Metabolic Health: 4 ways to maintain healthy blood sugar levels
Maintaining a healthy blood sugar level is important for metabolic health, reducing your risk of developing diabetes or other conditions. Here you'll find tips on how to adjust your diet, get regular exercise, and take other steps that are key to maintaining a balanced blood sugar level.
Understand blood sugar levels
Before you can begin to maintain a healthy blood sugar level, it's important to understand what blood sugar levels are and how they can vary from person to person. Blood sugar levels refer to the amount of glucose in the bloodstream, which is regulated by hormones such as insulin and glucagon. Your target blood sugar level should be between 70-100 mg/dL when fasting, and less than 180 mg/dL two hours after a meal. It's also important to remember that age, activity level, and other factors may influence your ideal range.
Learn more: What you should know about the blood sugar diet
1. Choose healthy foods to lower blood sugar
Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and healthy proteins can help keep your blood sugar in check. Avoid processed foods, which are often high in simple carbohydrates. These carbohydrates are broken down quickly by the body and can contribute to higher blood sugar levels. Instead, choose complex carbohydrates like whole grains, beans, legumes, and starchy vegetables. Additionally, flank meals with healthy fats such as avocados, nuts or seeds to slow digestion and maintain steady blood sugar levels throughout the day.
Additional resource: How to naturally lower blood sugar with food
2. Get active and exercise regularly
Exercise is essential for maintaining metabolic health. Exercise helps to manage weight, prevent insulin resistance and regulate blood sugar levels. Physical activity can be as simple as walking more often or doing more physical activity around the house. For more aerobic exercise focus on activities like jogging, biking and swimming. Aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week. Work with your doctor to create an exercise plan that’s right for you.
3. Take advantage of stress-reducing activities
Stress management is an important component for maintaining metabolic health. Stress can result in increased cortisol production and when released into the body, cortisol can contribute to increases in blood sugar levels. So finding ways to reduce stress is essential to maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Take time out of your daily routine for activities that make you feel relaxed and happy such as yoga, meditation or taking a warm bath. Exercise can also help to reduce stress and improve mental wellbeing.
4. Consider natural supplements and remedies for supportive care
Supplements containing chromium, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids have all been shown to be beneficial in the management of metabolic health. Herbs like gymnema and cinnamon may also provide assistance in controlling blood sugar levels. In addition, be sure to get enough sleep and consider using aromatherapy to help you relax and manage stress. Eating a diet rich in whole foods is also important for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels as well as controlling cravings.
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