can lead to insulin resistance in the long term. Insulin resistance means that insulin is unable to effectively break down sugar in the bloodstream.


In a 2023 fact sheet, the World Health Organization (WHO) advised not to use sugar-free sweeteners for weight control or disease risk reduction. After reviewing scientific evidence, the WHO highlighted potential drawbacks to the long-term use of artificial sweeteners, including an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and heart diseases.


Need all your wellness solutions in one place? A whole new world awaits just a click away.


Incorporating these lifestyle changes can complement medical interventions and combat high blood sugar levels. It is important to note that every individual is different and your body might respond differently when incorporating lifestyle changes. If you are dealing with high blood sugar levels, it is critical to take medical guidance before making drastic lifestyle changes. At UR.Life, we help you live your best life through targeted medical interventions and lifestyle modifications that help you feel better and energetic. Learn more about our plans and how we can help.



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