Blood sugar spikes throughout the day, but if you want to keep it steady here are some tips. First, diet is important. “High glycemic” foods, or foods that cause a rapid spike in blood sugar after eating them, may ultimately cause an energy crash within a few hours of eating them by triggering an exaggerated insulin response.  The rush of insulin after eating results in blood sugar levels that can be even lower than before eating to begin with, leaving you feeling sluggish, tired…and hungry again. Food is not the only way to control blood sugar though, exercise is equally important.

1. Switch from White to Brown Rice: New research shows that substituting brown rice for white rice may lower risk of type 2 diabetes in both men and women. Brown rice contains a fiber and vitamin-rich outer skin – called the bran – that is stripped away when processing white rice. The result?  White rice is more quickly converted to sugar by our bodies and contributes to more dramatic spikes in blood sugar than an equivalent portion of brown rice.

2. Get a Good Night’s Sleep: Insulin resistance might have something to do with lack of sleep. New research reveals that even a single evening of inadequate sleep time can elicit insulin resistance in healthy individuals.  That’s right, just one night of sleep deprivation is enough to throw off your body’s blood sugar levels, and all the while Americans’ average number of hours slept continues to decrease.  Although the negative effects of chronic sleep deprivation on insulin resistance were previously documented, a team of Dutch researchers found that even one night without sufficient sleep has an impact on insulin levels. The data collected reveals “partial sleep restriction during only a single night reduces insulin sensitivity by 19-25%,” therefore emphasizing the importance of attaining at least seven hours of sleep every night.

3. Try Cross-Training: New research suggests that alternating between aerobic and resistance exercises may be the key to optimal diabetes management. Although both aerobic and resistance exercise provide health benefits separately, only the combination of the two resulted in a statistically significant reduction in blood sugar levels. Exercise is particularly helpful in achieving blood sugar control because the skeletal muscles (those which we use during exercise) consume and utilize the blood sugar. Diabetes is characterized by insulin resistance, which means that the sugar can’t get into the cell. Ultimately, regular exercise makes the muscles more sensitive to insulin. At the end of the study, those who did a combination of aerobic and resistance exercise demonstrated a 1 percent decrease in blood sugar levels, while those in the aerobic-only group and resistance-only group had no significant reductions.

4. Try Tai-Chi: Recent research has found incredible physical benefits from the ancient Chinese self-defense ritual, tai chi. Indeed, it may help diabetics control their blood sugar. Sometimes referred to as “meditation in motion,” tai chi has become known for increasing internal serenity through gentle movements that connect the mind and body. Tai chi is touted for reducing stress and improving a variety of health conditions. According to the study, tai chi exercises were proved to be beneficial on patients with diabetes and obesity, and were safe when supervised by professional trainers. Intricate monitoring of blood sugar, lipid profiles, blood pressure and general fitness showed that the tai chi exercises could in fact lower these parameters after three months.

5. Eat Complex Carbohydrates: Mixed meals that contain a balanced amount of complex carbohydrates (instead of simple sugars), protein, healthy fat and fiber are metabolized in such a way to promote gradual absorption–and a slower and more sustained rise in blood sugar levels.  As a result, you’ll feel fuller for longer, and benefit from a sustained feeling of physical energy and mental focus.

Finally, for more foods to eat read this article Why Vinegar Never Tasted So Sweet to learn why you may want to add cinnamon, chromium and vinegar to your diet.

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