Did you know that Singapore have the fourth highest diabetic rate in the world? The number of diabetes cases is expected to increase to 1,000,000 in 2050.
In a normal healthy individual, the blood glucose levels are maintained within 4-5.5 mmol/L before meal and up to 7 mmol/L two hours after meal. This glucose level is out of control in diabetes mellitus, often leading to complications including eye, kidney and nerve damage.
Here are 5 tips to decrease your blood sugar levels naturally.
1. Stay Physically Active
On top of weight loss benefit, regular physical activity can elevate insulin sensitivity. With an increased insulin sensitivity, your body cells will be able to use your blood glucose more effectively, which in turn lower your blood sugar.
As such, you are recommended to take part in exercises like brisk walking, running, cycling, dancing and swimming more regularly.
2. Increase Consumption of Fibre
Did you know that fibre can control your blood sugar level as it retards carbohydrate digestion and sugar absorption? A study demonstrated a substantial decrease in blood sugar level of diabetics when they substituted white bread with high-fibre bread.
Hence, we would recommend you to consume more fibre-rich foods such as whole grains, vegetables, nuts and legumes, and less refined grains (e.g. white bread, rice and pasta).
3. Go for Low-Glycemic-Index Foods
Besides the amount of carbohydrates, the glycemic index of foods is also crucial. In simple terms, the glycemic index is a measure of how quickly a specific food can increase your blood sugar level. High-glycemic-index foods result in a rapid increase in blood sugar due to the faster rate of digestion and absorption, while low-glycemic-index foods lead to a slower increase as they are digested and absorbed at a slower rate.
Thus, you should select foods with a low glycemic index (e.g. oats, beans, lentils, legumes, and eggs).
4. Decrease Intake of Sugary Beverages
You should lower your consumption of sodas, fruit juices, sports drinks and energy drinks as these beverages are loaded with sugar (e.g. there are more than 49g of sugar in just 450ml of apple juice). Go for sugar-free beverages, unsweetened tea, or black coffee instead. Better yet, drink plain water (it is free of calories).
5. Always read food labels and select the products with the least added sugar content
Keep a lookout for the ingredient list. Added sugars can be listed in various ways: high-fructose corn syrup, dextrose, maltose, hydrolysed starch, cane sugar, rice syrup, invert sugar, or molasses. Notice the order in which added sugar is stated on the ingredient list (the ingredient with the highest percentage comes first).
Also, you can refer to the nutrition label to find out the sugar content in a product. If the product contains 22.5g or more of total sugar per 100g, it is considered to be high in sugar. If the product has 5g or less of total sugar per 100g, it is considered to be low in sugar.
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