Did you know that high blood glucose or blood sugar in your body may be doing a lot of harm to you over the long term? And lowering blood sugar is extremely important.
If you love carbs and sugar, I don’t blame you. Something about a sweet, salty or carby meal makes our tongue water.
When you eat diets that are high in refined carbohydrates or simple carbs (think white bread, white rice, tortillas, pizza, breakfast cereal, bagels, etc.), these simple carbs are rapidly broken down by your body. Once broken down, then enter the bloodstream as blood glucose.
High blood sugar attacks your proteins, fat cells and even your DNA and causes faster aging of your body. It causes increased risk of atherosclerosis (plaque of your arteries) and heart disease.
High blood glucose attacks attacks collagen and causes faster aging of your skin.
High blood glucose and high glycemic variability are AGING you faster. We will talk about glycemic variability in another post.
Bottom line: if you want to live a healthy and longer life, and look and feel younger than your age – you must put a STOP to high blood glucose in your body.
Without further ado, here are my top 5 tips to reduce blood glucose in your body.
Blood Sugar Lowering Tip #1: Practice Daily Time Restricted Feeding (or Intermittent Fasting)
When you avoid eating for a window of time every day, this practice naturally keeps your blood glucose low.
Time restricted feeding (or daily intermittent fasting to some) means you eat your daily meals in a time-restricted window. For eg, you could fast for 16 hours of the day and eat during 8 hours.
Different types of time restricted feeding windows are possible. 12/12, 16/8, 18/6, 23/1. Yes, some people get all their daily calories by just eating one hour a day.
The biggest benefit of time-restricted feeding is that you keep your blood sugar levels low for most of the day (which helps reduce the risk the problems we discussed above). So start practicing some form of time-restricted feeding to give your anti-aging efforts a big boost.
Blood Sugar Lowering Tip #2: Eat Fewer Carbohydrates
This is not a post about diets and I do not want to wade into a political argument here. But I want to talk about carbohydrates.
Eating carbs results in the breakdown of those carbs into glucose into your bloodstream. The more carbohydrates you eat, the higher your blood glucose levels rise in response.
Higher blood glucose levels over time cause your body to become glucose resistant. Just like drinking alcohol often requires you to drink more to get drunk.
So in order to lower blood glucose levels, it goes to reason that you should avoid eating high carb meals. Instead, start incorporating healthy fats such as olive oil or avocadoes into your meals. They are great for you and provide stable energy without the high blood glucose levels or the crash afterwards.
Tip #3: Incorporate Exercise (Strength and High Intensity Exercise)
If I could recommend one pill in a bottle, it would probably be exercise. Every year, we learn more about the amazing benefits of exercise to our body.
Studies have shown that high-intensity workouts increase glucose update by muscle cells (even without needing insulin).
This means when you do high intensity exercises, your body can rapidly shuttle glucose out of your blood and into your muscles, where it can be burned to create more energy. This is true even if you have type 2 diabetes.
This remains true with strength training as well. When you lift weights, you are building muscle. More muscle needs extra glucose to create energy for the output required, and it pull that energy from blood glucose.
So make sure to exercise consistently to make your body an efficient glucose burning machine.
Tip #4: Take A Short Walk After Your Meals
It’s no secret that your blood glucose rises in response to a meal, also referred to your post-prandial glucose.
Studies have shown that something as simple as taking a walk for 15-20 minutes after a meal can significantly lower blood glucose levels.
Most people make dinner the biggest meal of the day. People also limit physical activity at night or watch TV before going to bed, which keeps blood glucose levels higher in the evening and while they sleep.
A great solution is to take a 15-20 minute walk after dinner. You can do this at home on a treadmill, but prefer doing it outside if the weather is cool. Being colder in the evening is an evolutionary hint to your body that it may be time to start preparing for bed soon (which will help you sleep better).
And if you already take walks during the day, then make sure to go for a walk after meals and especially dinner dinner instead of before meals.
Blood Glucose Lowering Tip #5: Use Nature’s Herbs to Reduce Blood Sugar
A few herbs found in this bountiful earth can help you reduce your blood glucose levels effectively.
Cinnamon has been identified as a potent reducer of blood glucose. In one study, 22 pre-diabetic subjects were given 500mg/day of cinnamon for 12 weeks. At the end of that time, their fasting blood glucose dropped over 8%.
Apple cider vinegar is also quite effective at lowering blood sugar levels after a meal. In one study, 29 subjects were given either a placebo or 20 grams of apple cider vinegar before a high carbohydrate meal. Researchers measure blood glucose 30 and 60 minutes after a meal, and found that apple cider vinegar significantly reduced blood blood glucose levels in response to the high carbohydrate meal.
Berberine is another powerful compound that has shown to improve insulin sensitivity and enhance sugar uptake from your blood into your muscles. Berberine also promotes AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activity, which is a great for longevity. I will discuss AMPK in detail in another post.
Gymnema sylvestre is an ayurvedic herb that has been used for thousands of years to help reduce blood sugar levels. In one study, Gymnema sylvestre reduced the 2-hour post meal glucose by 13%. Another study found that 200-400 mg of Gymnema sylvestre reduced the intestinal absorption of glucose. In Hindi, gymnema sylvestre translate to “sugar killer”. That name alone gives it my vote of confidence.
Bitter melon or goya is a food that is quite popular in Okinawa, Japan. The locals use bitter melon in their vegetable stir fries and other foods mixes. I have studied this first hand when I visited Okinawa in 2019. Also known as bitter gourd in India, this plant has been used in ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years. A study done in rats found that it could reduce blood glucose levels by up to 48%.
Make it a practice to pop some of these naturally amazing blood sugar management compounds before a carbohydrate rich meal, and you can eat your meal knowing that these herbs are going to give you an unfair advantage and minimize the damage from high glucose levels.
High blood glucose levels in your body gum up proteins and attack your DNA. They attack your collagen and age you faster from the inside out.
High blood sugar also puts you at risk for diabetes, atherosclerosis, heart disease and may other conditions.
Maintaining low levels of blood glucose is one of the best anti-aging strategies you can incorporate into your life. As you can see above, it’s actually not that hard to incorporate some of these recommendations.
What do you use for managing your blood glucose or blood sugar levels? Leave a comment below.
Click here to check out some of my other recommendations.