High blood sugar occurs when your body can’t effectively transport sugar from blood into cells.
When left unchecked, this can lead to diabetes.
One study from 2012 reported that 12–14% of US adults had type 2 diabetes, while 37–38% were classified as pre-diabetic (1).
This means that 50% of all US adults have diabetes or pre-diabetes.
Here are 15 easy ways to lower blood sugar levels naturally:
1. Exercise regularly
Regular exercise can help you lose weight and increase insulin sensitivity.
Increased insulin sensitivity means your cells are better able to use the availablesugar in your bloodstream.
Exercise also helps your muscles use blood sugar for energy and muscle contraction.
If you have problems with blood sugar control, you should routinely check your levels. This will help you learn how you respond to different activities and keep your blood sugar levels from getting either too high or too low (2).
Good forms of exercise include weight lifting, brisk walking, running, biking, dancing, hiking, swimming and more.
Bottom Line: Exercise increases insulin sensitivity and helps your muscles pick up sugars from the blood. This can lead to reduced blood sugar levels.
2. Control your carb intake
Your body breaks carbs down into sugars (mostly glucose), and then insulin moves the sugars into cells.
When you eat too many carbs or have problems with insulin function, this process fails and blood glucose levels rise.
However, there are several things you can do about this.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends controlling carb intake by counting carbs or using a food exchange system (3).
Some studies find that these methods can also help you plan your meals appropriately, which may further improve blood sugar control (4, 5).
Many studies also show that a low-carb diet helps reduce blood sugar levels and prevent blood sugar spikes (6, 7, 8, 9).
What’s more, a low-carb diet can help control blood sugar levels in the long run (10).
Bottom Line: Berberine works well for lowering blood sugar levels and can help manage diabetes. However, it may have some digestive side effects.
14. Eat fenugreek seeds
Fenugreek seeds are a great source of soluble fiber, which can help control blood sugar levels.
Many studies have shown that fenugreek can effectively lower blood sugar in diabetics. It also helps reduce fasting glucose and improve glucose tolerance (85, 86,87, 88).
Although not that popular, fenugreek can easily be added to baked goods to help treat diabetes. You can also make fenugreek flour or brew it into tea (89).
Fenugreek seeds are also considered one of the safest herbs for diabetes (87, 88).
The recommended dose of fenugreek seeds is 2–5 grams per day.
Bottom Line: Consider giving fenugreek seeds a try. They are easy to add to your diet and can help regulate blood glucose levels.
15. Lose some weight
It’s a no-brainer that maintaining a healthy weight will improve your health and prevent future health problems.
Weight control also promotes healthy blood sugar levels and has been shown to reduce your risk of developing diabetes (22, 23, 24, 25, 26).
Even a 7% reduction in body weight can decrease your risk of developing diabetes by up to 58%, and it seems to work even better than medication (90).
What’s more, these decreased risks can be sustained over the years (91, 92, 93).
You should also be conscious of your waistline, as it is perhaps the most important weight-related factor for estimating your diabetes risk.
A measurement of 35 inches (88.9 cm) or more for women and 40 inches (101.6 cm) or more for men is associated with an increased risk of developing insulin resistance, high blood sugar levels and type 2 diabetes (94).
Having a healthy waist measurement may be even more important than your overall weight (94).
Bottom Line: Keeping a healthy weight and waistline will help you maintain normal blood sugar levels and decrease your risk of developing diabetes.
Take Home Message
Make sure to check with your doctor before making lifestyle changes or trying new supplements.
This is particularly important if you have problems with blood sugar control or if you are taking medications to lower your sugar levels.
That being said, if you are diabetic or have problems with blood sugar control, then you should start doing something about it as soon as possible.