Day Lillies

Day Lillies
This site does not give medical advise. Consult your physican if you have a medical problem. This is a conversation among people who are finding a new direction in eating and living.

Monday, January 28, 2013

How to Lower Blood Sugar Without Medications

How to lower blood sugar without medications is the beginning of a new way of living. Most diet programs available today could be adapted to keeping your blood sugar in control. However, you must plan your calorie intake each day to match what your caregiver has prescribed for you whether it is 1200 calories or even 2000 calories depending on your body size, gender and activity level. So to get started let's discuss implementing your sugar control diet.

Meal plan or meal planning is necessary to successfully control blood sugar while becoming healthy from what you eat. The first step is to plan your schedule for Meals. Optimal results are obtained by eating: Breakfast, a mid-morning snack, Lunch, an afternoon snack, Dinner and a "just before bedtime snack". In other words 6 "meals" each day.

Healthy dieting must include foods in proportion from all the food groups: protein, fat, and carbohydrates. These food groups include most vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts and beverages. Protein in small amounts in each and every meal and snack is required to make this sugar control diet work.

Protein is slower to digest, which keeps your metabolism working and helps prevent feeling hungry and deprived. Acceptable proteins include lean red meat, ideally no more that 3 oz.s. three times per week unbreaded fish, unbreaded chicken, raw nuts, eggs, cottage cheese and unsweetened (plain or flavored) yogurt can be used to satisfy your requirement for protein which should be 10% to 35% of your overall diet.

Dried beans, nuts and seeds can be considered protein but are sometimes "incomplete" so must be eaten with other foods so care in portion and calories is advised.

Carbohydrates includes fruits, vegetables and grains.

Vegetables: Vegetables, especially raw vegetables are your friend. Raw green and red vegetables are unlimited. Eat as much as you want at any meal or snack. Some vegetables have the reputation for burning more calories than they provide especially Celery. Lettuce, Cabbage, Broccoli, are great "treats" when combined with a homemade yogurt dip flavored with zero calorie spices from your spice rack. Cooked vegetables regardless of color and yellow or orange vegetables and potatoes, rice, bread are in the measure category: 1/2 cup equals a serving or the equivalent of one slice of bread and must be calculated into your daily calorie allowance. The exception is corn creamed or whole kernel which is 1/3 cup. Some fun recipes are available at Cararta's Facts including peanut butter celery sticks.

Fruits: Fruits include almost any fresh fruits or berries except for mango and bananas. No fruit juice...except as listed under beverages! Fresh means fresh so no canned, dried fruit. Can use frozen if no sugar added.

Grains: Some diets restrict bread, oatmeal, grits and rice however I often have a sandwich for lunch including two slices of bread, all you have to do is make sure to include these calories in your daily allowance and have a protein filling and you will be fine. The body needs a certain amount of carbohydrate for quick energy while waiting for the protein to digest. A small baked potato with 1 tablespoon of regular sour cream with dinner is also acceptable. Again just keep track of what you eat!

Beverages: Water is great!. Unsweetened tea is fine and I especially like green tea which some tout as a helper in the weight loss game. If you count the calories in the juice, you can have fresh fruit juices with no added sugar  and diluted with water...half water-half juice (grape is good) but again count the calories! I love coffee, but found more than a cup per day seemed to slow down my weight loss. Your choice!

Not listed but important is fat. Every diet should include a certain small amount of fat. You can get this from lean red meat, oily fish, certain nuts, olive oil (salad dressing) canola amount daily equivalent to 3 pats of butter! Fat helps with sugar control as it's digestion takes longer than carbohydrates so it helps maintain a level sugar rate with fewer spikes and lows. Forget the fake "butters" what is in them is worse than fat!

While on the food part of this program: I personally do not like "lite" fat free, reduced fat, sugar free or artificially sweetened anything. Besides their unpalatable taste, they often contain more calories than the original because of attempts to make them"taste"acceptable. It has become accepted that some of these altered foods can cause digestive problems (diarrhea when over consumed). Decide for yourself.

Final recommendation regarding the diet part of the control blood sugar plan. There are certain supplements and herbs that can help control blood sugar. Two that I use are Cinnamon and Chromium. Do your own research or talk to a nutritionist.

Exercise: Exercise is necessary to lose weight and control blood sugar and stop taking medications. Just like the scheduled meal plan, exercise should be on the "menu" every day. The easiest, least expensive and probably the best exercise is Walking. Walking uses your whole body, especially if you swing your arms when you walk. Thirty minutes a day or the equivalent is required. Riding a stationery bicycle if you can't walk or don't have a place to walk will meet your exercise requirements. If you can't walk for 30 minutes, break it up into smaller amounts, gradually increasing until you can walk for 30 minutes.

Adhering to this diet will improve your life by improving your blood sugar level. If you are currently taking medications for your diabetes, keep a close check on your sugar levels and consult with your caregiver regarding adjustments to medications. Losing weight usually reduces blood sugar levels and leads to having more energy and less of that tired feeling common with uncontrolled diabetic blood sugar levels.

A footnote: If you are overweight or have close relatives with diabetes and uncontrolled blood sugar, there is the possibility that using this diet will help prevent diabetes or delay the onset of diabetes.

Finally follow your scheduled eating times using the correct food combinations and do a little walking and you will soon know how to control blood sugar levels without medications!

I am a Retired RN who has lived with Adult Onset diabetes for 30 years without taking medications and have outlined my diet and exercise program for reducing, controlling and lowering blood sugar levels. My site Diabetes Diet has more information to help in your quest for sugar control. In my case a 1200 calorie diet was necessary to lose weight and lower blood sugar.  As I get older the exercise is required to maintain control. 

My younger sister's Joella's fight with diabetes is detailed in a blog, Cararta's Facts with recipes and the ups and downs of trying to live on a Diabetic diet. She has an ongoing problem with combining the correct amount of food and exercise necessary to control her weight, blood sugar and diabetes.
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You can also find more information at
Lose Weight, Lose Fat, Control Diabetes  and
Diabetes Diets